Is Flaxseed Good for Dogs? Benefits Explained

Flaxseed is a popular ingredient in plenty of human foods, but have you ever considered the potential benefits that it could have for your furry friend? If you haven’t already, spoiler alert: we’re here to tell you that you definitely should. 


For years, flaxseed has proven that it has a whole host of benefits. Harnessing these can truly create a positive impact on your pet’s health. We’re here to teach you exactly how you can do that and talk about the plenty of benefits that incorporating flaxseed in your dog’s diet can have. 


What is Flaxseed? Is It Good for Dogs?


We already spoiled this, but the answer is yes! Flaxseed isn’t only safe for dogs to consume; it’s also healthful for them. Allow us to explain a bit more how you can use this powerful food to help support a happy, healthy life for your canine friend. 


First, let’s discuss what exactly flaxseed is. Perhaps you’ve heard of it before but aren’t sure where to start. While it can seem intimidating at first, we’re here to help you navigate the world of flaxseed and how it can pertain to your pet.


Derived from a plant called the flax plant, these seeds are small and nutty-flavored. Unsurprisingly, they also can help support your dog’s wellbeing. Flaxseed oil is another popular product that can also have similar health properties and, therefore, benefits. This comes from flax seeds that have been ground and pressed.


Flaxseed is so good for your dog because it’s absolutely packed with two fatty acids - also known as good fats. These are omega-3 and omega-6. In addition to this, flaxseeds, which are also sometimes referred to as linseeds, pack a significant amount of fiber and protein into what could be considered a small serving. Fiber and protein are essential to upkeep your dog’s wellbeing (but more on that later).


What Are the Benefits of Flaxseed for Dogs?


Do you incorporate flaxseed into your diet for the health benefits it can provide you? If so, you’ll be interested to learn that some of these very benefits your pup can reap too by having flaxseed in their food! 


There are several ways that flaxseed can potentially make a positive impact on your furry friend’s overall health. Some of these include: 


  1. It contains omega-3 and omega-6.
  2. It can be an excellent source of fiber.
  3. It can provide your canine with protein. 
  4. It has anti-inflammatory properties.
  5. It can support cardiovascular health.



It Contains Omega-3 and Omega-6


Let’s do a quick refresher on all things omega-3 and 6 for dogs. These fatty acids are also known as ‘good fats.’ It’s important that your dog is getting enough of these in order to support their overall wellbeing. Consider these a necessary part of your dog’s well-balanced diet. Luckily, your dog can get these through flaxseed. 


The reason that omega-3 and omega-6 need to come from the diet is because some of these cannot be synthesized by a body. So that means that they have to be consumed as part of a healthy diet. 


These omegas are, as you might have guessed, powerful! They are supportive of skin, coat, brain, heart, and joint health. Therefore, when you’re incorporating flax seed with these omegas into your pet’s diet, you’re boosting their holistic, overall wellbeing. 


If your dog has a dull, itchy, or otherwise dry coat, the omegas can help support a healthier one. When your dog gets enough of these fats, they can see an improvement. Fats also can be considered brain food. This is part of why it’s so important to ensure that your dog is getting enough of these omegas throughout the entire course of their lifetime - from development when they’re young to when they’re all grown up. 



It Can Be an Excellent Source of Fiber


Fiber is another necessary ingredient to your pet’s wellbeing. And while it’s frequently overlooked as far as nutrients go, there are so many reasons why your dog can benefit from having fiber in their diet. 


One of the main reasons that incorporating fiber into your pet’s diet is so essential is because it supports their digestive system. There are a couple of reasons why this happens. 


For one, fiber oftentimes is fermented into fatty acids. This is thanks to the good bacteria found in your pet’s intestine. This fatty acid works to prevent the overgrowth of harmful bacteria that can hurt your dog. It also helps their colon recover from an injury, if one occurs.


But that’s not all. If your dog suffers from either diarrhea or constipation, fiber could help ease those symptoms. In addition to this, making sure your dog gets enough fiber can help them maintain a healthy weight, as it allows your pet to feel full while not consuming too many calories. Are you sold on flaxseed yet? We are, too. 



It Can Provide Your Canine With Protein


Protein is regarded as oh-so-important for human beings, and unsurprisingly, the same goes for our furry friends. In fact, it’s completely essential. Protein, which is made up of amino acids, is charged with several roles in your dog’s body. For one, it builds and repairs your pet’s muscles (and other body tissues, too!). In addition to this, it’s also needed to create new skin cells and grow a healthy coat. 


That’s not where protein’s responsibilities end. Your furry friend needs protein because it helps them create body chemicals, including hormones and enzymes. Without these, proper function is impossible. 


Speaking of proper function, your dog wouldn’t likely have enough energy without proteins, as it’s an energy provider. Finally, protein helps keep your dog’s immune system robust and strong. 



It Has Anti-inflammatory Properties


If your doggie suffers from arthritis, you might have heard your vet suggest that you provide them with a food or supplement that provides anti-inflammatory properties. Turns out that these properties can be valuable for a whole bunch of dogs, even if they don’t have arthritis. 


The anti-inflammatory properties of flaxseed can also help support lower blood pressure and possibly improve their kidney function. That being said, if your dog has an ailment, you should reach out to your vet to get their opinion on incorporating flaxseed into their diet first. 



It Can Support Cardiovascular Health


Last but certainly not least, your dog’s heart health can get a boost of support from flaxseed. This is because flax seeds include lignans. 


By routinely including flaxseed into your dog’s diet, you’re offering your pet support in a whole host of ways. It’s an extremely versatile product, and that’s why it’s so widespread and highly regarded. Flaxseed truly does offer something for most dogs. 



What To Know About Flaxseed


While there are innumerable reasons that flaxseed makes an excellent addition to your dog’s diet, there are a few things that you should keep your eye out for. 


The first thing to note is that you should be sure you’re giving your dog the right amount of flaxseed. Like all things, it’s essential that you give your pet this product in moderation. 


While flaxseed is overall well tolerated by canines, it is possible that if your dog ingests too much, they could get sick. This is usually referred to as flax poisoning. There are a few ways that this could occur. 


For one, if you give your pet too much of a flaxseed supplement, there’s a risk. In addition, if your dog happens to accidentally get into the flaxseed capsules or eats too much raw flaxseed, they could be at risk. Finally, if you have flax plants hanging out in your garden, you’ll want to keep your pup out. 


If you suspect your dog does have flax poisoning, you’ll probably notice them having diarrhea and vomiting. While it is unlikely, there’s a potential your dog could get cyanide poisoning from the trace amounts that did not get removed during processing. This is only if your dog ate a significant amount, however! Of course, if you’re concerned about either of these ailments, you should immediately seek your vet’s advice.


There is an easy way to avoid this, however, and that’s by simply choosing a dog food that has flaxseed already in it. You won’t have to deal with supplements, oils, or concerns that you’re giving your pet too much. 


Luckily, Sundays for Dogs makes delicious, human-grade food that your pooch will love. And the best part? Flaxseed is one of our ingredients. That means your dog will get all the benefits and none of the potential drawbacks!



In Conclusion


Flaxseed is an outstanding addition to your dog’s diet - as long as you don’t overdo it. Sundays for Dogs is committed to using ingredients that you’ll know the names of - and one of these is flaxseed. 


Now, your dog can reap all the benefits of having flaxseed and you can be confident you’re giving them the correct amount. And that’s just one of the ways we make it easier to be a better dog parent! 





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