Can Dogs Eat Walnuts? What to Do If My Dog Ate Walnuts

Can dogs eat it

Written By: Angela Jakeson

Can Dogs Eat Walnuts? What to Do If My Dog Ate Walnuts
Reading Time: 5 minutes

No. Walnuts should not be shared with your dog even in small amounts. Walnuts’ high-fat content can be harmful to your furry companion’s health and cause ailments like obesity and tummy troubles. However, the biggest danger you should look out for is walnut poisoning caused by consuming moldy walnuts, which can lead to fatal consequences.

Do walnuts have health benefits for dogs?

Walnuts offer a lot of health benefits to humans. Unfortunately, these health perks cannot be fully enjoyed by our furry friends. Walnuts have several harmful qualities that can endanger our dogs’ lives.

Are walnuts safe for dogs to eat if given in small amounts?

Walnuts in a white bowl.

Walnuts are absolutely not good for dogs to eat. Even in small amounts, they can cause serious adverse effects. There are 3 main concerns when it comes to serving walnuts to dogs:

Moldy Walnuts

One big reason why the answer to “Can dogs eat walnuts?” is no is due to their notorious susceptibility to mold infestation. The fungi from the molds produce toxic compounds called tremorgenic mycotoxins.

Feeding your dog moldy walnuts, even in small amounts, makes him greatly susceptible to poisoning. For this reason, any type of walnuts, including English walnuts and black walnuts, is prohibited for dogs.

A dog that has ingested moldy walnuts will commonly experience diarrhea, vomiting, tremors, and seizures. If your pooch shows these symptoms, take note of the approximate amount of moldy walnuts that he might have ingested.

This will give the vet valuable information on how severely it may affect your dog and what type of treatment is appropriate for him.

Be sure to take him to the vet right away. The sooner your pooch gets treated, the further he will be from harm.

Some suggest that washing, boiling, and cooking walnuts can eliminate tremorgenic mycotoxins. However, it is not fully proven to be effective.

Other moldy walnuts contain toxins that grow deep below the surface. This makes it difficult to assess if they are removed after getting soaked in water or exposed to heat.

Choking Hazard

Walnuts belong to a larger variety of nuts, making them a potential choking hazard. If you have a small dog, you need to be more careful. Toy and small breeds are more prone to choking since they have smaller windpipes than their larger counterparts.

Moreover, it would only take small amounts of walnuts to cause intestinal blockage in small dogs.

This is a severe problem, and the vet may even require him to undergo surgery. Without proper medical treatment, intestinal obstruction can be fatal.

High Fat Content

Most nuts are high in fats, and walnuts are not an exception. A dog that has ingested a large number of walnuts is at risk of experiencing stomach problems. He might suffer from diarrhea, vomiting, upset stomach, and indigestion.

The high fat content of walnuts, when ingested excessively, can also lead to more severe health issues. High-fat human foods often cause unhealthy weight gain, pancreatitis, and gastroenteritis in dogs.

Dogs, especially those with these illnesses, should be kept away from walnuts as they will only aggravate their condition.

Can dogs eat walnut shells?

Uncracked walnuts lined up nicely.

No, walnut shells are dangerous to dogs. Their hard texture makes them difficult to chew and digest. It can place your pooch at risk of choking and intestinal blockage.

Walnut shells are potentially toxic to dogs as well since they are susceptible to mold growth.

Can dogs eat walnut oil?

Yes. Walnut oil can be given as a supplement to dogs. However, it should be administered in small amounts. Walnut oil has a high fat content and is rich in omega-6 fatty acid linoleic acid. It can cause digestive issues and exacerbate inflammation when consumed without moderation.

Can dogs eat walnut cookies?

No. Store-bought walnut cookies are unhealthy for dogs to consume. They are made up of ingredients that can be harmful to their health such as sugar and butter. A better alternative would be to make homemade dog treats for your pooch as you have more control over what ingredients to use.

Read: 8 Easy-to-Make Homemade Dog Cookie Recipes

What kinds of nuts can dogs eat?

Different types of nuts that are safe for dogs.

Now that you know the answer to the question, “Can dogs eat walnuts?”, let’s find out what other types of nuts should be kept away from your pooch.

Some nuts are safe for dogs to consume, but they should be served in small amounts. These nuts include peanuts, cashews, and almonds. But note that vets discourage dog owners from including nuts in their dogs’ diets.

Generally, nuts are high in fats, so even if some nuts are not poisonous to dogs, they are still unhealthy treats for them. If you excessively feed your dog nuts, he will likely suffer from stomach issues, including diarrhea, vomiting, and constipation.

What about peanut butter? Is it safe for dogs?

A bowl of peanut butter.

Peanut butter is a tasty treat for them too. However, some peanut butter brands contain high levels of sodium. Other brands also use xylitol as a sugar substitute, which is deadly for dogs.

To keep your dog safe, choose a peanut butter that’s free of sugar and salt. You can also make peanut butter from scratch.

When feeding peanut butter to your dog, always observe portion control, only offer it in small amounts. Peanut butter has high fat content too. Allowing him to consume too much peanut butter can result in serious health issues, such as pancreatitis and obesity.

Also, avoid sharing other human foods containing nuts for the same reason.

What kinds of nuts are bad for dogs?

A variety of nuts in a white bowl.

Nuts are generally unsuitable for dogs, but others should be avoided at all costs. Check out other types of nuts that are harmful to your pooch:

Can Dogs Eat Macadamia Nuts?

No. Macadamia nuts contain unknown toxins that cause canine neurological problems. Thus, they are not safe for dogs to eat. Symptoms of macadamia nut poisoning include weakness, fever, vomiting, tremors, and depression. These signs take about 12 hours to show after ingestion.

Can Dogs Eat Hickory Nuts?

No. Hickory nuts are not good for dogs as they often cause severe gastrointestinal upset. They are also poisonous for dogs since they are prone to molds. Toxic compounds such as juglone and tremorgenic mycotoxins are found in hickory nuts.

Can Dogs Eat Flavored and Salted Nuts?

No. These nuts are not good for dogs too.  They are usually high in salt, sugar, and seasoning, which can irritate your dog’s stomach when ingested in small amounts. Dogs that consume too much of these may end up vomiting, having diarrhea, flatulence, and constipation.

Diabetes, kidney diseases, and obesity may also develop if they frequently eat flavored and salted nuts.

Can Dogs Eat Pistachios?

No. Pistachios are not safe for dogs to eat since they can be a potential carrier of aspergillus mold. They contain aflatoxins which can greatly damage your pooch’s liver. These nuts are also choking hazards and may cause intestinal blockage due to their size.

Can Dogs Eat Old Nuts?

No. If you ever let your dog eat nuts, choose fresh ones. Avoid old nuts that have been left in the cupboard for a long time, as they have a higher susceptibility to growing molds.

Nut trees are not good for dogs for the same reason. If you have a nut tree in your garden, make sure that it is properly fenced to keep your dog out.

Also, always supervise your dog when outside the yard to prevent him from chewing on nuts that have fallen on the ground.

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