To give a brief answer to your question, NO, poppy seeds are NOT okay for dogs. As a matter of fact, poppy seeds are toxic for dogs!
But what if your dog accidentally ingests poppy seeds?
While a small amount may not lead to adverse effects, a larger amount of poppy seeds can turn out to be fatal. Even a smaller amount can be dangerous for a small dog.
Poppy seeds contain opiates that are extremely dangerous for dogs. Opiates are sedatives that are harmful to humans when taken in excess. For dogs, even little is dangerous. Therefore, as a pet parent, you must avoid feeding it to your dog.
However, if the pup has accidentally ingested the seeds, then you must seek immediate medical attention.
Read on to know about poppy poisoning and how to deal with it.
Poppy Seeds Ok For Dogs? Are They Toxic!
The toxicity of poppy seeds depends on the amount ingested. A larger intake can lead to poisoning and result in adverse repercussions. A smaller amount also turns out to be dangerous for a smaller dog.
According to Pet Poison Hotline and Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), poppy seeds are poisonous for dogs.
Regardless of how much has been ingested, it is important to make a visit to the vet in case your dog accidentally eats poppy seeds.
Remember, there is no “safe” limit when it comes to poppy seeds. Unlike other food items, there is no moderate value when it comes to the intake of poppy seeds.
Why Are Poppy Seeds So Toxic?
Poppy seeds contain a moderate amount of opiates, such as morphine, which is toxic for dogs.
Opiates, if ingested, can attack the nervous system of the dog. Therefore, poppy seed can cause poisoning, also called “poppy poisoning.”
Poppy seeds belong to the category of food items that should be avoided at all costs. Even a moderate amount of intake is dangerous. Different dogs may react differently to it. While some appear extremely energetic, others may appear sedative. It has an intoxicating effect on the dogs.
Drunken walking is one such symptom of poppy poisoning. Sometimes, the dogs behave unusually and do not remember their owners. One may also notice seizures in adverse cases. If not treated timely, poppy poisoning may lead to the death of the pup.
Symptoms Of Poppy Poisoning
Poppy poisoning is dangerous, and you should look out for signs that may indicate poisoning. Some of these symptoms you would watch out for are-
- Breathing difficulties
- Slower heart rate
- Sedation (feeling drowsy and relaxed)
- Lack of activity
- Pinpoint pupils
- Constantly staring, “beady” eyes
- Ataxia (loss of control over bodily movements)
Noticing these symptoms and reporting these to your vet immediately will initiate the treatment faster and reduce major health damage.
Remember that poppy poisoning can lead to the death of your pup. Therefore, you must be attentive towards the symptoms and take your dog for treatment immediately.
You may hear that if ingested in small amounts, poppy seeds may not cause much damage. But that is the best-case scenario. You must not take the situation lightly.
Also, note that different sizes and different breeds of dogs react differently to poppy seeds. Therefore, we recommend that even if you see no symptoms, you should keep a close watch on your lapdogs for 24-48 hours.
What To Do If Your Dog Accidentally Ingests Poppy Seeds?
- First, keep poppy seeds away from your dog’s reach. It is better to prevent it from happening in the first place. Store it in places where it is not accessible by dogs.
- Secondly, even if you are not sure if poppy seeds have been ingested, be attentive. Watch out for any symptoms or abnormal signs that may indicate poisoning or any other health issue.
- Further, it is better not to have poppy plants around the house. It is possible that the dogs may, out of curiosity, ingest poppy seeds. Therefore, it is best not to have poppy plants in the garden.
- Lastly, if your dog has eaten poppy seeds, then do not ignore them. Take medical assistance immediately. Ignorance, in this case, can prove fatal.
Upon taking your dog to the veterinarian, here’s how the vet may treat the pup-
First, a physical exam of your dog may be conducted. Accordingly, a complete blood count will provide information on how internal organs are functioning.
Packed cell hydration may be performed. Urinalysis may also be done to analyze kidney working.
The veterinarian may also decide to do an ECG if the heart rate appears abnormal.
Treatment of Poppy Poisoning
Firstly, your vet may induce vomiting to rid him of any remaining poppy seeds. However, you must not try it yourself. The veterinarian is in the best position to perform the action.
In case of breathing difficulties, the dog may be placed in an oxygen cage.
If the dog is feeling lethargic, depressed, or has dilated pupils and staring eyes, then the vet may keep the dog in the dark, quiet place to calm him.
In case of breathing issues, then the veterinarian may monitor the breathing for a while.
Medications may be given to prevent complications.
Poppy seeds have always been surrounded by controversies. Its opium effects have been questioned, time and again. However, there is no uncertainty in the fact that poppy seeds are not okay for your dogs. They are, in fact, extremely toxic. In the worst-case scenario, it may lead to death.
Appears frightening? Well, it is. Even the symptoms of poppy poisoning are scary. Your furry friend may feel lethargic, depressed, walk drunkenly, may not recognize you, or not eat anything. It may even lead to seizures.
Thus, if you notice any symptoms, make an immediate trip to the vet. We would recommend preventing such calamity in the first place. This could be done by not planting poppy plants in your garden and by keeping poppy seeds away from your dog’s reach.