The bar has been raised further! Offering your pet steak bones and a few dog treats is not enough to maintain their health.
Today, you need to understand what nutrients your dog needs and focus on dog food safety, health, and digestibility. The first step is to know which seeds are suitable for your dog and what nutritional value they offer.
Seeds, including flax seeds, are a healthy and nutritious treat for your pet. They supply proteins, minerals, healthy fats, and vitamins to boost your dog’s health. You can add them to your dog’s meals or sprinkle them as a topper.
However, the biggest question is whether flax seeds are healthy and safe for your dog. The following insights will help.
What Are Flax Seeds?
Flax seeds are seeds from a flowering plant in the family Linaceae. Alternatively called linseeds, flax seeds are rich in fiber, proteins, and healthy fats. They are also among the best sources of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Thanks to their multiple health benefits, these seeds are counted among superfoods.
Can Dogs Eat Flax Seeds?
Flax seeds are an excellent treat for your pet, thanks to their multiple health benefits and safety. However, you cannot feed your dog the flax plant, particularly when raw or unprocessed. This toxic plant triggers symptoms like vomiting, weakness, lethargy, rapid heart rate, and abnormal breathing.
Various approaches are used to prepare flax seeds for dogs. You can consider any of these three forms: oil, whole grains, and powder.
The most popular option is flax seeds, thanks to how easy it is to feed the dog. However, it is not the most efficient approach, as grains are not easily digestible or absorbable in the body.
Flax powder is an excellent choice when looking for efficiency. You can mix it with your dog’s foods and treats without worrying about a change in texture and taste.
On the other hand, flax oil is easy to digest and absorb, guaranteeing all health benefits. However, since this oil is substantially unstable, it will likely go rancid soon.
How much Flax Should I Offer my Dog?
Be careful with how much flax seed you give to your dog, thanks to its high fiber content that could trigger diarrhea and vomiting. A gradual introduction is necessary to avoid health complications.
On average, a small dog should ingest about an eighth of a teaspoon of flax. In contrast, medium dog breeds and large dogs can take up to one and a half teaspoons of flax.
You can give your dog flax in different ways: meal mix-in, saucing, or baking. Here are a few insights into each option.
A meal mix-in requires you to add flax seeds to your dog’s meals, including yogurt. You can also drizzle a small amount of flax oil on top of the dog’s food, saucing it up. Baking requires adding flax oil or powder to your confectionery or butter.
Health Benefits of Flax Seeds
Flax seeds contain various nutrients and nutritional value, making them a healthy choice for your pet. They assure your dog of the following health benefits.
Flax seeds are rich in dietary fiber, which is vital for gastrointestinal health. This element prevents constipation, regulates bowel movements, and stops loose stool.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Flax seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can significantly improve the health of your dog’s skin and coat. These acids will also boost heart health, ensuring that the cardiovascular system is steadfast.
Flax seeds have anti-inflammatory properties that help alleviate pain and inflammation in dogs, including arthritis, joint pain, and body aches. In addition, you can rely on it to ease the symptoms of blood pressure and improve kidney function.
Flax seeds contain a compound called lignan, which lowers cancer risk and cancerous cell growth. This compound will also strengthen your dog’s immune system.
Flax seeds contain a significant amount of proteins that spur muscular growth and development. They also boost muscle energy levels, allowing the dog to participate in various everyday activities.
Drawbacks of Flax Seeds
There are instances when flax seed is unsafe for your dog, causing flax poisoning. Flax poisoning happens on rare occasions, particularly when you give your dog excess flax seeds.
Flax seeds and powder’s high dietary fiber content can cause gas and bloat. You can avoid this issue by replacing flax seeds and powder with flax oil. However, flax oil is unstable and can become rancid quickly, exposing your dog to toxicity and stomach issues.
Flax seeds have phytic acid, which impairs the absorption of various minerals, including calcium, iron, and zinc. This impairment could contribute to dental and bone density issues.
Flax seeds are an excellent inclusion to your dog’s diet, thanks to their multiple nutrients. Yet, you must be careful with the amount offered lest you expose your pet to diarrhea and vomiting.