can dogs eat sunflower seeds

Can dogs eat sunflower seeds?

Sunflower seeds are full of healthy fats and are a good source of protein. These healthy seeds have been eaten by people for a long time and the health benefits of eating sunflower seeds are widely recognised.

But what about dogs? Are they suitable and can dogs eat sunflower seeds and gain the same types of benefits that people enjoy?


The short answer is yes, you can feed sunflower seeds to your dogs but under one condition. The seeds should be given from time to time without their shells and without salt or other additives. Sunflower seeds contain high levels of valuable nutrients that can support your dog’s health and wellbeing.

can dogs eat sunflower seeds

The key things to remember about sunflower seeds when you are feeding them to dogs are:

  • Make sure that the seeds are ‘natural’ – by this I mean that they have no additives such as salt, sauces or other flavourings
  • Serve the seeds without their shells – the shells are difficult to digest and can cause problems for a dog
  • It is okay to serve the seeds fresh or roasted ( provided that they are dry roasted on their own )
  • You can give sunflower seeds whole, as a simple treat, but it’s likely that your dog will turn his nose up at them – try mixing a few into his daily meal
  • One great way to serve sunflower seeds to dogs is to grind them up, using something like a spice grinder, and to put the powder onto their food. If you do this then you don’t need to worry about the shells, simply grind everything up into a powder.

Are Sunflower Seeds Toxic for Dogs?

Contrary to popular belief, sunflower seeds are in no way toxic to your dogs. They can offer great health nutrients if you feed them to your pet in small amounts. 

In a recent study that involved 18 dogs, it was shown that feeding them sunflower seeds showed improvement in their hair coat as well as their skin.

What’s more amazing, is the fact that sunflower seeds are low in saturated fat and high in iron, copper, selenium, Manganese, Folate and vitamins E and B8.

Not only this, the study also revealed that the dogs under test were happier and had lower cholesterol levels before they were fed sunflower seeds.

can dogs eat sunflower seeds

Do Sunflower Seeds Have Side Effects?

Sunflower seeds have no side effects if you follow these three rules:

  • No shells, as they are difficult to digest.
  • No salt, as it can be toxic to dogs.
  • No flavours, as many are made from artificial ingredients that may harm your dog.

What Is The Right Dosage Of Sunflower Seeds For Dogs?

There are around 270 calories in every cup of sunflower seeds, assuming the cup can hold 47 grams.

This is very important, as you need to be careful with the amounts. As reference, do not give more than 8 to 18 seeds to a small dog and 18 to 38 seeds to a large dog, and only once a week. 

It does not sound like much, but they are enough to give the dogs all the nutrients they need

Aside from calories, sunflower seeds are also rich in fat, feeding your dogs an unbalanced amount may create health problems.

Dog Food Supplement Kelp Seaweed Certified Organic (Weight 3 KG)
  • Improves amino acids biologic activity in diet, contains 60 minerals including iodine and 12 vitamins
  • Improves skin and hair growth
  • Helps support healthy bones, joints, limbs especially in older dogs
  • Improves the balance of feed nutrition, absorption of nutrition, promotes metabolic activity, improves digestion
  • Reduces dryness and itchiness

Do Dogs Have Sunflower Seed Allergies?

It is possible for some dogs to be allergic to sunflower seeds.

We recommend that you check with your veterinarian before you feed them to your dogs.

We also recommend that you start with a small dose and increase it gradually if you notice there are not side effects on the dog.

About 3 or 5 seeds with each treat would do. If it turns out that the dog is allergic, there are other vitamins sources you can turn to in order to provide your pets with their nutritional needs.

Flax seeds, coconut oil, eggs and fish are the best examples.

What Are The Benefits For Dogs?

There are many benefits that dogs can enjoy from having sunflower seeds in their diet. They include:

  • Improved condition of coat and skin.
  • Supports the production of good cholesterol.
  • Rich with Vitamins that serve as antioxidant
  • Relieves stress and depression in dogs.
  • Promote overall body health in canines.


You can feed sunflower seeds to your dog but. if you feed your dog a good, balanced diet then, frankly, sunflower seeds should not be necessary.

There are better sources of nutrition for dogs, such as fish, but, if you do choose sunflower seeds then be moderate with the feeding and do not feed too often.

It is okay to give it a small amount of seeds every now and then. 

Last update on 2021-10-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API