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Can Dogs Eat Hemp Seeds? Vet-Verified Facts & FAQ

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on April 26, 2024 by Dogster Team

Can Dogs Eat_hemp seeds

Can Dogs Eat Hemp Seeds? Vet-Verified Facts & FAQ


Dr. Maxbetter Vizelberg  Photo


Dr. Maxbetter Vizelberg

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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There are many highly nutritious superfoods on the market that we add to our diets daily, and we may consider doing the same for our dogs. Hemp seeds are a popular human superfood, and hemp-based products are now thriving in the pet supplement market. But can dogs eat hemp seeds, and are they safe?

Hemp seeds can benefit your dog and be introduced as a part of their diet. These tiny, crunchy seeds can pack a lot of essential nutrients and can easily be added to your dog’s meals, whether they are picky eaters or not. In this article, we’ll examine the benefits of these tiny superfoods and how they can play a role in your dog’s diet.


Can Dogs Eat Hemp Seeds?

Yes, dogs can eat hemp seeds. Hemp seeds are technically nuts and are part of the hemp plant. They can be eaten raw or used to make milk, oil, cheese substitutes, or protein powder. The nutty taste and versatility of hemp seeds make them an excellent substitute for protein, essential fatty acids, and other nutritional benefits in meat and dairy products. They can be eaten raw or cooked, cold pressed into hemp oil, and dehulled into hemp hearts.

Hemp hearts originated in Central Asia and have been consumed by humans for thousands of years for their nutritional benefits. Technically, hemp hearts are classified as seeds, but the soft, chewy inner part of the dehulled seed is the part that is usually eaten.

Hemp seed oil is derived from hemp plant seeds. Cold-pressing is used for extraction, similar to how olives are cold-pressed to make olive oil.

hemp seeds on wooden backround
Image Credit: HandmadePictures, Shutterstock

Are Hemp Seeds Safe for Dogs to Eat?

Hemp may have the reputation that consuming it can make you high, but rest assured this is not a concern in the products you may offer Fido. Hemp seeds do not contain the psychoactive component known as THC found in marijuana. Hemp seeds are safe for dogs and can provide them with many dietary benefits. They are an excellent source of omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids, protein, and fiber for dogs.

Another option is to incorporate hemp seed oil into your dog’s diet. The dosage will depend on your dog’s weight and age, but you can add a teaspoon or less to your pet’s regular food.

While there are generally few side effects unless the seeds are consumed in large quantities, it’s best to speak to your vet first. They can tell you how much you can feed your dog so as to avoid potential vomiting or diarrhea.

Health Benefits of Hemp Seeds

Adding hemp seeds to your dog’s diet can provide a range of nutritional benefits. They are a good source of iron, zinc, magnesium, manganese, vitamin E, and B vitamins. When you look at the composition of hemp seeds, you’ll notice that they consist of an optimal ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. According to medical research, the ideal fatty acid ratio in hemp seeds is 3:1. Hemp seeds are also a great source of plant protein as they contain all nine necessary amino acids.

In addition to containing fatty acids and protein, hemp seeds can provide your dog with many other dietary benefits. Most pets will benefit from an additional daily dose of fatty acids from hemp seeds or oil mixed into their food.

The FDA determined the nutritional values of hemp heart (the interior of the shelled seed) per 100 grams.

  • 6 grams of protein
  • 4 grams of fiber
  • 4 grams of sugar
  • 8 grams of fat
  • 553 kilocalories
  • 5 grams of water

Decrease Inflammation

Joint swelling and pain are common health problems in older dogs. One of the omega-6 fatty acids in hemp seeds is gamma-linolenic acid (GLA,) which may have anti-inflammatory properties to reduce joint pain associated with arthritis.

Improves Skin and Coat Quality

You’ve probably heard that including adequate amounts of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in your pet’s diet can promote healthy skin and coat. Omega fatty acids reduce itchiness and allergies and moisturize the skin. Furthermore, hemp seeds may help reduce shedding.

Improves Heart Health

Hemp seeds can help keep your dog’s heart strong and healthy. Obesity can cause fat and cholesterol to build up in the heart, which can lead to cardiovascular problems. They contain linoleic acid, which can lower cholesterol by 15% and may lower blood pressure. Amino acids and arginine are abundant in hemp seeds, and these components produce nitric oxide, which dilates and relaxes blood vessels to improve blood circulation.

Improve Blood Sugar

Hemp hearts have a moderate amount of fiber, and a high-fiber diet can be used to help with high blood sugar. Hemp hearts are also high in magnesium. Magnesium aids in the breakdown of sugars, which prevents cells from becoming insulin-resistant.

australian shepherd dog eating, steel bowl
Image By: Ermolaev Alexander, Shutterstock

How Can I Give My Dog Hemp Seeds?

While some dogs may eat up anything that resembles food, some are picky and unresponsive to new treats. You can serve hemp seeds by themselves for your dog if it is one of those that will eat anything, but if your dog is more dubious, then the easiest way to feed it hemp seeds is to sprinkle them over its food. You can give your dog about a teaspoon of hemp seeds but take it down to half that volume if your pet is still a pup.



Hemp seeds can be a great nutritional addition to your dog’s diet. They are safe and are not to be mistaken for CBD or THC. They can easily be included in your dog’s diet by sprinkling hemp hearts on your dog’s food or by serving hemp seed oil for really picky eaters. When it comes to your dog’s diet and nutritional needs, it’s always best to consult your vet and wait for their recommendation before serving hemp seeds.

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