Senior Mutterings… A Note to My Hoomans

Hey. It’s me, Juke.  We’ve been together a loooong time. You say it’s only been a bit over 10 years, but to me it feels more like 80.  You hoomans have always been funny about math and time, but I agree with you on one thing – I’m officially a senior dog.

So, here’s the deal – by now, we get each other. We are way past that pesky phase of me having to train you, when I had to listen to you repeat things over and over.  Although I do miss the extra  treats you used to give me when you finally did something right. We’ve been in a good groove for quite a while.

Even so, there are a few things I feel I need to clarify. Times are changing, and I’d like to continue to enjoy my later years in the style to which I’ve grown accustomed. So be a good hooman, will you, and allow me to point out some important senior pup rules:

  • Hurrying and rushing are no longer something I will do. Meandering and sniffing is my jam.
  • Routines are an even more vital part of my existence. Don’t even think about changing our schedule or how we do things, or I will resort to a sit-in protest, give you side-eye, or worse — use the sad pathetic pup face you hate.
  • Speaking of routines, I will determine the direction of our slow walks. If it is the same loop every day, just go with it. Remember, I weigh 87 pounds, you won’t be able to budge me. Oh, and if I don’t feel like going for a walk, no amount of your pretend excited-voice will get me to go with you. Some days are meant only for resting.
  • I will chase and woof after bunnies and squirrels for a distance of 8 feet. After that, I deem them no longer a threat, and will move into silent observation mode.
  • If I’m feeling especially perky, I will chase the ball. Once. I’m done picking up after you. Besides, after all these years, you have still failed to explain why, if you want the ball, why you throw it in the first place?
  • I live for eating, belly rubs, and butt scratches. Yeah, I know you like the “cute end” better, but you try to reach that spot to itch when you are my age.
  • I snore. Live with it.
  • I’m lumpy. Sure, some of those lumps may be something evil lurking, but most of them are just old man lumps. Just be glad I have fur covering me so I still look cute.
  • I will do my business wherever and whenever the urge strikes. I know for most of my life I’ve deposited my poo in the reserved area of the yard. Well, guess what, I can’t always get there in time now. So watch your step. And really, I’ll never understand why when we are on walks you feel the need to collect and save it. I mean, that’s gross.
  • I will stop in my tracks and blatantly stare at other hoomans who approach, sizing them up and assuming they will do the right thing and stop to introduce themselves to me with pats. I will be totally confused if they ignore me. However, if they are wearing a hat or gloves, I don’t trust them and they should move on by. Quickly.
  • You exist even more than ever to give me comfort and attention. I come first. And I really want whatever is on your plate.
  • Speaking of food, make sure you keep adding that yummy Missing Link powder stuff to my meals. It it tastes really good, makes me look and feel great and makes it easier for me to get up and down the steps. And I gotta still look cool in front of my friends.

I wuv you. Thanks for listening. Now give me my daily treat. In exactly the same spot on the rug as always. You know the rules.

Benefits of Flaxseed for Dogs

When it comes to flaxseed, there are many potential health benefits that can contribute to the increased vitality and well-being of your canine friend, especially as a regular supplement to a healthy diet.

Flaxseed has historically been used for thousands of years in the creation of things like fabrics and linen and other textiles. It has also been used to make linseed oil, otherwise known as flaxseed oil.

The flax plant itself produces little seeds that are golden and brown in color, with a taste that is somewhat nutty in flavor. The seeds can be eaten as-is, although it’s not recommended. In its whole form, it is most likely to pass right through your dog’s system undigested. In fact, they are so stable, they’ve found in-tact flax seeds in Egyptian tombs!

Other ways flax may be eaten is in its ground form, either sprinkled in your dog’s food or encased in a supplemental capsule. Sometimes you may also find certain brands of dog food that have flaxseed already added as a prime ingredient, although most dog foods tend to lack vital nutrients such as those found in flax supplements, so be sure to clearly read the ingredients label.

Fatty Acid Wonders

Flaxseed is an extremely healthy food because they are loaded with essential fatty acids like omega-3. Omega-3 is otherwise known as alpha linolenic acid, or ALA. Flaxseed is also full of dietary fiber, protein, manganese, and lignans.

Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid that has been shown to be an important factor in the good health of a dog and animals in general. Omega-3 essential fatty acids, in particular, contribute to cell function, cell membrane structure, immune function, the health of your dog’s skin and coat, normal reproduction, and even the growth of your dog.

Fatty Acid Ratios

Even more important than mere consumption of essential fatty acids, is the importance of having omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids consumed by your dog in the proper ratios they require, in order to reap the full health benefits.

It is thought that dogs that suffer from autoimmune, allergic, or inflammatory health conditions may benefit from increasing omega-3 fatty acid levels.

Flaxseed Helps Support a Healthy Coat and Hair

One of the first signs you may notice in your dog if his nutrition is suffering is dryness in his skin, and/or a lack of luster in his coat and hair. When a dog is not getting the proper nutrition that its body needs, it manifests itself in the appearance of a dog’s coat.

Hair can appear dull and dry, look wiry, and even develop dandruff and present with skin that is dry and irritated, which can open them up to potential infection. This can happen in dogs that are not eating properly, that are sick from other health conditions, or that are not getting a good balance of essential nutrients from their food source.

Plus, when the lipid barriers of a dog’s skin are reduced, which is what happens when a dog’s natural coat oils get depleted, your dog may run a higher risk of developing skin conditions, especially if they are scratching excessively.

So, supplementing with flaxseed on a regular basis could help with conditions related to the health of your dog’s skin and fur.

Flaxseed Helps Support Healthy Joints

The same anti-inflammatory properties of essential fatty acids (i.e. alpha linoleic acid) that aid your dog fighting off skin irritants, could also help your dog’s joints and range of mobility, especially in dog’s that suffer from conditions like canine arthritis.

This means that a regular consumption of adequate doses of flaxseed could provide your dog with relief when it comes to occasional or minor joint problems, as well as help to improve their ability to get around.

Flaxseed Helps Support a Healthy Immune System

Flaxseed also possesses something called lignans. Lignans are antioxidants that can help your dog’s immune system do its job, and further improves your dog’s ability to mitigate inflammation.

This means that your dog may be better able to deal with the pain of arthritis and other chronic inflammatory disorders that affect his joints and decrease his mobility, and even possibly fight off infections that may be related to inflammation.

Flaxseed Helps Support Healthy Kidneys

The essential fatty acid omega-3 can also help to reduce kidney inflammation in dogs with kidney disease, by helping your dog produce other anti-inflammatory agents in his body. Reducing inflammation of the kidneys can also help to increase vital blood flow to essential organs, and help your dog keep their lipid levels up so that they produce more triglycerides. This is beneficial for dogs suffering from kidney problems because by elevating their triglycerides, it could help extend the dog’s life.

Flaxseed May Improve the Health of Dogs with Adrenal Issues

 Flaxseed may possess potential for treating dogs with adrenal problems, due to the high content of lignans that are found in flaxseed, especially in the hulls of the seed.

Adrenal issues in dogs is a problem that secretes excess hormones in a dog’s body. It’s a condition that often results from a tumor, either on the pituitary gland or from a tumor of the adrenal glands. Experiments with lignan therapies have been made in an effort to improve and increase a dog’s quality of life, with encouraging results.

Though you can find lignan in many other plant sources, flaxseed appears be the plant that contains the most amounts of it. Flaxseed hulls possess something called SDG lignan, and they contain it in levels that are 20 times higher than the entire rest of the flaxseed, making it a premium source for these valuable, health-supporting agents.

Flaxseed hulls are also loaded with fiber, which is of great benefit to many dogs since being low on fiber is relatively common in canines. This is because a lot of dog foods that are currently available on the market tend to be low in fiber too.  

Because of the high fiber content, it is thought that flaxseeds help to soak up toxins as well as increase the frequency and volume of bowel movements. This makes it easier for a dog to rid itself of harmful waste in a more efficient manner, which may be the reason why it is so helpful in treating dogs with adrenal problems. 

Lignans also perform other functions in a dog’s body related to phytoestrogen activity, and lignan takes the place of estradiol in a dog’s tissue estrogen receptors. Lignans also lower estradiol in their system by inhibiting aromatase enzymes, and lowers cortisol by inhibiting 3-beta HSD enzymes.

