Camelina Oil: Not Just for Horses Anymore
Kemosabe offers his thoughts on Gold Star K9, BioStar’s new camelina oil formulation meant exclusively for him and rest of the canine community:
It was Buckaroo who discovered the wonders of camelina oil for canines. Like other important explorers in history, he came upon the discovery quite by accident…or, should I say, because he followed his nose and stomach.
He was sniffing around the feed room, as he usually does when our human is in the stalls with the horses, hanging the feed buckets, giving more hay, checking water. It is the perfect time for a canine reconnoiter of the feed room. Did she leave a bulk container of Optimum EQ open? Did she forget to close the Tum-Ease bag?
What Buckaroo discovered with his keen nose, was that the pump on the camelina oil bottle was leaking: drip…drip…drip. Being a canine who has never met a food item he didn’t like, he took a lick and decided it was delicious.
Because Buckaroo and I are best buddies, he stuck his head out of the feed room and telepathed his discovery to me. I sauntered into the room—casually of course, because the human would surely suspect something was up if I just ran in there. With his nose, Buckaroo pointed to the dripping bottle on the floor.
I took a lick. Then another, then another.
“Okay, my turn,” Buckaroo said.
I sniffed around the bottle and realized that if we didn’t keep licking the camelina oil, it would land on the floor, and what a mess that would be for our human. We were doing her a favor!
At that point, the Pest, aka Crockett, trotted into the feed room, saw what we were doing and wanted to lick some too. When I told him to wait his turn, he started to bark. Seconds later, our human marches into the feed room and catches Buckaroo’s tongue on the pump.
The familiar phrase “leave it” was about to launch from her lips, when all of a sudden she cocked her head and mumbled.
Camelina oil is derived from the camelina plant, also known as false flax and German sesame. It has been cultivated in Europe for at least 3,000 years, and was commonly used as lamp oil. After World War II, farmers were encouraged to grow more corn, and eventually soy, and camelina fell out of use.
Over fifteen years ago, NASA took an interest in camelina oil as a possible biofuel. The nutritional research showed that camelina oil provides an ideal ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids: 2.2 to 1.
Camelina also contains omega-9 fatty acids, which play an important role in inflammation response, reduction of insulin resistance, and improved immune functions. Foods that typically contain omega-9 fatty acids include olive oil, avocados, almonds, peanuts, sesame oil, pecans, pistachio nuts, macadamia nuts and cashews.
One of the most unique features of camelina oil is that it is one of the richest plant sources of vitamin E, including alpha, beta, and gamma tocopherols. Salmon oils only provide alpha and gamma tocopherols, and flax oil provides some gamma tocopherols. Because camelina oil provides more of a complete complex of vitamin E tocopherols, it is a super-nutritious oil to feed.
Vitamin E for dogs
Vitamin E is essential for muscles, the circulatory system, and healing from injury. It is necessary for the health of the skin, heart, and liver. Vitamin E is an important antioxidant that protects cells from free radical damage.
BioStar’s camelina oil, Gold Star K9, is cold-pressed—not solvent extracted—so as to maintain the integrity of the oil and the vitamin E it contains. Unlike flax oil, which is very unstable and goes rancid easily, camelina is extremely stable without refrigeration and can withstand temperatures of over 200 degrees. And dogs love the taste.
When to feed camelina oil
It is important to add oils such as camelina and flax to the diet when you feed poultry foods such as chicken, duck or turkey, as these are low in omega-3s. Even if you feed a commercial kibble, adding additional healthy oils supports a healthy coat, skin, and immune system.
Rotate your food and your oils
It is important to rotate the proteins you give your dog. If you feed bison for breakfast, add hemp oil because ruminant proteins such as bison and cow have plenty of omega-3s but are low in omega-6s. If you feed chicken or turkey, add some camelina oil for its high omega-3s to balance the high omega-6 content of poultry.
Thank you, Buckaroo
Because of his reconnaissance mission, and his nose, the Aussie Tribe now gets to have camelina oil on a regular basis. Unfortunately, our human replaced the leaky pump, so we can’t grab a camelina snack in the feed room anymore.