Many of the seeds we incorporate in our diets are also healthy choices for our dogs.
Flaxseeds, pumpkin, and sunflower seeds all have wonderful benefits for our pup’s health, but today, we’re looking at chia seeds more specifically, and why you should be adding them to your dog’s diet.
Plus, a yummy doggy chia pudding recipe at the end. Spoiler alert: you’ll want to eat it yourself!
Are chia seeds a superfood?
Chia seeds are the edible seeds of Salvia hispanica, a flowering plant from the mint family and native to central and southern Mexico. These tiny ancient grains have a diameter of around 2mm, are oval and can range from grey, black, or white in colour.
Chia seeds have reached the status of “superfoods” because of their energy-boosting power, health benefits and nutrient dense properties.
Are chia seeds safe for dogs to eat?
Yes! Dogs can eat chia seeds safely. In fact, chia seeds are one of the best supplements you can add to your dog’s regular meals. They are virtually tasteless (great for picky eaters) and very easy-to-digest.
As with any new food, we recommend that you introduce chia seeds to your dog’s bowl progressively and monitor for any allergic reaction.
The recommended daily dose is 1/2 a teaspoon per 10kg of your dog’s body weight.
Benefits of chia seeds for dogs
Chia seeds are very rich in soluble fibre (which means digestible fibre). Soluble fibre absorbs water, which transforms the seeds into a gel like consistency.
Because chia seeds expend in the stomach, they help our dogs feeling full for longer which in turn can help prevent obesity. Chia seeds stabilise the blood sugar levels which also help prevent diabetes.
Fibre plays an important role in regulating our dog’s digestion and reducing constipation. Who doesn’t want healthy number #2s!
Did you know? If fed dry, chia seeds can help stop diarrhea because they will absorb the extra fluid in the digestive tract. Pretty neat!
Omega-3 fatty acids
By now, you know how important omega-3 fatty acids are for our dogs.
They help lower inflammation in the body, strengthen the immune system, keep the skin, coat and joints healthy, and maintain brain development.
However, chia seeds shouldn’t be your dog’s only source of omega-3 fatty acid, because it will not be enough. It’s important to include other sources such as leafy greens, green lipped mussel or hempseed oil.
Did you know that as a plant, chia may represent a more sustainable source of omega-3 fatty acids than seafood, with 3 times the amount of omega-3 fatty acids to that of salmon!
Antioxidants help protect from the damage of free radicals. Free radicals are produced in the body or by exposure to external factors such as exposure to toxins (pesticides, air pollutants), or UV lights, and can damage your dog’s cells, causing illness and aging.
Chia seeds contain the antioxidants quercetin, kaempferol, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, myricetin. These antioxidants help keep the growth of free radicals under control so they don’t harm your dog’s cells, protect their heart and liver and are said to have anti-cancer properties.
Vitamins & Minerals
Chia seeds are high in Vitamin B and are a great source of calcium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, iron and zinc.
It’s always best to provide these micronutrients in their most natural form (food) rather than in a synthetic form (tablets and supplements).
Did you know? Chia seeds contain more calcium than whole milk, more iron than raw spinach and more magnesium than broccoli.
How to feed chia seeds to my dog?
Because of their size, chia seeds can be directly sprinkled onto your dog’s food, daily.
But, as you'd expect from Doggy Grub, we have a delicious doggy chia pudding recipe for your dog!
- Organic chia seeds. Give 1/2 tsp for every 10kg of your dog's body weight.
- Filtered water or oat milk (1 part chia to 2 parts liquid).
- Topping of choice - sliced banana, berries...
Method: Prepare the night before
- Place the chia seeds in your dog's bowl.
- Add the water and give a quick stir with a fork.
- Let settle for 2-3 minutes then mix again very well until you see no clumping.
- Cover the bowl and store in fridge overnight or for at least 2 hours.
- When ready to eat, top with your dog's favourite toppings!
At Doggy Grub, we use chia seeds in all our casseroles, amongst other sources of fibre and omega3 fatty acids such as spinach, sweet potatoes, and cod liver oil, so you can be sure your dog receives all the essential nutrients on the daily.
Has your dog ever tried chia seeds?
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The Doggy Grub blog is dedicated to helping dogs and their owners achieve happier, healthier lives, changing the way we feed our dogs one bowl at a time! If you would like to know more about our fresh food head to Doggy Grub