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Should Your Dog Eat Seeds?

The correct form and dose of vitamins and minerals can significantly help your pet's homemade diet and, in turn, help maintain or improve their health. I hope this breakdown shows which food additions and supplements are preferred, over seeds, in homemade diets to meet nutrient requirements.

The example used: 55-pound dogs' daily nutritional requirements.

Sunflower seeds

• 4-5 cups daily would be needed for a 55-pound dog depending on PUFAS to meet Vitamin E requirements (1074-1344 calories).

• 2 cups a day would be required to meet manganese requirements (537 calories).


• 3 cups daily would be needed to meet Vitamin E requirements (1275 calories).

• 1.25 cups daily would be needed to meet manganese requirements (319 calories).

Adding almonds in this high amount also increases the fat percentage making it higher than protein. We do not want to see this for healthy dogs.

Pumpkin seeds

• 30 cups a day would be needed to meet Vitamin E requirements (20,992 calories)

• 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds would be required to meet manganese requirements (280 calories)

🌱 This information does not include the bioavailability of the seeds, which is poor, or the digestion process of your dog excreting these seeds. These seeds can also negatively affect the absorption of other minerals, take up too much caloric needs, and increase the fat content.

❌ Deficiency (caused through seed sources) in manganese and Vitamin E can cause impaired reproduction, fatty liver, crooked legs, decreased growth, sterility (males), lipomas, dermatitis, immunodeficiency, anorexia, and myopathy.

💊 Alternatives to these seeds and meeting some of the nutritional requirements for Vitamin E would be a supplement. For manganese, a supplement, mussels, and quinoa (gluten-free) are recommended. However, these alternatives depend on the serving and ingredients in the meal. I highly recommend consulting a professional that can provide the data using the USDA nutritional database and scientific NRC guidelines for dogs and cats.

Visit my other blog posts for more information on Vitamin E, chia, and flax seeds and guidance for your pet's diet.

1. Traughber ZT, He F, Hoke JM, Davenport GM, Rodriguez-Zas SL, Southey BR, de Godoy MRC. Ancient grains as novel dietary carbohydrate sources in canine diets. J Anim Sci. 2021 Jun 1;99(6):skab080. DOI: 10.1093/jas/skab080. PMID: 33765135; PMCID: PMC8174469.

2. Case, L. P. (2011). Canine and feline nutrition: A resource for companion animal professionals. Mosby.

3. The National Academies Press. (2018). Other Food Constituents. In Nutrient Requirements of Dogs and Cats (pp. 345–346). essay.

4. Mark Morris Institute. (n.d.). Macronutrients: Minerals and Vitamins. In Small Animal Clinical Nutrition (5th ed., pp. 107–120). essay.


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