A dog with a happy expression looking at flax seeds, highlighting healthy food for dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Flax Seeds?

Yes, dogs can eat flax seeds, and they can even be beneficial to their health. However, it's important to prepare them correctly and serve them in the right amounts to avoid any potential problems. Flax seeds are packed with essential nutrients that can give your pup’s diet a nutritious boost.

A photo of Stefan Stumpfl, the co-author of this article.

By Stefan Stumpfl, in collaboration with Dr. Ali Raza.

Updated on Jun 30, 2024

Did You Know?

Flax seeds are one of the richest plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help support your dog's skin and coat health.

Flax Seeds



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Feeding Frequency


Allergic Risk


Why Are Flax Seeds Healthy for Dogs?

Flax seeds are a fantastic source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are great for your dog’s skin and coat health. They also contain lignans, which have antioxidant properties, and fiber, which aids in digestion. Some studies suggest these nutrients can support overall immunity and even reduce inflammation. It’s basically like a superfood for your furry friend!

Do Dogs Like Flax Seeds?

Not every dog will go crazy for flax seeds on their own because they don’t have a strong flavor. However, when you mix them into their food, they probably won’t even notice they’re there. Sprinkle a little in their kibble, and watch them chow down with gusto!

Can Puppies Eat Flax Seeds?

Puppies can eat flax seeds, but you should introduce them slowly and in small amounts. Their digestive systems are still developing, so you don’t want to overwhelm them. It's best to consult your vet before making any additions to a puppy's diet, especially something new.

Can Dogs Be Allergic to Flax Seeds?

Although it's rare, some dogs can be allergic to flax seeds. Keep an eye out for signs like itching, swelling, or digestive issues after they eat flax seeds. If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s best to stop feeding them flax seeds immediately and consult your veterinarian.

How Much Flax Seed Can Dogs Eat?

Moderation is key with flax seeds. For small dogs, a mere half teaspoon a day is sufficient, whereas larger dogs can handle up to a teaspoon. Overdoing it can lead to an upset stomach or other digestive problems, so it’s best to sprinkle, not pour. Always start slow and observe how your dog responds before increasing the amount.

Best Ways to Incorporate Flax Seeds Into Your Dog’s Diet

The safest and easiest way to incorporate flax seeds is to grind them fresh and sprinkle them over your dog’s regular food. Ground flax seeds are easier for dogs to digest and absorb the nutrients. You could also mix them into homemade dog treats if you’re feeling adventurous in the kitchen!

Potential Risks of Flax Seeds

While flax seeds are generally safe, not properly preparing them can decrease their benefits. Whole flax seeds can pass through your dog’s digestive system without giving any of the nutritional benefits. Moreover, excessive amounts can cause digestive issues, and improperly stored flax seeds can become rancid.

Other Healthy Food Options

Flax seeds are great, but variety is the spice of life! Consider these other nutritious options:

  • Chia seeds: Packed with fiber and omega-3s, similar to flax seeds.
  • Pumpkin: Great for digestion and rich in vitamins.
  • Blueberries: Full of antioxidants and low in calories.


Flax seeds can be a wonderful addition to your dog’s diet, offering a variety of nutrients that support their overall health. However, it's crucial to serve them correctly and in moderation. Always consult with your vet before introducing new foods, especially if your dog has specific health conditions or dietary needs. Happy feeding!