Canine Companion: Flaxseed Has Nutritional Benefits
Hey, guys. This week we’re going to focus on one particular ingredient. I have been involved in some nutrition discussions this week and flaxseed seems to come up quite often in conversation with clients.
You’ll notice organic flaxseed as an ingredient in quite a few of your dog’s healthy snacks. If you’re new to the world of holistic nutrition, you probably already know all the health benefits associated with flaxseed. For those of you who are new to learning about holistic medicine, I wanted to take some time today to share the health benefits of flaxseed with you in this article.
What is Flaxseed?
Flaxseed has been around for thousands of years and has been used for nearly everything you can think of. Flaxseed comes from the Flax plant and are known to be nutty-tasting, small seeds. If you take a look at a flaxseed, you’d be surprised at how many benefits such a small seed can pack (take a look on Google Images!).
Flaxseed is jam-packed with Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acid chains are known to help cells function, increase immunity, assist in your dog’s growth, and improve skin and health. That alone is helpful.
Dogs who suffer from autoimmune health conditions, allergic reactions, or inflammation issues are also known to benefit from Omega-3. We don’t have too much space here, but I highly encourage you to look into this (and potentially discuss this with your veterinarian) if your dog suffers from any of those conditions.
Coat and Hair
One of the first ways to tell if your dog has something missing in her diet is a lack of shine in her coat. You may also notice her skin and fur being overly dry.
Once a dog’s natural coat oils are gone, the itching will begin. The itching will likely turn into hotspots or cuts. Then, infection can set in.
Flaxseed helps take care of those issues. The oils in flaxseed assist in healing your dog’s skin and bringing her fur coat and skin back to normal health.
Support For Healthy Joints
The same compounds that help your dog’s skin and coat are also known to reduce joint pain. To those dogs who experience arthritis, hip dysplasia, and other joint-related health conditions, the flaxseed found in organic products could potentially be incredibly helpful.
Flaxseed possesses antioxidants known as lignans. Lignans help your dog’s immune system work properly, and also improves your dog’s body with the ability to reduce inflammation.
Usually, this results in your dog’s quality of life increasing. Your old pup may be able to get back to doing things they were once able to several weeks after flaxseed is implemented into their diet.
Yet another Omega-3 benefit; the reduction of inflammation in the kidneys. Then, the chain effect begins to occur. Healthy kidneys means your dog’s body is able to increase blood flow to other organs and assist in an increase in triglycerides. Triglycerides assist in extending your dog’s life.
Flaxseed and Adrenal Issues
Research has found flaxseed may also assist in treating dogs with adrenal problems, due to the high content of lignans that are found in the seeds. A dog who has adrenal problems usually secretes too many hormones.
The reason for the secretion of so many extra hormones usually has something to do with a tumor on the pituitary gland or the adrenal gland (or both potentially). This is where your annual check-up with your veterinarian comes in too (FYI).
And yes, other plants do contain lignan, but not in the amount flaxseed carries.
Some veterinary professionals recommend flaxseed to dogs who experience digestive disorders. Dogs who are not digesting food well generally have loose, watery stools.
The flaxseed helps reduce constipation and provides their stool with some support. It’s kind of like when humans don’t feel well and the doctor tells you to eat foods with high fiber.
Healthy dogs have relatively firm, well-formed stools.
Flaxseed is not a type of medication. That’s an incredibly important statement and it’s very important for you to understand. Flaxseed is a type of food. This puts many dog lovers’ minds at ease due to extremely low risk of side effects.
If you do want to ensure flaxseed is healthy for your dog, feel free to contact your family veterinarian and/or an alternative veterinarian specializing in holistic medicine.
Finally, make sure your dog is drinking plenty of water at all times. Not just for the purposes of this column, but in general, to help her stay happy and healthy.
Until next time, guys.