Can dogs eat sunflower seeds? Is it worth diversifying dogs’ nutrition with different products that the owners consume? Disputes about this do not subside: some believe this animal is a predator and should not eat anything but meat. Others argue that vegetable proteins, fiber, and carbohydrates are indispensable. Pets are often in a hurry to feast on everything that has not been removed from the table. Can dogs eat sunflower seeds, and what benefits can they bring, let’s look at the article?
What sunflower seeds are
Before diving into the question “can dogs eat sunflower seeds“, we must find out what sunflower seeds are. Sunflower seeds are another variety of valuable and beloved treats for all dogs. Curiously, they are willingly eaten even by large breeds, such as Alabai or Rottweiler, to which they are literally “on one tooth.”
Pros of giving sunflower seeds:
- Rich in vitamins – A, D, E, and B, micro and macro elements: calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, manganese, and selenium. They have a beneficial effect on the dog’s skeletal system, strengthening it and improving mineralization. They also normalize the production of hormones, red blood cells, and enzymes. Separately, it is worth mentioning the presence of vitamin E – it works as the most potent antioxidant for free radicals;
- increases the activity of the dog, thanks to which it can serve as encouragement during training;
- supports the health of the cardiovascular system, strengthens blood vessels and arteries;
- reduces the level of absorption of cholesterol due to the content of phytosterols.
In addition, most dog owners testify that eating seeds calms their pets. It is possible that animals like not only the taste of the treatment but also the process of chewing it and the crunch that is heard simultaneously.
Is it good to give?
Everything is good in moderation – concerning seeds, this maxim is more accurate than ever since it is straightforward to overfeed an animal with them. But can dogs eat sunflower seeds? Sunflower seeds in large quantities can cause digestive problems. If such an incident occurs, everything will be managed by an upset stomach (the dog may defecate undigested seeds until they are all passed). An ulcer may develop if you overfeed sunflower seeds on an ongoing basis.
In addition, they carry the danger of obesity: this is a very high-calorie product. For dogs, obesity, mainly internal, when fat accumulates on the internal organs, is extremely dangerous and fraught with several health problems. Another danger of feeding seeds to dogs concerns environmental issues. The fact is that this product extremely quickly accumulates harmful substances – nitrates and pure poisons. In addition, sunflower fields are usually planted near highways, where the percentage of air pollution is much higher. Therefore, purchased seeds are critical to wash and peel, and the best option would be to offer the dog a product grown on its own or purchased in the private sector.
Can such seeds harm a dog?
Can dogs eat sunflower seeds? A limited amount of sunflower seeds will not bring harm. You can not feed animals with unpeeled seeds. You need to peel them. And you should dose the norm – the seeds are very high in calories. The increased calorie content of the product can lead to obesity and problems with the dog’s digestive system.
Excessive consumption of seeds can provoke an outflow of bile in the body, puts a heavy burden on the liver and gallbladder, and causes colitis. Seeds are digested for a long time and can cause discomfort in the stomach and intestines.
Sunflower seeds in large quantities can also harm the pet’s body and even provoke the development of peptic ulcers of the stomach and intestines. A thick peel can damage tooth enamel and get stuck in the teeth, causing premature destruction.
Salted and roasted seeds should not be given to pets. The first is because salt is poison for dogs. Its presence in food can cause a violation of the water-salt balance in the body, increase blood pressure, damage the gastric mucosa and provoke cardiovascular diseases. Symptoms of complications can be:
- excessive thirst;
- frequent urination;
This condition requires medical intervention, so a dog that has eaten salted seeds should be shown to the veterinarian as soon as possible. Seeds lose their beneficial properties during heat treatment, so feeding the dog with “empty” food makes no sense. And overcooked harm the digestive system and loads the liver.
Do they help against worms?
Sunflower seeds are considered an effective folk remedy for worms. They can also be used for dogs. These seeds contain such acid as cucurbitacin – poisonous for worms and other parasites but safe for humans and animals.
For seeds to have an anthelmintic effect, some rules must be observed:
- give them to your pet on an empty stomach;
- give a course of 70 g per day (the amount can be reduced to 20-30 g if the dog is small).
Worth knowing: there is an effective recipe against worms: sunflower seeds, dry wormwood, and tansy. This powder can be mixed into the animal’s food, such as cereals or finely chopped meat. The mixture will not only relieve the dog of worms but also improve the condition of the coat – it will become shiny and smooth.
Peeled or with skin?
To pamper your pet with seeds, you will need to clean them. The animal cannot do this on its own, and the husk is unnecessary garbage that clogs the esophagus and causes problems with the intestines. In addition, unpeeled grains can get stuck between the dog’s teeth, damage the enamel and provoke various problems.
Fried seeds are not recommended for animals: after frying, there are practically no valuable substances left in them for the sake they are given. In addition, fried dogs are, in principle, contraindicated: it harms the liver and gastrointestinal tract. It is categorically impossible to give salty. This will negatively affect the gastric mucosa and the cardiovascular system. Also, seeds with aromatic additives should not get into the animal’s diet.
Seeds can be given to both adult dogs and puppies (of course, at the age when the baby begins to eat other foods besides milk). It will be correct to accustom the animal to different delicacies from childhood. Otherwise, the pet may not appreciate the gastronomic diversity. At the same time, the serving size should be two times smaller than that of an adult. Otherwise, indigestion cannot be avoided. It is also essential to ensure that the puppy does not choke on small grains.
Pregnant and lactating
If a female dog eats seeds with pleasure, then it is not necessary to limit her in treats for the period of pregnancy and feeding. It will not bring any harm to the offspring. The only thing is that you should not overfeed the animal with high-calorie seeds since obesity will complicate childbirth.
Exceptions for breeds
The seeds can be eaten by all breeds of dogs, including miniature and sickly dogs like toy terriers and chihuahuas. Only the size of the portion allowed at a time will differ.
What if a dog has been eating seeds alone?
How to understand that a dog eats seeds?
A pet may eat seeds without waiting for them to be cleaned. In this case, you should not panic: if such a feast is not repeated regularly, it will not harm the dog. There will be no signs of illness: as many seeds as needed to get sick, the animal simply will not eat. It is also impossible to get poisoned by seeds. It will be possible to understand that the dog has eaten seeds with a peel after it defecates: the product will come out undigested. If there were a lot of them, the animal would go exclusively with seeds until all of them are excreted from the body. It is also possible to stain the stool black.
What to do?
Special assistance is not required in this case: the product will be excreted from the body itself. If a lot of seeds have been eaten, it is worth giving vaseline oil: it envelops the intestinal walls and helps to relieve. High-fiber roughage foods (such as grated carrots and apples) are also helpful.
How to forbid if a dog loves seeds?
It is difficult to wean a dog from eating seeds – this is a favorite treat for many animals. The incident with theft and the absorption of too many seeds can be prevented by exclusively removing the product from the dog’s reach and giving it “legally” in small doses. It is also worth offering the animal other goodies: special dog biscuits, hard unsalted cheese, and apples. This is healthier and safer than a hefty dose of seeds and will allow the dog to “switch off” to stop begging for goodies.
So, spending a joint evening with a dog is possible eating seeds. The most important thing is not to get carried away and not overfeed the animal, and also make sure that the seeds are peeled, not fried or salted, and, if possible, from an ecologically clean region. In this case, such a somewhat unusual delicacy will only please your pet.
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