Seeds and nuts for dogs: Benefits & how to feed

Seeds and Nuts for Dogs: Benefits & How to Feed

Let’s talk seeds and nuts for dogs!

After all, they’re jam packed with nutrients that are beneficial to our pups.

For example, did you know that nuts and seeds are the richest plant sources of Vitamin E?

Additionally, they can close nutritional holes in raw-fed dogs if you’re not able to rotate your food sources a bunch.

For example, you can balance the abundance of Omega-6 essential fatty acids in poultry and farmed ruminants with chia seeds, flax seeds or hemp seeds as they are rich in Omega-3 essential fatty acids.

But what seeds and nuts are good for dogs?

That’s what we’ll cover in this blog post:

  • What seeds can you feed dogs?
  • What nuts can you feed dogs?
  • Benefits of seeds and nuts for dogs
  • How to safely feed nuts and seeds for dogs
  • Dog foods that have seeds in their ingredient list

Seeds and Nuts for Dogs: Benefits & How to Feed

Seeds and nuts for dogs: Benefits and how to feed

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links. I may earn compensation when you click on the links at no additional cost to you.

What Seeds Can You Feed Dogs + Health Benefits of Seeds for Dogs

There are a variety of seeds that are not only safe for dogs to eat but super healthy, too!

For example:

  • Pumpkin seeds. Rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, manganese, zinc and fiber. Help support skin & digestive health and help get rid of intestinal worms.
  • Chia seeds. Rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, fiber & protein. Reduce inflammation, regulate blood sugar and support digestive health.
  • Flax seeds. Rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, phytochemicals lignans, magnesium and fiber. Reduce inflammation, support heart health & digestive health, and also help block tumor growth.
Benefits of seeds for dogs
  • Hemp seeds and hearts (hearts are de-shelled seeds). Rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, manganese, fiber & protein. Support digestive health, skin and coat health and has anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Sesame seeds. Rich in copper, B vitamins and fiber. Dogs who eat sesame seeds get digestive support and benefit from reduced inflammation.
  • Dog Sunflower seeds. Rich in Vitamin E & B Vitamins with anti-oxidant properties for strong immune systems.
  • Fenugreek seeds. Help improve digestion and appetite in picky eaters, reduce inflammation, manage coat and skin issues. Increase milk production in lactating dogs. You can also get organic fenugreek seed capsules from

What Nuts Can You Feed Dogs + Health Benefits of Nuts for Dogs

Likewise, dogs can eat a variety of de-shelled nuts.

The following nuts are safe for dogs to eat as long as they haven’t been roasted or salted:

  • Almonds. Rich in fiber, Vitamin E, magnesium and manganese. Help treat sinus infections, cough and dry eye.
  • English walnuts. Rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. Help support kidney function.
  • Brazil nuts. Rich in selenium and magnesium. Support a healthy metabolism and thyroid.
  • Pine nuts. They’re also known as seeds, but it made more sense for me to include them in the nut group! Rich in manganese, magnesium, iron and zinc with antioxidant properties that help support heart health.
  • Pistachios. They’re rich in B vitamins and phosphorus and help support heart and brain health.
  • Hazelnuts. They’re rich in fiber, vitamin E, manganese and copper that help support heart and skin health.
  • Chestnuts. They’re rich in fiber, manganese, B vitamins, vitamin C and copper with antioxidant properties.
  • Cashews. Rich in magnesium, manganese, zinc and copper, they help support heart health and the digestive system.
Benefits of nuts for dogs

Odd “nuts”:

  • Peanuts – not actually a nut but a legume, similar to peas. They’re rich in copper, manganese, B Vitamins and Vitamin E and help support heart health and a healthy skin.

Nuts that are toxic for dogs are macadamia nuts, black walnuts and pecans, so never feed those!

How to Safely Feed Seeds and Nuts for Dogs

In raw feeding, seeds and nuts fall into the 10% plant matter category and can make up about 2% within that category (alongside veggies & fruit).

It’s important to understand that all nuts are very rich in fats, so stick to the 2% rule and don’t overfeed on them.

As a general rule of thumb, rotate between them as much as possible!

Rotation of ingredients is super important in raw feeding to ensure that your pups don’t have any nutritional deficiencies.

As is the case with plant matter in general, we need to break down the plant cell walls of nuts and seeds for optimum nutrient absorption.

