Can dogs eat nuts? Is it safe for your pooch?
Who doesn’t love snacking on nuts? Nuts are known for having high amounts of healthy fats and protein that play an important role in any diet. But, does this also apply to your dogs? Let’s find out below.
Can Your Dog Eat Nuts?
Yes, your dog can eat nuts but one should be very careful about the type of nuts that are used. Unfortunately, most nuts are considered as a bad option for dogs with some even found to be very toxic.
While nuts contain proteins and healthy fats, they are also found to contain high amounts of dense fats. This is the reason why these should never be a part of the regular diet of your dog. What nuts are safe for your dog, then?
It is important to do your research first before you decide to let Fido munch on whatever type of nut you are eating.
Is It Safe for Your Dog to Eat Nuts?
Generally speaking, it is safe for dogs to eat nuts but these are not really the healthiest food choice for your pet. Legumes and nuts, such as peanuts, are dense in calories and high in fat.
Most dog owners love using peanut butter as a treat or tool for training, which is considered fine as long as it is given in moderation. However, nuts must be considered exactly that, as treats. They should never make up more than 10% of the total calorie consumption of your dog.
Nuts have omega 3 fatty acids that can benefit your pet but excessive amounts of these in the diet of a dog can result in gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea and vomiting.
After some time, a fatty diet may even lead to pancreatitis, which is an inflammation of a dog’s pancreas.
Which Nuts are Good for Your Dog?
Nuts that your dog can safely eat include peanuts, hazelnuts, and cashews. However, you need to exercise extreme caution since nuts in general contain high fat levels and can also cause vomiting and diarrhea in some dogs.
- Cashew nuts – You can give cooked or roasted cashews to your dog because high temperature preparation can get rid of the toxins they contain.
- Peanuts – Peanuts are considered safe for your dog provided that you only give it to him in very small amounts. Too many peanuts may lead to pancreatitis and allergies. Dry and unsalted peanuts are safe for your dog to eat. Dogs, however, cannot eat the shells of peanuts. In general, peanuts can be used as rewards or treats for your dog but always keep this at a minimum.
- Hazelnuts – Most dogs simply love munching on hazelnuts and these are found to be non-toxic for canines.
Which Nuts are Bad for Your Dog?
Here are the nuts that you should keep out of Fido’s reach:
- Pistachios – When consumed on a regular basis, pistachios may cause pancreatitis in your dog.
- Hickory nuts – This particular nut contains juglone, a toxin that can cause laminitis. Thus, consuming hickory nuts may lead to gastric intestinal upset or intestinal block.
- Walnuts – A poisonous toxin can be found in walnuts. This is called tremorgenic mycotoxins. You should never feed your dog with macadamia or black walnuts because both of them contain toxic materials.
- Pine nuts – Due to their high amounts of fat and phosphorus, pine nuts are not good for dogs and can also cause stomach upset. If your pet eats pine nuts in large amounts, this might make them prone to urinary tract infections. Also, you might want to keep an eye out for symptoms of toxicity such as vomiting, no hunger, and sluggish activities. Dogs should not consume pine nut oil as well since this might affect tissues in your pet’s respiratory passages.
- Almonds – Although your dog might love how almonds taste, these cannot be digested easily and may even lead to stomach upset.
How Do You Feed Nuts to Your Dog?
If you are planning to feed your dog nuts, here are several simple rules that you might want to keep in mind.
Don’t give whole nuts to your dog. You can chop nuts to prevent gut obstruction and choking.
You should also avoid seasoning at all costs. Salt, spices, and syrup are toxic for canines. For this reason, you should never season any nuts or food of your pet since it might only do more harm than good.
Since hazelnuts are usually safe for your dog, you can feed raw or roasted hazelnuts to your dog. But, don’t add any seasoning. Side effects of hazelnuts may include gut obstruction.
As for peanuts, both roasted and raw peanuts are also safe provided that these are shelled and unseasoned. Peanut allergies in canines are found to be very rare in general.
Just one or two cashew nuts are considered safe for your dog. However, too much intake of these nuts may lead to indigestion and stomach issues.
Nut Allergies in Dogs
If you are worried that your dog might have nut allergies, it is important to note that nuts are actually not regarded to be significant allergens in the majority of dogs. However, for a dog that has a history of allergies, eating nuts might trigger allergic reactions.
Whether the allergic history of your dog is food allergies or based on contact such as pollen, grass, or weeds, you should never knowingly give him a food that has been found to be an allergen.
Signs of allergic reactions might be something as minor as vomiting and upset stomach immediately after consuming nuts. However, if your dog shows more serious negative reactions following nut consumption, it might be an indication that your dog has a nut allergy. Some other signs that your dog has a nut allergy include:
- Facial swelling
Once you notice any of these symptoms, your dog will need to see his vet to have steroids and antihistamines administered.