Commercial dog food (pellets and kibble and dry food) all have FLAX seed in them usually as the main source of ‘omega 3’. Below is what flax seed has in it:
Flaxseed contains active compounds & elements including: linolenic acid (omega 3), linoleic acid (omega-6), lignans, cyclic peptides, polysaccharides, alkaloids, cyanogenic glycosides, and cadmium.
The reason that flax seed is used as a source of omega 3 is that it is dried and stable and doesnt go rancid (when exposed to oxygen it doesn’t go bad).
What you also need to know is that flaxseed oil contains a specific omega-3 fat called ALA (alpha-linolenic acid).
WHEREAS fish oil (mostly from salmon) contain two very different omega-3s, EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).
And the main reason you want fish oil for your dog as a source of omega 3 is that the main research on the health benefits of omega-3s (for dogs and humans) has been done on DHA and EPA (found in fish oil ) NOT Omega 3 forms in Flax seed.
ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), is inactive and is a precursor to EPA and DHA (the active forms of Omega-3s).
Dogs’ bodies are not effective in converting ALA to EPA and DHA.
So the flaxseed used in most commercial dog food has a very small amount of EPA and DHA available to the dogs body and is basically useless.
So the thing you need to remember is that While commercial dog food companies put Omega 3 into their dog food, its source is flax seed which means they shouldn’t have bothered.
Dogs can only convert about 20 percent of the ALA to DHA
Why do they bother?
Because they are legislated by law to include the essential oils big sister Omega 6.
Omega six works in conjunction with Omega 3 and you have to get the right absolute amounts right as well as the RATIO between omega 3 and Omega 6.
It makes it tricky when dog food already supposedly has omega 6 and 3 in it, but you know that most of the omega 3 from flaxseed isnt going to be used so you have to supplement it with Omega 3 from fish oil like salmon.
the next blog looks at what feeding a dog omega 3 fish oil is all about for dog allergies