Yes, dogs can definitely eat nuts and reap their benefits successfully.
However, not all nuts are equal and not all of them are safe for your dog. Like us, dogs also love to snack, in fact, they love everything about food, and as canine lovers ourselves, we know how difficult it becomes to stop Coco from eating just anything.
When it comes to nuts, you need to be extra careful.
While nuts make an important part of anyone’s diet, it is far from true for canines. For them, only a small amount of nuts are safe, and some could be deadly also.
Here are some important and interesting insights about giving nuts to your dog.
Can Dogs Eat Nuts Safely? Yes, But Only a Few of Them
While nuts make ideal snacks and superfoods for humans, you cannot say the same for dogs also. Some nuts are considered safe and healthy for dogs but nearly all of them are risky.
Nuts have a high fiber and fat content, which is why they must not be given in excess. Moreover, since they are small in size, the dogs could easily choke on them. Some nuts are mildly risky for dogs while others are extremely dangerous and toxic.
Eating a toxic or wrong type of nut could cause lifelong problems for your pooch. Some of the issues that nuts could cause in dogs include pancreatitis, weight gain, and other health issues.
When given, the nuts should be salt and seasoning-free.
Why Are Nuts Bad for Dogs?
Usually, it is safe and wise for dogs to stay away from all kinds of nuts. There are a lot of other healthy snacks that your canine can munch on so why risk his life and health?
Here are some serious health hazards of nuts for Coco.
- Nuts are High in Calories
Some dogs are prone to weight gain and if your dog is also one of them then it is better to steer clear of giving any nuts to him.
Nuts are high in calorie content, which means that any excess amount can lead to weight gain. Similarly, pairing them with other high-calorie foods can be even more toxic. For example, dogs can not eat chocolates, so serving your dog a nuts with chocolate can be even more toxic.
There are a number of healthy alternatives like green beans and air-popped popcorns that would make a tasty and healthy snack option.
If given nuts, the calorie content must not exceed the total of 10% of daily calorie content.
Here is a rough calculator of the calorie content in different types of nuts;
|Type of Nut
|Almonds, dry roasted, unsalted
|Cashews, dry roasted, unsalted
|Peanuts, dry roasted, unsalted
|Pecans, dry roasted, unsalted
|Pistachios, dry roasted, unsalted
|Walnuts, English raw
(Credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture FoodData Central database)
- Nuts are High in Fat Content
And this could cause pancreatitis in the canines. It is a serious health condition in which the pancreas of the dog becomes inflamed and stops working properly.
Some breeds are especially prone to this disease.
Some symptoms are decreased appetite, lethargy, diarrhea, and others. Besides, the high-fat content can also cause gastrointestinal issues in dogs.
- Nuts have Coatings that are Dangerous for Dogs
Some nuts come in fancy coatings like cocoa, garlic, salt, pepper, and others. These coatings are toxic and dangerous for dogs. These coatings can cause numerous health issues in dogs.
Some dogs can develop high blood pressure due to the salt content of these nuts while others can have upset GI, urinary stones, and heart and kidney issues due to them.
‘Can dogs eat nuts from trees?’
Not all nuts are created equally but nearly all of them are high fat and calorie content. To make sure that your dog stays healthy, it is important that you make thoughtful and good food choices for him.
What Nuts are Safe for Dogs?
Here are the nuts that are safe for your dog.
- Cashew Nuts
‘Can dogs eat cashews?’
Yes, according to Ollie, a well-known food brand, cashews are fine for dogs. However, you must be careful that you do not give them in excess.
‘Are cashews bad for dogs?’
No, generally speaking, cashews are not bad for dogs. However, they are high in calorie content, which means you should be mindful of the amount. When given, only give a small amount of unsalted and unseasoned cashews.
‘Can dogs eat chestnuts?’
Generally, chestnuts are safe for dogs but in excess amounts, they should be definitely avoided. Since these nuts are small in size, the dogs could choke on them, and in smaller dogs, they could get stuck in the dog’s throat.
- Peanuts and Peanut Butter
‘Can dogs eat peanuts?’
Plain and unseasoned peanuts are safe for dogs. Peanuts are legumes like lentils and peas and are generally safe for dogs. When giving to Coco, make sure that they are properly shelled and free from any kind of seasoning.
‘Can dogs eat nuts in peanut butter or can dogs eat peanut butter?’
