Are Poppy Seeds Bad for Dogs & Puppies to Have?

Pets have become an important part of our homes and we have our individual preference with regards to the type we like to keep. However, dogs are the most popular choice and therefore they earned the name, man’s best friend. They provide us with companionship and loyalty while we share our food with them.

Poppy seeds are common in our meals, and since dogs live with us, you may at one point or the other catch your canine eating your leftover poppy seed, or you may have thought about intentionally feeding your canine with it. Now the only dilemma you’d face is whether these seeds are safe for your dog to consume. 

There are cases of humans who lost their jobs, got disqualified from a sporting competition, or even get arrested for testing positive during an opioid drug test. The sad part of their story was that they never really took the drug at any point, but they were unfortunate to have eaten poppy seed tarts or foods that were prepared with poppy seed ahead of taking the drug test. If this seed could have such an effect on humans, you don’t want to imagine what it could do to your dog. In this article, you will find out if you should give poppy seeds to your dog or not.

Are Poppy Seeds Good for Dogs to Eat?

If you have a dog at home, you are saddled with the responsibility to provide care and keep it away from danger. Poppy seeds are dangerous to your canine’s health, and if you have ever fed your dog with it or are considering to do that, you should stop immediately because it is poisonous.

ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) lists poppy seeds as toxic to pets’ health. The species of the poppy seeds and the amount consumed will determine how toxic it will be to your animal.

Other Facts you Ought to Know About Poppy Seeds and Your Dog

Poppy Seeds are easy to find around the home and in retail food stores. They are considerable opiate content in them, which makes them unsafe for your dog. These seeds are more harmful to smaller dogs than bigger ones since smaller dogs’ body is not as healthy. 

However, whether your dog is big or small, the poppy seed will harm your dog if it consumes it in large quantities. But, more careful attention should be paid if your dog is a smaller species.

How Poppy Seeds Can Harm Your Dog

When poppy seeds are consumed in large amounts, your dog can suffer from toxicity. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, poppy seeds are classified as toxic to pets. 

Therefore, it should not even be a question of how much you can give to your dog but totally keeping it out of its menu.

Why Poppy Seeds are Bad for Dogs

Many people have ended up testing positive for opiate during drug tests from just consuming poppy seeds.  This opiate is used in making hard drugs like morphine. 

Therefore, it can end up damaging your dog’s nervous system when consumed. It is more destructive to your dog’s brain function and central nervous system due to the alkaloid content. Poppy seeds also expose your dog to poppy poisoning.

Signs of Opioid Poisoning in dogs

As stated already, consuming poppy seeds exposes your canine to opioid poisoning. There are some signs to look out for in your dog to help you determine if it is already affected by opioids so that you can quickly seek the help of a vet before it becomes worse and fatal.

Below is a list of signs that shows that dog may be currently suffering from opioid poisoning.

  • Slower heart rate & breathing
  • Zoning out
  • Watery eyes
  • Seizures
  • Sedation
  • Pinpoint pupil
  • Increased level of hyperactivity
  • Lack of movement coordination
  • Having breathing difficulties
  • Lack of appetite

It is essential to seek the help of an expert vet to render medical attention to your dog because opioid poisoning can kill the dog eventually. The signs listed up there are just to guide you if you already feed poppy seed to your dog without knowing.

What to do of Your Dog Eat Poppy Seeds

You must do everything within your power to keep your dog away from poppy seeds. If you must keep poppy seeds in your house, put them on high shelves where the dog cannot reach them. There are some meals where Poppy seeds are used as ingredients; also, make sure your dogs do not get to eat from such food. Finally, be quick to watch for any of the above signs of poppy poisoning.

However, there are cases where we can’t be too careful. For example, if you have a poorly trained dog, it may end up picking the seeds around the house or snatch them from your plate and swallow them before you can get them back. In such a case, you should wait to see if the dog will begin to exhibit any of the above symptoms and immediately consult with a vet. It is common for some owners to ignore if only the dog ingested a small amount, but you shouldn’t be careless; even a small amount may harm your dog, especially if it is a small breed.


You are the primary caregiver of your dog and therefore you are responsible for it’s shelter and well-being. The food you allow your dog to eat will determine the quality of its health. 

Poppy seeds contain opioids, and therefore, your dog stands the risk of being affected by opioid poisoning if you should allow it  eat the seeds. So, it is wrong to give Poppy seeds to dogs. In case where you were not careful enough, and your dog ends up eating poppy seeds, watch out for the common signs of opioid poisoning and seek a vet doctor to render professional medical help to the dog. 

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