Therefore, an increase of flaxseed in a dog’s diet may be a beneficial and effective way to manage the symptoms of a dog suffering from adrenal issues. 

Flaxseed Helps Support Healthy Digestion

 Flaxseed is sometimes recommended for dogs that suffer from digestive disorders. Because flaxseed is adaptable, that means it is able to support a dog suffering constipation and support a dog suffering loose stools. However, it must be given in proper and adequate dosages, and every dog is different.

 Generally, stools should appear firm and well-formed if they are healthy. If you notice your dog’s stool becoming softer, or your dog appears to be constipated as a result of giving them flaxseed, you may need to adjust the dosage.

Remember That Flaxseed is a Food

Keep in mind that flaxseed is a food, so there is generally very little risk of negative side effects. This is because you can’t really feed a dog flaxseed in toxic levels. However, if you do happen to feed them a little too much for their bodies to digest properly, it will become evident in your dog’s skin and coat. As far as overfeeding signs to look out for, side effects could be diarrhea and upset stomach. Because flaxseed contains a lot of fiber, it helps your dog’s digestive system clean itself out and function properly. It’s important to make sure your dog is drinking plenty of water, otherwise the added fiber won’t get excreted properly. With flaxseed especially, because of the thickening agent called mucilage, hydration is important.

What Are The Recommended Amounts of Flax?

If you are using ground flaxseed, the dosage is generally based on your dog’s weight. You can add ground flaxseed to your dog’s food in the following dosages, or administer it to your dog in supplemental capsules, then adjust the dose as needed. Be sure to follow the recommended dosage and schedules provided on the ground flaxseed product.

It’s recommended that you divide these dosages in half and administer the first half in the morning and the remainder in the evening.

  • In dogs that are teacup size, you can start with 1/8 to 1/4 of a teaspoon per day.
  • In small dogs, start with a 1/2 teaspoon to 1 full teaspoon each day.
  • In medium-sized dogs you can start with 1 1/2 teaspoons to 2 full teaspoons per day.
  • In large dogs, you can start with 2 1/2 teaspoons to 1 full tablespoon per day.
  • In giant breeds like Great Danes, start with 1 1/2 to 2 full tablespoons daily.

Keep in mind that if you have a dog that is diabetic or hypoglycemic, it’s important to check with your vet before supplementing with flaxseed.

Also, remember that dogs who are fed whole flax seeds will most likely not see any benefit from them, because they will pass the seeds undigested. This makes it a wasted effort, and a waste of money. Though doing this doesn’t harm your dog, it also doesn’t do them any favors.

Also, because it is sometimes said that dogs have a harder time converting ALA into EPA and DHA, it’s important to make sure you are feeding them a very high-quality flaxseed supplement. When a dog does have a problem converting ALA into EPA or DHA, it is largely a result of feeding your dog poor quality flaxseed.

To avoid this, do your due diligence and find a quality source from a proven provider, and watch your dog flourish as a result.

Shop our high quality fresh-ground flaxseed supplements for dogs today!

*This article is for informational purposes only. Please see a vet if your pet shows any symptoms.

References:

https://www.petmd.com/dog/nutrition/healthy-foods-checklist-flaxseed-dogs

https://www.vetinfo.com/flax-seed-oil-dogs.html/

https://flaxcouncil.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/FlaxFeed-Nutrition-Benefits-final.pdf

Is Flaxseed Good for Cats?

When it comes to improving the overall health of your feline friend, flaxseed can be a good way to do it. Flaxseed is a great source of essential fatty acids like omega-3, and can help improve both the health of your cat as well as his appearance.

What is Flaxseed?

Flaxseed is derived from flax plants and can be found as a food item in grocery stores as well as in supplements and pet foods. Historically, flax has been used to make yarn and other textiles like linen and fabrics. It is a valuable and nutritious ingredient that is widely available and can be extremely beneficial for your kitty.

Benefits of Flaxseed

There are numerous benefits to flaxseed, but three of the main ones are closely related to the essential fatty acid content.