Yes, dogs can enjoy peanut butter in moderation. Because it is a form of butter, it is high in calorie content and fat. Therefore, make sure that you do not give your dog an excessive amount of it.
Moreover, make sure that the peanut butter does not have xylitol in it. It's a kind of artificial sweetener and it is toxic for dogs.
Nut butters are high in fat and calories and must not be given in large quantities at all. It should not be a major part of your dog’s diet.
- Pecan Nuts
‘Can dogs eat pecans?’
Pecans are a safe nut for canines. Coco can have pecans once in a while and in a controlled amount, of course. These nuts are not dangerous at all and your dog can safely enjoy them. But they are very high in fat content, which means you should go easy with them.
- Pistachio Nuts
‘Can dogs eat pistachios?’
Yes, dogs can eat pistachios in small amounts. However, there are a number of risks associated with feeding pistachios to your dog. Since these are quite small in size, they could pose a choking hazard and intestinal blockage to your dog.
When given, give a small quantity of these nuts without the shell.
‘Can dogs eat raw nuts?’
No, no matter what kind of nut you are giving to your dog, it must NOT be raw. Many raw nuts develop molds that are toxic for canines.
Can Dogs Eat Nuts and Seeds?
While many nuts are safe for dogs, nuts and seeds are generally high in fat and calories. This could cause serious health issues in dogs.
‘Nuts and seeds are high in fat and calories and that can lead to inflammation of the pancreas (or pancreatitis), which is a painful condition that causes vomiting and diarrhea,’ as stated by Dr. Lobos.
Moreover, he adds, ‘Macadamia nuts are the only known nut that is toxic to the dog. The dog usually recovers in a few days, but it can be very scary for the pet and owner. Nuts that fall from the trees (like pecans, acorns, etc.) are also subject to mold, which can also be harmful to the dog’.
In short, it is better to steer clear of seeds and most of the nuts.
Can Dogs Eat Nuts and Cranberries?
Fresh cranberries and cranberry juice are safe and good for your dog, provided they do not contain any preservatives and flavorings.
However, you should never give mixed dried berries or a mix of nuts and cranberries to your pooch.
Mixed nuts can also contain macadamia and other toxic nuts, and this could be dangerous for your dog. As for dried cranberries, they are usually high in sugar since they are dried.
Which Nuts are Toxic to Dogs?
Here is a list of nuts that are toxic and dangerous for your dog;
‘Can dogs eat almonds?’
Yes, but only once in a while, a single almond will do no hard to Coco. The case of almonds being toxic for dogs is debatable and to be on the safe side, it is better not to give them to your dog.
It can cause choking and digestive issues in canines. In case your dog gets his ‘paw’ on an almond, it's fine but keep a close eye on him.
- Brazil Nuts
Brazil nuts have extremely high fat and calorie content. These nuts can disturb your dog’s stomach and cause a number of digestive issues in him. When eaten for a long term by dogs, it could cause pancreatitis and obesity in them.
‘Can dogs eat hazelnuts?’
Hazelnuts are not toxic for dogs and yes, they can definitely eat them in moderation. However, they are of the same size as almonds and they can cause the same kind of choking hazard in dogs.
The small dogs can choke on them while the large dogs may not bother to chew them. This could cause disturbance in their digestive system.
- Macadamia Nuts
Here comes the DEADLIEST of the nuts, at least for dogs. Macadamia nuts are the only known nuts that are actually poisonous for dogs. Scientists are still trying to find out the causes behind the toxicity caused by these dogs but even a single nut can cause serious damage.
In case your dog eats some of these, take him to the veterinarian immediately.
‘Can dogs eat walnuts?’
Walnuts are not toxic but they can pose several other kinds of dangers to your dog. Due to their size, they could be choking hazards for canines. Moldy walnuts may have tremorgenic mycotoxins, produced by the fungi.
This could cause seizures and other neurological disorders in dogs. Black walnuts are especially dangerous and you should not feed your dog any such kind of walnuts.
How Often Can Dogs Eat Nuts?
While nuts are great for you, they are not as great for dogs. If you want to feed nuts to your dog, it is important that you limit it to only a few pieces.
The Bottom Line!
It is better to keep your dog away from nuts. Not all human foods are suitable for your dog, and nuts are one of them.
Some nuts are safe for canines but there are loads of other safe and healthy dog food and snack alternatives for them. Choose some from those and keep your pooch safe and healthy.
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