Can Dogs Eat Sunflower Seeds? Is It A Healthy Treat For Your Dog?

Can Dogs Eat Sunflower Seeds? Is It A Healthy Treat For Your Dog?

Can dogs eat sunflower seeds? The answer is yes. Sunflower seeds are not poisonous to dogs. However, there’s always a but, isn’t there? As is the same with humans, no dog is the same as another one. Even the same breed of dogs can be very different.

Most pet parents that have more than one dog in their family will probably tell you the same thing. They can feed some things to one dog and the other one will either turn his nose up, or it might even make him sick.

Even if your dog ate sunflower seeds and loves them, showing no signs of distress after he eats them, there are a few precautions you need to take.

First of all, peel them, the outside casing is hard, and your dog is likely to swallow them whole, plus they’re hard to digest. Don’t feed him the salty ones either. Excess salt is terrible for your dog and can lead to debilitating illnesses like high blood pressure.

If you’re feeding your dog, many sunflower seeds you really should stop because it can cause pancreatitis, and very often requires hospitalization.

Are Sunflower Seeds Toxic To Dogs?

While the seeds themselves, or even the shells, are not toxic, if they get wet or damp they can become moldy. Any food that has gone moldy or even on the point of rotting can be very harmful to dogs, it is toxic.

Are sunflower seeds toxic to dogs

Dogs And Sunflower Seeds – What Are The Benefits?

Just because they’re touted as a healthy snack it doesn’t mean your dog (or you) can eat a bucket load of them each day. You still are responsible for your dog’s diet and, of course, keeping his weight within a few pounds of what’s naturally healthy for his breed.

The general rule of thumb for a dog is their snack intake should not exceed 10% of their daily calories. So you have to factor this in. I’m sure you know how much he can eat overall, so deduct 10% of that and there’s the maximum snack value he’s allowed. Now to keep him interested you don’t want to feed him only sunflower seeds. So that 10% has to be broken down into a few different snacks.

Sunflower seeds benefits for dog

Now we have sorted out that situation. What are the benefits of feeding your dog sunflower seeds?

The seeds themselves are packed with some good stuff. Vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin E, B1, B6, B3, folate, copper, selenium, manganese, magnesium and phosphorus. One-quarter cup of shelled sunflower seeds contains 6g of protein, 4g of fiber, 16g of fats and 190 calories. A quarter cup is not a lot, so at 190 calories it will not take too many seeds for your dog to put weight on. Also, if you can balance his daily snacks to be 10% there’s no way he can eat anywhere near a quarter cup in one day.

Can Dogs Eat Sunflower Seeds For A Nutritional Boost?

There have been studies performed that show dogs benefit from some vitamins and minerals in sunflower seeds.

Your Dog’s Skin And Coat

Because sunflower seeds contain essential fatty acids, they have undertaken studies to see if it has any effect on their skin and coats. I have given a link to the study if you would like to read it firsthand. But briefly, it appears that there is an improvement.

Sunflower seeds for dogs skin and coat

The fats in sunflower seeds are good for your pet. They will help by keeping your pet’s coat healthy and shiny. And any previous issues such as dry, flaky skin and hot spots can be kept under control.

Sunflower Seeds And Stress Relief

Some new research seems to suggest that sunflower seeds will reduce stress in dogs. They contain vitamin B8 and selenium. It appears this combination makes a dog feel happy and relaxed.

Can Dogs Eat Sunflower Seed Butter?

They make sunflower seed butter the same way as peanut butter. Generally containing these ingredients – roasted sunflower seeds, sunflower oil, honey and a pinch of salt. The ingredients can be organic if you prefer them that way.

Can dogs eat sunflower seed butter

Sunflower seed butter contains the same healthy properties that the seeds alone contain, just more concentrated. But it is dairy-free and gluten-free. Also, if your dog loves peanut butter but has a peanut allergy, then again sunflower seed butter is an excellent alternative.

But we definitely advise against making this a daily snack. Maybe two or three times a week would be best and not a lot at once. Just a fingertip.


Can dogs eat sunflower seeds and suffer no consequences? Yes, they can, providing you only feed them with a mind to the snack limits we talked about earlier in the article. You should supervise them when fed such a small snack as these seeds. Dogs are natural gulpers and often will not chew their food. Sunflower seeds contain many healthy nutrients that can benefit your dog’s health, skin, and coat.

We advise pet parents to buy natural seeds, having no added salt or other flavorings. Ensure you have removed the outer shells before you feed them to your dog. If you give them to your dog and follow the guidelines we’ve offered in this article, they can be a beneficial snack for your dog.

While the subject of this article is can dogs eat sunflower seeds and we have done our best to answer the question for you, the seeds are not an essential addition to your dog’s diet. We are not advocating you must add them. In fact, if you feed a healthy, balanced diet to your dog, and we’re sure you do, your dog will get the essential minerals and vitamins from his food.

Please remember, we do not know your dog personally. We only intend this article for general information. If you have never fed sunflower seeds to your dog before we strongly advise you to contact your vet and ask for advice before doing so.