Humans love sunflower seeds because they are crunchy and tasty snacks that can be eaten at any time of day or night. Sunflower seeds are not just a pastime but are also a rich source of nutrients necessary for normal body function including vitamins, proteins, minerals, and fatty acids. Dogs can also consume sunflower seeds just like human beings do.
Dogs can also eat sunflower seeds, but in moderation and with restraint. When giving your dog sunflower seeds, you should consider size, moderation, and unsalted and peeled sunflower seeds. Read on to know more about sunflower seeds for your dog and any possible side effects.
Can Dogs Eat Sunflower Seeds?
Sunflower seeds come from herbaceous plants that are in the Asteraceae family. Sunflower plants are native to the Middle American regions and have over the years spread to other countries across the world. Sunflower seeds have a conical shape, an edible kernel inside, and a black exterior shell.
Dogs can eat sunflower seeds since it a rich source of healthy fats and other minerals. Sunflower seeds are a powerful antioxidant and are very nutritious. When you give your dog a 1/4 cup of well-peeled sunflower seeds, he will be consuming 190 calories, 16 grams of fat, 4 grams of fiber, and 6 grams of proteins. Sunflower seeds also contain minerals such as
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B3
- Vitamin B1 (thiamine)
You can feed your pooch sunflower seeds as long as you feed them safely. You must ensure that the sunflower seeds are peeled and should not have any salt because high sodium levels can cause health problems like high blood pressure. Dogs should not eat the black shell as it can cause severe diarrhea and gastrointestinal distress.
The Immense Benefits of Sunflower Seeds for Dogs
Improves Skin and Coat. Studies show that dogs’ coats and skin improve tremendously after eating sunflower seeds for some time. This is because sunflower seeds contain high fatty acids that help to maintain a healthy coat and skin.
Support the Production of Good Cholesterol. Sunflower seeds contain fatty acids that support the production of good cholesterol and eliminated bad cholesterol. This means that your dog will have lower blood pressure and the likelihood of stroke or heart disease will be reduced.
A powerful Antioxidant. The sunflower seeds are a rich source of Vitamin E, a potent antioxidant. An ounce of sunflower seeds will give your pooch his daily recommended dose of vitamin E. Vitamin E helps in managing cholesterol levels, helps in fat metabolism, the respiration of body cells, and in the creation of cell membranes. Vitamin E also helps in protecting the skin of your dog from harmful oxygen-free radicals.
Relieves Stress and Depression in Canines. Studies have shown that sunflower seeds can trigger a calming effect in dogs experiencing anxiety. It contains magnesium, which helps in alleviating depression and fatigue. These seeds also have niacin and pyridoxine that boost brain activity and reduce neurosis or anxiety.
The Negative Effects of Sunflower Seeds On Dogs
Shelled Seeds are Dangerous for Dogs. When you buy sunflower seeds from the retail store, they are mainly shelled. Giving your dog shelled seeds can cause problems because the shells are not digestible and are also a choking hazard. Dogs that ingest lots of shelled seeds are at a risk of gastrointestinal obstruction or blockage that can be life-threatening.
Sodium Toxicosis. Sunflower seeds are meant for human consumption are mainly salted. As a result, most commercially sold sunflower seeds are usually salted. Feeding your dog salted seeds can cause serious health complications like sodium toxicosis that may be mild or severe. Symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, imbalance, excessive urination, and thirst.
Excessive Amounts of Sunflower Seeds Are Not Good For Your Dog. You should only give your dog limited amounts of sunflower seeds. This is because sunflower seeds are rich in fats and this can be harsh on their stomach and may be difficult to break down.
What Quantity of Sunflower Seeds Should your Dog Consume?
One cup or 46 grams of sunflower seeds contains about 269 calories. For small dogs, you should give them not more than 10 to 20 seeds and 20 to 40 seeds for large dogs. Although these seeds may not seem a lot, it is advisable that you should not feed your dog more than this.
Sunflower seeds are high in fats and calories and feeding your dog excessive amounts can result in serious health problems. You must also be cautious of the quantities of sunflower seed oil and sunflower seed butter for your pet because they have higher amounts of fats and calories compared to sunflower seeds.
Dogs can eat sunflower seeds without any issue, provided they are given in moderation and fed safely. When consumed in moderation, sunflower seeds will help to boost the health of your pet owing to the minerals and vitamins that the seeds contain. Ensure that you only purchase natural sunflower seeds that are peeled and have no shells before giving them to your pet.