Weekly Wag: The Need for Flax Seed

I am taking a nutrition class and learning more about healthy food. The funny thing is I started researching pet nutrition a long time ago. I have discovered that most (if not all) healthy foods, herbs and flower essences for pets benefit people, too. Thanks to my pets, I am eating healthier! (Not everything is good for your cat, though). In the case of flax seed, it is good for cats as well as Fido.

Flax is also known as common flax or linseed. Flax seeds come in two basic varieties: (1) brown; and (2) yellow or golden. Most types have similar nutritional characteristics and equal numbers of short-chain omega-3 fatty acids. Flax seeds contain high levels of dietary fiber as well as lignans, an abundance of micronutrients and omega-3 fatty acids.

Flax seeds may lower cholesterol levels, especially in women (1 tsp sprinkled on food relieves hot flashes). Initial studies suggest that flax seeds taken in the diet may help individuals with certain types of breast and prostate cancers. Flax has many other benefits for people such as weight loss, diabetes, brain food, allergies, asthma, arthritis and more.

Many dogs suffer from various canine health problems; allergies, inflammatory diseases, kidney failure, yeast infections, cancers and heart disease. Adding flax to their well-balanced diet can help provide healing Omega 3 oils that they aren’t getting from their pet food! Your dog will also benefit from the Lignans, protein, vitamins + minerals in flax seed.

Excellent research has been done showing that the Omega 3 and Lignans in Flax seed help prevent and slow growth of cancerous tumors. It is exciting to wonder if we can heal our bodies and our pets bodies through what we eat rather than radiation + chemo!! Prevention is the most important thing and a well-balanced diet is essential! Throw some flax on your food and your doggie’s food and you will both be eating healthier!

Remember that flax is food and you will not see results overnight; however, healthy diets pay off for you and your pet as prevention will save you heaps of money! After ~ a month of eating flaxseed your pet should have relief from skin problems: itching, eczema, dandruff, excessive shedding and dry, flaky skin and itching.

When you first start giving flax seed to your pet, it is important to start slow so that your pet’s digestive system can get used to the added fiber in their diet. It is also ESSENTIAL to be sure your pet is getting enough water in her diet as flax seed bulks up in the digestive system and this is what helps it cleanse the digestive system, but it cannot do this without enough water in the pet’s diet. (Pets should always have fresh water).

People should drink 6-8 glasses of water a day, especially if adding fiber to your diet.

Dr Julian Whitaker is founder of an alternative medical clinic and a proponent of alternative medical therapies including flax seed. Dr Whitaker suggests humans eat 1/4 cup of ground flax seed per day, so based on this, here are suggestions for how much to give to our pets.

Small kittens + puppies -Start with 1 tsp
Small cats + dogs -2 tsp
Based on weight:
20-40 lbs -give 2 1/2 tsp
40-60lbs -give 1 Tbls
60-80lbs -give 1 1/2 Tbls
80-100lbs -give 2 1/2 Tbls
100lbs or more -give 1/4 cup

Read more: Ellie’s Whole Grains

Related Articles:

All About Ground Flax Seed

Does ground flaxseed have more health benefits than whole flaxseed?    Yes, it is easier to digest for people and animals. I add ground organic flax seed to my dog’s and cat’s food and mine. Remember to add slowly as this is fiber and may interfere with their digestive system until they get use to it.

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16 thoughts on “Weekly Wag: The Need for Flax Seed

  1. I don’t know whether it’s just me or if everyone else experiencing issues with your blog.
    It appears like some of the written text in your content are running off the screen. Can somebody else please provide feedback and
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  2. I have to disagree with your suggestion
    to offer cats Flaxseed. I have included this information that explains why not. Excerpt was taken from: http://www.ibdkitties.net/Supplements.html

    “Flaxseed Oil, although not toxic, is not able to be converted in a cat’s system: Flaxseed oil is of limited nutritional value to cats. There are two essential fatty acids for cats, linoleic and arachidonic (both are Omega 6 fatty acids). These fatty acids are essential in the sense that a cat cannot produce them within the body, so must obtain them through diet. Flax seed oil contains around 13% linoleic acid but no arachidonic acid. Cats do not
    have the pathways to convert linoleic acid into arachidonic acid, so another source of arachidonic acid is necessary. Cats can only obtain arachidonic acid from animal products, so if you want to give your cat an essential fatty acids oil, consider a fish-based oil instead.”

    • Thank you for your comment. Through my research I have found about everything about animal care is controversial and every professional has an opinion from training to nutrition. My information on this blog are from reliable sources and from my personal knowledge. When i get information from the internet, I find out who is giving the information. On the site you quoted, it states, we are not veterinarians. Not necessarily that they have all the answers. Here is another site, http://drpollen.blogspot.com/2008/07/treating-constipation-in-cats-laxatives.html from a holistic vet that uses flaxseed oil as a cat treatment. Another site supporting flaxseed for cats is http://www.ellies-whole-grains.com/how-much-omega-3.html#axzz2X4d48eWW. This is where I got my information. You can also ask questions about flaxseed for pets. Ultimately, as the pet’s human it is up to you to decide what to give or not to give to your pets. I personally use ground flax seed for my 16 year old siamese. Thanks again for your comment, as this blog’s purpose is to inform and educate.

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  7. Pingback: The Need for Flax Seed « Touch of Home Pet Care | Nutrition For Pets

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