Are Sunflower Leaves Poisonous To Dogs? How Much Is Ok?

Numerous pet owners express their worries when their dogs eat strange things, ranging from wood, cinnamon bread, and sunflower leaves.

So are sunflower leaves poisonous to dogs?

This article will unravel this mystery via the following details.

If your puppy is currently consuming this kind of leaf, don’t worry soon, and read my post carefully to obtain the necessary information. Let’s get started!

Are Sunflower Leaves Poisonous To Dogs?

are sunflower leaves poisonous to dogs

No, sunflower leaves and other parts, such as stems, seeds, or even the beautiful flowers, do not threaten canines.

That means they are completely safe for your dog’s consumption and a perfect plantation for a dog-friendly garden.

Yet, everything must be in moderation. An excessive number of leaves can wreak havoc on a puppy’s digestion process.

They could deteriorate normal functions of the digestive system, as shown by several symptoms, like diarrhea or mild vomiting.

Suppose you notice these signs. In this case, you are advised to take your dog to a reliable clinic, and a professional vet will check its overall health conditions before it is too late.

Why Does My Dog Eat Sunflower Plant & Sunflower Leaves?

Can dogs eat sunflower leaves? Yes, but why? Under most circumstances, a dog eats sunflowers and leaves because they are bored.

Due to this boredom, they try to look around and find something attractive to eat.

Sunflower seedlings give off a pretty sweet fragrance that will likely attract your canines’ attention.

After eating the seedlings, they also want to consume more and search the surrounding area.

That’s why they sometimes mistakenly digest leaves because a sunflower leaf has no distinct smell.

Another reason is your pup may feel desperately hungry. It nearly starves, so anything could be regarded as food. And sunflower leaves often become targets for consumption.

Due to extreme hunger, your canine might eat a large load of leaves relentlessly.

This practice causes a menace to its health by resulting in the possibility of intestinal obstruction. So it is advisable for you to keep an eye on it to avert worse scenarios.

How Much Of Sunflower Is Toxic To Dogs?

Are sunflowers poisonous to dogs? Yes, to some extent, but the maximum amount of sunflowers is not defined, but you should rely on the toxicity level published by the ASPCA.

Honestly, it would be best to prevent your pup from eating excessively, limiting sunflower leaves to about 10 leaves and telling it to stop if the number surpasses this threshold.

Unlike other flowers: daffodil, hemlock, lily of the valley, or deadly nightshade, sunflowers are very low in toxicity level, but you’d better watch out because 2-4 ml/lb could render significant risks to your pup’s health.

As mentioned earlier, overconsumption is normally conducive to obstruction in the digestive system.

Apart from leaves, sunflower seeds are also the main culprits behind this problem, as their shells induce a blockage if not digested fully.

The situation becomes more serious when the sunflowers are intoxicated with insecticides. Gardeners often fertilize their gardens to eradicate insects and facilitate plant growth.

Fertilizers contain many toxic components, namely larvicides and ovicides.

They negatively affect the digestive system and other body systems, from the endocrine to the nervous system of your canine.

What To Do If Your Dog Eats Toxic Sunflower Leaves?

Why does my dog eat sunflower plant

Can sunflower plants hurt dogs?

If consumed a large amount, Toxic sunflower leaves can render various symptoms, including skin irritation, collapse, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, head tremor, and drooling.

These symptoms vary depending on the consumption rate and type of insecticides.

So how to address this issue? Here are some viable approaches for you to consider.

Remove Access To The Plant

If you see that your dog displays the above signs, stop it from eating sunflower materials and try to take the leftovers out of its mouth.

Don’t use bare hands since its bite can hurt you, so look for tools or gloves before doing so.

Then, rush to take curd or water with the purpose of flushing the toxins out.

It seems better to administer one gram of activated charcoal to fasten the process of getting rid of poisons.

Contact A Poison Control Hotline

After taking fundamental measures to alleviate the symptoms, wait for some minutes if those signs are minor. You could easily notice via your pup’s facial expression.

Yet, if it displays great discomfort, call the poison control hotline immediately, and they will instruct you how to perform in an emergency.

Don’t freak out, and always remain calm to not exacerbate the issue.

Seek Veterinary Or Clinical Help

If you stay near a hospital or clinic, immediately take your dog to seek veterinary assistance.

Qualified vets will undertake some fundamental check-ups and diagnose their problems.

Don’t worry too much because you only make everything worse.

Calm down and wait for doctors to conclude. If everything is alright, take medication and follow the prescription carefully. In worse cases, surgery is needed.

How To Keep Sunflowers Away From Your Dogs?

Below are six viable methods of helping your canines stay away from sunflower plants.

Choose A Suitable Location

Sunflowers should be out of your dog’s reach. If you let it go jogging or play, opting for a park or playground without sunflowers is strongly recommended.

Avoid planting sunflowers in your garden because you cannot control how many flower leaves your canine can consume daily.

In other words, keep your pet and sunflowers away as the two different worlds.

I usually plant some plants along the fence on the outside so that my pooch can’t get their hands on the leaves.

Fencing Or Barriers

Installing fences or barriers is effective at steering your canine clear from sunflowers.

But, you should build fences that are high enough as dogs can still jump over a low-level fence without a hitch.

Pay attention to the barrier’s material too. It should be made of solid objects or wood so it doesn’t easily fall due to external factors, such as the weather.

You can consider other alternatives to fences, such as mesh or plant netting.

Elevated Planters

Growing sunflowers on raised or elevated beds is a good option. Ensure that the height should be over 1 meter so puppies are unable to jump toward them.

If you also do this, make sure the materials are high quality. Otherwise, these beds could fall easily after a strong wind.

