Chia Seeds Health Benefits for Dogs

Chia seeds health benefits are enormous for dogs, since they are extremely nutritious. They are also gluten-free, and are safe to be fed to dogs. Chia seeds are versatile in use - you can add them to meat patties as a binder, mix them in with yogurt, or use them in baked dog treats... The sky is the limit!

Chia Seeds Have you added chia seeds to your diet yet? If not, don't wait! And add them to your dog's diet as well.

Chia seeds have become one of the "superfoods" not too long ago, yet in South America, chia seeds have long been an important staple food.

In addition, it appears that the Aztecs also used chia medicinally to relieve joint pain and skin conditions.

Chia Seeds Nutritional Values

Though small, chia seeds are jam-packed with nutrients and have rich antioxidant properties. Just two tablespoons of chia (28 grams/1 ounce) contain the following nutrients:

  • 12 of carbohydrates (of which 11 grams are fiber);
  • 4 grams of protein;
  • 5 grams of Omega-3 fatty acids.

Chia seeds are also rich in calcium, manganese, magnesium, and phosphorus; they are also good sources of zinc, potassium, and vitamins B1, B2 and B3.

To give you some perspective as to how nutrient-packed chia seeds are, let's compare them with a few other foods. Chia seeds are:

  • 5 times more calcium-rich than milk;
  • 2 times more potassium-rich than bananas;
  • 3 times more iron-rich than spinach;
  • 3 times more antioxidant-rich than blueberries; and
  • 2 times more protein-rich than any other seed (or grain).

What's more, chia seeds are gluten-free, non-GMO, and are usually organically grown.

Unlike flaxseeds, chia seeds do not have to be ground - you can just eat them raw and whole. Due to their high antioxidant content, they do not go rancid quickly and do not lose their nutritional value - you can store them in a cool dry place for up 4 to 5 years!

Chia seeds are not only protein rich (much richer than most plants), but more importantly, are a source of complete protein, which means they contain all of the nine essential amino acids that we all need. Really amazing for such a small seed!

Chia Seeds Health Benefits for Dogs

Chia seeds provide a lot of health benefits to dogs. In particular, their rich antioxidant and protein contents are beneficial to older dogs and those with weakened immune systems.

The high fiber content in chia seeds makes them a low glycemic food, meaning eating chia seeds does not lead to a sudden surge in blood sugar, and is therefore good even for dogs with blood sugar regulation issues.

As well, the high fiber content promotes a healthy digestive tract - it can help control minor tummy problems such as constipation, diarrhea, and inflammation.

Chia seeds can absorb up to 10-12 times their weight in water. After absorbing all the water, the seeds become gelatin-like and expand in the stomach, giving a sense of fullness. Chia seeds are therefore a good food ingredient for obese dogs who need to lose weight.

The high content levels of calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus make chia seeds a good food for bone health.

Chia seeds are also rich in Omega-3 fatty acids in the form of ALA. Omega-3s are essential for the healthy growth and maintenance of skin and coat in dogs. If your dog has skin problems, adding chia seeds to his diet is one way to help improve his skin condition.

Since Omega-3 FAs are also anti-inflammatory, foods rich in Omega-3s such as chia seeds can help reduce joint pain and soothe respiratory inflammation.

Feeding Chia Seeds to Dogs

Since chia seeds health benefits for dogs are enormous, it is good to add the seeds to your dog's diet.

You can simply sprinkle the raw seeds on your dog's food. Or you can soak the seeds in water and add the gel to his food.

Add chia seeds and a banana to some plain, non-fat yogurt and you have a nutritious treat for your dog.

Chia seeds can also be used in baking dog biscuits. They act as a nice "binder". Chia seeds soaked in water can be used as an egg substitute in dog treat recipes, so if your dog is allergic to eggs, you can still use the recipe to make treats for your dog!

To use chia seeds as an egg substiute, simply add one tablespoon of chia seeds to 3 tablespoons of water, mix well and let it sit for 10-15 minutes.