Hemp protein comes from the seed of cannabis, versatile plants that date back to the 28th century B.C. Seek your veterinarian's approval before you add hemp protein or any other supplement to your dog's diet.
Protein and Amino Acids
A rich source of oil, protein and dietary fiber, Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica seeds naturally contain omega-3s, also known as alpha linolenic acid, and omega-6s, or linoleic acid. Both are polyunsaturated fatty acids. Sixty-five percent of hemp seed protein is globulin edistin, one of seven classes of simple proteins. Amino acids produce simple proteins. Edistins and gloubulins are found in the seeds of Cannabis sativa.
Hemp Foods Australia, a hemp advocacy group that sells hemp products but not pet products, reports that canine health benefits from consuming hemp protein are increased energy, improved condition of skin and coat, better weight management and a strengthened immune system. The website relied on a statement by the European Industrial Hemp Association regarding a European Food Safety Authority study, "Scientific Opinion on the Safety of Hemp for Use as Animal Feed," and other sources. Essential amino and fatty acids are known to play an important role in the improvement of conditions such as allergies, neoplasia, pruritic skin disease, thromboembolic disease, atopic dermatitis, eosinophilic granuloma complex and degenerative joint disease. Hemp protein advocates say it produces healthy joints, positive growth and development, good fertility and a reduction in total HDL cholesterol in canines.
Products With Hemp Protein
Natural dog food, treats and specialty cookies that have hemp protein as a main ingredient are available in pet stores and online. Hemp protein is free from allergens and is highly palatable, and it naturally provides a balance of essential fatty acids. Hemp protein powder is available for purchase at pet stores and online. Natural products containing hemp protein are usually void of tree nuts, shellfish, egg, dairy, gluten, wheat, soybean and peanuts.
You can add hemp protein powder to the water bowl or to wet dog food, but before you do, you'll need your vet's input. Dogs don't need much: Generally, one-fifth of a teaspoon daily for a small dog, and no more than a teaspoon a day for a very large dog. Rely on your veterinarian and the product packaging for specifics.
Not Without Veterinary Approval
Depending on the health of your dog and any past illnesses or disease, veterinarians will advise the proper course of action and approve if hemp protein is suitable for your dog's health needs. Advise the veterinarian what products you are interested in providing for your dog and whether you plan to use a combination of sources containing hemp protein.