Many of us are familiar with some nutritional benefits of seeds, and we sometimes often add them to some of our food like salads or cereals. However, while some of these seeds are safe and healthy for our consumption, you might be wondering if they are equally safe for your dog. In this article, we will explain some seeds’ effects on dogs.
Yes, dogs can safely eat nuts and seeds without health consequences; nuts like English walnuts, pecans, cashews, peanuts, and almonds are not toxic to dogs. Some safe seeds for dogs are chia seeds, hemp seeds, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds.
Seeds are among the most nutritious foods in the world, and for this reason, they constitute a large part of our diet. Seeds are packed with minerals and vitamins that do not benefit humans alone but dogs too.
Can Dogs Have Poppy Seeds?
No, poppy seeds are not great for dog consumption. If your dog ever consumes any amount of poppy seed, ensure you take the dog to a veterinarian immediately; otherwise, your dog could suffer from poor coordination, reduced respiration, lethargy, and excessive whining.
Poppy seeds are toxic for dogs because they contain two alkaloids – morphine and codeine. Both alkaloids are great and effective for relieving pains; however, dog owners must understand that the alkaloids could be destructive to a dog’s central nervous system, especially when consumed in excess.
So, as a dog owner, at no point should you ever consider feeding poppy seeds to your dog. In fact, according to the ASPCA, poppy seeds are very toxic and deadly. Now, the level of toxicity in a dog depends on the amount consumed.
However, regardless of the amount consumed, the common symptoms of poppy seed toxicity in dogs include weakness, trembling, depression, sedation, pinpoint pupils, sedation, and difficulties in breathing, which could also result in coma or death in extreme cases.
So, if your dog accidentally consumes poppy seeds and begins to display any of these symptoms, ensure you take it to a vet immediately. The vet will physically examine the dog to assess the symptoms and vital signs. A complete chemistry panel and blood count will display the functioning of the internal organs.
After completing the diagnosis, the vet may have to induce vomiting to help the dog get rid of all the leftover poppy seeds in its stomach. Activated charcoal may also be administered to bind the remaining toxin before the bloodstream absorbs it. Two factors determine your dog’s recovery rate: the amount of poppy ingested and the time frame for receiving care.
Are Sesame Seeds Bad For Dogs?
Sesame has a lot of nutritional benefits and is rich in magnesium, calcium, iron, fiber, and Vitamin B & E. If you did not know, sesame seeds are included in various popular human foods, including sushi, bagels, and hamburger buns. Sesame seeds are not bad for dog consumption; however, they should only be taken in small quantities.
Sesame seeds are a great source of magnesium, iron, calcium (which builds strong bones), Vitamine E (that prevents high blood pressure), and Vitamin B. Sesame seeds contain anti-inflammatory properties, as well as high fiber content. However, it is important that you know the right quantity needed.
If you want to add seeds to your dog’s food, you can only make it about ten percent and sprinkle it over their food. The remaining ninety percent of calories are already present in their real foods. Before feeding your dog sesame seeds, it is imperative to know the possible side effects.
In addition, it is safe to talk to a vet before feeding sesame seeds to your dog, as some dogs could suffer stomach discomfort or develop an allergy after its consumption. Also, excessive consumption of this seed could lead to bowel irritation, diarrhea, vomiting, and other abnormal behavior.
So, if you are feeding your dog this seed for the first time, ensure you observe how they react to it. If your dog develops any symptoms mentioned above, speak to a veterinarian immediately. The best way to feed sesame seeds to your dog is by sprinkling the seeds over its food.
Can Dogs Eat Sunflower Seeds?
Sunflower seed is another great seed for a dog’s consumption; however, it should only be consumed at a moderate level. This seed contains some nutritional benefits like fiber, linoleic acid, Vitamins B & E, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and iron which are beneficial to a dog’s health when consumed moderately.
Sunflower seeds are also great for improving a dog’s coat and skin, as they are rich in fatty acids. In addition, these seeds are also great for dogs suffering from stress, anxiety, or depression due to the presence of Vitamin B and magnesium. Vitamin B also helps reduce anxiety, while magnesium has proven to reduce depression in dogs.
However, one important thing to know when feeding sunflower seeds to dogs is that you must ensure it is properly peeled from its shell. Failure to peel the shell could cause the dog to experience gastrointestinal issues, diarrhea, and vomiting. Sunflower seeds should be clean, fresh, and dry before feeding them to dogs.
Also, ensure you do not add salt to the seed; otherwise, it could increase the dog’s blood pressure. Like every other seed, ensure you feed your dog these seeds in small amounts and observe how they react to it, especially for the first time. If you notice any changes in them, you can speak to your vet about the observations.
Can Dogs Eat Pumpkin Seeds?
Pumpkin seeds are safe for dog consumption; for humans, pumpkin seeds provide a great source of iron, vitamins, and omega fatty acids. Despite not being the most gut-friendly food in high quantities, pumpkin seeds are not toxic at all for dogs. However, they must be served in moderate quantities.
Serving your dog one ounce of pumpkin seeds provides 5 grams of carbs, 126 calories, 7 grams of protein, 1.7 grams of fiber, 13 grams of fat, manganese, Vitamin K, phosphorus, iron, copper, magnesium, and zinc. Pumpkin seeds contain high fiber content, which aids digestion in dogs.
Of all foods, pumpkin seeds contain the highest magnesium content, which helps dogs regulate blood pressure and sugar, maintain healthy bones, and reduce the risk of heart diseases. Other potential benefits of pumpkin seeds to dogs are:
- Improves sleep.
- Improved heart health.
- Prevents heart disease.
- Reduces inflammation.
- Aids bladder health.
- Prevents different types of cancer.
- Lowers blood sugar levels.
Can Dogs Eat Chia Seeds?
Chia seeds are tiny, edible seeds of the Salvia hispanica plant, which is a member of the mint family native to Mexico, South America, and Central America. In ancient times, the Mesoamerican cultures grew and ate chia seeds for energy boosts. Presently, it is eaten for its myriad health benefits.
Chia seeds also contain beneficial antioxidants, are rich in soluble fiber, and assist in regulating blood sugar levels. Chia seeds are safe for dog consumption, however, only in moderation. Chia seeds are rich in nutrients like potassium, calcium, manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc.
Chia seeds are also rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, which boost the dog’s immune system, overall brain function, and skin health. Nevertheless, chia seeds also have side effects, including digestive problems, allergic reactions, and intestinal blockages.
Seeds are safe for dogs; you can add them to your dog’s food. Nevertheless, you need to know some of the side effects of the seeds you want to feed your dog. Another essential thing is to always consult with a veterinarian before you feed them to your dog. There are lots of safe seeds you can feed your dog.
Shawn Manaher is a serial entrepreneur but when he isn’t working, he loves dogs. He’s owned different pets over the years, and always gives a part of his heart to each pet.