Can Dogs Eat Nuts?

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Nuts are known to provide us with various health benefits. They are packed with nutrients such as Omega-3 fatty acids, iron and calcium, and can help reduce inflammation, lower cholesterol and promote heart health. The fiber found in nuts is also great to help us feel fuller for longer. But you may be wondering – can dogs eat nuts?

Well – the answer is a bit complicated. Nuts seem to be the perfect size to make a tasty treat for our fur-babies. But there are some risks you should be aware of before feeding your dogs nuts.


Should you feed your dog nuts?

Many nuts are technically safe and non-toxic for dogs as long as they are not mouldy. Given in small amounts, non-toxic nuts (such as roasted chestnuts) can be a great treat for your pet due it’s health benefits.


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However, it is important that dogs do not over-indulge in nuts as they contain a high content of fat. Only feed nuts in moderation, to prevent digestive problems and even pancreatitis. There are also nuts that should never be fed to dogs.


Nuts that should be avoided

Here is a list of some common nuts that should be avoided: 

Macadamia Nuts

These nuts can be very dangerous to dogs. Ingesting macadamia nuts can cause a high temperature, depression, tremors and muscle weakness.

Cashews

Raw cashews contain toxins that cause neurological symptoms. Although one or two baked, unsalted and shelled cashews will not cause harm to your fur-baby, the high levels of potassium can cause health problems in dogs with urinary problems. 

Some Walnuts

British walnuts are generally safe for dogs to eat. However, black walnuts are very toxic for your pet and can cause the same symptoms as eating macadamia nuts (high temperature, depression, tremors and muscle weakness). Old and mouldy walnuts should also be completely avoided, as it’s hull may contain a neurotoxin called Penitrem A.


Although not toxic, smaller nuts (such as almonds and hazelnut) can pose a choking hazard for your pet due to its size and shape. Flavoured nuts or nut spreads that contain artificial sweeteners (such as Xylitol) should also be avoided, as it may cause intestinal distress and even irritation.


In a nutshell

Nuts can be good for your dog as long as they are non-toxic and fed in moderation. If unsure, always check with your vet for the amount and appropriateness of feeding nuts to your dog. If your dog appears to feel unwell after eating nuts or has eaten a toxic nut, call your vet immediately.


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