We’re all about those super healthy food trends that are happening lately, especially for our four-legged friends. There’s everything from super yummy chewy treats like these ones: Healthy Edible Treats to antioxidant-rich supplements like this one to help your dog’s tail wag even more!
But there’s one thing that has some pet owners on the fence, and that’s hemp. Contrary to popular (or should we say ‘pup’-ular?) belief, hemp is actually good for your dog. It’s one of the oldest and most versatile plants out there, and the health benefits are pretty amazing. Compared to fish oil, hemp seed oil has the perfect ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 fatty acids. Both are essential fatty acids, which pretty much means that your dog can’t make them on his own, and needs to get these nutrients from other sources in their diet. Hemp seeds also have a high content of an Omega-6 fatty acid called gamma linolenic acid, or GLA. GLA is pretty awesome and has a ton of health benefits for your pup.
First, GLA is believed to fight cancer. Folks at the American Cancer Society say that there is some evidence that people with cancer don’t make enough GLA. GLA is also a conditional fatty acid, although dogs can make this acid, it’s common that they don’t make enough of it and may need more of it in their diet. It also helps to reduce inflammation in dogs. Which brings us to our next point…
GLA reduces joint pain. All that running and jumping that Fido does everyday can soon take a toll on their joints. GLA can actually reduce arthritis symptoms by up to 25%, according to the Journal of Arthritis and Rheumatology. It also improves a pup’s skin and coat, giving it that awesome shine that we all want for our dogs.
But before you go adding hemp seed oil to everything that your dog eats, a word of caution: hemp seed oil is a polyunsaturated fat. Polyunsaturated fats have unstable oils, which can change when heat is added. So if you cook food for your dog, you won’t want to add hemp seed oil while it’s hot or cooking, as this changes the structure of the fat. As a result, the oil can become rancid and cause problems with your dog’s digestive system. Also, if your pup eats a lot of poultry, hemp seed oil might not be the way to go. Since chicken is already high in polyunsaturated fats, it’s important to keep that in mind when you’re looking to add hemp seed oil. As for the dosage, the recommendation is a teaspoon of hemp seed oil for every pound or pound and a quarter of food.
What are your favorite doggy superfoods and what works for your pup? Let us know in the comments below because we love hearing from you! And be sure to sign up for our digital doggy newsletter to get pawsome articles like this delivered right to your inbox!