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Natural Canine Health Symposium

Chia For Pets

Chia seeds dog

When someone says “Chia”, what’s the first thing that pops into your mind? For millions, the answer is “Chia Pet!” Many probably have the “ch-ch-ch-CHIA” song rolling around in their heads right now. What many don’t know is that Chia has more uses than just “pets that grow”. Chia is incredibly nutritious and truly deserves the “superfood” label.

Chia, or Salvia Hispanica, is known today as the forgotten crop. Domesticated in 2.600 BC, chia is a flowering plant native to southern Mexico and Central America. It was cultivated by the Mayans and Aztecs and one of the main foods of their diet and was even used as trade currency. Aztec warriors and runners are said to have sustained themselves on just a tablespoon of chia seeds a day, providing them with abundant energy and endurance.

Because of the plant’s ability to increase stamina and energy over long periods, chia seeds were considered quite magical. Due to its superior nutritional value, chia became a holy seed among these ancient civilizations, used in religious ceremonies and offered to their gods.

Related to the mint plant family, there are two varieties, white chia and black chia. Chia oil is a component of many ointments due to its emollient properties. Each seed is potent enough to prevent infections, with 19-23% protein, which is gluten free, 34% oil and 25% fiber. Chia seeds offer an excellent source of B vitamins and they are loaded with important Omega-3, 6 and 9 fatty acids and antioxidants.

Omega Fatty Acids

Chia has 3 times the amount of Omega-3 fatty acids as salmon! Omega-3 is important to balance out Omega-6 fatty acids and promotes healthy:

• Cells
• Immune system
• Skin and coat
• Joints
• Brain development and maintenance
• Eye development and maintenance
• Growth

And it reduces inflammation too. Two tablespoons of chia seeds provide a 3 to 1 ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6. fatty acids


Increasing dietary fiber can help when bowel movements are a concern. Fiber will alleviate constipation, generate regularity and help in weight loss. Dogs that suffer from impacted anal sacs will also benefit from more fiber. Chia seeds provide 34 grams of fiber per 100 grams of seeds.

Endurance, Weight Loss And Diabetes Support In One Package

Chia can absorb 10 times its own weight in water and generates a gel which can be consumed. The gel slows the conversion of carbohydrates into sugars. Stable blood sugar levels contribute to naturally high levels of energy. By doing so, chia supports normal insulin function and sensitivity, blood sugar regulation and glucose tolerance. The added benefit of slowing down digestion enables full absorption of nutrients while dogs feel satiated longer.

Due to the highly absorbent qualities of chia, fresh water should always be available.

And More

Chia contains more calcium than whole milk, more iron than raw spinach and more magnesium than broccoli.   Chia is non-allergenic too and an excellent source of phosphorus, potassium, copper, iron and zinc.


Chia stores very easily for long durations, unlike it’s competitor flax seed. There is no taste or scent for even the pickiest of dogs to turn their noses up at. The dosage is quite potent, with only 1 tablespoon for small dogs or 2 tablespoons for large, or 1/4 teaspoon for every 10 pounds of your dogs body weight. Feed in seed form, soaked in water or ground; sprinkle on top or mix into food. Look for milled, organic chia seeds whenever possible.


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12 Responses to Chia For Pets

  1. Dobby's Closet

    I am a dog. When someone says “Chia” the first thing I think is “Chia-huahua!”

    Thank you for encouraging my human to introduce me to yet one more form of food I would not be able to scavenge on my own.

  2. MIchelle O'Neill

    Thoughts on this article regarding chia seeds in humans. What worries me is high phosphorous concentrations found in chia seeds. This revealing marker tells us that chia seeds are concentrated sources of phytate, an antinutrient that binds many minerals (calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium and copper) thereby making them unavailable for absorption. http://thepaleodiet.com/seed-fatty-acid-composition/

  3. Michelle

    Have there been any studies regarding the digestion/absorption rate of chia specific to a dog? There continues to be great controversy around the use of flax with a dog and whether or not they actually derive benefits from it. Chia is the “cool, new thing” but would like to know the science behind it in regards to a dog’s digestive tract.

    Also, hopefully everyone reading the article will read the comments and notice BNatural’s comment regarding the seeds being sprouted. Unsprouted, they are actually enzyme inhibitors. :(

    • Michelle

      I have the same question. An article written by a treat manufacturer with no credentials or studies to back it up leaves a big question. I’m pretty sure wolves aren’t eating chia seeds so I’m not so certain they’re something my dogs need.

  4. Wow this is incredible! I’ve used chia seeds in smoothies etc. for years for their energy benefits, but great to know I can share with the dogs too. They’ll be getting a scoop in their dinners tonight in fact :)

  5. Bnatural

    One very important thing to mention is the crucial step most people forget to do. Our ancestors remembered to always soak our seeds nuts legumes and grains in apple cider vinegar, lemon or salted water(1tbsp of any of those) for 7-24+ hours to remove the phytic acid and allow for better digestion and actual nutrient absorbtion(a lot of food we eat in the American diet contains nutrients that our body can’t even absorb due to improper preparation methods).

    Lucky for us, there are already brands of sprouted chia at the health food store. I have found brands of sprouted grains and legumes too.. Haven’t found sprouted nuts yet but I just make them at home. P.s. after sprouting grains and legumes, you must cook them slowly to further remove phytic acid. Don’t eat sprouted chick peas, lentils etc.. Just like that in a salad, cook them. Oatmeal can’t just be soaked then baked. It must be soaked then cooked(there is no healthy granola). Soak your grain, then combine it with yogurt or lemon water etc..mand let rise for 24hrs, bake, and don’t eat too much grain anyways. Sugars and grains in small amounts, any more and you will be promoting bad bacteria growth. This advice is good for animals and people.

    • paula

      So just soaking the chia seeds in water is not enough??? I still need to cook them, or mix with lemon??? I’m so confused….

  6. Marilyn Evans

    same concern as Paula above. My dog weighs 60 lb, which I would think qualifies as a large dog. By one standard in the article, I would give her 2 tablespoons. By the 1/4 tsp per 10 pounds standard, I would give her 1 1/2 teaspoons– 1/4 of the other dose. We need clarification.

    • Hi Paula and Marilyn,
      I am Queny the Author of the article and Owner & Founder of http://www.savvybeasttreats.com homemade Dogstars. made with the superfood Chia
      I see you a bit confused about how much Chia to give your pooch.
      I have one small dog and one medium. Dog. I give 1 tablespoon of Chia mix with food for each dog. If you have a large dog I would start with one tablespoon and increase to two tablespoon, make sure you mix it with food.

  7. paula

    I’m confused on the dosage. 1/4 teaspoon for 10 lbs of dog weight would mean 1 full teaspoon for a 40lb dog. I’m not sure what they consider a “small dog” but at that calculation, the 1 tablespoon would be for 120lb dog. Not small, in my opinion. Perhaps there was confusion between teaspoon and tablespoon in the article?? Please advise. THANK YOU!!

  8. Jeri Kastner

    are they still useful if cooked into a biscuit recipe?

    • They just like any other seed , they are wonderful for baking, they keep all the nutrient and oils.
      Specially omegas 3,6,9 and protein.

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