There's a growing awareness that food is medicine and the same is true for humans as is our pets. The benefits of seeds, nuts and legumes in our diets is widely sprouted, I mean, touted by nutritionist and dieticians as an excellent way to maintain a healthy and diverse gut bacteria. Our dogs can also benefit from the inclusion of seeds. Here are the top six super seeds to include in our dog's diet.
Chia Seeds - packed with Omega 3 essential fatty acids, calcium and protein these little guys are a power packed addition to your dog's meal. Sprinkle over food mixed with some healthy oil, like coconut or flaxseed, or mix with a little water and freeze in ice cube trays for a deliciously nutritious iced dog treat.
Best ground just before feeding, the fabulous Flaxseed is another great source of Omega 3 essential fatty acid and also high in fibre. Flaxseeds are best stored in the fridge as they're slightly higher in oil than other seeds which can make them turn a little faster. Speaking of the oil, Flaxseed oil makes a beautiful, healthy addition to a dog's meal giving a magnesium and Vitamin B1 boost.
Sometimes called Pepitas, Pumpkin Seeds are an excellent source of zinc, iron, potassium, fibre and healthy fats. They're delicious roasted or fresh (yes, delicious for ours and our dog's diet), and can be added to wet or dry food chopped, ground or whole. When ground, they make a great addition to roll meatballs in - just like your very own doggie bliss balls.
Hemp seeds are a lessor known seed that's growing in popularity (for good reason). Heralded as having the perfect 3:1 ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 fatty acids, Hemp Seeds and Hemp Seed oil are highly digestible by dogs. They will super charge your dog's dinner with high linoleic acid for a shinier, smoother coat and more nourished skin. Hemp is packed full of iron, magnesium, calcium and zinc for vital immune-building assistance. Pumpkin and hemp seeds make a great alternative to peanut butter and can be used to fill your dog's kong for an anti-oxidant boost.
An excellent source of Vitamin E, iron and copper, Sunflower Seeds are great for your dog's health. When incorporating into your dog's diet, it is recommended however that you remove the black husk, or buy Sunflower Kernels before adding to your dog's meals. Try adding to meatballs or baked into your homemade dog biscuits.
Last, but certainly not least, are Sesame Seeds. They may be tiny, but they pack a punch when it comes to calcium and protein as well as those all important Omega 6 essential fatty acids. You can toast them or serve raw, simply sprinkled over your dog's dinner.