Can Dogs Eat Sunflower Seeds – Are They Safe?

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
Sunflower seeds are a great treat for humans, but should you let your dog have a taste of them? Read on and discover.

Sunflower seeds are a great summer snack. At least, sunflower seeds are a delicious snack for humans.

People, both dog owners and those who love to see a dog around them find it hard to resist sharing their food with dogs.

After all, it is beyond challenging to resist those puppy eyes.

Dogs are significant food lovers, and even if they cannot eat what you’re eating, they won’t think twice about having a bite if offered.

Some human foods, such as cucumbers and carrots are fine to share with Fido, while others, like garlic, onion, and even human chocolate are a big no-no.

This is why knowing which human foods are safe for Fido and which should be avoided can actually save a dog’s life.

If you are a big lover of sunflower seeds, does it mean that it is safe to share these delicious bites with your Fido?

Can dogs eat sunflower seeds? Let’s be honest here – dogs could eat almost anything. But… Should they eat them? Let’s answer.

Can Dogs Eat Sunflower Seeds?

As long as you serve sunflower seeds to your dog in moderation your dog should be fine. Still, even if a certain food is safe for your Fido, it doesn’t mean that you should serve it in unlimited amounts.

Make sure that you think about moderation always, because even the safest food (when served beyond control) can create health-related disturbances, such as diarrhea.

Diarrhea in dogs is treatable, but it will require a bit of diet change, time, and monitoring your dog.

If you see your dog eating grass while outside, know that he is going through some stomach disturbance that he is trying to fix on his own.

Although sunflower seeds are safe for dogs when served in moderation, there are some risks when it comes to seeds with flavor or any type of artificial ingredients that could harm your dog’s well-being.

Are Sunflower Seeds Safe for Dogs?

The short answer is, yes.

Sunflower seeds are safe for dogs when they are served in moderation, and in a small amount. Also, when served in moderation, sunflower seeds aren’t toxic to dogs.

Before you serve sunflower seeds to your dog, make sure that you serve them clean, dry, and fresh.

Always remove sunflower kernels as they are not so edible. Make sure that you discard husks out of the dog’s reach.

Benefits Of Sunflower Seeds To Your Dog

Just like humans, dogs should experience only food that can add to their overall health.

Whenever you decide to introduce a new food to your dog make sure that you ask yourself – is this something that my dog can benefit from? If the answer is ‘no’ do not serve it.

If you are not sure if a certain food is beneficial to your dog or not, do additional research.

As for the sunflower seeds, you should know that these tiny food items are packed with energy and nutrients that can serve your dog’s overall health.

All in all, sunflower seeds are a nice addition to your dog’s diet. They are not only tasty and easy to serve but are also packed with fatty acids that can beneficially impact your dog’s skin and coat.

Sunflower seeds are also packed with vitamin E, which serves as a natural antioxidant that can lower cholesterol.

Did you know that vitamin E can produce energy within the dog’s body? This doesn’t mean that you should serve an enormous amount of sunflower seeds if your dog seems low energy – stick to moderation.

Although sunflower seeds are safe both for people and dogs, they are after all just seeds.

In general, seeds are high in carbohydrates and fats, and for that reason, seeds should be only a small fraction of a general meal. Before we explain what is the best way to serve sunflower seeds to your dog, let’s see how these seeds can directly improve your dog’s health.

1. Sunflower Seeds Can Improve the Skin and Coat

Once you implement sunflower seeds in your dog’s diet, you should notice an improvement in the dog’s skin and coat.

Since these seeds are packed with fatty acids, eating them should lead to healthy coat and skin in dogs.

As unsaturated fats, these fast are good for your pet and can help you keep the dog’s skin and coat not only more appealing and shiny but also healthy.

2. Sunflower Seeds Will Boost Good Cholesterol

If you implement regular consumption of sunflower seed in your dog’s diet, you can improve good cholesterol levels in your dog.

Since sunflower seeds are packed with healthy fatty acids, they should lower your dog’s blood pressure.

As you may guess already, low blood pressure can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.

3. Sunflower Seeds Serve As Antioxidants

Sunflower seeds are packed with vitamin E. In fact, they are so rich in this vitamin that one oz of sunflower seeds provides your pet’s daily dose of vitamin E.

Did you know that vitamin E can also boost cell respiration and help in the creation of cell membranes? Or that vitamin E can help protect your dog from harmful radicals?

4. Sunflower Seeds Can Relieve Stress and Depression

Sunflower seeds have calming effects on humans, and dogs are no different.

Both humans and dogs can benefit from regular sunflower seed consumption. Because these seeds are packed with magnesium, they can help alleviate stress, fatigue, and depression in dogs.

Sunflower seeds are also rich in pyridoxine and niacin, which can improve brain activity and even lover anxiety and neurosis in dogs.

5. Sunflower Seeds Can Improve Overall Health In Dogs

All in all, sunflower seeds are packed with many vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can be a great addition to your dog’s diet.

Not only that sunflower seeds can make bones healthier and stronger, but they can also enhance brain function, make the immune system stronger, and connect tissues and collagen.

