If you have ever wondered, 'can dogs eat sunflower butter' the answer is yes, they can eat it. But due to the amount of fat that is present in the sunflower seeds, it is not recommended that you feed it to your dog in large quantities.
If you're looking for a way to boost your dog's health, then sunflower butter is a great option. Not only will it provide them with the nutrients they need, but it can also help with their digestion. Just make sure that you get the seeds unsalted, have no hulls, and without any added sugar.
The best way to ensure this is the case is to make your own sunflower butter, and I have included a recipe below.
How much Sunflower butter, is too much?
So, how much sunflower butter can you give to your dogs? It depends. But, as a general rule of thumb, it's best to start small and then increase the amount gradually. A small amount might be considered half a teaspoonful per day, but it would not be recommended to go much more than one teaspoonful per day.
Check that there are no ill effects presenting in your dog, and if they are not eating their normal food, it would be better to stop and consult your vet. Sunflower butter is just a treat and should be intermittent with other treats. In other words, give your dog sunflower butter one day and something else the day after and something else the day after that.
Dogs can eat part of sunflower seeds only in their natural form, known as the kernel, which is without the hull. The outside shell encasing the seed is called the hull. In shell sunflower seeds have the hull intact.
Seeds without the shell are called kernels. The hull of the sunflower is very dangerous to dogs, so they should never be given with the hulls/shells on. Also, if the sunflower kernels are seasoned with any sort of spice or salty seasoning, then this too can be harmful to your dog.
Sunflower kernels are quite high in protein, some healthy fats, magnesium, and vitamin E, which are all quite good for your dog. Therefore, only in their natural form and only in small quantities may you give your dog sunflower kernels.
Sunflower kernels can be quite bitter, and therefore, sunflower butter can contain sugar which is not good for your dog, so make sure to read the label.
Sunflower butter is probably a healthier treat than peanut butter. But if you are looking for seeds that are regarded as healthier than both of these, then consider chia seeds, which are being promoted as a healthier choice for both dogs and humans. Not only are they high in fiber, but they are also a good source of vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids containing anti-inflammatory properties for your dog's joint and supporting brain health. They also contain calcium and phosphorus for bone development.
Homemade sunflower butter is the best way to go if you are considering including it in your dog's diet. You will be able to regulate the amount of sugar and salt (if you are including these ingredients at all) in your recipe. You can ensure that there is no seasoning that could be harmful to your dog.
It is really easy and cheap to make your own sunflower butter.
Roast some sunflower kernels until golden brown
Leave until cool
Transfer to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth
This takes a bit of time, so blend around 2 to 3-minute intervals making sure it blends together
It will eventually become a runny consistency
Store in an airtight container
Homemade sunflower butter stores up to 6 weeks in a fridge, and you can freeze the butter for up to 4 months.
Sunflower butter is not toxic for your dog. But, I would suggest if you are buying from a store to check the ingredients of the product. Check there is no possibility of the hull being in the product as well as the amount of salt and sugar present.
If you give your dog the bought processed sunflower butter from the shop, there's a good chance it will contain too much salt and sugar. If it doesn't contain sugar, check to make sure that it does not contain the harmful substance xylitol.
Xylitol is a natural substance with a sweet taste. It is used in food as a substitute for sugar for human consumption as it contains 40% fewer calories than sugar and does not raise blood sugar levels. It is, therefore, suitable for people who are diabetic or trying to lose weight. Please note that xylitol is extremely harmful to dogs.
A dog's body confuses xylitol with real sugar; their pancreas releases insulin removing real sugar in their body which causes their blood sugar to drop rapidly. This is known as hypoglycemia. As xylitol is found in many sugar-free products, sugar-free gum has become a real problem. Chewing gum containing xylitol is easy for a dog to come across, and many dogs have now been reported to ingest it. Only a small amount needs to be ingested to cause serious harm to your dog.
If your pet has swallowed poison, seek medical attention immediately.
Make note of signs shown by your pet
Make note of the product ingested and list of ingredients with product name and manufacturer.
Make note of the amount involved.
Make note of the time ingested and any treatment given
As xylitol can be found in nut butter brands, it is, therefore, best to stick to the homemade sunflower butter. At least you know what's in it.
Many people now point out that peanut butter can contain aflatoxin, poisonous carcinogens that are harmful to your pet. According to the American Kennel Club, most peanut butter is safe for dogs. The healthiest option would be unsalted, homemade, or dog-specific peanut butter. Dogs can eat peanut butter so long as in moderation and do not contain xylitol.
So if you normally give your dog a small bit of peanut butter as a reward or treat and you are worried it might be harmful, then switching to sunflower butter may be a good option. Chances are if they like peanut butter, they are going to like sunflower butter just as much.
Sunflower butter can be eaten by dogs but should only be given as an occasional treat as too much could have some negative effects. Ensure that only the kernel of the seed is used and not added salt, sugar, or xylitol in the butter. The best way is homemade. Your dog also needs to like sunflower butter; otherwise, there it's not much of a treat for them.