Dogs and Chia Seeds Overview
Chia seeds have so many awesome benefits that most pet owners would be remiss if they didn’t include them in their dog’s diet every now and then. However, there are some dogs that may benefit from chia seeds more than others. There is increasing research around dogs and chia seeds and the evidence proves that the seeds are extremely beneficial for them.
So, how exactly do dogs benefit from chia seeds? Dogs (and humans alike) benefit from chia seeds because they are so nutrient-dense and packed with fiber which makes them a healthy option to add to your dog’s meals. Plus they are pretty much hypoallergenic so that is not a worry of most pet parents. If you want to read more about the benefits and dangers of feeding your dog chia seeds, read our article here.
Although chia seeds are fairly safe don’t opt-out of discussing weight-specific dosages with your vet first. However, the general rule of thumb when feeding is a quarter of a teaspoon for every 10 pounds of body weight
One of the things you can do for your overweight dog is to add chia seeds to his other meals, this is because chia seeds have been shown to increase satiety short-term. Of course, you should still be doing things like ensuring adequate exercise and the right diet but the addition of chia seeds will most likely prove to be beneficial.
Chia seeds are said to satisfy hunger because one seed is able to absorb up to ten times its weight in water and therefore should help your dog feel fuller longer. They are great for dogs that may tend to overeat or that just need to lose some weight.
Several researchers are still studying chia seeds for this use as there have been a couple of studies that showed little to no significant change in satiety with the long-term use of chia seeds, but most studies, like this one, show that they do help make humans and mice feel full.
Pre- and Diabetic Dogs
Probably one of the most studied benefits of chia seeds is their beneficial role in humans and animals with diabetes. Chia seeds support normal insulin function and help to regulate blood sugar. Chia seed’s effect on blood glucose is suspected to be due to the high fiber content as fiber helps increase the viscosity of the intestines and therefore may decrease the absorption of glucose into the body.
Because chia seeds have such a high concentration of fiber they may be great additives for dogs that suffer from consistent bouts of constipation. Chia seeds have 34 grams of fiber per 100 grams of seeds.
Dogs with Anal Gland Issues
Dogs with regular anal gland issues like trouble with expression or impaction may benefit from chia seeds added to the meals every once and a while because of the high fiber.
Increasing your dogs fiber causes the stools to be larger which allows for increased pressure on the anal glands to assisting in natural expression.
While chia seeds are beneficial for dogs of all ages those with growing bones and bones that may need a little more support can especially benefit from them. Chia seeds contain more calcium than whole milk, more magnesium than broccoli, and more iron than raw spinach.
A study done on rats found that long-term intake of chia seed actually increased bone mineral content and helped improve hepatic morphology.
Dogs With Cardiac Issues
Chia seeds help support a healthy heart since they are packed with fatty acids and are a great source of omega-3s. This means they can actually help strengthen the heart cells amongst other things.
Dogs with joint issues
The same omega-3’s that help with heart health also help with inflammation in the body, meaning improved joint function and mobility.
Seniors can truly benefit from regular feeding of chia seeds since they have so many great effects on aging bodies. Not only does it help with the joints and heart as stated above it also helps improve mental health. The omega-3s in chia seeds aid in brain function by strengthening the fatty myelin sheath that improves neurotransmission. This has been associated with improved learning and memory in animals.
Dogs with high blood pressure
Its been shown that eating chia seeds regularly can also help lower blood pressure: A Study published in 2021 showed a significant improvement in blood pressure after eating chia seeds regularly for 12 weeks.
And it reduces inflammation too. Two tablespoons of chia seeds provide a 3 to 1 ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6. fatty acids
- Chia seeds are beneficial for dogs at any age
- You should use them at a dosage specific for your dogs weight
- There are some dangers that come along with overfeeding of chia – you can read about them here
- Chia is beneficial multisystemically and can help with dogs that have issues like diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity