Flaxseed for Dogs, Good or Bad?

CATEGORY:Canine Blogs

Flaxseed for Dogs, Good or Bad? - Silver Lining Herbs

Is flaxseed good for dogs? For starters, flaxseed is rich in fiber, omega 3 fatty acids and lignan. Due to it’s high content of fiber, mostly found in the outer layer or coat of the seed, it has been used to help with constipation and other digestive issues.

Another benefit that flaxseed provides, is that it is high in a polyphenols called lignan. More studies needs to be done on lignan to more fully understand it benefits. The few studies that have been done do show positive results.

It has been speculated that lignan found in flaxseed may help reduce cortisol levels in dogs. Cortisol is a hormone, produced by the adrenal gland, that is associated with stress and the flight or fight response. Cortisol aids in limiting any functions that aren’t essential in a fight-or-flight situation. The right amount of cortisol is beneficial for both humans and dogs; In fact it can be a lifesaver. However too much cortisol, due to cushing’s disease, may be harmful to a dog’s health. Lingnan may inhibits 3-beta HSD Enzyme, which may help reduces cortisol levels.

Flaxseed Oil for Dogs

Although flaxseed themselves may be beneficial, the oil that is produce from flaxseed may also help aid dogs with health issues. Flaxseed oil is rich in omega 3 fatty acids.

In an article written by akc.org titled Fish Oil for Dogs, they state that “Fish oil supports your canine companion’s heart health, promotes a silky coat, reduces itchy and flaky skin, and relieves allergies and joint pain. It can even strengthen their immune system and help them fight cancer.”

What does fish oil have in common with flaxseed oil? Akc goes on to say that the reason why fish oil is good for dogs is because it “contains omega-3 fatty acids, an essential “good” type of fat that helps your dog’s body and brain”. These Omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oil, are also found in flaxseed oil as well.

Omega 3 fatty acids helps creates hormones that may help regulate blood flow. It also might be beneficial with fighting inflammation. Oemga fatty acids are not naturally found within dogs. They have to eat foods that are high in omega-3 to reap the benefits they may offer. Akc states that Omega-3 can be found in “cold-water fish, shellfish, plant and nut oils, and flaxseed.”

"Our Hemp Seed-Coconut Oil for Dogs contains a blend of Hemp Seed Oil, Coconut Oil, Flaxseed Oil, natural Vitamin E Oil, and organic non-GMO Soybean Oil (great for bone health!). These oils provide a great source of Omega 3 fatty acids, essential for maintaining your dog's health, strong muscles, and healthy joints."

Flaxseed Benefits for Dogs

Besides the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids and lignan, flaxseed may provide additional health benefits for dogs. The studies are few and more studies needs to be conducted before a conclusion is reached. However, the few studies that have been done suggest that flaxseed might help with cancer.

Cancer is the leading cause of death in dogs over the age of 10. It is speculated that fifty percent of dogs over the age of 10 will develop some type of cancer. In an article found at healthline.com they state that flaxseed may “prevent the spread of cancer and the growth of lung tumors”,”block the formation of colon cancer” and “reduced the growth of breast cancer cells”

Once again it is important to keep in mind that these are small studies and more research needs to be done before a conclusion can be reached. The few studies that have been done, do give some hope for the future.


Flaxseed may have many great health benefits for your dog. Just to list a few. First is high in fiber which may help out with digestive issues that your dogs may encounter. Second it is a good source of lignan. Lignan may help reduce cortisol levels in dogs. Thus is beneficial if a dog has high levels of cortisol from illnesses like Cushings.

Finally flaxseed is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega fatty acids are not made naturally within dogs. Therefore a dog has to get this fatty acid from an outside source. These fatty acids are vital for everyday health, strong muscles and healthy joints in your dog.

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