Dog Nutrition: Can Dogs Eat Hemp Seeds?

April 5, 2024

Written By: Earth Buddy Team

Wooden spoon with a pile of hemp seeds scattered about. Read this blog to learn about the benefits of hemp seed for dogs

Hemp seeds, harvested from the hemp plant known as Cannabis sativa, have become known as a “superfood” for humans, but can dogs eat hemp seeds? These small yet mighty seeds are brimming with essential nutrients, which could make them an excellent addition to our dog’s diet. A significant number of dog owners aren’t sure, mainly because they’re worried about their dog experiencing adverse effects from the THC in marijuana plants.

Can Dogs Eat Hemp Seeds?

Ultimately, the answer is yes. Our dogs can eat hemp seeds. In fact, hemp seeds are a nutritional powerhouse not only for us, but also for dogs. They do come from the Cannabis sativa plant, which is known to be a fairly tall herb with seed-producing flowers.

All parts of the plant can be used for something, but for our purposes here, we’re going to talk about the seeds from the hemp plant.

Differences Between Hemp Hearts and Hemp Seeds

Hemp seeds have a protective covering that helps reduce the effects of normally induced environmental stress. Unlike hemp seeds, hemp hearts no longer have that protective shell, and they’re often known as being unhulled. The shell being removed aids in the absorption and digestion of the nutrients inside.

You can think of this as the heart being inside as you’re looking through products. If you see hemp seed, remember seeds have shells. But if you’re looking for hemp hearts, remember that hearts are inside the body, which may help you remember that hemp hearts don’t have that protective covering.

The Amino Acid Profile of Hemp Seeds

Organic hemp plants used in Earth Buddy’s best CBD for dogs and cats. Hemp can also be grown for seed to benefit dogs.

Unlike many plant-based protein sources, hemp seeds contain all nine essential amino acids. These essential amino acids are the building blocks of protein and, since all nine are available within hemp seeds, they’re considered to be a complete protein source.

The hemp seeds’ comprehensive amino acid profile ensures that dogs can attain a level of protein that promotes muscle integrity and definition and overall health, making unhulled hemp seeds an exceptional choice for pet owners looking to enhance their dog’s diet with plant protein.

The inclusion of these seeds from the hemp plant can be especially beneficial for dogs on a vegetarian diet or those with specific dietary needs that necessitate a higher protein intake.

Feeding Your Dog Hemp Seeds as a Source of Dietary Fiber

Beyond their protein content, hemp seeds are an excellent source of dietary fiber, which plays a crucial role in supporting digestive tract health in dogs. Adequate fiber in a dog’s diet can help support normal bowel function, balance the animal’s intestinal microflora, and support proper weight management by promoting a feeling of fullness after meals.

Essential Fatty Acids Are One Of the Benefits Of Hemp Seeds

Hemp seedling planted on Earth Buddy’s hemp farm in Colorado. Learn more about the benefits of hemp seeds for dogs' gut.

Essential fatty acids, omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids, are healthy fats (when balanced appropriately) that neither our body nor our dog’s can produce on its own. This means they need to be supplied by the diet, otherwise there won’t be any for the body to use.

These essential fatty acids, and them being balanced, are important for enhancing your pet’s brain function and promoting normal healthy brain activity, supporting normal inflammatory pathways, and supporting normal red blood cell health. They also support the immune system and promote skin quality and coat health.

A Helpful Sprinkle of Vitamins and Minerals

Hemp seeds are rich in essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron, and zinc. Vitamin E, for example, provides antioxidant protection. Antioxidants have been shown to aid in the elimination of unstable oxygen molecules called free radicals.

Minerals like calcium and phosphorus are vital for helping build and maintain bones and teeth. Another mineral, magnesium, has a long list of helpful benefits, including helping support glucose metabolism, supporting normal nerve and brain function, and promoting a sense of relaxation and mental alertness without drowsiness.

Benefits of Hemp Hearts for Dogs

Australian shepherd sniffing Earth Buddy’s best cbd dog treats for pain in pumpkin flavor. Hemp seeds hold nitric oxide.

