Your best friend loves to eat with you and let’s face it, it’s REALLY hard to say no to them. It doesn’t even matter if you are eating something that you think they wouldn’t like, usually your dog wants some. So, are sunflower seeds bad for dogs? In today’s article we will discuss sunflower seeds, nuts, and other things that your dog might want but they cannot have so that you can ensure that your furry friend is only eating snacks that are good for them. So, if you are ready, let’s start with a little information on those sunflower seeds.
Your dog and sunflower seeds
We have some good news for you in regards to those sunflower seeds. They are actually perfectly safe for your dog but you will want to remove the shells. So, what about other fruit seeds? Well, in general, fruit seeds are going to be safe, even things like watermelon seeds or cantaloupe seeds. As far as which are NOT good for your dog, there are some which you will want to avoid in order to keep your furry friend happy and healthy. Fruit pits, to be specific. Your dog should not eat the following:
- Cherry pits
- Plum pits
- Peach pits
- Apricot pits
What about nuts?
Your dog will probably want to eat nuts with you (they especially like peanut butter so you’d better share a few peanuts), but not all nuts are the same. As a general rule, don’t give them ANY nut that is moldy or you think has gone bad, and keep small nuts in moderation for best results. If your dog has pancreatitis or any other stomach condition then nuts should be off the menu entirely. Also, larger nuts are harder to digest, so don’t let your puppy have any of those. Your dog will likely end up with an upset stomach and a ‘potty accident’ will be likely, so no large nuts… ever.
Are there some other foods which my dog should not eat?
Yes, there are definitely some things which your doggie should not be ingesting. While dogs can eat a lot of things due to their proximity to humans for so very, very long, that doesn’t mean that they can eat absolutely everything which we can (and face it, they eat some things that we definitely should not, either, so it’s fair from that perspective). A few things to keep out of your doggie diet are:
- Fatty meat –Fatty meats are not good for your dog. Yes, bacon is included and we’ll tell you why. These meats can lead to pancreatitis in dogs over time. Now, you can fry up some turkey bacon with your own if you want to share but watch the sodium content as we will explain shortly.
- Chocolate – No matter what your dog says on the matter, chocolate is not a good idea (especially the baking and dark kind). Chocolate has a chemical called Theobromine that is harmless for humans but can cause excessive thirst, diarrhea, and even seizures in your dog (potentially fatal ones). Yes, maybe your dog has eaten chocolate before, but you need to take it off of the menu.
- Dairy products –Another pancreatitis risk, your dog’s digestive system is not really equipped for dairy, so you open them up to potential gastrointestinal conditions, gas, and diarrhea, so watch the dairy as well!
“Watch those sodium levels.”
- Salt – Too much salt can make your doggy sick so keep salty foods to a minimum. Dogs can end up vomiting, having diarrhea, and it can even lead to fatal seizures or bloat (from drinking too much water). Too much salt is not good for us and it’s not good for them, either, so watch those sodium levels.
- Onions, leeks, and garlic – These veggies are a definite no-no for your furry friend. Ingestion of too much of these can leaf to anemia, as they can actually destroy some of your dog’s red blood cells when eaten. While these veggies are good for us they are bad for a number of animals, so if you are eating something with a lot of garlic or onions then put the leftovers in the fridge and give your pup a treat instead.
- Grapes (also raisins)-You’d think that grapes would be harmless but they are not. Grapes, whether they be whole or dried out are very hard on your dogs kidneys and put them at risk for renal failure. Keep those delicious grapes to yourself!
What if my dog REALLY wants to eat these things?
While we know that it’s hard to say ‘no’ to that cute little face, you can still treat your dog without worries with a few little quick tips. Some great alternatives are as follows:
- Keep doggie treats on hand so that you have a substitute for when they want something of yours which they cannot have.
- Cook dog-friendly alternatives when you are making your own meal, such as low sodium turkey bacon, boiled eggs, or other treats that can keep your dog distracted while you dine together (and keep those mournful looks to a minimum).
- Treat your health at the same time that you watch your dogs by switching to healthier alternative meal choices that are good for the both of you. While this seems extreme to some, your dog is your best friend and many of us (eh, most of us, who are we kidding?) like to dine with our furry friend either every day or maybe just on the weekends. So why not meet in the middle with low fat, low-sodium recipes that are good for the both of you?
In this article we’ve discussed sunflower seeds and other snacks to help you get a better idea of what food you can safely share with your dog. Remember, you can always substitute snacks that your dog will love just as much so you can always share with your best friend. Just be sure to be aware while you share!