chia seeds

The Dangers of Feeding Your Dog Chia Seeds

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Before anyone thinks I’m downing chia seeds let me set the record straight and say that I absolutely adore them and my dog does too!

They are super, foods that is and come with so many health benefits that one would be crazy to over look them in their diet.

But, there are some things you will want to watch out for when feeding them to your dog. Let’s discuss possible side or ill effects that you will want to keep an eye out for.

Digestive issues

Chia seeds are packed with fiber and while this is often extremely beneficial for pets with digestive issues, if fed too much they can cause GI upset.

Chia seeds are a great source of fiber, providing 11 grams of fiber in each 1-ounce (28-gram) serving. While fiber can proved to be of great benefit for your dog, especially if it has GI issues, too much of a good thing is as the saying goes a bad thing!

Always make sure your pup has plenty of fresh water and if your dog has IBD, you may want to limit their intake during a flare up for this reason.

Talk to your vet prior to feeding so that you don’t give too many seeds to your pup. A good rule of thumb is 1/4th teaspoon per 10 pounds. My dogs are 5 & 7 pounds so they get a little less than 1/4th of a teaspoon.

Blockages

Chia seeds can hold up to 12 times its weight in water, which means they are wonderful in preventing dehydration, but also if taken dry can possibly cause some major issues in your dogs esophagus or stomach.

When given dry, the seeds can get lodged in the esophagus easily or pull moisture from the intestinal system and swell internally. This can lead to many complications including a dangerous blockage.

This is especially important to note in dogs that suffer from esophageal disfunction or have difficulty swallowing. Prevent this from happening by first mixing with some water and giving the seeds time to swell.

Besides, hydrating chia seeds help to activate the seed making it more bioavailable for your pets body to use. You can also cook the seeds if you do not want to hydrate them prior to feeding them to your dog.

Allergies

Though uncommon, some dogs may be allergic to chia seeds. If you are giving your pup chia seeds for the first time make sure to keep an eye out for any possible allergic reactions.

Like with any food allergy, the things to watch for are hives or a rash, swelling, itchy skin, diarrhea and/or vomiting.

Omega 3 overload

Chia seeds are loaded with omega 3’s but there is a delicate balancing act between Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. While this would be rare, make sure your pup is getting enough of both.

Chia seeds are relatively safe to feed your dog in moderation and with supervision. In fact, I add them to my dogs drinking water regularly.

How much should I give my dog?

Speak to your veterinarian for a dose specifically for your pet, but most dog owners stick with the rule of thumb of giving a quarter of a teaspoon for every 10 pounds of body weight.

My advice is to start small and work your way up from there. Introduce the seeds into your pet’s diet slowly to help prevent any possibilities of GI upset.

Small Dogs1/4 – 1 teaspoon of Chia Seeds
Large Dogs1-2 teaspoons of Chia Seeds
Always consult your veterinarian for a dose

4 Essential things to do!

1. Soak the seeds

Soak the seeds in water overnight as this will give them adequate time to swell. Chia seeds can absorb 9-10 times their weight and not only does this help with any possible blockage or choking hazards, but it also makes the seeds a lot easier to digest and increases nutrient absorption. Like all seeds, chia seeds contain digestive inhibitors, and soaking them removes this barrier.

2. Observe your dog

The first couple of times you give your dog chia seeds make sure you pay close attention to them. Watch for any signs of gagging, allergic reaction, or gastrointestinal upset. You may need to decrease the amount of seeds you give them or discontinue use at all

3. Consult your veterinarian

Always consult your veterinarian prior to giving your pet chia seeds, this way they can recommend a starting amount to give with meals.

4. Keep water close by

Always have a fresh bowl of water available for your pup when you give them chia seeds with their meals

What are the clinical signs of a bad reaction to chia seeds?

Keep a close eye out for any of the following signs:

  • Gagging
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach upset and bloat
  • Painful abdomen

If you experience any of theses signs discontinue chia seeds and consult your veterinarian.

Let’s chat, tell everyone what your experience with chia seeds and your dog has been?

Have a question? Leave it below!

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3 Replies to “The Dangers of Feeding Your Dog Chia Seeds”

  1. Did i leave my comment on the wrong place? If so here it is again. My 15 lb dog has pancreitits, I make all his food. What should i be feeding him. I have eliminated all fat from his diet.

    1. Hi Carol, my dog is 7 pounds with pancreatitis, it’s always difficult to know how to maneuver around not feeding a prescription diet. I do incorporate an over the counter food in my dog’s meals but I also make food for him including bland chicken or beef (especially liver), for treats he loves carrots, apples, and broccoli. I wrote an article on what I how I feed him here. Thanks for stopping by!

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