Can Dogs Eat Walnuts Safely? A Vet Weighs In

Here's what to know about walnuts and dogs 🌰

If you love having some walnuts as a 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, to find the answer to the question: Can dogs eat walnuts?

Are walnuts safe for dogs?

Walnuts can be toxic to dogs depending on the type. Black walnuts are considered toxic to dogs, but English walnuts aren’t (these are the most common types of walnuts).

Also, walnuts can be a choking hazard.

English walnuts

English walnuts are most commonly used in cooking, so these are likely the variety you’ll find at your local supermarket. While these aren’t particularly dangerous since they’re nontoxic, they’re best to be avoided because the large shape can be a choking hazard for your pup.

Black walnuts

Black walnuts, on the other hand, contain a toxin known as juglone, which is a chemical that inhibits the growth of certain plants and is toxic to your pup. These should always be avoided.

Risks of walnuts for dogs

If your dog eats a black walnut, she may show signs of toxicity.

“Signs of toxicity can begin 30 minutes after ingestion of an affected walnut,” Dr. Burch told The Dodo.

The early symptoms include:

  • Restlessness
  • Panting
  • Drooling
  • Vomiting

“As the toxicity progresses without medical intervention, dogs can develop mild to moderate muscle tremors, then progress to severe tremors or seizures,” Dr. Burch said.

Can dogs eat walnuts that are found outside?

As you can already imagine, no, your dog shouldn’t be allowed to eat walnuts that she may have found outside.

“Even though walnuts are a good source of vitamins and minerals, I do not recommend feeding [nuts that were found outside] to [avoid] the risk of toxicity from mold growth,” Dr. Burch said.

What to do if your dog ate a walnut

If your dog accidentally snagged a walnut in the kitchen that you were using for cooking, it will probably be OK, but you should still monitor her for signs of choking.

If you notice anything off about your pup, contact your veterinarian.

So while walnuts are one food you shouldn’t give your pup, there are still tons of other healthy snacks that your dog can enjoy.