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Unread 05-04-2009, 11:54 AM   #1
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Default Flax oil, How much?

I've heard that adding a bit of flax oil to my dogs diet is beneficial. How much would you give them with their meal?
I did a quick search and couldn't find the answer.

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Unread 05-04-2009, 12:34 PM   #2
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Fish oil is almost the same as flaxseed oil, but better for your dog. Both provide Omega-3 oils, but the ones found in flaxseed oil must be processed into the ones found in fish oil. It is not clear from scientific evidence which dogs can actually do this. I give my 80lb dog 2 a day when I remember (5x a week about). I think the recommendation is 1-2 human capsules for a "big" dog, and like 1/2 for a smaller dog. Googling a bit should give you a couple opinions, or you can buy some that is for dogs and it will have the dosage listed.

Fish or flaxseed oil is recommended specifically for North American _people_, because their average diet contains plenty of Omega-6 from the high amounts of meat they eat. Mediterranean people take omega-6 supplements, because they eat so much fish. It is good for canines and homo sapiens alike to get enough Omega-6 and Omega-3. There was a thread about this a couple months back, but I don't think a consensus was ever reached about the optimum omega supplements . I'm still giving Lexi fish-oil, mostly because I have a large supply of it, and for her it seems to help her skin irritation.

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Unread 05-04-2009, 01:48 PM   #3
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How much and what you supplement depends on your dog's diet. Flaxseed oil is high in Omega-3 fatty acids. It is the ratio of Omega-6:Omega-3 that is important, with the optimal ratio being between 5:1 and 7:1. What kind of diet is your dog being fed?

From a maintenance perspective, I wouldn't supplement with flaxseed oil. Instead, I would look for a marine-fish oil that includes BOTH Omega-6 and Omega-3 (a lot of fish oils only offer Omega-3) within the optimal ratio mentioned above. The fish oil capsules often come in 1000mg - 1300mg capsules. Some sources recommend 1000mg per 30 lbs of bodyweight. I feed my 85lb and 65lb Greyhounds one 1300mg capsule, daily, and that has been enough, but you could safely give one capsule for every 30 lbs and do no harm.
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Unread 05-04-2009, 01:55 PM   #4
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whats the best fish oil to give a dog and if it contains omega 3 and 6 do you then still need to have the added Vit E
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Unread 05-04-2009, 02:03 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by vagreys View Post
How much and what you supplement depends on your dog's diet. Flaxseed oil is high in Omega-3 fatty acids. It is the ratio of Omega-6:Omega-3 that is important, with the optimal ratio being between 5:1 and 7:1. What kind of diet is your dog being fed?

From a maintenance perspective, I wouldn't supplement with flaxseed oil. Instead, I would look for a marine-fish oil that includes BOTH Omega-6 and Omega-3 (a lot of fish oils only offer Omega-3) within the optimal ratio mentioned above. The fish oil capsules often come in 1000mg - 1300mg capsules. Some sources recommend 1000mg per 30 lbs of bodyweight. I feed my 85lb and 65lb Greyhounds one 1300mg capsule, daily, and that has been enough, but you could safely give one capsule for every 30 lbs and do no harm.


I do fish oil in liquid form ... 1 tablespoon for a 80 lb pup and 1/2 teaspoon for 15 lb

Last edited by sharky; 05-04-2009 at 03:02 PM..

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Unread 05-04-2009, 02:11 PM   #6
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I'm feeding EVO made with turkey and chicken, I also give some veggies, sardines, fruit and beef heart as an added bonus or treat. They get a little egg now and again too. How about this, will Flax oil harm them? just a bit on their food? Also, for vagreys, I've read where its a good idea to change food every 4-6 months. The thinking goes that not all foods are complete and by changing it up they can get "other" nutrients that one food might not have. I like the food I'm feeding, my dogs do quite well on it and I'm adding a mix to the kibble by adding fruits/berries/veg/fish. Not all of them all the time but maybe some apple or banana in the morning one day then some carrots as a training treat on another. Seems to me that I add plenty of variety in the diet to cover all the nutritional bases, what do you think.

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Unread 05-04-2009, 02:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aussies Rock View Post
I'm feeding EVO made with turkey and chicken, I also give some veggies, sardines, fruit and beef heart as an added bonus or treat. They get a little egg now and again too. How about this, will Flax oil harm them? just a bit on their food? Also, for vagreys, I've read where its a good idea to change food every 4-6 months. The thinking goes that not all foods are complete and by changing it up they can get "other" nutrients that one food might not have. I like the food I'm feeding, my dogs do quite well on it and I'm adding a mix to the kibble by adding fruits/berries/veg/fish. Not all of them all the time but maybe some apple or banana in the morning one day then some carrots as a training treat on another. Seems to me that I add plenty of variety in the diet to cover all the nutritional bases, what do you think.
Not vagreys .... but
http://www.evopet.com/products/defau...nel=na&id=1500

looks like a 10 to 1 ratio so adding some omega 3s would be good .... 10 to 1 to 5 to 1 is what most vets will say is okay but like Vagrey mentioned the 5to 1 to 7 to1 is gaining with nutrition minded vets

I think rotating brands is a good idea when the dog will do it ...

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Unread 05-04-2009, 07:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aussies Rock View Post
I'm feeding EVO made with turkey and chicken, I also give some veggies, sardines, fruit and beef heart as an added bonus or treat. They get a little egg now and again too. How about this, will Flax oil harm them? just a bit on their food? Also, for vagreys, I've read where its a good idea to change food every 4-6 months. The thinking goes that not all foods are complete and by changing it up they can get "other" nutrients that one food might not have. I like the food I'm feeding, my dogs do quite well on it and I'm adding a mix to the kibble by adding fruits/berries/veg/fish. Not all of them all the time but maybe some apple or banana in the morning one day then some carrots as a training treat on another. Seems to me that I add plenty of variety in the diet to cover all the nutritional bases, what do you think.
The EVO dry dog food based on chicken and turkey has a 8:1 ratio of Omega-6:Omega-3. Between the EVO, and the supplemental meats, they are getting plenty of Omega-6. If it were me, I'd like to see the ratio a little closer (meaning raise the Omega-3 a little), so supplementing with flaxseed oil or fish oil that is high in Omega-3 wouldn't hurt.

No, flaxseed oil will not harm them, unless you feed huge amounts all the time. A typical flaxseed oil has a ratio of Omega-6:Omega-3 of 1:3.25. A good rule of thumb for flaxseed oil is about 1 teaspoon per 25 lbs of bodyweight. If I were you, and for maintenance purposes, I'd probably supplement with 1 teaspoon per day, because you are already giving them a well-formulated and supplemented kibble. This will make the ratio of Omega-6:Omega-3 from all sources, a bit closer to target without going overboard.

As for switching foods, periodically, I think if you are feeding a quality food, like EVO, you will find that switching foods doesn't really change the vital nutrients and minerals. Most manufacturers buy their vitamin/mineral supplements in a pre-mixed, bulk form, and are getting a complete supplement of the essential vitamins and minerals. So, most of the dog foods include very similar lists of vitamins and minerals, and in similar quantities. It never hurts to compare the Nutritional Analysis for the vitamin and mineral content. If you are switching between super-premium foods of high quality, you will find that mostly what you are changing are the protein and carbohydrate sources, with other ingredients remaining very similar.

This is a personal opinion, and not proven, but I think switching foods, or providing a variety of protein sources, reduces the likelihood of a dog developing food sensitivities and allergies as a result of overexposure to a particular protein or grain. So, if your dog will tolerate the change (some do fine and some don't tolerate change well, at all), then feel free. Since you are happy with the brand they are eating, and providing a variety of food supplements, you might want to switch between EVO foods, and stick to that. Do compare some of the Nutritional Analysis labels, where the amounts of the various vitamins are listed as %/kg of dog food, and you may find that there are a number of super-premium foods your dogs will enjoy.

Edited to add: Changed the recommended amount from "1 or 2 teaspoons per day" to "1 teaspoon per day" due to the lower ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3. In fact, at a ratio of 8:1, with significant percentages of each in the food, it probably doesn't need supplementing unless you really want to get closer to the 5:1 ratio.
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Last edited by vagreys; 05-04-2009 at 08:20 PM.. Reason: correcting the EFA amount in the EVO

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Unread 05-04-2009, 08:15 PM   #9
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whats the best fish oil to give a dog and if it contains omega 3 and 6 do you then still need to have the added Vit E
Omega-3, -6, and Vitamin E are often mentioned in the same breath, but alpha-tocopherol (Vitamin E), and essential fatty acids are different. In fact, excess Omega-6 and Omega-3 can deplete Vitamin E and cause health problems in your dog. So, EFA's and Vitamin E are all important for your dog, and supplementing one doesn't mean you don't need to ensure they are getting enough of the other. They overlap, but don't do the same things.

That said, it may be that you don't need to supplement Vitamin E, unless it is for specific therapeutic purposes. Take the EVO dry food, as an example. On the Nutrient Analysis label, we find that it contains 300IU per kg of food. A dog needs between 2.5 and 3 IU's of Vitamin E per pound of bodyweight per day. A lot of smaller dogs may need no more than the Vitamin E found in the dry food. A large dog, getting 3 cups per day, would still be getting about 100 IU's of Vitamin E from the food, or maybe even a little more. Depending on the dog's weight, that might be enough. If the dog weighs 50 lbs, then it might only need the minimum 125 IU's per day, from all sources. If 100 of that comes from the dry food, and the rest comes from various supplemental food and treats, then a separate Vitamin E supplement might not be necessary. Even if it is, then it might not need to be more than about 25 IU's.
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Unread 05-04-2009, 09:50 PM   #10
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Thanks for the feedback. Since we have flaxseed oil in the fridge and they like the taste on their kibble, I think I'll add a teaspoon (32-36 lbs dogs). If it ain't gonna hurt them then why not?

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