A tiny amount of sesame seed may be completely fine to dogs (given its incy-wincy size), but what if it is a burger bun filled with sesame seeds on top. As fur parents and pet owners, we all know that not all human foods are made for doggie consumption. And so we ask: Can dogs eat sesame seeds?
If this is you, you’ve come to the right page. Dog Food Guide – a site created specifically for fur parents and dog lovers alike – made it a point to check which dog foods are best and which are lacking. But it’s not just that. We are also here to answer all your “can dogs” questions.
So if you want to know EVERYTHING there is to know about human food – in this case, SESAME SEEDS – and its effects on your dog’s body, read on. We’re here to do that and more.
What You Need To Know About Sesame Seeds
We humans tend to add these tiny, oil-rich seeds (even sesame oil) in various recipes – from hamburger buns, loaves, and other pastries to salads, sushi rolls, and stir-fried dishes. But did you know that these aromatic and flavorful seeds have been around for over 55 centuries?
Yes, you read it right! Also known as “benne,” these seeds are found within the sesame plant’s fruit. Scientifically known as Sesamum indicum, this annual flowering plant is among the first crops grown and harvested for its healthy oils (think sesame oil). And it’s not just that. Its seeds might also be one of the first condiments ever used.
Sesame Seed Varieties: What’s The Difference?
You’ve probably noticed black sesame seeds instead of the usual white seeds in your hamburger buns. So what’s the difference?
At the moment, three types of sesame seeds are most commonly used – golden or brown, white, and black. Besides their color, the three vary in flavor, price, and uses.
The most common among the 3 are the golden or brown seeds. These types of sesame seed are often cultivated for its sesame oil. On the one hand, the white ones are more expensive and are usually used for baking.
When it comes to taste, the white seeds taste mildly sweet and nutty while the black ones taste nuttier and a bit more bitter. The black sesame seeds are usually used for seasoning meats and medicinal purposes.
Besides being a great addition to a wide variety of cuisines, sesame seeds (sesame oil, included) also offer a bunch of nutritional benefits.
Healthline lists 15 health and nutritional benefits of sesame seeds. Amazing right?
Aside from its impressive protein and fiber content, these tiny seeds (especially the unhulled sesame seeds) pack a punch nutrition-wise. In fact, sesame seeds are a great source of calcium, antioxidants, and the following nutrients:
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B3
- Vitamin E
Can Dogs Eat Sesame Seeds?
Deemed healthy for human consumption, does this mean that we can also add sesame seeds (and sesame oil) to your dog’s diet?
While it’s true that many foods (human foods, in particular) don't go well with your dog’s digestive system, sesame seeds are not one of them. Sesame seeds are not toxic and are perfectly safe for your dogs.
However, feeding sesame seeds to your dog should always be done in moderation. Like other seeds (think flaxseeds and chia seeds) and other food items, your dog can only enjoy this food fully if you feed it the right way. Feeding your dog sesame seeds the wrong way spells trouble.
Health Benefits of Sesame Seeds For Dogs
While it’s true that the nutritional value and health benefits sesame seeds offer to humans are great, it's not the same with your pet dog. The fact is that your dog's nutritional needs are not the same as yours.
Yes, your dog eating sesame seeds is completely fine. Sad to say, your pet dogs will not enjoy the same health benefits even if you add this regularly to your dog’s diet.
Don’t get us wrong, though. This does not mean that letting your dog eat sesame seeds provides them with zero (0) nutritional benefits.
At the end of the day, sesame seeds are loaded with antioxidants and other essential nutrients that can help (even in a small way) boost your dog’s health. How? See below:
Can Increase Your Dog’s Appetite
Thanks to its nutty flavor, your dog will most likely enjoy its taste. Pet owners with picky dogs may want to add sesame seeds on top of their dog’s food instead of adding something fatty like nut butter to amp up the flavor of their pet’s food.
If your dog is feeling constipated, try to feed your dog sesame seeds to ease your dog’s constipation. Like in the human realm, fiber plays a significant role in your dogs’ ability to digest food.
Letting your dog eat food with high fiber content (like sesame seeds) can help speed up your dog’s digestion and help add bulk to your dog’s stool.
Helps Create Strong Bones
As mentioned, sesame seeds are loaded with calcium. As such, giving your dog sesame seeds may help improve your dog’s bone health.
On top of that, sesame seeds also contain nutrients like copper and other compounds (like sesamin) that are known for their anti-inflammatory properties. So if your dog is suffering from arthritis, you might want to feed sesame seeds to your dog in moderation to help soothe your dog’s joint pain.
Potential Hazards Of Feeding Sesame Seeds To Your Dog
Want to feed your dog sesame seeds because of all the benefits mentioned above? Before you do, ensure to read through all the possible risks below. This will help you decide whether you should or should not allow your dogs to eat sesame seeds.
Although considered “good for the tummy,” giving your dog too many sesame seeds isn’t the way to go. Consuming too much may result in an upset stomach and other gastrointestinal problems like vomiting and diarrhea.
One more thing to take note of is that your pet dog’s body might not be able to digest sesame seeds. Because of this, eating too much can make your dog’s tummy berserk.
Like humans, dogs can also be allergic to sesame seeds. You’ll know if your dogs are having allergic reactions when your dogs start to sneeze, cough, scratch, and even sneeze. Your pet dog may also experience vomiting and diarrhea. If this happens, contact your vet right away.
What To Do When Feeding Dogs Sesame Seeds
Now that you know all the benefits and dangers your dogs can get from eating sesame seeds, here are a few things you need to keep in mind when adding raw or roasted sesame seeds (or any new food) to your pet’s diet.
Consult your vet beforehand. As always, your best bet is to err on the side of caution and get expert advice from a vet before introducing any new food to your dog.
Introduce gradually. It’s hard to tell what foods your dog is allergic to. The easiest way to find out is by allowing your dog to eat a small amount. If your dog is able to keep it down without any side effects, then you can add more.
Always stick with the 10% treat rule. Any food that isn’t part of your dog’s regular diet is considered a treat. This includes sesame seed. Since the majority of what your dog needs (think protein and fatty acids) is already in your dog’s regular food, treats like sesame seeds, fruits, and veggies should be given sparingly.
Serving Suggestion: The amount to give your dog per day will depend on your dog’s size but if you want a figure, half teaspoon to a teaspoon full will do per day.
Your dogs can eat raw sesame seeds. But if you want your dog to enjoy his treat minus the tummy ache, you might want to consider serving these roasted or grinded. You can mix this to your dog’s food or to your dog’s main meals.
Can dogs eat sesame seeds? The short answer is a YES. In fact, sesame seeds (the grinded type, in particular) may serve as a healthy, easy to digest nut butter alternative.
Besides that, your dog eating sesame seeds offers a couple of handy rewards. However, foods like this should not be excessively added to your dog’s diet. Like any type of food, portion control is key – just a half teaspoon to a teaspoon per day.
If your dog can’t have it because of allergies or other health conditions, don’t fret! There are plenty more treats you can give your dog.
Depriving your dog of some sesame seeds won’t really matter as long as your dog’s diet is complete and well-balanced. Add some more TLC to the mix, and we’re sure your dogs will be wagging their tails like crazy.