While preparing a sweet bakery item, we often add poppy seeds or ground poppy to it. That’s because of its flavorful taste and nutrients. Seeing the unique colour and texture of these seeds, our canine friends sometimes beg for a portion of them. But can dogs have poppy seeds?
Unfortunately, poppy seeds do not fall into the safe category of food for dogs. They contain opiates, like morphine and codeine, that can be poisonous to dogs in high amounts. The toxicity can lead to severe health issues, like damage to the central nervous system. There is more to discuss about the side effects of poppy seeds for dogs.
All About Poppy Seeds
Poppy seeds are a type of oilseed that has a scientific name, Papaver somniferum. These seeds come from the dried seed pods of the poppy flower and are kidney-shaped. In many continents, people use poppy seeds as ground or whole to enhance the taste of desserts and bakery items.
Poppy seeds are also used to make poppy seed oil, which requires a pressing process. In general, these seeds offer many nutritional benefits. Such as thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, iron, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, etc.
Can Dogs Have Poppy Seeds?
Dogs cannot have poppy seeds. This is because the entire poppy plant and flower contain toxins. So they should not have poppy buds or any parts of the poppy plant.
Sometimes, dogs vomit, have diarrhoea, stomach pain, etc. for certain hours after eating poppy seeds. Again, we see some dogs are going through poppy seed poisoning from eating them. This is most common when consumption is high.
Why Should Dogs Not Eat Poppy Seeds?
Poppy seeds, also known as Papaver somniferum, are part of the poppy plant. The flowers we see blooming on this plant catch our eye. Not only its flowers, but the entire plant is a showpiece for canines. If they attempt to eat any part of the plant, including the poppy seeds, they will have adverse effects.
The reason is that poppy plants and their seeds contain opiate compounds. Such as papaverine, noscapine, thebaine, codeine, and morphine. Of all these compounds, codeine and morphine can help with skin issues. Yet, they are harmful to dogs as a whole.
Although poppy seeds have fewer toxins, they can still pose health threats to dogs. They may have to deal with poppy seed poisoning when the intake is high. However, dogs with heart disease may have to go through poppy seed poisoning, even if the amount is less.
The reason for the poppy seed poisoning is because of the dangerous compounds. Dogs don’t have the enzymes to digest those opiates. That’s why they show certain symptoms of poppy poisoning after eating the seeds. The symptoms are a lower heart rate, inappetence, trembling, depression, lack of coordination, pinpoint pupils, difficulty breathing, and so on. Sometimes the severity of the reactions increases, resulting in a coma or death.
What Should You Do When Dogs Eat Poppy Seeds?
For example, a German Shepherd and a Yorkie ate one teaspoon of poppy seeds. The German Shepherd may show fewer symptoms and have fewer severe reactions. On the other hand, Yorkue, being an extra-small breed, will have more severity in his reactions, though both ate poppy seeds in the same amount. This is because a big body can adapt to foods compared to a small body. This means you shouldn’t wait to see the symptoms if your small dog eats these seeds. You must call his vet and opt for immediate treatment.
As I said, a large dog will show fewer symptoms and less severity in reactions. Maybe he won’t show symptoms for a few hours or not at all. So you have to observe his actions, appetite, way of walking, and everything else. Keep doing it for about 2 days. If he shows symptoms, it means he needs immediate treatment. If not, maybe he has comfortably digested the seeds.
Well, the recommendations apply when dogs eat foods with poppy seeds as well.
Treatments For Poppy Seed Poisoning In Dogs?
Whenever you notice the drastic symptoms of popped seed poisoning in your dog, talk to his vet immediately. He may apply some tricks to make your paw friend throw up everything if the consumption was done recently. He may activate charcoal to stop the bloodstream from absorbing the opiates from the poppy seeds. This will also alleviate the lingering poppy seeds in the stomach.
If your dog has become dehydrated, his vet will give him an IV drip. If he is having difficulty breathing, then the vet will give him oxygen by putting him in the oxygen cage.
Your vet can also tell you to do some tests to identify the level of toxicity in your dog’s body. The tests may include a complete blood count, a chemistry panel, and a packed cell volume test. Dogs with heart disease or kidney disease may also need a urinalysis to diagnose kidney function. In that case, it will be suggested that they do an ECG test too.
After opting for all these treatments, your dog’s vet will suggest some medications so that the reactions don’t increase further. He will also suggest keeping your dog in a quiet and dark room if he is showing signs of depression, lethargy, etc.
Are Foods With Poppy Seeds Safe For Dogs?
If poppy seeds are harmful to dogs, so are the foods with poppy seeds. Most often, we prepare muffins, bread, and other dessert items with them. The opiates that poppy seeds have will also be in the foods that have poppy seeds. Moreover, these items will have added sugar, flavourings, additives, and so on.
These will not only drag a dog towards poppy poisoning but also other health issues. Such as heart disease, a spike in the blood sugar level, metabolic and digestive imbalances, etc. Because of the sugar or sweeteners in bakery items with poppy seeds, dogs can put on more weight, resulting in obesity.
Frequently Asked Questions: Can Dogs Have Poppy Seeds?
Can dogs have poppy seeds crackers?
Poppy seed crackers are as harmful as poppy seeds for dogs. According to vets, dogs shouldn’t eat any plant food that has these seeds and cyanide.
Can pets eat poppy seeds?
No pets or mammals should eat poppy seeds. The levels of opiates and toxins present in these seeds are equally harmful to all animals.
What are the signs of poppy seed poisoning?
High levels of alkaloids, or opiates, in poppy seeds, can result in poppy seed poisoning. Its signs can be ataxia, pinpoint pupils, sedation, trembling, depression, and so on.
Which seeds do dogs not have?
Apart from poppy seeds, dogs should not have any seeds that have cyanide. It is mostly found in the seeds of apricots, plums, pears, etc.
What happens if a dog eats poppy seeds?
Initially, a dog will vomit, have watery poop, gas, bloating, intestinal blockage, weakness, etc. from eating poppy seeds. Later on, if the symptoms become severe, he will tremble, lose coordination, lose muscle control, etc. Sometimes, high amounts of these seeds can result in coma and even death.
After learning about the side effects of poppy seeds, we will always have the question, Can dogs have poppy seeds? The answer is no, not even a little bit. Maybe a large breed can lick a tiny amount of these seeds and not react, but that would not be recommended. For small breeds, the reactions will be severe, even in small amounts.
Sometimes, our dog gets curious about the texture of poppy seeds and may have them discreetly. In that case, you have to understand the symptoms that he will give and let his vet know about his situation. Lastly, we would say don’t offer poppy seeds, any foods that have these, or any parts of the poppy plant to your paw friend.