Before you take a look through the health benefits, it’s important to remember that these can only be unlocked if you take off that protective covering. What you’ll want to look for is hemp hearts. Earth Buddy Pet’s Blueberry Hemp Hearts do not contain actual hemp hearts, but rather are in the shape of a heart.

Actual hemp hearts remove the shell rather than seeds that still have the shell. If you provide the seeds with their shells still on, there is a high probability that your pup won’t have access to the nutrients associated with the benefits.

Supporting Joint Health and Improving Mobility

Since hemp hearts can promote normal inflammatory pathways, properties found in these seeds are sought out for dogs who need to ease joint stiffness due to normal daily exercise and activity.

The gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) in hemp seeds, which is known for its ability to support normal inflammatory pathways, is thought to be responsible for helping maintain healthy joints and connective tissue. Such nutritional support not only helps with occasional discomfort but also normal physical and mental performance, promoting long-term health.

Add Hemp Seeds For Brain Health

The cognitive advantages offered by hemp hearts or unhulled hemp seeds also deserve attention. These seeds contain ingredients known to support a healthy brain, with fatty acids being among the most crucial. An appropriate balance of omega-3 and omega-6 is essential for supporting normal nerve conduction and memory recall, along with other responsibilities to maintain the nervous system and overall health of all breeds.

Omega-3 fatty acids, for instance, are key in supporting the maintenance of cell membranes in the brain, facilitating normal nerve conduction. This means that signals between brain cells are transmitted more efficiently, providing support to the central nervous system. Omega-3 fatty acids also help decrease normal inflammatory pathways which helps keep animals in peak condition.

Omega-6 fatty acids work in tandem with omega-3s to support brain health. They are involved in supporting healthy inflammatory pathways and promoting the integrity of neuronal membranes, which are important for supporting normal brain and nerve function within the nervous system.

Giving Hemp Seeds For a Healthy Skin and Coat

The omega-3 fatty acids in hemp seeds contribute to the health and beauty of a dog’s skin and coat. By incorporating unhulled hemp seeds into their diet, there is added nutritional support for healthy coats resulting in a glossier, healthier coat. This not only makes for a more attractive appearance but also helps maintain the normal moisture content of skin.

Adding Hemp Hearts to Pet Food For Digestive Health

Due to the noteworthy fiber content, hemp hearts may be able to support normal GI health and function. Nutritional fiber can also support proper balance of normal intestinal flora and helps maintain a healthy intestinal tract.

Since it works as a digestive aid, it may also help support the protective layers of the bowel and assist in the absorption and digestion of nutrients. This type of support can help maintain optimal health providing supporting nutrients for the health of aging animals.

Cardiovascular Health Benefits of Hemp

Unhulled hemp seeds contain a significant amount of magnesium which can help support normal heart and vasculature functioning when added to your pet’s food. They can help promote normal circulation and support normal blood pressure. By supporting blood pressure and heart health, hemp hearts and unhulled hemp seeds also support normal function of the cardiac muscle.

Supporting the Immune System

Vitamins and minerals found in unhulled hemp seeds or hemp seed oil can prove helpful in supporting immune health. Zinc and vitamin E alone can help support the immune system promoting the body’s innate resistance to pathogens. Hemp hearts also hemp the immune system by supporting normal detoxification processes which may also enhance the immune response.

Safety of Hemp Seeds for Dogs

Understanding the safety of hemp seeds for dogs is crucial for pet owners who are considering this nutritious addition to their pet’s diet. Hemp seeds come from the Cannabis sativa plant but they lack THC, the psychoactive compound responsible for the effects associated with marijuana. If you’re among the group of pet parents concerned about their dog getting that classic “high” associated with the marijuana plant, you can rest easy knowing the component responsible isn’t there.

