Not only are chia seeds healthy, but they also contain protein in abundance. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are good for our canine pals.
So, can dogs eat chia seeds? There is no harm in feeding chia seeds to your dog. In fact, you might see improvement in your dog’s health and its coat quality. But, it is not always the case.
Before feeding your dog chia seeds, it is important to educate yourself on its benefits, constituents, and effects on dogs that have been discussed in detail in the following passages.
Can dogs eat chia seeds?
Chia seeds come from a desert plant, Salvia hispanica. Originally domesticated by Aztecs and Mayans, chia seeds are filled with excellent nutrients, rich in Omega-3 fatty acid, protein, fiber, etc.
Chia seeds are known to have many health benefits for dogs. But, there are also certain risks associated with it. Nevertheless, the pros outweigh the cons.
Homemade chia seeds dog treat (Video)
Benefits of chia seeds in dogs
Chia seeds are so filled with beneficial nutrients that ancient civilizations considered it magical for its ability to increase stamina and overall health.
Here are some of the nutritional benefits of these magical seeds:
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Chia seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids in abundance. To give you an idea, the amount of omega-3 fatty acid is 3 times as of salmon.
Not only do the omega-3 fatty acids balance out Omega-6 fatty acids, they also have several other benefits.
For instance, omega-3 fatty acid promotes immunity, helps in growth, improves the health of coat/skin, helps in brain and eye development, to name a few.
Chia seeds are great for dogs with digestive problems because of the presence of fiber in them.
Not only does fiber help with constipation, but it also helps in weight loss.
High energy levels
Here’s an interesting fact for you:
Chia seeds can absorb approximately 9 to 10 times of their own weight when soaked in water.
So, when put in freshwater, chia seeds absorb it and generate a gel that can be ingested.
This gel stabilizes the blood sugar levels and slows down the conversion of carbs into sugar. Doing so, dogs feel much more energized and active.
Another advantage of slowed digestion is that the nutrients have enough time to absorb in the body. Not to mention, the dog feels full for longer periods.
The great thing about chia seeds is that they are non-allergic.
Furthermore, chia seeds contain considerable quantities of iron, magnesium, zinc, phosphorous, and calcium.
How to feed your dog?
So, chia seeds are super nutritional, but how do we feed them to our dogs and in how much quantity?
The best way to introduce chia seeds into your dog’s diet is with its normal dog food. However, it is important that you introduce chia seeds gradually in your dog’s diet. This is because chia seeds are rich in nutrients and minerals that may disturb your dog’s diet if added suddenly.
Small dogs should have only one teaspoon of chia seeds in their diet. Whereas, larger dogs should have two teaspoons.
Another measure is to add a quarter of a teaspoon for every 10 lbs of your dog’s weight.
If your dog has osteoarthritis, gradually add chia seeds into its diet. You will see significant improvement in your dog’s health and mobility.
The omega-3 fatty acids present in chia seeds control inflammation and also reduce pain in the joints.
Chia seeds also strengthen the fatty myelin sheath that is known to improve neurotransmitter speed. The result? Better memory and improved learning in dogs.
Chia seeds also strengthen your canine’s heart cells which contributes to its overall cardiac health.
Moreover, if your dog is getting fatter and you are trying to cut down on its diet, adding chia seeds can make things easier. The seeds will keep your dog from getting too hungry and the fiber present in the seeds will help regulate its digestion.
Organic chia seeds
For excellent results, make sure to get milled, organic chia seeds.
You can give them to your dog in seed form, grounded, or you can soak them in water.
In seed form or grounded form, sprinkle the chia seeds on your dog’s food. Whereas, if you have soaked them in water, properly mix them with your dog’s food.
You might be wondering:
What if my dog doesn’t like chia seeds?
Well, there is no need to worry. Because chia seeds do not have any taste or smell. So, even the most sensitive and stubborn of dogs would fail to realize their food has been meddled with.
Unlike flaxseed, chia seeds last for a long time without any special storage considerations.
The antioxidants present in the seeds allow them to be stored for months in a cupboard.
With so many benefits packed into some seeds arise certain health concerns that can be avoided with proper caution:
Soaked chia seeds
If you want to get the best results without any concerns, make sure you soak chia seeds in water before feeding them to your dog.
Doing so will make sure your dog doesn’t choke on them. It will also help the seeds to go down easily.
Omega-6 fatty acids
When adding chia seeds to your dog’s diet, make sure it is getting enough omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids balance each other. So, too much of one can cause health problems.
Certain dogs cannot digest chia seeds properly and may waste all the nutritional goodies along with their feces.
To make sure that is not the case with your dog, check your dog’s feces for a few days to make sure none of it is being wasted.
Before feeding your dog chia seeds, check in with your regular vet.
Your vet will be able to make sure that such an addition is not hazardous and that it will not disturb your dog’s usual nutritional balance.
Moreover, the vet will also help you in deciding the proper dosage based on your dog’s weight and other important factors.
Can dogs eat hemp seeds?
Dogs can eat hemp seeds. In fact, hemp seeds are quite nutritional.
Here are several benefits that hemp seeds provide:
Skin: Hemp seeds are great for your dog’s skin and coat. In fact, if your dog faces skin problems such as dry skin or itching, hemp seed can be used as a natural remedy; reducing the need for medication.
Joints: Hemp seeds contain omega-6 fatty acids that reduce inflammation in the dog’s body. Moreover, these seeds also reduce symptoms of arthritis.
Heart: Similar to humans, dogs can also develop heart diseases. Hemp seeds are great when it comes to maintaining good cardiac health.
Is flaxseed good for my dog? And what should be the dosage?
Flaxseed contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. It is good for your dog’s skin/coat. It also boosts the dog’s immune system and stops inflammation in the body.
For teacup-sized dogs, a dosage of 1/8 to a quarter of a teaspoon is optimal.
Small breeds of dogs should be given half or a full teaspoon of flaxseed.
For medium breeds, one and a half to two teaspoons of flaxseed is considered optimal.
For larger dog breeds, you should give two and a half teaspoons or one tablespoon of flaxseed.
Is brewer’s yeast good for dogs?
During beer production, a by-product called brewer’s yeast is produced.
This by-product has a bitter taste but is of great nutritional value.
Brewer’s yeast is inactive and contains vitamin B, iron, potassium, zinc, magnesium, etc.
Brewer’s yeast can help reduce weight, improve skin, and aid in growth.
You can mix a tablespoon of brewer’s yeast with yogurt to give to your dog.
Caution: Do not give your dog live yeast. It will keep on growing inside its stomach and cause health problems.