We've all heard the saying 'Oils ain't Oils'.. especially from the hugely successful Castrol advertising campaign with Sol and his gangster friends (Boomers and Gen Y's will know what I'm talking about) – getting the consumer to think about the meaning that not all oils are created equally. So when we think about feeding our horses or pets supplementary oil, which one do we choose??
Firstly, lets talk about adding oil to your horses diet. Adding extra fat in the form of oil is a great way to add extra calories without the 'buzz' of starchy grains, as well as seeing the added benefit of a shiny, glossy coat. Traditionally owners have fed corn oil, or other vegetable derived oils, to their horses with great success, but if we want our oil to give a little more than just calories and we want them to have have the more desirable Omega 3 and 6 anti-inflammatory content, we can consider feeding a palatable plant based alternative.
Seed oils like Hemp Seed and Flax Seed are amazing alternatives that are not only calorie dense, but have some pretty handy nutritional properties... Whole Industrial Hemp Seeds are used to create cold pressed Hemp Seed oil which naturally has slightly less than three times more omega-6 than omega-3 fatty acids. While this fatty acid profile of hemp seeds doesn’t match the higher omega-3 content of flaxseeds, Hemp Seed oil provides an pretty special omega-6 fatty acid called gamma linolenic acid (GLA).
GLA is somewhat unique among omega-6 fatty acids in that, unlike most omega-6 fats, research shows it supports anti-inflammatory processes in other animals. It’s not found in flaxseed or other oils commonly fed to horses, whereas in Hemp Seed Oil GLA makes up about 3% of the fat composition. Fat from Hemp Seed Oil is about 76% polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) as compared to flax oil, which is about 66% PUFA. Horses and small animals find hemp oil very palatable with its naturally nutty flavor, no deodorizing is required.
Flaxseed oil is an excellent supplement for dogs and cats with allergies. It helps with mobility in arthritic pets, inflammation, blood pressure, allergy relief, and kidney function. What about our furry friends?? Dogs and cats can also reap the benefits of both Hemp Seed and or Flaxseed oil.
So next time your thinking of adding oil to your horse or pets ration, think about what your really trying to achieve, 'oils really ain't oils', and all have their purpose, but if your looking to add more nutritional benefits to the ration, I would highly suggest looking at adding plant based oil that not only will provide 'cool' calories, but also highly beneficial Omega Fatty Acids!