Can Dogs Eat Chia Seeds? Benefits and Nutrients

In today’s article, I am going to show you how beneficial are chia seeds for health. Not only for us humans but also for our dogs.

I knew long ago they are called as a superfood but now as I started all my research and talked to the vet of my dog, I am genuinely surprised by everything I learned.

If you are still not adding chia seeds to your breakfast this is your sign to start doing it. But don’t forget to add to the food of your dog, too. They will be really thankful to you as they will get so many minerals, vitamins, and nutrients.

Guys, keep reading as this superfood is just amazingly rich in everything.

What Are Chia Seeds?

Chia seeds are the edible seeds of Salvia hispanica, a flowering plant in the mint family native to central and southern Mexico.

Chia seeds are oval and gray with black and white spots, having a diameter of around 2 millimeters (0.08 in).

The seeds are hygroscopic, absorbing up to 12 times their weight in liquid when soaked and developing a mucilaginous coating that gives chia-based foods and beverages a distinctive gel texture.

Can Dogs Eat Chia Seeds?

Yes, dogs can eat chia seeds safely in moderation.

Dogs need a very little amount of chia seeds – up to a quarter teaspoon per ten pounds of body weight. You should start giving them very little and then to increase slowly the amount of chia seeds.

As with every other new human food included in their menu, watch out for any signs or symptoms that show a reaction to the new food. Every time I advise you first to consult with your vet and then to add new kinds of foods to dog food.

Chia seeds are a superfood for humans because they are full of minerals and vitamins. But is it the same for dogs?

Yes, chia seeds are a superfood for dogs too.

What Do You Need To Know Before Feeding Your Dog Chia Seeds?

Consult with your vet if this will be your first time giving chia seeds to your dog. There are a few things you must keep in mind before and after feeding your pooch:

  1. Possibility of allergic reactions: As with every other food, there is again a possibility for your dog to be allergic to chia seeds. If you wonder what are the signs of chia allergy, here you go:
    • Diarrhea;
    • Vomiting;
    • Rashes;
    • Excessive scratching;
    • Eyelid inflammation.
  2. Possibility of digestive problems: Chia seeds are high in fiber content and if you feed your dog very often with chia then it may cause bloating, gassiness, or other digestive issues.
  3. Possibility of intestinal blockages: As chia seeds can soak up to 10-12 times their weight in water, this carries the risk of extra water absorption in the intestines, which may cause partial or complete blockage. To avoid this make sure chia seeds visibly swell in size before feeding them to your dog.

Health Benefits Of Chia Seeds For Dogs

As I have mentioned already chia seeds are full of vitamins and minerals. Now it’s time to look closer at them.

Chia seeds have high fiber content. It’s great for the digestive systems of dogs as they need it daily to avoid constipation. Dietary fiber also can slow digestion and regulate blood sugar. The fiber is also good for dogs with a big appetite as it helps them to feel fuller sooner. If your dog needs to lose weight, chia seeds will be a great help.

Chia is rich in protein. We know that protein is the most important part of food diets for both humans and animals. Chia seeds have 5 grams of protein in 2 tablespoons, which is amazing. That makes them the perfect protein treat. Protein is a great addition to dietary fiber for weight loss and suppressing the appetite.

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Chia seeds are a great source of nutrients. They are rich in potassium, manganese, zinc, copper, and phosphorus. Chia seeds have more calcium than whole milk, more iron than raw spinach, and more magnesium than broccoli.

Chia is an excellent source of antioxidants for dogs. Antioxidants are needed to fight free radicals and reduce or prevent oxidative stress. There are antioxidants like kaempferol, chlorogenic acid, myricetin, etc. All these antioxidants are known for protecting the liver and for their anti-cancer properties.

Chia seeds are well known as a source of omega-3 fatty acids.

Why are omega-3 fatty acids important? Well, dogs need them because they balance out omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are important for the immune system, eye development, brain development, healthy skin, and shiny coat.

