Are Sunflowers Poisonous To Dogs?

Are Sunflowers Poisonous To Dogs?

I have 3 very active Jack Russells and they just love playing outside in the garden. For the most part, they don’t destroy my yard, but every now and again I would catch one of them nibbling on one of the plants.

I have sunflowers in my garden, and this got me wondering if sunflowers are poisonous to dogs. Will my dogs get sick if they eat them?

No, sunflowers are not poisonous to dogs, and The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals lists sunflowers as a non-toxic plant. This means that your dog can eat an entire sunflower without experiencing any side effects or becoming ill due to toxicity.

Why Does My Dog Eat Sunflowers?

Explaining a dog’s behavior can be a daunting task sometimes. More often than not, there is more than one reason why a dog is displaying a certain type of behavior.

If you see your dog eating sunflowers or any other plant for that matter, it is because:

  • He might be bored
  • He might be suffering from separation anxiety
  • He has a dietary deficiency
  • He is not getting enough exercise
  • He needs to get rid of intestinal parasites

If you don’t like your furry friend eating away at your sunflowers, then you need to take a look at the various reasons listed above to establish why he is displaying this type of behavior. I can safely say that 9 out of 10 times, if my dogs are eating plants in my garden, then they are bored.

Obviously, you don’t want your dog to destroy all your sunflowers so I recommend that you address this problem immediately. You can also opt to put a little fence around your flowers to make sure that your furry friend can’t reach them.

An if all else fails, then you always have the option of contacting a dog trainer to train your pup.

Can Dogs Eat Sunflower Seeds?

No, you’re probably wondering if dogs can eat sunflower seeds.

Yes, dogs can eat sunflower seeds because, due to their nutritional values, they help to produce good cholesterol, they lower anxiety levels, they boost cell respiration, and they help to increase fat metabolism.

Please note though that these seeds need to be peeled and they must be free from salt. It is also important that your dog only consumes the kernel of the seed because the seed’s shell can cause stomach problems such as diarrhea.

So, as you can imagine, it is important to take care and keep an eye on your furry friend when you see him going for the seeds of a sunflower plant.

Can Dogs Eat Sunflower Oil?

Unless you’ve been living in a cave all your life, or if you’ve never cooked anything before, you’re probably aware of the many uses and benefits of sunflower oil.

But, can our furry friends safely consume it?

Yes, dogs can eat sunflower oil as it is rich in omega-6, an essential fatty acid that promotes a healthy immune system, maintains the reproductive system, and stimulates hair and skin growth in dogs.

However, it is important to be aware of the effects of feeding your dog sunflower oil on a regular basis.

The amount of omega-6 in your dog’s body needs to be in proper proportion to omega-3, and because sunflower oil is high in omega-6, it can be too much omega-6 for your dog’s body to handle and it can negatively impact his immune system.


If your dog manages to somehow eat a sunflower then there is no need to worry. A sunflower, including its leaves and stalk, are not toxic to dogs at all.

While it may not be desirable behavior for your dog to eat sunflowers, it will certainly not harm him. So, if you’re looking for a dog-friendly plant to liven up your garden, then sunflowers are the way to go.

Just take care when you see your pup eating sunflower seeds directly from the plant. These seeds need to be peeled first before your dog can eat them because they can cause digestive problems when not peeled.


  • Jan Pretorius

    Meet Jan Pretorius, the passionate dog lover and proud owner of the popular canine haven, Born and raised in a small town known for its love of animals, Jan’s journey into the world of dogs began at a young age, fueled by an innate connection with our four-legged companions.