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Whenever I add a food or supplement to my dogs' raw diet, I'm doing so to support gut health and boost the immune system. A friend of mine has a dog with mobility issues and she shared that she added fermented hemp seeds to her dog's diet and the next day he was up and walking around. She wasn't sure if it was the hemp seeds, but my curiosity was stoked so I began researching the benefits of hemp seeds.
Benefits of Hemp Seeds for Dogs
There are a lot of benefits for humans and the ones that stood out as something great for my dogs included:
- hemp seeds are a great source of protein
- hemp seeds may support heart health
- hemp seeds may support digestive health
- hemp seeds are a great source of fiber
- hemp seeds promote anti-inflammatory responses in the body
- hemp seeds promote brain health, which is great for aging dogs
Nutrients in Hemp Seeds
Hemp seeds are rich in the following nutrients:
- Vitamin E
Buying Hemp Seeds for Dogs
Hemp seeds aren't cheap, however, thankfully a little goes a long way. I prefer to buy hemp seeds locally rather than online. With the boom of the CBD and hemp seed oil market, I worry about the quality and I trust local sources more than mystery companies that sell online.
I fill a bag at the local grocery store every other month for $15.59/lb. Wow! Right? My shopping trip includes the following seeds and costs about $10.54 every two months:
- 1/2 pound of hulled hemp seeds
- 1/2 pound of raw, shelled sunflower seeds
- 1/4 pound of raw, shelled pumpkin seeds
I buy fewer pumpkin seeds because you don't need much to promote gut health and feeding too much can be rough on the gut. I don’t use all of these seeds at once; instead, I mix up a small jar of fermented feeds as I need them.
Fermenting Hemp Seeds for Dogs
Fermenting hemp seeds is crazy easy. In fact, fermenting seeds for my dogs is easy and I often combine other seeds with the hemp seeds (sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds).
Steps to Fermenting Hemp Seeds
- Put seeds in a glass jar.
- Fill the jar with water to cover the seeds.
- Set jar on the counter for 24-36 hours; I usually do 36 hours.
The next day you have fermented seeds. Yeah, it's just that easy.
Storing Fermented Seeds
When I make fermented seeds, I use a small jar, approximately 8 ounces. After the 36 hours, I store them in the fridge, adding them to my dogs’ meal several days a week. I usually go through a small jar in under two weeks.
Although the seeds are fermented, I have found that if I make too much, they will go bad. I think some people think they’ll continue fermenting (which they do) and never go bad. If air gets trapped in the jar, then mold will eventually start growing.
How Much of the Fermented Seeds do I Give to My Dogs?
I add about a 1/2 tablespoon to Rodrigo and Sydney's meals. I started with them because of my friend's experience with her dog. My seniors have had a history of arthritis and mobility issues for years and I thought the hemp seeds would be a great addition to their diet.
I plan to incorporate fermented hemp seeds into all of my dogs' diet because I now ferment several seeds together, which benefits all of the dogs.
I mix the seeds into my dogs' meals every other day; not daily. There is no reason for this, it's just a routine I created for feeding the dogs.
Side Effects of Feeding Hemp Seeds to Dogs
There is a misconception that hemp seeds will make humans (or dogs) high. Although hemp seeds are derived from the cannabis plant, they don't contain THC, the ingredient that gives the mind-altering effect. At this time, I haven't found any negative side effects of hemp seeds for dogs.
However, for humans, it's important to be known that some drug tests don't differentiate between hemp and THC and if you add hemp seeds to your diet and are drug tested, a test may come up positive.