Reviewed By Joana Garrido DVM
Can dogs eat nuts? Yes, many nut varieties are considered dog-friendly treats when consumed in moderation. However, not all nuts are safe for dogs, as some can cause adverse effects on canine health.
We have listed 11 most popular nuts that we humans love. Read on to discover which ones should be avoided and which ones are okay to share with Fido.
What Nuts Can Dogs Eat?
These nut varieties are safe snacks to share with your canine companion sparingly and in minimal quantities:
1. Can dogs eat cashews?
Cashews are nontoxic, making them safe for dogs to consume. However, feeding your furry friend cashews should be done in moderation.
Like most nuts, cashews have a high fat content, and too much consumption will lead dogs to develop a slew of health issues such as pancreatitis and obesity.
When sharing these nuts with your dog, make sure that they are not mixed with other nuts as some varieties are toxic to him.
If they contain flavoring, salt, and spices, avoid tossing even a few pieces at him. These nuts could potentially cause damage to his digestive tract, which can result in diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain.
Sodium toxicity, hypertension and renal problems may also occur due to their high salt content.
2. Can dogs eat chestnuts?
Chestnuts are generally safe for dogs to eat, but there are some things to keep in mind. To avoid potential health issues, it’s best to serve chestnuts plain without any added seasoning or flavoring. Additionally, raw chestnuts should be avoided due to their high levels of tannins.
While chestnuts are high in fat, they can be given to your dog in small amounts as an occasional treat. However, it’s important to remove the shells first to prevent choking and crush the nuts into smaller bits before sharing them with your pooch.
3. Can dogs eat peanuts?
Peanuts can be a nutritious treat for dogs as they are rich in protein, vitamins B and E, niacin, and healthy fatty acids. While there is no harm in sharing peanuts with your furry friend, it’s important to keep in mind that peanuts have a high fat content.
To avoid potential health issues, it’s best to limit the amount of peanuts your dog eats and offer them sparingly in small amounts.
Be careful what forms of peanuts you share with your dog too. Raw or roasted ones are safe as long as they are free from salt, flavoring, and spices. Always monitor your dog as he eats peanuts to prevent him from choking.
If you are thinking of giving peanut butter to Fido, make sure that it is unsweetened and unsalted.
Double-check the peanut butter’s ingredients list. It should be free of xylitol, which is a sugar substitute that is extremely poisonous to dogs.
What Nuts Are Dangerous to Dogs?
The following nut varieties should never be fed to your furry pal as they will endanger his health:
4. Can dogs eat almonds?
Nope. Almonds are naturally nontoxic to dogs, but they are susceptible to molds such as Aspergillus. This type of mold contains aflatoxin, which is a poisonous substance to dogs.
Almonds are high in fat, so they are unhealthy for dogs. They can cause stomach irritation and digestive upset. In serious cases, pancreatitis, which is characterized by inflammation of the pancreas, may occur.
Moreover, almonds are potential choking hazards and bowel obstruction, especially for small breeds. These nuts are hard to chew and highly indigestible as well.
So, if your dog gobbles a lot of almonds, he is at great risk of experiencing stomach blockage. So, it is better to keep these nuts away from Fido.
5. Can dogs eat walnuts?
Juglone is found in its leaves, stems, and the nut itself. Symptoms of poisoning in dogs that have ingested walnuts include vomiting, weakness of muscles, high temperature, tremors, and seizures.
Moreover, walnuts, especially older ones, are prone to mold infestation. They can carry harmful aflatoxins, which are poisonous to dogs.
6. Can dogs eat Brazil nuts?
Definitely not. Brazil nuts are considered one of the fattiest varieties of nuts.
Allowing dogs to eat Brazil nuts, even in small quantities, is not advisable. Otherwise, it may lead to pancreatic disorders, stomach issues, and obesity.
7. Can dogs eat hazelnuts?
Hazelnuts are not safe nor healthy treats for Fido. They may not contain any harmful toxins, but they are known to cause choking, intestinal obstruction, and indigestion in many dogs.
Hazelnuts have high concentrations of fat and calories that can cause obesity, pancreatitis, and cardiovascular diseases.
8. Can dogs eat pecans?
Nuh-uh. Aspergillus mold can grow on pecans, which is why they are not suitable treats for dogs. Pecan trees also produce the natural toxin juglone. So, keep your furry pal away from them.
The pecan’s poisonous compounds can cause seizures and irrevocable damage to your pooch’s neurological system.
Pecans are loaded with unhealthy fats. They are also choking hazards that can cause digestive blockage. It is best to avoid feeding pecans to your dog.
9. Can dogs eat macadamia nuts?
Never feed your dog macadamia nuts. These nuts even in small amount contain toxic levels of cyanogenic glycosides.
The most common symptoms of macadamia nut toxicity are vomiting, diarrhea, and weakness of the hind legs.
If your dog shows clinical signs such as hind limb weakness, tremors, and swelling 12-24 hours after nut ingestion, it may require immediate veterinary attention. Other severe signs to watch out for include a high fever, frequent shaking, and difficulty moving around. If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to seek veterinary care for your dog as soon as possible.
10. Can dogs eat pine nuts?
No, it is a bad idea to include pine nuts in your dog’s diet. Pine nuts contain too much fat.
Moreover they contain high levels of phosphorus, which can be detrimental to dogs with diagnosed or subclinical chronic kidney disease. It may also increase the risk of kidney stone formation and other urinary tract problems in dogs.
11. Can dogs eat pistachios?
No, keep the pistachios to yourself. Its high-fat content is the least of your concerns. These nuts can be contaminated with molds, which can cause severe neurological and liver damage to your dog.
Most store-bought pistachios are unhealthy for dogs due to added flavors and high salt content. These can cause health issues in dogs, such as high blood pressure and dehydration.
Other problems that pistachios possess are the risk of choking and stomach obstruction.
FAQs About Safe and Dangerous Nuts for Dogs
1. Is It Safe for Dogs to Eat Nuts?
Nuts are safe for dogs to eat so long as you choose canine-friendly varieties such as cashews, chestnuts, and peanuts.
Although these nuts are considered okay for your pooch, offer them in moderation as they are high-fat foods.
2. Which Nuts Are Poisonous to Dogs?
The types of nuts poisonous to dogs are almonds, macadamia nuts, pecans, pistachios, and walnuts. Do not feed them to your dog to keep him safe from the toxic risks that they pose.
3. What Should I Do If My Dog Ate Nuts?
If your dog ate canine-friendly nuts, do not panic. Most of the time, nothing disastrous will occur unless he gorged on this human food. Just watch out for stomach upset and allergic reactions.
However, if the nuts your dog ingested are of the toxic variety, seek veterinary care immediately to prevent potential health issues.
4. How Do I Know If My Dog Is Allergic to Nuts?
You will know if your dog is allergic to nuts by feeding him a small amount of nuts and observing him for a few hours if he shows any allergic reactions. However, food allergies (also called adverse food reaction or ‘AFR’) are uncommon in pets.
Skin issues such as itchiness, hives, and inflamed skin are telltale signs of a food allergy. Gastric symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea may take place too.
Nuts are not the best treats for our furry companions. Many nuts are safe for humans but dangerous for dogs, and most of them have high-fat content.
Many vets and dog experts warn pawrents that nuts should be shared with dogs with great caution, or it could result in serious repercussions.
Therefore, if you are unsure about sharing nuts with your dog, it might be a better idea to give Fido safer treats. Refer to our Fruits and Vegetables section to find healthy and dog-friendly alternatives.