7 Seeds That Are Healthy & Safe For Dogs
Did you know that some of the benefits that you get when eating seeds, your dog can get too? Regularly, human food isn’t super great for our four-legged friends; however, seeds are an exception, though you will want to keep an eye on which seeds are good for your dog.
Not all seeds are created equally when it comes to our dogs. In general, seeds can be healthy and nutritious for our dogs, giving them benefits like protein, fiber, amino acids, fats, vitamins, minerals, and more nutritional benefits that will help enhance your dog’s health over time.
There are a few different ways that you can prepare and serve the seeded food to your dog. You can put them on top of dog food or mix them in your dog’s food. You can sautee the seeds, feed them raw, or press them to get the oil. The different ways that you serve them impact what benefits your dog will get from the seeds. Keep in mind that there may be a bit of preparation when you are integrating seeds into your dog’s diet.
Some need to be ground for your dog to get the maximum benefits, while others need to be refrigerated to prevent them from going bad. And, as with all new food, it should be introduced slowly and in increasing amounts until you know how your dog will react to them. The last thing you want to do is give them a tummy ache when all you’re trying to do is boost their nutrition.
Some of the best seeds to give your dogs include pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, hemp, chia, flax, and quinoa, and we’ll take a look at some of the reasons why below. Overall, you may want to avoid some seeds if your dogs have health problems, but for the most part, they will provide incredible benefits that will help decrease health issues to enhance your dog’s health.
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1. Chia Seeds
There is a lot of Omega 3 in chia seeds, which are packed with fatty acids. This is the good kind of fat for your dogs, and it will help promote heart health, give your dog a silky coat, help stop flaky and itchy skin, and relieve allergies and address joint pain. Chia seeds can even help your dog’s body and brain as it is known as an immune-system booster.
On top of omega 3, your dog will also get zinc, potassium, magnesium phosphorus, iron, copper, multiple B-vitamins, calcium, and protein from chia seeds, making them a great overall addition to your dog’s diet. They are even known to support your dog’s electrolyte balance! That means that they help control stress and energy in your dog. Keep in mind that if you are planning to give your dog chia seeds, they are best refrigerated.
2. Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are a great source of protein for dogs, as well as folic acid, niacin, calcium, zinc, fiber, amino acids, copper, iron, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, potassium, and vitamins A, E, and K. They too contain that master fatty acid, as well as tryptophan, which will help to calm and relax your dog. That’s a lot of nutritional value in a single seed!
Another great benefit is that it can help with stomach problems that your dog may have. Much like pumpkin puree, pumpkin seeds contain cucurbitacin, which is an amino acid that helps to control parasites in the digestive tracts. These can be added to your dog’s food whole or ground, whether wet or dry food.
3. Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seeds have a lot of nutrients (selenium, iron, magnesium, vitamin E, manganese, phosphorus, copper, folate, several B-vitamins), but they also contain a lot of fat. They also are a great source of phytosterols, which can help reduce cholesterol levels, support heart function, control inflammation and help enhance your dog’s immune system.
However, because of its high copper levels, you may not want to feed to your dog if they have liver problems. You’ll want to remove the husk or only buy the kernels prior to adding to your dog’s food. Because it is high in fat, you may want to store them in the refrigerator.
4. Hemp Seeds
Hemp seeds are high in protein have are an easily digestible way that dogs can get additional immune system support. It is often said that they have the perfect 3:1 ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 fatty acids, as well as iron, magnesium, calcium, and zinc. The linoleic acid (Omega 6) will help improve your dog’s coat, making it shinier and smoother while helping to nourish its skin.
In addition to improving digestion, hemp seeds and hemp oil are often used to relieve joint pain and inflammation, as well as supporting heart health and wellness. These small seeds really do pack a punch, helping add a ton of value to your dog’s diet.
5. Sesame Seeds
Sesame seeds have a lot of benefits. They can help control high blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and prevent liver damage. You can even use sesame oil to help heal cracked and damaged paw pads! Sesame seeds are able to accomplish all of this because they are high in copper, protein, magnesium, manganese, selenium, calcium, phosphorous, and fiber – plus all the best Omega 6 fatty acids that bring great benefits to your dog’s diet.
Your dog can eat these sesame seeds toasted or plain, even mixed with olive oil to help mash it and make a paste. Your dog will gobble these small seeds up when sprinkled over their food, reaping great health benefits with each bite.
6. Flax Seeds
Flax seeds are high in fiber, as well as Omega 3 essential fatty acids. Your dog’s coat will be shinier, smoother, and softer. They have great anti-inflammatory properties and can help keep your dog’s skin clearer.
Flax seeds should ground before your dog eats them so they can get the most out of the seeds, but they can also eat flaxseed oil. If you give them the oil, they will get a great dose of magnesium and vitamin B1, but keep in mind that they will lose the fiber found in the seed. You may want to refrigerate the seeds based on the form you are delivering the great benefits in to help prolong its shelf life.
Quinoa is a super grain that is a complete protein. That means that it contains all nine essential amino acids. Quinoa is also high in fiber and unsaturated fats, as well as vitamin E and B6, folic acid, magnesium, manganese, zinc, copper, potassium, riboflavin, thiamin, and niacin. This is a great alternative to corn, wheat, and soy because of its nutritional facts.
If your dog has arthritis or kidney issues, you should not give these seeds to your dog. Quinoa is high in naturally occurring oxalates, which are known to aggravate these underlying health issues in dogs. To serve, simply toasted them and sprinkle them over your dog’s food.
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The Truth About Giving Your Dogs Seeds
Pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, hemp, chia, flax, and quinoa are all good seeds that you can give your dog to add more nutrition to their diets. These can provide national solutions to help treat health conditions in dogs, including high cholesterol, promote heart health, reduce inflammation in joints, and so much more – this really only scratches the surface!
Because of this, many pet owners choose to sprinkle seeds over their dog’s food to add a little bit more oomph to the meal. Now, you will want to make sure that you introduce the seeds slowly so that your dog can get used to them. Adding a lot too fast will cause more discomfort in your dog, including diarrhea, which is no fun for anyone!
There are a lot of different nutrients mentioned above and think about adding seeds to your dog’s food as similar to giving yourself a multivitamin. These nutritious seeds will have an immediate impact on your dog’s health, adding critical nutrients that they aren’t otherwise getting in their current food.
Now, prior to adding these to your dog’s diet, you will want to consult with your vet. They will be able to answer any questions you may have, recommend which seeds would be best for your vet, and give you suggestions on how to integrate these useful seeds into your dog’s diet. It’s just as simple as just dumping it on the food after all!
The benefits of the seven seeds above are only scratching the surface of what they can offer your dog – and the best part is that your dog will perceive it as a treat, so they won’t even know they are eating something that’s really good for them! So as you start to think about supplementing your dog’s diet with one of the seven nutritious seeds outlined above, consider what you want to achieve and go from there! Your dog will thank you for their continued and strengthened health over time – just from eating some seeds!
Family Dog Expert Author
Hi there! I’m Stuart, a devoted dog lover and family dog expert with over a decade of experience working with our furry companions. My passion for dogs drives me to share my knowledge and expertise, helping families build strong, loving bonds with their four-legged friends. When I’m not writing for SirDoggie, you’ll find me hiking, playing with my beautiful dog, or studying music.