The Top Three Benefits Are:

  • Can boost your cat’s immune system
  • Can improve the health of your cat’s digestive tract
  • Can shine your cat’s coat

Omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFA) are the key ingredient that gives your cat’s immune system a helpful boost. They also have a role in the function of your cat’s nervous system, including his heart health and the development of his brain.

Omega-3 is also known as alpha linoleic acid. This EFA is especially helpful in felines that suffer from inflammatory health concerns like arthritis of the joints. This is because flaxseed is full of anti-inflammatory properties.

Not only does the anti-inflammatory properties help with joint inflammation, it can also keep your cat’s kidneys healthy by reducing inflammation there as well, and increasing the flow of blood to vital organs.

Fatty acids can help cats with kidney problems produce a higher level of triglycerides by supporting the levels of blood lipids. This could potentially help extend the life of a cat beyond your current expectations.

Additionally, flaxseed is loaded with natural fiber to help your cat’s digestive system function optimally. A healthy digestive system helps to keep your kitty’s weight at a normal number, and helps to keep your cat’s bowels moving on a regular basis. Plus, flaxseed is full of lignans, which is an important antioxidant with several known potential health benefits.

Flaxseed Helps Address Nutritional Deficiencies

Flaxseed supplements are often recommended by vets because unfortunately, common pet foods just don’t always provide for all of your cat’s dietary needs. While it’s true that some cats do okay with them, other cats may have a coat that looks and feels dry because of nutritional deficiencies.

Others may develop a condition called pica, in which they chew, suck, and even eat objects that are not food. These objects can include yarn, paper, electrical cords, fabrics, and plants.

However, it should be noted that sometimes a cat could have trouble converting the essential fatty acids into EPA and DHA, especially if they are older or suffer from other health conditions. This problem is largely mitigated by using a high quality source of flaxseed that retains the valuable flax oil.

When your cat’s flax comes from a quality source, it’s much easier for him to use the omegas and convert them into what he needs so that he can reap the health and nutritional rewards.

Be sure to follow the recommended dosage and schedules provided on the flaxseed product. You also want to make sure your cat is drinking plenty of water when consuming flaxseed, as proper hydration is very important to avoid any bowel obstructions due to the high fiber content.

Flax is Food, Not Just a Supplement

Keep in mind that flax is considered a food product. Since it is classified as a food, it’s generally considered safe and non-toxic. And since it is considered a food, it can also take a while to begin seeing results in your cat’s health status.

But if you give it to him consistently over a month, you should begin to see improvement, especially in common problems such as attitude, energy, joint mobility, and skin and coat. If after a few weeks you still aren’t noticing any health improvements, you can try increasing the amount of flax you are giving your cat.

Flaxseed is a great source of essential fatty acids, especially omega-3. Flaxseed supports a multitude of benefits including, skin and coat quality, healthy digestion, brain function, and energy levels. This superfood provides the perfect nutrients your cat needs.

Shop our fresh-ground flaxseed supplements for cats today and start seeing improvements in your cat’s overall health in no time!

*This article is for informational purposes only. Please see a vet if your pet shows any symptoms.

References:

https://www.petcurean.com/blog/flaxseed-omega-3-benefits-for-dogs-and-cats/

https://flaxcouncil.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/FlaxFeed-Nutrition-Benefits-final.pdf

5 Critical Benefits of Omega-3 for Dogs

What Are Omega-3s?

Omega-3s are the fatty acids that are available in your dog’s food, as well as in the form of nutritional supplements. Different brands praise the virtues of omega-3 fatty acids, citing they help with skin and heart conditions, allergies, kidney functions and cognitive functions. Many vets and dog owners recommend the usage of omega-3 supplements as a preventative health measure.

Omega-3 is a fatty acid that is considered “polyunsaturated.” Polyunsaturated just means that the omega-3s have double bonds within their carbon chain. In simple terms, double bonds make omega-3s more prone to rancidity, and because of those double bonds, it is physiologically impossible for dogs to make their own omega-3s. They must get it from diet and nutrition.

Why Does Your Dog Need Omega-3?

Omega-3 fatty acids are one of the cornerstones of healthy nutrition for your dog. But one thing to keep in mind is there also needs to be a balance between omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids. Despite having similar names, they have somewhat opposing jobs. While both fatty acids help to control hormones, they each control hormones that perform different functions.

