Chia seeds are on the menu at A-list restaurants and in seemingly every product at the health food store, but are chia seeds good for dogs? It’s a normal question for any health-conscious pet parent to wonder. We know that these little seeds are great for our health, and we only want the best for our beloved pups!
Can dogs eat chia seeds?
Yes! Dogs can and should eat chia seeds. There is very little risk associated with eating chia seeds for dogs, but there are many health benefits. The only precautions that a pet parent should take are to introduce chia seeds slowly (like you would for any new food) and to monitor the amount your dog eats as the seeds are high in fiber and calories.
What Are Chia Seeds for Dogs Exactly?
Chia seeds for dogs are the same seeds that humans enjoy. These tiny black seeds come from the Salvia hispanica plant which is native to Central America. They are about 1 millimeter in diameter, but can absorb twelve times their weight in water. Used in Aztec cuisine for thousands of years, chia seeds are rich in fatty acids, protein and fiber.
Benefits of Chia Seeds for Dogs
Chia seeds do amazing things for your dog’s health. That’s why they are included in every recipe from Ollie dog food. Here are just a few of the reasons why chia seeds should become a part of your dog’s balanced diet.
1. Source of Omega-3 fatty acids
Chia seeds are a fantastic source of omega-3 fatty acids,contributing to canine cardiac health by strengthening the very cells that make up the heart. As a bonus, omega-3’s also help keep your pup’s coat healthy and shiny.
2. Aid brain function
Pairing head with heart, the omega-3s in chia seeds also aid brain function by strengthening the fatty myelin sheath that improves neurotransmitter speed, associated with better learning and memory in animals.
3. Reduce inflammation
Those same omega-3s help control inflammation within the body: Dogs with osteoarthritis experience improved mobility and reduced pain in their joints with a regular daily dose from chia seeds.
4. Loaded with Fiber
Just when you thought they were all about the omegas, chia seeds bust out the fiber,an essential part of keeping a dog's digestion train chugging along and absorbing important nutrients along the way.
5. Help with healthy bones
Chia seeds have more calcium than whole milk. Combined with phosphorus, these minerals aid in bone development as well as healthy bone maintenance, while preventing issues like hip dysplasia.
6. High in Protein
While chia seeds aren't a primary source of protein (that’s wheat meat is for), they do have high protein properties for a plant source. But the real magic happens when combined with meat proteins: their collective protein helps build muscle mass and preserve muscle tissue and health.
7. Helps pups maintain a healthy weight
Because a single chia seed absorbs water up to 12 times its own weight, it helps dogs feel full and satisfied for longer periods of time. This is especially helpful for dogs who tend to overeat or need to lose weight. Read more about “Hungry Dog Solutions” here.
8. Helps regulate blood sugar
Chia seeds support normal insulin function as well as blood sugar regulation and glucose tolerance—a must for diabetic or prediabetic dogs.
Call them Miss Congeniality: as a non-allergenic food source, chia seeds get along with every dog and every dog diet. In order to get the benefits of chia seeds, you want to feed 1 teaspoon for small dogs or 2 teaspoons for larger dogs, or if you aren’t sure where your dog lies, try 1/4 teaspoon for every 10 pounds of your dog’s body weight. You can start slow and work up to the optimal serving for your pup over a few days or weeks to avoid any stomach upset. Chia seeds have a long shelf life and can be sprinkled or stirred into any number of foods to give them a superfood nutrition boost.
tirred into any number of foods to give them a superfood nutrition boost.
The Ollie blog is devoted to helping pet parents lead healthier lives with their pups. If you want to learn more about our fresh, human-grade food, check out MyOllie.com.