Giving Your Dog Hemp Hearts

There isn’t exactly a standard amount you should provide your dog with. As with any other nutritional element, it’s wise to provide the lowest amount possible for maximum benefits. If you’re providing hemp hearts as solids rather than an oil or hemp treat, you should stick right around 1 tablespoon per day for adult dogs.

Puppies generally shouldn’t have any more than half of a tablespoon. These recommendations can vary depending on weight and age, so asking your holistic veterinarian prior to adding hemp hearts to their diet could prove helpful.

Using Hemp Seed Oil Instead of Hemp Hearts

The unhulled hemp seeds are packed with beneficial components, including fatty acids, essential amino acids, vitamins, and nutrients. However, they lack cannabinoids such as CBD, CBN, CBG, or CBDA. So if you’re hoping to incorporate cannabinoids, you’ll want to search for products that utilize hemp seed oil to add to your dog’s healthy diet.

Hemp oil is extracted from the plant’s flowers and leaves, which are rich in cannabinoids, terpenes, and polyphenols, offering a different set of uses and benefits of hemp. When it comes to hemp seed oil, a dosage of a teaspoon per 1.2 pounds of the dog’s food has been found beneficial, providing a rich source of omega fatty acids without overfeeding.

How to Incorporate Hemp Hearts or Hemp Oil to Your Dog’s Diet

White german shepherd sitting for a Earth Buddy Hemp Heart with full-spectrum cbd for dogs with anxiety & joint pain.

Incorporating hemp seeds into your dog’s diet can be both simple and versatile. Sprinkling unhulled hemp seeds over your dog’s regular meals or mixing them into nut butter can make for an enticing and nutritious addition. For those looking to get creative, hemp seeds can also be included in homemade dog treats, offering a fun and healthy way to add a nutty flavor to their goodies and pamper your pet.

Given the variety of forms in which hemp seeds are available – including whole seeds, hemp seed oil, and as ingredients in commercial pet products – there’s flexibility in how you can introduce your dog to hemp seeds. This versatility ensures that regardless of your dog’s preferences or dietary restrictions, there’s a way to incorporate the nutritional benefits of hemp seeds into their daily routine.

Mixing In Hemp Extract for Dogs

Earth Buddy adds hemp extract for dogs to hemp heart products. There are various amounts of CBD for dogs in each treat available: 4mg, 5mg, 8mg, or 10mg. It’s recommended to start low and go slow when it comes to whole hemp plant extract, offering the minimal amount that produces the most effective benefits for your individual dog.

Bottle of Earth Buddy’s Quick Calm CBD spray for dogs & cats contains fast-acting cbd for dogs with separation anxiety.

Start out with the lower CBD dosage for dogs before moving straight to the high CBD dosage for dogs so you’re providing only what is needed. The best CBD for dogs is extracted using supercritical Co2 retaining as many of the original components as possible which is what Earth Buddy utilizes for full spectrum hemp extracts.

There aren’t any artificial flavors or fillers in any of the products which you can verify through their lab results. The hemp hearts, containing both hemp hearts and full spectrum hemp extract, are cooked low and slow for optimal quality. If you’re looking for the best CBD for dogs, ensuring that the company hasn’t cooked the product at high temperatures is important. Ingredients within any food product may be destroyed which can cause them to lose nutritional value.

Check Out The Quality of Nutritional Supplements

Just as with any other food or dietary supplement, not all hemp hearts are created equal. Quality also matters; selecting high-grade, organic hemp seeds or hemp hearts ensures your pet avoids unwanted chemicals or additives. Fortunately, there are some companies that offer a certificate of analysis, AKA their lab results, for you to review. If they aren’t available, you can give them a call and request they send them to you.

Founder of Earth Buddy Pet, Sean, planting seedlings on their organic hemp farm in colorado. Try our cbd for dogs today

Earth Buddy has a firm belief in full transparency, so if you’re interested in seeing what lab results look like or you have interest in a particular product, you can look through the lab results page. Once you get to the webpage, you’ll see a list of products to choose from with each having its own analysis. Check out the analysis to see exactly what is in each product and how much there is. You should follow a similar process when looking for other products as well.

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