Omega-6 fatty acids produce the hormones that help with cell growth, blood clotting, and increasing inflammation as part of the immune response. However, omega-3 fatty acids produce hormones that help the immune system, decrease inflammation, and work alongside omega-6 in such a way a good balance of both is essential.

What Are Benefits of Omega-3 for Dogs?

1. Reduces Inflammation and Effects of Inflammatory Skin Disorders

Remember that omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids work in conjunction together when it comes to controlling inflammation. Omega-6 fatty acids increase inflammation and omega-3 fatty acids lower inflammation. Balance is necessary.

If either of those get out of balance, your dog’s immune system will get out of whack and may experience all the negative symptoms associated with inflammation and an impaired immune system.

Omega-3 fatty acids are especially helpful for dogs that suffer from inflammatory disorders such as allergies and early atopy. Allergies and early atopy causes severe itching and sometimes even hair loss if it gets too bad. Keeping your dog supplemented with omega-3 is helpful in controlling these types of canine skin disorders.

 2. Supports Cognitive Function

Omega-3 supplementation can also support your dog’s neurological health and cognitive function. Especially in dogs who may suffer from age-related changes with behavior and mobility.

There are studies with evidence that suggests consuming omega-3 fatty acids can positively impact cognitive and behavioral memory and performance, such as improved agility, and improved recognition of family members and other household pets.

It may also improve behaviors like excessive licking and patterned pacing, and it appears it could have a neuroprotective effect as well. This hinders the onset of Alzheimer’s disease in humans, meaning those neuroprotective effects could transfer over to dogs too.

Another benefit to supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids is found in dogs that are pregnant and nursing. It may improve the neurologic development of puppies, as well as learning and memory in young dogs.

3. Could Help with Joint Inflammation

Due to its anti-inflammatory abilities, study results report potential improvement in the clinical signs of osteoporosis, and some objective improvements when it came to dogs exhibiting lameness. It also appears to offer objective improvements in a dog’s weight-bearing scores.

Omega-3 fatty acids found in supplements like flax work by decreasing the production of prostaglandins. These prostaglandins are what trigger joint inflammation. Based on observation, dogs with joint inflammation appear to be more agile and move around more freely than dogs that do not receive an omega-3 supplement.

4. Promotes Heart Health

Dogs that supplement with omega-3 may reduce their chances of developing atrial fibrillation, or an irregular heart rhythm, as well as reduce their potential to develop heart problems. It can also work as an anticoagulant to prevent the formation of blood clots.

Regular supplementation may also help your dog decrease his blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, maintain a healthy blood pressure, and reduce your dog’s risk of stroke or other heart related problems. It may even help to normalize your dog’s body weight, which can only be of benefit the heart!

5. Reduces Dry, Flaky Skin

Unfortunately, when a dog has a poor coat and unhealthy skin, they are at an increased risk for irritation, itching, skin allergies, and bacterial infections.

Regular supplementation of omega-3 can increase the health of your dog’s skin and coat. It can help to reduce the effects related to skin allergies, and reduce the occurrence of yeast infections. It can also reduce the incidence of hotspots in your dog, and even eradicate dandruff. Plus, omega-3 may decrease shedding. All things which help promote a healthy, shining coat.

Other Conditions Giving Your Dog Omega-3 May Help Improve

There are many health conditions that are thought to improve by giving your dog a regular omega-3 fatty acid supplement. Dogs that are fed plant-based omega-3 could decrease the loss of protein in the urine, lower high blood pressure, and reduce the production of other inflammatory substances that are thought to contribute to kidney disease and its progression.

It’s also been discovered that omega-3 may increase stamina and renew energy, protect your dog against a variety of autoimmune diseases, reduce the risk of stroke, and even lower the risk of cancer due to its antioxidant properties.

Possible Side Effects to Omega-3 Supplementation

Though omega-3 fatty acid supplements are not particularly toxic if you go overboard, they can produce some side effects that may be uncomfortable for your dog. Because omega-3 fatty acids can have an anticoagulation effect, it may not be wise to use with any medications you already give your dog intended for blood thinning. The same rule applies to anti-inflammatory medications because of omega-3 fatty acids anti-inflammatory properties.

