They may be small, but hemp seeds sure are mighty when it comes to keeping your dog healthy. Packed with protein and boasting an optimal balance of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids to help keep your pup’s skin, coat and joints in tip-top condition, hemp seeds get our tick of approval.
Why are hemp seeds good for your pup?
Hemp seeds are rich in protein
Like us, pups need protein to form new skin cells, grow hair and build muscle tissue. But it doesn’t stop there. Protein also helps create hormones and enzymes that are needed for normal bodily functions. Not all protein is the same though, and it’s the quality that’s important when it comes to your pup’s food. Protein is made up of different amino acids, and our furry friends need 22 of these essential building blocks. Some amino acids can be made by the body, but approximately half need to come from the food that your pup eats. Deficiencies of any of the essential amino acids over time can lead to health problems, for example, low levels of the amino acids, cystine and methionine, can lead to low levels of taurine, which is linked to canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).
Hemp seeds have a balanced omega 3:6 ratio
Omega 6s are inflammatory, so it’s important that they’re kept in balance alongside anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. At Lyka, we keep the omega 3:6 ratio between 3:1 and 2:1 – it’s much lower than the 30:1 ratio recommended by the AAFCO dog food standards, but we do this to avoid the pro-inflammatory risks, such as joint inflammation, which is associated with high levels of omega 6. Also good to know – omega 3s are especially great for skin and bone health!
Hemp seeds are a source of magnesium
Magnesium is a key nutrient that’s involved in energy production at a cellular level – the heart can’t function without it, and it’s also needed for muscle movement and nervous system signalling.
Hemp seeds contain phosphorus
Apart from being a component of your dog's DNA, phosphorus plays a major role in bone health. The latest AAFCO guidelines (they’re the nutritional standards for dog foods) recommend that the ratio of calcium to phosphorus should fall within 1:1 – 1.6:1. At Lyka, our in-house vet has designed all of our meals so that the ratio sits at the lower end of this scale (at 1.2 -1.3 calcium to 1 phosphorus). This leaves room for giving your dog additional bones now and then, without exceeding calcium limits which would put your dog at risk of hip dysplasia. You should check with your vet first before giving your dog bones.
You can find hemp seeds in our Grass-Fed Lamb Bowl.