Can dogs eat nuts?
The answer is complicated. And that is because there isn’t just one type of nut out there.
Regardless of the complexity of the question, that’s the whole reason for this blog.
We’re here to help you by answering your questions about whether a particular type of food is good or bad for your canine buddy. And that is exactly what we’re going to do today.
So be ready, let’s dive in!
Can Dogs Eat Nuts: What Kind Are Safe for Your Dog?
Peanuts and Cashew nuts are safe for dogs. However, this is only if these are plain roasted or boiled and never if these have been salted. In fact, if you were to browse through some of our articles, you may come across a detailed discussion on how peanuts can be served to your pooch should you wish to give them some.
This, in turn, means that getting the regular, store-bought version for your pooch means that the answer to ‘Can dogs eat nuts?’ suddenly becomes a no, especially when talking about cashew or peanuts.
Similarly, chestnuts are considered safe overall but only if fed very, very carefully. That is because most dogs tend to eat things whole and lack the willingness to chew food into the soft, digestible matter for their gut. And chestnuts, therefore, might just get lodged into a dog’s throat. Unless of course, the dog has had a very capable trainer.
When it comes to most of us at-home pet owners – I mean really, why take the risk? So, while ‘technically’ chestnuts are safe, I would suggest that the mindful dog owner keep away from them.
Next up on the list, are pecans. These are safe for dogs but should only be offered rarely. That is because being nuts as they are, pecans are very high in fat content. Most dog owners are aware that a sudden rise in fat content in their dog’s diet can lead to them developing pancreatitis.
Similarly, pistachios can also be eaten safely by dogs.
Please be sure to remove the shells from the pistachio before feeding them to your buddy. The reasoning behind shelling pistachios pre-feeding is the same as that with chestnuts: Unshelled pistachios will lead to choking.
Can Dogs Eat Nuts: Nuts That Are Toxic for Dogs
So far, we’ve only discussed the types of nuts dogs can have.
The truth, unfortunately, is that most nuts are plain old toxic to dogs. And if not toxic, they certainly pose some major choking hazard for our poor pooches.
One such species includes Macadamia nuts. Although loved by many people, these nuts are very high in fat content. A sudden increase in fat intake by a dog can lead to them developing pancreatitis.
Can Dogs Eat Nuts: What is pancreatitis?
As it turns out, pancreatitis and choking hazards seem to be the two major concerns when it comes to feeding dogs nuts of any kind.
Whilst everyone on earth knows what is meant by choking, many of us don’t really know what pancreatitis is- especially if we’re new to owning dogs.
To begin, the pancreas is an organ that helps release digestive enzymes during the digestion process inside a dog. Pancreatitis, therefore, is a condition in which the pancreas gets highly inflamed.
How does a sudden spike in fat levels lead to inflammation of the pancreas?
While this phenomenon is still being studied, the general understanding is that when so much fat is ingested all at once, digestive enzymes stored inside the pancreas are released prematurely, leading to the walls of the pancreas getting digested as opposed to the food inside the small intestine.
The good news is that even if a dog has experienced an episode of acute pancreatitis, recovery is still possible! However, the condition in and of itself leads to multiple organs getting damaged, including the liver. And it can be very painful for a dog to have to go through. Not so surprisingly, the mortality rate from pancreatitis in dogs is very high.
So, being a responsible dog owner, you might want to stay as far as you possibly can from overly fattening diets like macadamia nuts.
Can Dogs Eat Nuts: How About Hazelnuts?
Unfortunately, as scrumptious as they are for us humans, they pose a mild choking hazard when it comes to dogs.
Although one or two hazelnuts are not a cause for concern, if your dog has had several of them, please be sure to monitor them carefully.
Can Dogs Eat Nuts: Almonds Are Good, No?
Not really. At least, not when it comes to our dogs. Yet again, this is primarily because of the serious threat of choking on them.
The thing about dogs, as mentioned earlier, is that they don’t exactly take their time to chew a certain food.
On the contrary, most dogs are content with just swallowing the nuts as it is if and when they’re given to them.
This practice, in turn, puts them at very high risk.
Can Dogs Eat Nuts: Brazil Nuts
Once again, just like pecans and macadamias, Brazil nuts are also very high in fat content. In addition to this, they aren’t very reliable when it comes to smaller breeds of dogs which are at a greater risk of choking on something than large dogs do.
Can Dogs Eat Nuts: Walnuts as A Treat
Walnuts too, sadly, are not good for dogs.
With these, it’s not just about the fat content but also, the highly irregular shape the walnuts possess, making it very likely that these will definitely get lodged somewhere in the body. Even if it gets safe passage through the esophagus, it might get stuck once inside the gut where the body isn’t completely capable of breaking the walnut down all that easily.
Can Dogs Eat Nuts: What’s the Bottomline?
In short, it’s perhaps best to keep your pooch away from nuts.
Instead, try to give them other, less fattening, and more healthy treats. Some of these include fish, fruits, lean meats, etc.
Can Dogs Eat Nuts: Will Your Dog Miss Out?
If you came to this article with high expectations which have now been shattered, don’t worry. We get it, you were excited to feed your buddy a few nuts as a treat and wanted to see how they would react.
Even more sad is the fact that many of us have poured over all the benefits nuts and legumes have from a nutritional perspective.
And yes, when it comes to humans, nuts do offer a large range of nutritional benefits.
Whilst those benefits are still retained with dogs, the harms, in this case, outweigh the benefits they could have had. So really, don’t worry if you can’t give your dog nuts as treats because trust me, there are a million different foods out there that you could still try!
Can Dogs Eat Nuts: Fun Facts
Despite the overall disappointing news we’ve given you, it might be nice to end this reading on a somewhat more positive note. To do this, here are a few quick little fun facts about nuts that you may just find fascinating.
- Almonds need honeybees to pollinate them so they can grow. I mean, how else would they but really? The relationship is kind of interesting.
- Ancient Greeks believed hazelnuts could treat coughing and baldness. Perhaps some of this was related to certain compounds present in these. But really, who knows?
- Around the world, peanuts account for 2/3 of all nut consumption.
Can Dogs Eat Nuts: Video Guide
Can dogs eat nuts as treats?
Yes, but only very selective nuts like cashew nuts or peanuts.
Can dogs eat nuts and get pancreatitis as a result?
With certain, high-fat nuts like macadamia, yes.
Can dogs eat nuts occasionally?
Once again yes. But only with respect to very few nuts.
Can dogs eat nuts if they are flavored?
No! Artificial flavorings such as xylitol can lead to death.
Should dogs eat other treats instead of nuts?
Ideally, Yes! Other treats with fewer choking hazards exist in the market and should be given to your dogs instead of nuts treats.