Sunflower seeds are the epitome of a lazy summer afternoon snack, and as a kid, you probably spent hours devouring these salty little seeds on the front porch or in the baseball dugout. Whether you like to do the work of shelling them or you buy them without shells, they’re perfect for camping, car trips, or an evening on the couch. Do you have a wet doggy nose and a pair of big brown eyes staring up at you while you’re snacking? Are sunflower seeds safe for dogs to eat?
Can Dogs Eat Sunflower Seeds?
Sunflower seeds are safe for dogs in moderation and with a few precautions. First, any sunflower seeds you feed them should be shell-free. Second, the seeds should be salt- and flavor-free.
Are Sunflower Seeds Good for Dogs?
They aren’t necessarily the healthiest thing you can give your dog, but they aren’t toxic or inherently bad for them. Sunflower seeds are a natural source of fatty acids that are necessary for your dog’s skin and coat health. The seeds are naturally high in iron and vitamin E and free from saturated fats. They’re also high in various other vitamins, minerals, and monounsaturated fats.
One ounce of sunflower seeds meets your dog’s daily requirement of vitamin E, but truthfully, if your dog is on a high-quality food, it’s unlikely they’ll need much supplementation. Also, dogs aren’t designed to chew or digest seeds or nuts, so frequent amounts of seeds are going to come out undigested or cause some dietary upset.
What About Sunflower Oil?
If the actual seeds are the best choice for your dog, is sunflower seed oil a better choice? Many higher end dog foods use sunflower oil as a way to naturally add fatty acids to the food, and some owners choose to add small amounts of the oil to their dog’s diet to battle minor skin and coat issues that aren’t caused by hormonal or endocrine imbalances. Always ask your vet before you start supplementing your dog’s diet. You might end up doing more harm than good.
Sunflower seeds aren’t bad for your dog, but they aren’t necessary, either. There are healthier and more digestible ways to get fatty acids into your dog’s diet than seeds, and your vet will be the best resource for the appropriate ways to introduce additional fatty acids.
Hi, I’m Jacob. I’ve been a professional blogger for over 6 years and in that time I’ve written countless blogs that have reached millions of people. I am a DVM by profession but all you need to know is that I LOVE DOGS!
SDO started way back in 2015 on a whim. I’d read a couple of dozen blogs online while searching for the best products for my pup and the amount of misinformation online from unqualified sources giving potentially harmful advice shocked me. Then suddenly it hit me, hey, I can do this too! And I can do this RIGHT! Without even knowing what a blog was or how it makes money. I jumped right in to share the years of knowledge I have of dogs with the world.
Within a few months I realized that people were reacting extremely positively to my blogs. My website had taken off and I would receive countless emails from happy dog owners telling me how my website was a God-send for them and their pups were doing so much better after they followed my advice. I would get so many questions as well, and in my attempt to consolidate and answer all the questions I would get from my readers, my blog has evolved to the website you see today. Over the years I encouraged my good friend Tina who is also a DVM to share her experiences and better guide the people who read us. By the Grace of God we now reach close a million people a year and we get such a warm feedback on how we have made life easier for new dog owners all over the globe.
As a dog owner only you would know the feeling you get when you come home at night and you pup is there at the door wagging their tail in sheer joy. The bond a person and their dog share can not be explained in mere words. Yet dogs are like children, and they need to be cared for and trained, and that’s why Smart Dog Owner exists, to give you the precise and exact information that you seek about your dog. No matter how minute that detail is, chances are we will be there to help you out! As someone who has raised 7 of her own dogs. Jacob will always help you out.