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This Oil Is the Secret to Glossy Dog Hair

Camelina oil can help give your pup a shiny coat, reduce shedding, and treat hot spots.

by Claudia Kawczynska
Updated July 16, 2022
A black dog with a shiny long coat of fur sitting outside.
Bianca / Adobe Stock

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You may have seen camelina oil listed as an ingredient on some of your beauty products — it’s known for nourishing hair, skin, and lips. The plant-derived oil is also rich in omega fatty acids, which can help keep both you and your dog healthy. Keep reading to learn about the benefits of camelina oil and how to use it.

What is Camelina Oil?

Pressed from the seeds of the Camelina sativa plant, also called “gold-of-pleasure”, camelina oil is high in omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids and rich in alpha and gamma tocopherol, two forms of vitamin E that protect the oil from oxidation and rancidity. This gives it a much longer shelf life than other plant oils (18 months) as well as a high smoke point (up to 475 degrees, compared to olive and coconut oils’ 350 degrees).

Camelina oil has a mild, nutty taste that some compare to almonds. A teaspoon of camelina oil provides about 130 calories and 4 grams of omega-3s. Humans can use it for cooking and as a salad oil, a massage oil, and even a hot-oil hair treatment.

What Are the Health Benefits of Camelina Oil for Dogs?

Since it’s rich in omega-3s, camelina oil supports reduced shedding, glossier coats, and healthier skin, plus it can help prevent and treat hot spots.

It’s important to note that for dogs, fish (like sardines, anchovies, and mackerel) and eggs are also good sources of omega-3 fatty acids in the forms that they can utilize (EPA and DHA), while camelina oil is rich the ALA form. While ALA is important, it does provide fewer therapeutic benefits. So plant oils can be used on a rotational basis with a cold-water marine oil.

There are a few pet supplement companies that market pure camelina-oil products, but they are similar to those sold for humans, which are usually less expensive, so feel free to share your camelina oil with your dog.

How Camelina Oil Can Help the Planet

Researchers are exploring ways to optimize camelina oil’s benefits. Among other things, it’s shaping up as viable alternative to fish oil; as noted in a paper published in the journal Scientific Reports, an expanding world population and its consumption of fish oil “has placed considerable pressure on the wild ‘reduction’ fisheries from which much of these fish oils are harvested.”

The Camelina sativa plant grows in marginal land and requires little to no irrigation or fertilizers, and may also be a future biofuel source — which makes camelina oil a very attractive and eco-friendly alternative to other oils.

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Claudia Kawczynska

Claudia Kawczynska was co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Bark for 20 years. She also edited the best-selling anthology Dog Is My Co-Pilot.