Exploring GLA Rich Borage Seed Oil for Canine Seasonal Allergies
By Christi R. Pugh
Spring generally means gearing up to battle seasonal and skin allergies in my Chihuahua/rat terrier mix, Lexi. She’s so prone to pollen and grass allergies (environmental) and last year it was a constant battle until late fall. Over the winter she cleared up nicely so I truly hate to see her suffer all over again this year.
Believe me, I’ve tried just about everything allopathic and natural, including dietary changes, and it can be disheartening at times. In the past I gave her salmon oil which did help her coat some, her skin not so much, and she gained weight. Since last summer I’ve used our Virgin Coconut Crème Oil which she absolutely loves to lick and eat.
After much research, I found an archived article from TheWhole Dog Journal, which said that Borage Seed Oil might make a difference, because it is the oil highest in GLA (Gamma Linolenic Acid), an Omega 6 rich oil, which can be helpful for allergies and immune boosting.
Let’s just say Lexi loves the Borage Seed Oil! I pump it onto the top of my hand and she licks it off enthusiastically. She even comes to me when she sees me reaching for the bottle. I usually let her lick 3 or 4 small pumps from my hand. You could actually add it to food for your dog. Some side effects of too much Omega 6 rich oils include: gas, diarrhea, vitamin E deficiency, and elevated triglyceride levels. Obviously, you don’t want to overdo it, but keep the size of the dog in mind. For me, the benefits far outweigh any risk as long as I am dosing it to her responsibly.
Trees are budding and some early plants and flowers are blooming in Tennessee, and with the beauty come allergens, as well. The good news is that Lexis’s dry spots, lesions, and the beginnings of a dark belly have cleared up in just over one week of taking Borage Seed Oil. I am hoping to keep her away from any corticosteroids and stay ahead of these allergies so she can actually enjoy this summer and not feel so miserable from the formation of those itchy, scaly lesions.
There is also ongoing research and belief among many practitioners that GLA helps with arthritis, auto-immune response, other inflammatory conditions, and dry skin and eczema in canines and humans. I am aware of supplements; however, my dog does much better licking off what she thinks is a treat than having to take a pill of some sort. So we will stick with the Borage Seed Oil for the next month or two and see if it continues to help.
Borage seed has an extremely short shelf life and must be stored refrigerated. We recommend keeping any bulk supply under a nitrogen blanket to preserve freshness, and extend the life of the oil.