14 Reasons Why Chia Seeds Should Be Part of Your Dog’s Daily Diet

As dog parents become more health conscious, superfoods like chia, kale, blueberries, turmeric, and coconut are making their way from our kitchens and into our dog’s bowls. Today we’re here to talk about chia - the tiny seeds that pack such a nutritional punch they truly have earned the superfood label. More specifically, we're talking about chia for dogs.

You’ll learn:

  • What exactly chia seed is;
  • The benefits of chia for dogs;
  • How to give your dog chia seed;
  • And how much chia to give your dog.
chia for dogs

What is Chia?

When you hear the words “chia seed” you probably have visions of Chia Pets - rubbing wet seeds all over a clay animal and waiting for it to grow. And, while Chia Pets are still fun to play with (My new Willie Nelson Chia Pet is sprouting some epic braids at this very moment), chia is useful for so much more than just entertainment! 

Chia, or Salvia Hispanica, is a flowering plant native to Central America. It’s said that the Aztec warriors were able to sustain themselves on just a tablespoon of chia seeds per day! But the powerful super-seeds aren’t just great for humans. Chia seeds are just as good for our canine friends. 

Here’s our list of 14 reasons chia seeds should be part of your dog’s daily diet. (And after you read it, you’ll probably want to add chia to your own daily diet, too!)

1. Chia has 3 times more Omega 3 Fatty Acids than Salmon

Omega 3 fatty acids are an essential part of your dog’s diet. They help with energy, reduce inflammation, help your pup absorb vitamins, process, hormones, and more. Most dog foods don’t contain enough omega 3’s, so it’s a good idea to supplement this in your dog’s diet, either with chia seed, treats, or fish oil.

2. It’s great for your dog’s digestion

Just 100 grams of chia seeds provides 34 grams of fiber. Increasing your dog’s dietary fiber is a wonderful way to aid a pup with tummy troubles. It can also help with weight loss and issues with impacted anal sacs. 

3. Chia has more calcium than whole milk

It’s also got more iron than raw spinach and more magnesium than broccoli. Plus, those little powerhouses are packed with phosphorous, potassium, zinc, iron, and copper. They’re truly like nature’s tiny non-allergenic multi-vitamins!

4. Chia supports a dog’s brain function

Let’s circle back to those amazing omega 3’s for a minute. Did we mention how important they are for your dog’s cognitive function? It’s important for developing puppy noggins, but supplementing with omega 3 fatty acids can also help senior dogs who have brain disorders, like canine cognitive dysfunction.

5. It’s also great for joints

Yes, the omegas are at work here, too. But also, chia seeds are an excellent source of calcium and phosphorus - two minerals that are important for bone development and healthy bone maintenance, and preventing problems like hip dysplasia.  

chia for dogs

6. Chia seeds are a good source of plant protein

Now, chia should not be a primary protein source - that should come from meat - but when combined with meat proteins, chia seeds help build muscle mass and preserve muscle tissue. In other words, it can help prevent ‘wasting away’ that is common in eldery dogs.

7. It helps with weight management

If you’ve got a chonky pup who is on a weight loss plan, chia seeds can be a huge help keeping hungry pups satisfied between meals. That’s because they absorb up to ten times their own weight, helping them feel full for longer periods of time.

8. They’re helpful for diabetic dogs

If you’ve got a diabetic or pre-diabetic dog, you know how important it is to watch their glucose. Chia supports insulin function and blood sugar regulation.

9. Chia supports vision health 

You didn’t think we’d finish this list without bringing up those amazing omega 3’s again, did you? They’re important for eye development and vision health, too!

10. It boosts immunity

It should come as no surprise that all these vitamins and minerals (and yes, omegas!) are great for your dog’s immunity. And that leads to healthier, happier, longer-living best furry friends!

11. Chia seeds support your dog’s heart health

Studies show that omega 3 fatty acid supplementation helps dogs with arrhythmias and those with heart failure. What’s more, the inflammatory reduction can also lead to overall improved heart health.

12. They are a good source of manganese

What are the health benefits of manganese? A lot of things, actually! And you’ll be glad you’re going to be adding it to your dog’s diet with chia after you read this list: it supports bone health, it is a great source of antioxidants for fighting cancer, it helps reduce inflammation for joint pain, it helps support a healthy metabolism, and supports healthy thyroid...just to name a few.

13. Chia is packed full of antioxidants

Dogs benefit from antioxidants in the same way we do - to help their bodies eliminate free radicals, that can cause health issues from allergies to autoimmune disorders, to arthritis, and even cancer. Chia has three times more antioxidants than blueberries!

14. Chia is a convenient superfood for dogs

Chia seeds have no taste or smell, so even the pickiest pups won’t know they’re getting a healthy dose of nutrients from this potent superfood! 

chia dog treats

That’s why we add chia seeds to every batch of Einstein Pets dog treats!

Are you convinced about the superpowers of this superfood? So are we! And that’s why the entire line of treats from Einstein Pets, from our beloved everyday favorites PB’N Jelly Time to our seasonal popular picks like Ugly Sweater Party - you’ll find the healthy goodness of chia in every drool-worthy bite!

How to give chia seeds to your dog

Besides the chia seeds your dog will get from eating delicious Einstein Pets dog treats, you can easily add them to their pet food, too. Chia seeds are tiny, odorless, and flavorless so they don’t need to be ground up or hidden in any way. You can simply sprinkle them right on top of your dog’s meals, though some people like to soak them first to make them easier to eat. If your dog has any difficulty swallowing, you should definitely give them a soak ahead of time. 

The amount of seeds your dog should get depends on your dog’s size and weight. The dosage is roughly ¼ teaspoon for every ten pounds of body weight per day. But, talk to your veterinarian first if your dog has any dietary restrictions. 

Final thoughts on giving chia seeds to your dog

These days, it’s easy to find chia seeds in the healthy aisle of your local supermarket. When you’re ready to add this powerhouse to your dog’s diet, look for milled, organic seeds whenever possible. Or, you can start by giving your dog Einstein Pets dog treats, since we’ve already added the chia for you!

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