Can Dogs Eat Nuts Safely?
Read this before giving your dog nuts 🌰
If you love having nuts as a healthy snack, you might be wondering if you can share some with your pup.
We reached out to Dr. Michelle Burch, a veterinarian at Paramount Pet Health, and Dr. Claudine Sievert, a veterinarian at Stayyy, to find the answer to the question: Can dogs eat nuts?
Are all nuts toxic for dogs?
Most nuts aren’t toxic for dogs, but even “safe” nuts can cause unwanted effects if your dog eats too many of them.
“Nuts are high in fat, which can cause gastrointestinal upset or inflammation of the pancreas, resulting in vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy and belly pain,” Dr. Burch told The Dodo.
Feeding an overabundance of dog-safe nuts can also contribute to obesity due to their high caloric content, so if you do offer your pup some safe nuts (more on those below), make sure you’re only doing so on rare occasions.
“You also have to be careful feeding dogs nuts because they can lead to water retention and other complications,” Dr. Sievert told The Dodo.
Also, commercially purchased nuts are typically salted, and overconsumption in dogs can lead to salt toxicity — so if you do feed your dog one of the safe varieties, make sure they aren’t salted.
Salt toxicity can cause:
- Muscle tremors
Which nuts are unsafe for dogs?
While most nuts aren’t good for your dog just based on how much fat they contain, there are a few that you should be extra wary of.
Macadamia nuts should never be given to your pup. Ingesting one can lead to tremors, weakness and joint inflammation in your dog.
Because Brazil nuts have a higher fat content than other nuts, they’re not recommended by veterinarians.
Walnuts aren’t exactly toxic to dogs (although black walnuts are), but their large shape makes them an even bigger choking hazard than other nuts. Plus, walnuts are susceptible to mold, which is definitely toxic for dogs.
“If your dog eats a nut that you are unsure is poisonous or a large number of nuts, I recommend contacting your veterinarian or ASPCA Animal Poison Control at 888-426-4435,” Dr. Burch said.
Which nuts can dogs eat?
Nuts and legumes other than macadamia nuts and black walnuts are safe for your pup to eat in small quantities. Some popular dog-safe nuts include:
But remember, dogs can have these in small quantities only since they’re so high in fat.
“This means that while it's OK to have them occasionally, like when you accidentally drop a few, it's not a good idea to do it too often,” Dr. Sievert said. “You also need to call the vet immediately if they eat a can of nuts, because it can lead to pancreatic issues.”
Can dogs eat nuts every day?
No, dogs shouldn’t have nuts every day. In fact, even the safe options should only be given in strict moderation or avoided altogether since they can cause health issues down the line.
“While not all nuts are harmful to your dogs, it's a good idea just not to give them any at all,” Dr. Sievert said. “Many other snacks are healthier for dogs and don't pose a risk to their health.”
So while there are some safe nuts that your dog can enjoy in small quantities, always make sure you’re never feeding your pup the toxic kind. And always remember that there are plenty of healthier options you can safely share with your BFF.