I also plant these flowers in pots and hang them onto the window.

Training And Deterrents

Using some reinforcement techniques to train your canine not to reach sunflowers is also advisable.

Crate training is quite popular, but the procedure of making your pet familiar with its cage is filled with difficulties.

Besides, applying deterrents, like neem oil or red pepper flakes, is a viable solution.

But many animal lovers argue against this approach because they assume it violates moral standards.

Opt For Non-Toxic Varieties

Sometimes, adjusting seems to bear better results. Suppose your dog displays vigorous reactions; you can choose the least toxic varieties to grow.

Although it cannot fully address the problems brought by the overconsumption of sunflower leaves, you don’t need to worry about the toxicity level.

Use The Repellent

You can plant natural repellents: lavender, rosemary, citronella, etc.

These plants not only sway your worry about sunflowers but also create a gorgeous and soothing look for your garden.

I sometimes apply chemical repellents, including apple bitter, white vinegar, or something derived from nature.

However, many products, like pet correctors, raise controversy about morality.

Are Sunflowers Safe Or Toxic To Dogs (Flowers, Stalks)?

Are sunflower plants toxic to dogs?

As presented above, common sunflower has a very low level of toxicity, so you don’t need to worry that it can threaten your canine’s development and well-being.

Are sunflower stems bad for dogs? The answer is no. And the same is true for seeds together with stalks.

Yet, over-eating stalks or seeds is still detrimental to digestion, and the problem could worsen if not treated well.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Eating Sunflower Seeds?

Here are some health benefits and drawbacks of feeding your dog with sunflower seeds that you should know.


Seeds of the sunflower plants are highly nutritious and rich in proteins, fat, calories, and fiber.

A quarter cup of seeds can contain 6 grams of proteins, 4 grams of fiber, 190 calories, and 16 grams of fat. They also include various vitamins, such as vitamins B1, B3, B6, and E.

For that reason, they can bring several advantages to your canine’s growth and prove their effectiveness in enhancing its appearance.

  • The fatty acid in seeds boosts the production of good cholesterol and diminishes the level of bad ones. Hence, it helps manage blood pressure, reducing the risk of stroke and heart disease.
  • Improvements in a pup’s hair coat along with the skin are noticeable. Unsaturated fats are important preventive factors against the issues of hot spots or dry skin.
  • Seeds also act as antioxidants by including vitamin E, which is functional at maintaining a proper fat metabolism and cell respiration. They aid the creation of cell membranes as well.
  • Dogs can experience stress like humans, so seeds are effective in this situation. Thanks to magnesium, niacin, and pyridoxine, signs of depression and fatigue are distinctly alleviated.
  • Seeds sometimes exert a calming effect on canines, averting them from displaying aggressive behaviors and enhancing their recovery after stress.


  • Are sunflowers toxic to dogs? Many sunflower seeds contain a great salt amount, resulting in the problem of sodium toxicosis. This is followed by repeated urination, diarrhea, seizures, extreme thirst, and even death.
  • Gastrointestinal distress is unavoidable. A pup cannot chew the unshelled seeds completely because their teeth are not as strong as humans. When being digested, they may induce a stomach ache or get stuck in the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Consuming seeds a lot leads to the pancreas’s inflammation, given an excessive amount of oil.
  • Under a few circumstances, your pup is allergic or sensitive to the sunflower seeds, rendering much discomfort. If this situation prolongs, it easily becomes lethargic and exhausted.

How To Feed Canines With Sunflower Seeds?

sunflowers toxic to dogs

Feeding is not a simple task. If you don’t take much notice of this procedure, your pet’s health will be jeopardized.

Understanding its importance, I will present some helpful tips for you to consider.

Purchase Unsalted Seeds

Seeds with a high level of salt are not good for your dog’s health due to various harmful effects that are explained above.

You are advised to buy some kinds of sunflower seeds that are less rich in salt than other varieties.

Steer Clear Of Seasonings

Numerous seasonings, like honey mustard, onion, or artificial flavors, can have repercussions for a canine by upsetting its digestive system.

Some breeds are especially allergic to seasonings.

It would be best to purchase sunflower seeds for your pet’s safety, although they are plain.

Remove The Sunflower Seed Shells

The seed hills or shells are the culprits behind the gastroenteritis and gastrointestinal distress. You’d better remove them and take the seed’s core before feeding your dog.

Give Only A Small Amount

Overconsumption is a no-go. Remember to give it enough, about a dozen sunflower seeds per meal. Stop pampering your canine, or else, you spoil it.

Monitor Your Pup’s Reactions

After each meal, you should watch your pup’s reactions and activities. If it shows some unusual behaviors, like staggering or laying down over walks, take prompt measures.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Dogs Have Sunflower Oil?

Oil pressed from sunflower seeds is not very dangerous for your pup to eat, but it is not a good option.

Oil is rich in fat, so pet parents are often concerned about weight maintenance.

Don’t forget to cook this oil nicely before feeding because raw oil does not provide many nutrients, and it is hard to eat.

Can Dogs Have Sunflower Butter?

Sunflower butter is a great alternative to peanuts if your canine is allergic to it. Besides, it is also high in calories.

Remember not to feed your pet with too much sun butter because an excessive amount is conducive to the weight issue.

The Bottom Line

After this article, you will confidently answer the question: Are sunflower leaves poisonous to dogs?

You must follow an important rule that everything must be in moderation.

Although sunflower leaves, stalks, or seeds are not toxic to your dog’s health, an extreme number can deliver adverse effects.

Thank you for your genuine support, and have a nice day!


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Hi I am Mitchell. Dog Growth is a blog about dog caring and training where I share my experiences to my community. Hope you enjoy it!

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