The short answer is no—dogs cannot eat poppy seeds. They are toxic and harmful to dogs. But you can find out the symptoms, cause, and treatment for poppy seed poisoning in dogs here.
What Happens if My Dog Eats Poppy Seeds?
Anyone remember Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz? Do you remember how she “falls asleep” in the field of poppies? Well, the poppy seeds in those beautiful red flowers actually poisoned her, and made her pass out. Although the flowers look harmless, as Dorothy quickly found out, they are very dangerous.
Poppy seeds, flowers, and the plant in its entirety are toxic for our four-legged friends because they contain narcotic substances called opioids. Although the amount of opioids vary in the different species of poppies, they are all dangerous and harmful to dogs. And the smaller the dog, the less it takes to have a potentially fatal affect.
So if you’re out walking your dog in a field of wildflowers—please be EXTRA careful! You wouldn’t want your pup eating the wrong thing. The same goes for flowers and plants that you may have at home. It’s best to avoid having any plants in your home that are toxic to dogs, if ingested. Although our dogs are pretty smart, they don’t always know which things are poisonous to eat, and which are safe.
For other articles about safe and unsafe foods for dogs, check out the Off Leash! Blog on TryFi.com.
Symptoms of Poppy Seed Poisoning in Dogs
Common symptoms from a poppy seed poisoning in dogs can be depression, sedation, a coma, or even death. If your dog has ingested any amount of poppy seeds, please call your vet right away! The sooner you get help for your sweet pooch, the better. Here’s a more extensive list of the potential symptoms—depending on how much your dog has eaten.
- Lack or loss of appetite
- Watery eyes
- Sudden energy rush
- Abnormally small pupils—a.k.a pinpoint pupils
- Ataxia—slurred speech, stumbling, falling, and incoordination
- Slow and ineffective breathing
- Slowed heart rate
The Cause of Poppy Seed Poisoning in Dogs
Studies have shown that there are typically 0.5 - 10 micrograms of morphine found in each gram of edible poppy seeds. Thankfully for humans, you would have to eat quite a bit to feel any kind of drug high or narcotic effects. But for dogs, any amount can be toxic and harmful.
According to the Pet Poison Helpline, “The alkaloids found in poppies differ with each species; some can affect the central nervous system (e.g., brain). Ingestion of any part of the plant can result in sedation or an excited (e.g., euphoric) state.” This is what causes the symptoms in dogs listed above. So if you are planning on eating something with poppy seeds, make sure you keep it far, far away from your dog. Or better yet, consider not even bringing it into your home—just in case. Accidents do happen, and this is one accident you’ll want to try and avoid.
Treatment of Poppy Seed Poisoning in Dogs
If your dog has eaten any foods with poppy seeds, or you suspect they have—call your veterinarian right away. In any potentially dangerous situation, it’s best to just call the vet and ask what to do. Although they may request that you bring your dog to their clinic to be checked out in person, it doesn’t cost anything to ask your vet a question over the phone.
Also, please don’t try to induce vomiting at home, unless otherwise directed by your vet. Even though this is the answer in some situations, it’s not necessarily the right move here—especially if your dog ate the poppy seeds more than 90 minutes ago. Your veterinarian knows the proper care for your dog in this situation. They will be able to give your dog the proper fluids and medication needed, while carefully watching their symptoms and state of wellbeing.
Can I Give My Dog Poppy Seeds?
By this point, you’ve found out that the answer is clearly a no. Poppy seeds have no nutritional value to a dog, and they can cause a disastrous amount of harm. The moral of the story is—don’t keep any foods in the house that contain poppy seeds. It’s just not worth the risk.
Of course, accidents do happen sometimes—so don’t feel bad. You may bring home some lemon poppy seed muffins one day. And your dog happens to eat some that fell on the floor. If there is ever an occasion that your dog came into contact with poppies in the wild, or accidentally ate some from food on the floor, please don’t stay silent because you’re embarrassed or ashamed. Call your veterinarian right away to get your precious furbaby the help and attention that they need. The sooner you do, the more likely you are to save their life!