Can Dogs Eat Chia Seeds: Table of Nutrients

Source: USDA;

Portion: 100g

NameAmount
Energy534 kcal
Protein18.3 g
Total lipid(fat)42.2 g
Carbohydrate28.9 g
Fiber27.3 g
Calcium255 mg
Iron5.73 mg
Magnesium392 mg
Phosphorus642 mg
Potassium813 mg
Selenium25.4 µg
Niacin3.08 µg
Folate87 µg
Lutein651 µg

How to Feed Dogs Chia Seeds?

First, let’s start with the proper amount for your dog. You should consult with your vet but the universal rule is that a 1/4 teaspoon of chia seeds will feed 10 pounds of body weight. As chia seeds are a great source of nutrients I don’t recommend you give your pooch this treat daily. The diet of dogs should be full of varieties of fruits, veggies, and some supplements like chia seeds.

Chia seeds should be soaked in water for at least 30 minutes before serving.

The best option is an overnight soak.

You can give them as chia pudding or sprinkle them over your dog’s food.

Can Dogs Eat Chia Seeds: Dog-Friendly Recipes

1. Healthy Dog Treats with Bananas and Carrots

Ingredients:

  • 2 carrots;
  • 1 banana;
  • 1 tablespoon of chia seeds + 3 tablespoons of cold water (or 1 egg);
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin coconut oil;
  • 200g of buckwheat flour.

Instructions:

  1. Wash and grate the carrots.
  2. Combine the chia seeds and water in a small bowl and set aside for 10 minutes to thicken.
  3. Mash the bananas with a fork and add to a food processor or mixing bowl.
  4. Add the chia mix, coconut oil, grated carrots, and buckwheat flour. Stir well until a dough forms. If the dough is too sticky, add a little bit more buckwheat flour.
  5. Preheat the oven to 180°C (360°F).
  6. Roll out the dough between two sheets of baking paper and cut out the dog treats with a cookie cutter.
  7. Transfer the cut-out cookies to a baking tray that you aligned with baking paper.
  8. Bake the dog treats for about 20 – 25 minutes until golden brown and crisp.
  9. Let them cool completely before serving them to your dog.

Note: Stored in an air tight container, they should last for about a month.

2. Salmon and Spinach Dog Treats

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of chickpea flour;
  • 3 – 5 oz containers of canned salmon;
  • 1 chia seed egg (1 tbsp chia seeds + 3 tbsp of warm water)
  • 1 cup of fresh spinach.

Steps:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
  2. Make your chia egg and allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes. You will see that they will become thick and gel-like.
  3. Finely chop your fresh spinach and drain water from your chosen salmon packages.
  4. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and place the mixture in your silicone molds. If you don’t have silicone molds you can roll the mixture into bite-sized meatballs.
  5. Bake for 25-35 minutes. These are very soft treats, they should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days.
  6. Allow it to cool completely before removing from the silicone baking molds.

3. Homemade Pumpkin Chia Dog Biscuits

Ingredients:

  • 3 chia eggs (3 tbsp chia seed + 2/3 cup water);
  • 1/2 cup of canned pumpkin;
  • 1/2 tsp of salt;
  • 2 tbsp of cornstarch;
  • 2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour;

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Stir together chia seeds and water to create chia eggs. Allow mixture to stand for 5-10 minutes, or until a gel-like consistency has formed.
  3. Beat together chia eggs and pumpkin until well blended, then mix in salt, cornstarch, and flour.
  4. Work dough with your hands for several minutes, then roll into a 1/2″ thick sheet.
  5. Use cookie cutters to cut into your desired shape, rerolling scrap dough until none remains.
  6. Place biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet, leaving 1″ between treats.
  7. Bake for 40 minutes, flipping treats once halfway through baking time.
  8. Allow biscuits to cool and let your dog dig in!

Fun Facts About Chia Seeds

  1. Chia seeds can absorb up to 12 times their weight in liquid.
  2. Chia makes a great plant-based substitute for eggs. 
  3. Chia is a purple flowering plant that is native to South America.
  4. Chia and chia seeds are not something new. They have been in the world for a long time now. The Aztecs were the ones that cultivated these nutritious foods.
  5. Chia pudding is quite a famous dish that most households prepare. Chia pudding is made by mixing the seeds with fruit juice or milk.
  6. Ideally, it is recommended to consume about 1.5 tablespoons of chia seeds twice per day.

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