That’s because dogs don’t have the enzyme that does this.

How to safely feed seeds and nuts for dogs

That said, the best way to prepare both nuts and seeds for dogs is by soaking and grinding them.

That way, they’re not a choking hazard and your dog gets to absorb all of the nutrients.

Soak them in water for 12-24 hours to get rid of their high phytic acid content. You can either mix nuts and seeds together or soak them individually.

Make sure to discard the water they soaked in as it will be rich in phytic acid which causes impaired mineral absorption.

Rinse, then grind them in a food processor.

I recently prepared a mix of almonds, sunflower seeds and chia seeds and then mixed in one teaspoon with one of Wally’s daily meals.

I made enough to last me about 5 days. Once they were done soaking, I ground them and then stored them in Wally’s fridge section.

Besides making your own nut and seed mixes, you can buy certain base-and pre-mixes for raw (or cooked) dog food that feature (mostly) seeds in their recipes.

Common ones used in pre-made mixes are flaxseeds, hempseeds and fenugreek seeds.

I’m listing the ones I’m aware of towards the end of this blog post.

Feel free to leave a comment under the post and share additional dog foods with seeds you know of!

If you want, you can also email me at, and then I’ll add them to this blog post.

Soaking sunflower seeds, almonds and chia seeds for raw dog food meal prep
I always have sunflower seeds, almonds and chia seeds in the pantry since I use them for breakfast myself

How Much Seeds & Nuts Can I Add to My Dog’s Food?

Dogs only need a small amount.

As a general rule of thumb, you can add 1/4 teaspoon daily per 10lbs of body weight of seeds and nuts to your dog’s food, or 2% of their daily dog food allowance.

You can either sprinkle chia seeds over your dog’s food or turn them into a paste by adding some water. That can also work great as a food topper for picky eaters!

While you don’t have to grind or soak chia seeds, it’s best to grind and then soak all other seeds as well as nuts, specifically hemp seeds, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, fenugreek seeds and almonds.

Additionally, you’ll have to peel the sunflower seeds prior to soaking/grinding them.

For pumpkin seeds, you can feed 1 daily per 10lbs of body weight, ideally soaked & ground.

Dog Foods That Have Seeds in the Ingredient List

There are a few base-and pre-mixes that include seeds, as well as some freeze-dried dog foods with seeds on the ingredient label.

I’ve fed several of them.

There’s also a few that feature coconut, but since it’s not technically a nut and that newest research came out about coconut contributing to leaky gut, I won’t list those.

Sojos Mix-A-Meal Premix

Ingredients of Sojos’ Mix-A-Meal Premix:

Sweet potatoes, carrots, apples, whole egg powder, cranberries, flaxseed, tricalcium phosphate, dried kelp, carob powder, dried basil, parsley leaf, zinc sulfate, vitamin e supplement, ferrous fumarate, copper sulfate, d-calcium pantothenate, riboflavin, vitamin d3 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid

Sojos Pre-Mix for Raw Dog Food
Mix-A-Meal Premix by Sojos

Sojos Complete Freeze-Dried Dog Foods

Sojos also carries complete freeze dried dog foods that just need water added.

Obviously these are not fresh raw meals but can be a great alternative when you’re traveling or to have something easy on hand when you’re running low on raw.

Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Raw Dinner Patties

Instinct Raw Boost Mixers Freeze-Dried

The Honest Kitchen Dehydrated Dog Food

Ultimate Pet Nutrition Freeze-Dried Dog Food

Nulo Freestyle Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food

Grandma Lucy’s Artisan Pre-Mix

Ingredients of Grandma Lucy’s Artisan Pre-Mix:

Potatoes, Flax, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Celery, Apples, Blueberries, Cranberries, Garlic, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Iron Proteinate, Calcium Carbonate, Phosphorous, Zinc Proteinate, Riboflavin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Potassium Chloride, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Magnesium Chloride, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 Supplement

Grandma Lucy’s Pureformance Pre-Mix

Ingredients of Grandma Lucy’s Pureformance Pre-Mix:

Chickpeas, Flax, Carrots, Celery, Apples, Bananas, Blueberries, Cranberries, Pumpkin, Papaya, Spinach, Garlic, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Iron Proteinate, Calcium Carbonate, Phosphorous, Zinc Proteinate, Riboflavin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Potassium Chloride, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Magnesium Chloride, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 Supplement.

