Sunflower seeds are a beautiful gift from sunflower that is one of the healthiest foods out there. They keep you feeling full, with also giving enough healthy components.
Many dog owners, leaded by this knowledge of health benefits that come from sunflower seeds, wonder if it's safe to give their dogs this food. And the answer is yes.
Health benefits of sunflower seeds
Sunflower seeds are rich in vitamin E, and they are the body's primary antioxidant. Vitamin E neutralises the free radicals in our body and prevents them from damaging fat containing structures and molecules. With this being said, vitamin E has a very powerful anti inflammatory effect and reduces the symptoms of asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. He also protects our colon from dangerous conditions like cancer.
Vitamin E helps women that are going through menopause, and helpes them battle with flashes and reduces the risks of diabetes. This beneficial vitamin protects our cardiovascuraly system as well, through preventing free radicals from oxidizing cholesterol. So, a recommended daily dose of vitamin E will protect you from heart attack.
Phytosterols are usually found in plants and they have similar structure as cholesterol. Their main effect is lowering cholesterol in blood and enhances the immune response. Benefits from this very important component, are so big that they are extracted from these plants (also from sunflower seeds) and used widely for lowering cholesterol.
Other important component is magnesium. He reduces conditions like asthma, lower blood pressure, migrane headaches and prevents strokes. Magnesium gives us enough energy and it also keeps our bones strong. Besides all of the mentioned benefits there are of course many others, but we have selected the main benefits that give this magical seed his powers.
Giving sunflower seeds to dogs
Now that we know all the positive sides of sunflower seeds, let's target the issue of feeding our dogs with it. It is natural to ask ourselves what kind of foods can we feed our pets, and are the health benefits for them same as they are for us.
When eating sunflower seeds, the part that is used in nutrition is the seed inside the shell. the outside part of the seed or the shell, is not toxic to you or to your dog but there are no benefits of eating this part at all. So, no point eating it.
Giving sunflower seeds to your dog is not dangerous, he will definitely get all the nutrients from it. And when deciding on what kind to choose, you should go for organic seeds, and also unsalted ones. They are healthier for your dog this way and also for you too. To make the process easier choose the ones without the shell.
Sunflower seeds do contain a fair amount of calories. This also depends on the amount you are going for, but to know exactly how much your puppy needs, keep an eye on the daily calories plan so you don't go overboard. This is easier of course if you ask your vet, and save yourself the trouble.
Sunflower seeds should be given to dogs, only if they are not on a healthy meal plan, or if they lack in nutrients and you want to make up for that. They will provide him enough vitamin E, iron, magnesium and all the other healthy vitamins and minerals that he needs.
Sunflower seed is proven to be beneficial in improvement of your dogs coat and skin. So it will make your furry friend look better than ever before.
Ways that you can feed your dog sunflower seeds
If your canine friend doesn't seem to like eating seeds on their own, then try to mix them in his food or perhaps drink. You can even crush them a bit so he can process them easier.
The other way that you can get your dog to eat sunflower seeds is by using sunflower oil. It basically has the same effect as seeds, but it maybe easier to sneak in his food without being too noticeable. This oil can be found in various dog food brands, and they use it as a regular supplement. It is mainly used by dog owners, who's pet has some kind of skin or coat issues and to prevent this condition from getting even worse.
The obviuos advice is to of course ask your veterinarian for advice, so you can be 100% sure about your decision. And if notice anything strange in your furry friend's behavior, always contact the vet.
Downsides to feeding your dog with sunflower seeds
Dogs are not used to eating seeds, nuts and other foods like this, so it might be new to them. Fruits like apricots might be preferable for your dog. When it comes to beneficial effects they are certainly there, but you can try some other more suitable ways to feed your canine friend, so that he still gets everything he needs as far as the nutrients go.
Just like any other seeds or nuts, sunflower seed can cause diarrhea or intestinal distress, if they are consumed over the border. So when giving your pet a treat, always make sure that you don't give him too much. And if this does happen, then don't be scared he will be alright, just watch out for these consequences.
So, sunflower seeds are an amazing food that you can indulge and make your body stronger and healthier while still getting a delicious snack. Just like you, your canine friend can eat it too. It will help him grow a healthy coat, make his skin better and also help his internal overall health.
Of course, like with any other food, don't give him too much, so you don't make your pet sick, and always contact your veterinarian if you notice something is wrong.
In the end, sunflower seeds are definitely good for your dog (especially sunflower oil), but amongst many other food options you can perhaps find a replacement for them, just so your dog can enjoy his meal a bit more and eat food that is more common for his digestive system. You can also add mangoes to your dog's food if you want more fruits.