Can dogs eat poppy seeds?
A clear answer to this question is NO. Poppy seeds can result in various types of dangerous symptoms and can prove to be toxic to dogs. If, by accident your dog has consumed poppy seeds then you should consult a veterinarian immediately as we cannot say for sure, how much will it affect the health of the dog, but at some point it will. Poppy seeds can cause depression, anxiety and in some situation can lead to coma and even death.
One can give poppy seeds to their dogs with a minimal quantity with various precautions, but there is no point giving poppy seeds to your dog.Not only poppy seeds, other parts of this plant are toxic too. Even the whole species of poppy can be very dangerous to your dog.
What are poppy seeds?
Poppy seeds are oil seeds obtained from the opium poppy. Cultivation of opium poppy started thousands of years ago and is still widely used in central Europe and south Asia. Kidney shaped poppy seed is less than a millimetre in length and have pitted surface. Poppy seeds are often used for medicinal purposes for humans, but for dogs they are toxic and the toxicity depends upon the level of opiates, depending upon the harvesting process.
What are the contents in poppy seeds?
Poppy seeds contains numerous types of Vitamins i.e. Vitamin-A, K, C, E, B6 and minerals like manganese, phosphorous, copper, zinc, potassium, sodium, iron etc. and fats, carbohydrates, proteins and water.
Poppy seeds also have narcotic alkaloids, such as morphine, papaverine, codeine, thebaine and noscapine, which are toxic for dogs; these alkaloids are harmful because it can damage the central nervous system of your dog.
Why can’t a dog eat poppy seeds?
Poppy seeds contain Alkaloids which can badly hurt a dog not only physically but mentally too. It can result in depression which will make him inactive, overweight (as some dogs eat a lot when they are in depression) or underweight. If a dog ate a large amount of poppy seeds, it can take him to coma and in some cases death. While poppy seeds are beneficial for humans, it works opposite to the health of dogs. If you have poppy plants in your garden / home try to keep them as distant from your dog as you can because other parts of poppy plant are toxic for dogs such as flowers.
What are the symptoms if your dog ate poppy seeds?
It is very important to know the signs of opium poppy poisoning, as it can be very dangerous if not treated on time.
Some easily recognized signs include:
Slowed respiration / breath, decrease in heartbeat rate, pinpointed pupils, sedation, and weakness, difficulty in walking properly or spinning head in some cases and not being able to walk at all are some of the major symptoms.
Some signs such as decrease in food consumption or lack of interest in surroundings are sometimes hard to recognise and should be given proper attention.
Eating large amount of poppy seeds can directly send your dog into coma and it might not be able to recover.
What kinds of poppy seeds are edible to dogs?
There are no particular types of poppy seeds which can be edible and are safe to give to your dog. Some research says that the poppy seeds which have low amount of opium in them can cause no harm to dogs, but the levels of opium depends upon the harvesting process as it opens the possibility of contamination. As a dog parent you cannot be 100% sure that the poppy seeds you are considering to give to your dog is safe or not.
Poppy seeds have a controversial history about the effects of opiate but there is no question if it is harmful or not. Poppy seeds in any way are dangerous for your dog and it is not worth the risk. In case your dog has consumed poppy seeds, you must take it to consult a veterinarian.