How To Serve Sunflower Seeds To Your Dog?

If you choose to buy sunflowers for your dog, make sure that they are peeled and unsalted.

Dogs should enjoy the soft inner kernel of the seed, but the tough outer husk can lead to severe gastrointestinal distress and diarrhea.

Never serve salty products to your dog as they may lead to high blood pressure.

Did you know that too much salt can lead to heart disease in not only dogs but in pets in general?

Sunflower seeds are in general tasty and there shouldn’t be any issues with feeding your dog with these tiny items. They are best served as a snack or mixed into their meal.

Whenever you want to make dog food more appealing, you should add a healthy addition. This is why a spoon of olive oil or an egg mixed with dry food is always a great option.

Is your dog weary of the plain and same food every day? Add a few sunflower seeds to your dog’s meal to mix up the flavor a bit, and you will see that tail wagging super fast.

Still not sure how sunflower seeds should look when served to your dog?

Check this photo below to see what unsalted and peeled sunflower seeds look like.

Are There Any Downsides Of Serving Sunflower Seeds To Your Dog?

By now, it is clear that eating sunflower seeds come with many benefits.

As a treat or addition to a meal, a few pieces of sunflower seeds are more than safe. However, there are some features to be careful with.

Some of the biggest risk linked to sunflower seeds consumption are:

  • Large quantities
  • Birdseed
  • Unhusked seeds
  • Seasoned seeds
  • Flavored seeds
  • Seeds that are anyhow mixed with harmful ingredients

Now, let’s run fast through why these options may not be the safest option for your dog.

  • Unhusked seeds. Shell can strongly irritate your dog’s gut and cause not only vomiting and diarrhea but also more serious health disturbance. Shells have sharp edges, which is why they are a choking hazard. Make sure that you always remove the shell before you serve it to your dog.
  • Large quantities. Although these seeds are packed with nutrients, your dog may still experience some disturbances if he ingests a high amount of any food, especially seeds. If your dog eats too many you can expect him to experience vomiting or diarrhea. Plus, food that contains high oil content can put them at risk of developing pancreatitis.
  • Birdseed. It is no secret that sunflower seeds are often used in bird feed. Not only that they are used, but they are often mixed with other grains or fats that can be harmful to dogs. Plus, bird seeds can grow mold.
  • Salt and Seasoning. Sunflower seeds for humans are often very salty or heavily seasoned. As such, they aren’t suitable for dogs. A heavy amount of salt can lead to heart disease and kidney disease.
  • Mixed With Harmful Ingredients. Sunflower seeds are very popular when it comes to the human diet. They are often used as ingredients in granola bars, muesli, and cakes. They are often used as a part of different salads. Never serve them mixed with other ingredients to your dog. Fruit and nuts are often paired with seeds, and not every fruit is safe for dogs, nor nuts are the best options for dogs.

All in all, before you serve sunflower seeds to your dog, make sure that they are not mixed with any other ingredient.

Sometimes, even the smallest amount of the wrong ingredient can be not only harmful but toxic to dogs.

If you serve your dog a new food, and he reacts in any way (displays vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, a fiver, or staggering), you should contact your veterinarian.

Always double-check all ingredients if it is safe for your dog to consume a human snack. This is the only way to keep your dog safe while serving a new flavor.

Think About Underlying Diseases

Did you know that some dogs are allergic to gluten?

There is no direct test (so far) that can show you if your dog is allergic to gluten.

How can you know if your dog is allergic to gluten or any other item?

So far, the only way for you to know if he is allergic to any food is to monitor him closely when you introduce a new food item to your Fido.

Often, underlying diseases are triggered by something and they appear as a reaction to something.

Your dog may react poorly to high-fat content that comes in sunflower seeds, or too much oil.

These features can trigger your knowledge of the underlying disease in your dog. Therefore, as soon as you notice anything unusual in your dog’s behavior make sure that you contact your veterinarian.

Can You Feed Your Dog With Sunflower Seed Butter?

You may know everything that is there to be known about dogs and peanut butter, but what about sunflower seed butter?

Your dog will enjoy a spoon of sunflower seed butter. In fact, your dog may enjoy sunflower seed butter, much more than peanut butter.

Sunflower seed butter is high in calories so make it only an occasional treat.

Food that is high in calories should always be served only as an occasional treat.

Can Dogs Have Sunflower Seed Oil?

Sunflower seed oil isn’t toxic to dogs. Should you serve it to your dog? If you want to enrich a dog’s diet a bit, you can mix it with sunflower seed oil. This is especially handy when your dog is on a diet of dry food.

Adding this oil to dog food should be rare because there is no hard-rock evidence that it benefits dogs significantly.

Overall, if you want to enrich a dog’s meal, make sure that you know which human foods is safe to share with your dog, and which are just bad.

The Bottom Line

While feeding your dog sunflower seeds may seem like a 100% healthy move, you shouldn’t force it.

There is no need for you to feed your dog sunflower seeds since there are many options available in the pet food market.

If you want to try sunflower seeds or sunflower seed oil, make sure that you serve it as a treat, or as an addition to the dog’s everyday meals.