What Are Chia Seeds?
Chia Seeds are edible seeds from the plant Salvia Hispanica, which is closely related to Mint. This plant is most commonly found in Central America and was used by the Aztecs and other ancient civilizations.
Chia Seeds have seen a massive surge in popularity and are regular sights on the shelves of health stores, with many experts advocating for their use.
The surge has been caused by the various health benefits that experts claim Chia Seeds can provide to humans, such as reductions in cholesterol and blood pressure.
While the majority of this popularity and the publicity surrounding Chia Seeds use has been for human consumption, they have also seen some rise for dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Chia Seeds?
Yes, Dogs can safely eat Chia Seeds, and Chia Seeds can provide dogs with several health benefits.
The only caution that must be taken is to introduce Chia Seeds to a dog’s diet slowly, which you should do for any new food.
By introducing Chia Seeds slowly, you will ensure there is no adverse reaction caused by them, and then over time, you can slowly increase the portion size.
The recommended portion size for Chia Seeds is relatively small, and most suggest between 0.5 teaspoons to 2 teaspoons depending on the size of the dog.
Many also suggest that you soak Chia Seeds in water first before giving them to your dog to make them easier to eat. You can also mix these soaked Chia Seeds with a dog’s normal dog food for simplicity, especially when first introducing them.
Health Benefits of Chia Seeds
Chia Seeds are an excellent plant-based source of the Omega 3 Fatty Acids, which are thought to provide humans and dogs with various health benefits.
Some of the best-known benefits of these fatty acids include an improvement in the condition of a dog’s skin and coat and a reduction in the risk of certain health problems.
Chia Seeds also contain a notable portion of dietary fiber which can be critical to some dogs to ensure they keep regular digestion and stools.
This fiber can also help absorb moisture causing the chia seeds to expand to up to 12 times their size, which can make some dogs feel full and reduce the risk of overeating or obesity.
Lastly, Chia Seeds are a dense source of Calcium which are an important mineral for bone health in dogs, although most dogs are likely taking on enough Calcium in their diet already.
Dog Food Brands That Use Chia Seeds
While it’s certainly not a core ingredient in any dog food recipe, there are actually several brands that have recently started adding small amounts of Chia Seeds to their recipes.
The below ingredient list from Taste of the Wild’s Ancient Prairie With Ancient Grains dry dog food recipe is a prime example of the use of Chia Seeds.
Just as Flaxseed use has increased dramatically over the last decades, we predict that more and more brands will choose to include small portions of Chia Seeds in their dog food recipes.