The Benefits of Flaxseed for Cats and Dogs

Redbarn Team August 22, 2017

Are you looking for a new way to improve your pet’s health? Flaxseed, or Linseed, can be an inexpensive way to enhance your pet’s appearance and overall health. But what is flaxseed? What are the benefits of flaxseed for your cat or dog? Though flaxseed is healthy for your pet, adding any new ingredient to your pet’s diet can cause a bit of anxiety for pet owners, especially if your pet has a sensitive stomach. It makes you question, is flaxseed safe to give to my cat or dog? And then, what is the best way to give your pet flaxseed? No need to worry; Redbarn has you covered.

What is Flaxseed? What are the benefits of Flaxseed?

Before adding this superfood to your pet’s diet, you should learn what flaxseed is. Flaxseed comes from flax plants, which have been used throughout history to make fabric, linen, and yarn. You’ve probably come across flaxseed at your grocery store, supplement shop, or even in some of your favorite Redbarn products. Not just widely available, flaxseed provides a host of nutritional benefits for your pet’s health.  

There are three main nutritional benefits of Flaxseed for cats and dogs:

Softens and Shines Coat: The Omega-6 fatty acids found in flaxseeds play a role in the look and feel of your pet. This substance nourishes the skin from within to support healthy skin and a shiny coat.

Boosts Immune System: Omega-3 fatty acids, also known as alpha-linolenic acids (ALA), give a boost to the immune system. The ALA in flaxseed can be helpful for pets that suffer from joint pain like arthritis because of the anti-inflammatory properties in flaxseed.

Assists Digestive Health: Flaxseed is naturally rich in natural fiber and assists in healthy digestion. This is especially important for maintaining a healthy weight and keeping your pet regular. Flaxseed is also a top source of lignans, which can be an excellent antioxidant for you and your pet!

Is Flaxseed safe for my cat or dog?

Yes, flaxseeds are safe for your cat and dog. It’s important to note, however, some pets have trouble converting Omega fatty acids into EPA and DHA. Specifically, older or sickly pets may have some of the same issues converting flaxseed and deriving its nutritious benefits.

Flaxseed can be unsafe if not refrigerated after being ground. If it’s not refrigerated, it becomes rancid. Flaxseed can also cause diarrhea for your cat or dog if they are given the wrong dosage. For ground flaxseed, these are some recommended dosages.

For flaxseed oil, it is suggested to start with a small amount and gradually increasing the doses of flaxseed oil according to your dog or cat’s weight. These are some dosage recommendations.

Make sure that you consult your veterinarian if you have questions about making changes to your pet’s diet. We have put together a chart that shows you how to safely add a new ingredient and transition your pet’s diet.

Fortunately, flaxseed comes in many different forms, so finding one that works best for your pet may be easier than you think.

What is the best way to give my pet Flaxseed?

There are a variety of ways to give your dog flaxseed. The most straightforward way is to grind the seeds up and sprinkle it on your pet’s food. When giving your dog any seeds, including flaxseed, make sure you have a fresh bowl of drinking water nearby. For flaxseed oil, you can pour the recommended dosage over your pet’s food.

Alternatively, you can pick foods or treats with flaxseed already in the list of ingredients!

What Redbarn products include Flaxseed for cats and dogs?

Check out Redbarn’s rolled dog food recipes like Beef Recipe and Lamb Recipe for the right balance of flaxseed for dogs. 

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and reflect the views of the authors alone, and do not necessarily reflect those of the organization. makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis. Please note that each situation is different, and you should always consult your veterinarian should you have any questions about your pet’s health.