Chia seeds are a true all-rounder in healthy eating. The small seeds contain loads of valuable nutrients that are just as important for dogs as they are for humans. But what makes chia so healthy for four-legged friends and how can your dog benefit from chia seeds in dog food? Here you can find out everything about superfoods.
What are Chia Seeds and Why are They so Healthy?
Chia seeds are small, brown seeds that are reminiscent of flax seeds when dry. However, they take up significantly more water than other seeds and swell strongly in connection with liquid. Chia is considered a superfood primarily because of its high content of important omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish, among other things. The superfood is therefore considered to be a low-fat and healthy alternative to feed supplements such as salmon oil. The seeds are also gluten-free and therefore suitable for dogs with gluten intolerance.
Chia Seeds: Nutrients at a Glance
- Chia seeds are particularly low in calories with 486 calories per 100 grams.
- They contain large amounts of fiber: around 34 grams per 100 grams.
- Chia has a high content of important omega-3 fatty acids.
- The seeds are high in calcium, iron, and magnesium.
- The superfood contains cell-protecting antioxidants such as phenolic acids.
What Effect Does Chia Have on the Dog?
The valuable ingredients of the small seeds can support the health of your fur nose in many ways. The superfood has a positive effect on the immune system, but also on skin and fur as well as gastrointestinal health. The high moisture retention and the large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids can alleviate various complaints in the dog and contribute to the well-being of the animal. This is how chia works in dogs:
- The coat gets a natural and healthy shine.
- The skin is cared for.
- Gastrointestinal complaints such as diarrhea are alleviated.
- The seeds inhibit inflammation in the body.
- The blood sugar level is regulated and diabetes is counteracted.
- The metabolism is improved and the immune system is strengthened.
- Chia has a filling effect and helps against obesity in dogs.
How Can You Prepare Chia for the Dog?
Chia seeds have a very special property: they absorb a lot of liquid and when swollen they reach about nine times their weight. If you want to give your dog chia, you should always soak the seeds in plenty of water first. If the dry semen is fed to the dog, it deprives the dog of fluids in the digestive tract and this can lead to digestive problems and constipation. The swollen mass can simply be mixed into the dog food.
Chia offers your pet a tasty and healthy variety in both wet food and barfish.
Some types of food available in stores already contain chia seeds as a valuable ingredient. If this is the case, you should forego an additional dose of the power seeds.
How Many Chia Seeds Can the Dog Eat?
Dogs can eat chia regularly in small amounts. As with many superfoods and complementary feeds, the small seeds must also be fed about once a week. So that the little all-rounders can develop their full effect, give your dog about 0.5 to 1 gram of chia per 10 kilograms of body weight. 3 grams of chia seeds roughly correspond to a dose of one level teaspoon. In small quantities, chia is also suitable as a healthy snack between meals, for example in homemade dog biscuits.
Can Chia Harm the Dog?
Despite its many health benefits, chia seeds are not suitable for all dogs. The seeds are said to have blood-thinning and antihypertensive effects, which can lead to side effects. If your four-legged friend suffers from a blood clotting disorder or is about to have an operation, you should not be given chia. Even with dogs with low blood pressure or poor circulation, you should clarify in advance with the veterinarian whether the superfood is suitable for your fur nose.