Soaking The Troubles Away: Seeds & Nuts
Updated: May 14
Nuts and seeds are a great addition to the dog's meals as they can provide a plethora of phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals, and more, but there are a few things to know about them before just adding them into the bowl.
Each type of nut and seed will have a slightly different array of benefits, but overall, nuts and seeds provide...
Essential Fatty Acids: such as Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA), have not been found essential in dogs and cars, but evidence may suggest it aids in a healthy eater barrier. But ALA should not be depended on for the only source Omega-3s. Dogs and cats must consume EPA & DHA from other sources as they cannot convert ALA.
Essential Vitamins & Minerals: Nuts & seeds are a great source of nutrients such as vitamin E, selenium, fiber, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, niacin, folic acid, and more.
What Type To Feed? There are so many nuts and seeds that it can be hard to know which ones are best to feed. The most common nuts and seeds fed and benefits are:
⚠️ Toxic seeds & nuts should be avoided. Seeds and pits from fruits such as cherries, apples, avocado, pears, peaches, plums, etc., and nuts such as macadamia nuts cause toxicity.
Preparation Method #1: Soaking
Dogs & cats do not have the biological tools necessary to digest and absorb the nutrients from raw seeds and nuts as they are very high in phytic acid. Phytic acid is an antinutrient that inhibits the absorption of other nutrients when ingested. This means that it's our job to take the proper steps to prep the plant matter for maximum absorption.
To process seeds & nuts for maximum bioavailability, METHOD #1 follow these simple steps:
1. Soak: Since nuts and seeds are high in phytic acid, soaking them for 24 hours reduces the phytic acid. Take your nuts and seeds and cover them with water. To the water, add 1/4 tsp of sea salt to pink Himalayan salt to .5 quart of filtered water. Optional: add in a splash of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar. Cover with an airtight lid and let sit for 24 hours. 2. Strain & Rinse: After soaking the nuts & seeds in the salty/acidic water, strain them, rinse them with filtered water once or twice. Discard the water used to soak the nuts and seeds as it will be high in phytic acid. 3. Blend + Chop: Now you have a couple of options... you can either blend them in a blender to make a paste, hand chop them into smaller pieces, or dehydrate them in a dehydrator or your oven, then grind to make a powder.
4. Store: I recommend storing the paste or powder in the freezer for maximum nutrient preservation. You can even put them in an ice cube or cute silicone molds for east servings! 5. Feed: Seeds & nuts are very high in calories, so if your dog is an easy keeper, you may want to be wary of how much you feed. But as a general guideline, feed a teaspoon per 15 pounds. Hemp and chia seeds won't need to be soaked as they have such a low amount of phytic acid that it's not really worth soaking them.
Pro-tip: you can prep a whole variety of seeds together for a diverse