It is also wise to speak to your vet if your dog is on any kind of immunosuppression medications to make sure omega-3 supplements are safe to give him. Based on current research, there are many benefits to giving your dog omega-3 fatty acids as part of a well-balanced nutrition plan.

Shop our fresh-ground flaxseed supplements for dogs!

*This article is for informational purposes only. Please see a vet if your pet shows any symptoms.

References:
https://www.petcurean.com/blog/flaxseed-omega-3-benefits-for-dogs-and-cats/http://www.petmd.com/blogs/nutritionnuggets/dr-coates/2014/august/using-omega-3-fatty-acids-effectively-and-safely-31972

4 Important Health Benefits of Omega 3 For Cats

There are many potential benefits to giving omega-3 fatty acid supplements to cats. Some of the benefits are visible, while others are not so visible. Regardless of whether you can see the results, part of a healthy diet is making sure your cat gets plenty omega-3 fatty acids.

What is Omega-3?

Omega-3 is a polyunsaturated fatty acid that possesses double carbon bonds within the carbon chain. It’s opposing fatty acid is omega-6, and it’s important for your cat to have a balance of both omega-3 and omega-6 for optimal health. There is also an omega-9 fatty acid, but this article will focus on the omega 3 & 6 ratio.

Why Does Your Cat Need Omega-3?

Just like dogs, a cat’s health only benefits from getting the right balance of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. Omega-3 fatty acids are considered the building blocks of good nutrition, and you need plenty of omega-3 to balance out the surplus of omega-6 that can accumulate in your cat’s system.

Omega-6 often accumulates because there are too many omega-6 fatty acids in your cat’s food, whether it’s commercial cat food or fresh meat. A cat can easily become out of balance without supplementing omega-3.

Each of these fatty acids performs different functions and jobs, but neither one can work optimally without the other. When one is out of order, it knocks the whole system out of order, compromising your cat’s immune system and endangering his health.

Where Do Cats Get Omega-3?

Cats can get omega-3 from a variety of marine as well as plant sources. Flaxseed oil, canola oil, soybean oil, and walnut oil all provide omega-3 in its various forms. It’s also prudent to talk to your vet about the best option for your feline.

Omega-3 Fatty Acid Benefits for Cats

Some of the supplementation benefits of omega-3’s in cats include:

  1. Itch and Inflammation Relief

Because cats often have very sensitive skin, too much licking, itching, and scratching can leave their skin irritated and raw. Omega-3 fatty acids are thought to help reduce the inflammatory response in a cat, which therefore reduces the related symptoms such as itching, biting, and chewing.

  1. A Healthy, Shiny Coat

A healthy, shiny coat is one of the main benefits that is visible and easy to see. Supplementing omega-3 fatty acids in your cat’s diet can help strengthen his fur, reduce shedding, reduce dryness and dandruff, and make your cat’s coat gleam.

  1. A Boost to the Immune System

Omega-3 fatty acids can also help to keep your cat’s immune system functioning optimally. With an immune system operating the way it should, your cat can better fight off minor colds and viruses, and even prevent more serious health concerns as he ages.

Additionally, pregnant or lactating cats that are supplemented with omega-3 can help improve the development of retinal function in kittens. This can offer benefits to their eye health throughout their entire lives.

  1. Help To Manage Joint Pain

Just like people, cats can suffer from joint problems and cat joint pain too, especially when it’s related to age degeneration. Omega-3 fatty acids can help improve your cat’s range of motion as well as boost his energy. This is all due to the powerful anti-inflammatory effects that omega-3 fatty acids provide.

Remember that cats are quite a bit different than people, and as felines, they will need different dosages and different forms of omega-3. Make sure that any supplement you give your cat is especially formulated for use in felines.

With a regular omega-3 fatty acid supplementation schedule, you can help to keep your cat healthy, spry, agile, and looking downright beautiful, throughout all his (nine) long lives!

Shop our fresh-ground flax seed supplements for cats!

*This article is for informational purposes only. Please see a vet if your pet shows any symptoms.

References:

https://www.petcurean.com/blog/flaxseed-omega-3-benefits-for-dogs-and-cats/

https://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2016/06/10/dog-diet-healthy-oils.aspx