Grandma Lucy’s Freeze-Dried Dog Foods

Artisan line (includes potatoes):

Pureformance line (includes chickpeas, no potatoes):

Grandma Lucy's freeze-dried pureformance chicken & rabbit with raw dog food
Freeze-dried Pureformance chicken and rabbit dog food by Grandma Lucy’s

UK ONLY: SmartBarf Vegetable, Seed & Fruit Mix

I learned about this natural meal booster for raw-fed dogs when I wrote about Dalmatians on a raw diet back in 2017.

One of them is Norman who lives in the UK. His owners add the Smart Barf mix to his raw meals.

You can also check it out on the SmartBarf website.

Such a bummer that it’s neither available via US Amazon nor Germany Amazon (where I currently live)!

Either way, below are the ingredients:

  • Seeds (25%): buckwheat, celery, chia, evening primrose, hemp, linseed, milk thistle, millet, niger, pumpkin, safflower, sesame, sunflower
  • Root Vegetables (15%): beetroot, carrot, parsnip
  • Nuts (11%): almonds, brazils, cashews, coconut, hazelnuts, peanuts, walnuts
  • Beans (10%): aduki, black eye, chick peas, peas, haricot, locust, mung, pinto
  • Leafy Greens (8%): cabbage, kale, spinach
  • Other Vegetables (8%): asparagus, broccoli, tomato
  • Hedgerow Berries (5%): elder, hawthorn, juniper, rosehips
  • Herbs (3%): basil, marjoram, oregano, parsley, sage, spearmint, thyme
  • Wild Seeds (3%): clover, meadow flowers
  • Tropical Fruits (3%): dates, goji, papaya, banana
  • Meadow Plants (3%): blackberry leaves, clivers (cleavers), dandelion, meadowsweet, nettle
  • Seaweed (2%)
  • Spices (1%): aniseed, peppercorns, caraway, fennel
  • Orchard Fruits (1%): apple, pear, plum
  • Mediterranean Fruits (1%): apricot, peach

Seeds and Nuts for Dogs: Bottom Line

Seeds and nuts can be a great addition to your furry friends’ raw meals, especially if you’re limited as far as variety and different cuts of meat are concerned.

Here’s a recap of the best way to feed seeds and nuts for dogs:

  • Make sure to de-shell your nuts, soak and grind them prior to feeding
  • The only seeds that need de-shelling are sunflower seeds
  • Chia seeds can be sprinkled over your dog’s food without soaking them
  • Seeds other than chia seeds should be soaked prior to grinding them
  • Discard the water your nuts and seeds soaked in, then grind them

Your pup only needs a small amount, about 1/4 teaspoon per 10lbs of body weight per day, or 2% of their daily raw dog food allowance.

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Barbara launched her blog K9sOverCoffee in 2014 and has been feeding her dogs raw dog food since 2015. As a former professional dog walker, she’s passionate about balancing species-appropriate exercise with healthy dog nutrition. Barbara is raw dog food nutrition certified from “Dogs Naturally Magazine” and the author of several e-books about minimally processed, balanced raw dog food.







2 responses to “Seeds and Nuts for Dogs: Benefits & How to Feed”

  1. Beverly McKey Avatar
    Beverly McKey

    I love your blogs and e books. I just recently purchased your ebook on how much to fèd my 30lb 12 month old Aussie puppy. I feel so dumb. I don’t quite understand the ratio. I feed her Steve’s real food, which is raw with all of the meat, bones, nuts, vegetables, omega 3, and coconut oil. I rotate between beef, chicken, turkey. She loves this and is shiny and beautiful. I have been fèding her three cups a day. I hope that is enough. Would like your comments on this. Thankyou so much.

    1. Barbara Rivers Avatar

      Hi Beverly and thank you so much – yay for feeding your pup raw dog food! So, the raw feeding math ebook is mostly geared towards feeding amounts of individual raw meat (and optional plant matter) components when you’re making your own DIY homemade raw dog food, but you can use it for commercial raw as well. That said, I would start with 2.5% of her current body weight assuming she’s not over- or underweight? In that case, she can have around 12 oz of raw dog food per day. What do the feeding recommendations on the packaging say?

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