Poppy Seeds are becoming more popular as a dietary supplement or ingredient in many foods for human consumption.
Classic examples of foods with Poppy Seeds include Poppy Seed Bagels or Muffins which are a tasty baked treat for many Americans.
Outside of these foods, some eat poppy seeds independently because of their health benefits like high levels of Manganese and Copper.
However, dog owners should be cautious feeding their dogs new ingredients and foods such as Poppy Seeds without fully understanding the consequences.
Can Dogs Eat Poppy Seeds?
No, dogs should not consume poppy seeds, especially in larger quantities or directly from a poppy flower. This is as Poppy Seeds are toxic to dogs as they can contain opiates if they are unwashed, and they can also cause Poppy Poisoning.
This is especially true for any poppies that are not processed or pre-washed before being sold to consumers. Those wild or unprocessed poppies are likely to contain much higher levels of opiates.
Despite this, this rule that dogs should not eat poppy seeds should be extended to most human foods that contain poppy seeds, such as Poppy Seed Bread or Poppy Seed Muffins.
While the number of poppy seeds present in these foods may not be high, they can still cause an adverse reaction in some dogs, and there are many other human foods that are much safer to feed to dogs.
Why Are Poppy Seeds Toxic To Dogs?
While they may appear innocent, poppy seeds can cause havoc to dogs if digested. This is as they contain the alkaloids morphine and codeine, especially if they are unwashed.
While you may recognize these as painkillers or drugs used on humans in hospital and you may have even heard the rumors about individuals failing their drug tests after eating small amounts of poppy seeds.
However, just because your dog doesn’t take drug tests and these are used on patients in hospitals does not mean that you want your dog consuming them without good reason.
The consumption of Poppy Seeds can cause several common symptoms in dogs. According to Wag, the most common symptoms of Poppy Poisoning in dogs include the below:
- Pinpoint (constricted) pupils
- Respiratory depression
- Slowed heart rate
The symptoms that would be most likely to present themselves would be those related to a dog’s behavior, such as sedation, weakness, or trembling.
However, every dog is unique, and some may show symptoms or an adverse reaction in a different way from those suggested or those listed above.
What To Do If your Dog Eats Poppy Seeds?
Your reaction to your dog eating poppy seeds should vary greatly depending on how and how many they consumed.
If your dog simply ate a small bite of a poppy seed bagel or a poppy seed muffin, you should not be overly concerned, and there will probably be little to no reaction.
Regardless, you should always keep a close eye on your dog if they have eaten something they shouldn’t, especially something that contains poppy seeds.
However, if your dog ate a larger quantity of poppy seeds or ate poppy seeds directly from a wild poppy plant, you should consider contacting or visiting a veterinary professional.
As well as reaching out to a professional, you should consider monitoring your dog for any symptoms such as strange behavior or vomiting, as this could be an early warning sign that something is wrong.