Can I Give Nuts to My Dog?

It’s a Sunday evening, and you’re relaxing with a hot cup of tea, munching on some roasted cashews and almonds. Your dogs, Jackie and Julie, look at you expectantly, and you share your snack with them. Well, if humans can eat nuts, so can dogs, right? Wrong! While many varieties of nuts are safe for human consumption and are actually beneficial for our health, the very same nuts may be dangerous to dogs. Some nuts may cause a mild stomach upset, whereas others might lead to more serious health complications. 

Six Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Give Nuts to Dogs 

Often, human guardians feed what they eat to their dogs as well. While some ‘human foods’ are safe for dogs, never make the mistake of feeding them nuts. Here’s why:

1. May Cause Unnecessary Weight Gain

While not all nuts are necessarily toxic to dogs, all nuts are definitely high in fat content. Dogs can eat cashew nuts in small quantities, but nuts can never be considered healthy food options for dogs. Eating too much of even harmless nuts like cashews can lead to unnecessary weight gain in your canine. 

2. Increased Risk of Pancreatitis

The high-fat content in nuts can lead to several health issues in dogs, especially those who are small or elderly and have a less than robust immune system. Feeding high-fat nuts to your pooch can lead them to develop pancreatitis, a serious condition wherein the pancreas becomes inflamed. 

3. Nutty Snacks Can Have Other Dangerous Ingredients

Nutty snacks often have other ingredients like chocolate, oil, sugar, salt, and spices, which are bad for your furry friend and should not be ideally included in dog food. Ingesting cocoa can lead to gastrointestinal problems in dogs, and consuming excessive amounts of salt and sugar is harmful to your pooch, particularly if they have underlying heart or kidney conditions. 

4. Can Cause Choking Hazards

Nuts like almonds are hard to bite into and may choke your dog, especially if they are of a smaller breed. Broken shells of pistachios and walnuts are dangerous for your pooch and can injure their gums or tongue. Swallowing whole nuts could also lead to intestinal obstructions. 

5. Can Lead to Multiple Health Issues 

Some dogs, particularly those with sensitive stomachs, may react badly after eating nuts. Consuming nuts can lead to loss of appetite, vomiting, loose motions, and lethargy. In severe cases, the dog may even suffer from seizures, neurological damage, disorientation, and hives.

6. Some Nuts May Cause Toxicosis

Some nuts, notably tree nuts, such as pecans, walnuts, pistachios, and Brazil nuts, could be contaminated with minute levels of the poison Aflatoxin. Dogs are extremely sensitive to this poison, and ingesting even low levels of this toxin can lead to acute toxicosis, resulting in hepatocellular necrosis. Macadamia nuts also contain substances that could be toxic for your four-legged friend. 

Which Treats are Safe for Dogs?

Just because your dog can’t have nuts doesn’t mean they have to be deprived of treats! Feed your dog healthy snacks like a few slices of banana, carrot, or apple. Dogs can also eat small amounts of unseasoned peanuts (technically, peanuts are a legume and not a nut). You can also browse through a range of tasty and healthy dog food on to order yummy treats for your furball!

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