The steady increase of dogs affected with dog arthritis is alarming. Just like human arthritis, a definite cure has not yet been discovered but as dog owners, we can make life for our beloved dogs easier. By treating the common symptoms like joint pain and inflammation, we can alleviate their suffering. Treatment alternatives such natural supplements have been increasing in popularity.
Flax Seed Interest on the Rise
Supplements use plant or animal ingredients, the theory being that natural ingredients are toxic to your dog’s body compared to the synthetic ingredients of the prescription dog medications. I am not sure this is always the case but it is the common perception, so let’s work with it for now.
One supplement of interest is flax seed oil. An article on a very good site Vet Info suggests the use of flax seed oil gives your dog healthy skin and joints. This supplement contains both the Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. Both of these fatty acids are well-known for enhancing the skin’s health and they say are crucial for combatting dog arthritis due to their anti-inflammatory properties.
Here is Where I Disagree
VetInfo (and many other sites, I am not just picking on VetInfo, which is a great site) recommend that you give your dogs flax seed in the raw or ground seed form rather than whole seed as the latter won’t offer your dog the same advantages as the ground form.
I don’t think flax seed is a good source of Omega 3 in any form. Here’s why:
- If given whole, dogs don’t chew them so they are not absorbed well (only at 10% of what humans absorb because we chew).
- If ground they come in contact with oxygen. In an oxidized form they are (at best) not effective and (at worst) may actually cause inflammation and cancer.
- If you grind the raw seeds fresh for each meal they are wonderful, but this can become a bit of a chore.
Fish-Oil Based Omega 3 is Still Best
Yes, it is true that Omega 3 must be part of the supplement for dog arthritis but I disagree with their suggestion that flax seed is a good source of Omega 3.
Fish-oil based Omega 3s are absorbed at a much higher rate than flax seed and do not have problems with oxidation. Because of poor absorption, flax seed won’t help with your dog’s arthritis or skin problems as you would have wanted.
I recommend products that contain significant levels of Omega 3 such as Welactin, a product from the highly trusted brand Nutramax.
If you really want to relieve your dog arthritis (and help his skin), it is best to stick with the tried and tested fish-oil based Omega 3s for now. Review what other people say about Welactin on Amazon.com.
Watch video on Flax Seed and Omega 3
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