Can Dogs Eat Nuts? Understand the Risks of Feeding Walnuts, Macadamia Nuts, Cashews, Almonds, Pistachios & Pecans To Dogs
It’s well known that there are certain things that dogs cannot and should not be eating. Chocolate, grapes, and raisins are some of the biggest and most well-known “no-n ao” treats for dogs, but what about nuts?
To help you figure out if dogs can eat nuts, we’ve compiled a master list of common nuts and their safety rating for your dogs.
1. Can Dogs Eat Brazil Nuts?
Most dogs can eat Brazil nuts, but you should take a few precautions.
Are Some Dogs Allergic to Brazil Nuts?
Like people, dogs can have allergies. As noted by Veterinary Centers of America, allergies can be caused by any food ingredient. While the most common triggers are dairy and meat proteins, eggs, soy, and gluten, Brazil nuts can cause an allergic reaction.
Risks Associated with Dogs Eating Brazil Nuts
As with any nut, Brazil nuts may cause a variety of digestive problems for your dog. Because these nuts tend to be rather large, the most serious thing to watch for is an intestinal blockage. This happens when an item (in this case, the nut) is unable to pass through the digestive tract. Symptoms of intestinal blockage include:
- Abdominal discomfort
- Difficulty pooping
- Loss of appetite
Another thing to know about Brazil nuts is that they are classified as tree nuts. This means that they contain a chemical known as aflatoxin, which many dogs are sensitive to. This sensitivity often manifests itself through digestive issues and abdominal pain.
Are Brazil Nuts Good for Dogs?
Brazil nuts are not good for dogs. These nuts are extremely high in fat.
How to Safely Feed Dogs Brazil Nuts
As with any new treat, you should never feed a dog Brazil nuts for the first time without supervision. Stay nearby after feeding to watch your pooch and ensure that they properly digest this new treat.
Being one of the largest nuts, you’ll also want to dice or chop the nut prior to feeding. Dogs are not generally known to be thorough chewers, and the large size of this nut makes it easy to choke on.
2. Can Dogs Eat Cashew Nuts?
Are Some Dogs Allergic to Cashew Nuts?
Cashews are just as likely to cause an allergic reaction as any other food. If your dog has an allergic reaction to cashews, they’ll also be allergic to pistachios, which are in the same family (Anacardiaceae).
Risks Associated with Dogs Eating Cashews
In addition to the standard risks of allergic reactions and intestinal distress, cashews come with another potential problem: cross-contamination. Because these nuts are often packaged in mixes, they may be tainted with chemicals and proteins from other nuts. If you plan to feed your pup a cashew or two, be sure to purchase bags that contain only unsalted, unflavored cashews.
Are Cashews Good for Dogs?
Image Source: @dogsinfoodhats
As with most nuts, cashews are high-fat treats and meant as occasional snacks, and they should never be fed in large amounts.
How to Safely Feed Dogs Cashews
The safest way for your dog to enjoy cashews is to feed cashew butter. However, if you want to let your pup enjoy a whole cashew or two, your best bet is to find a package of unsalted and unflavored cashews. This dramatically reduces the risk of cross-contamination and excessive sodium intake for your pooch. Also, be sure to chop the nut into smaller bits to avoid choking.
3. Can Dogs Eat Pine Nuts?
While dogs can eat pine nuts, it’s not something they should be intentionally given.
Are Some Dogs Allergic to Pine Nuts?
Pine nuts, like Brazil nuts, are a tree nut and contain aflatoxin. This means that many dogs will have some sort of reaction after ingesting a pine nut, which will range from mild stomach discomfort to a full-blown allergy attack.
Risks Associated with Dogs Eating Pine Nuts
Pine nuts are extremely high in fat and phosphorus. As noted by the Can Dogs Eat It app, excessive phosphorus intake can cause kidney stone formation in pooches. Other risks associated with feeding your dog pine nuts include a variety of urinary tract issues and possible infections.
Are Pine Nuts Good for Dogs?
Pine nuts are not good for dogs and should be avoided.
4. Can Dogs Eat Pistachios?
Are Some Dogs Allergic to Pistachios?
Unless your dog is allergic pistachios aren’t toxic do dogs however, the amount of salt and additives can make them dangerous.
As part of the Anacardiaceae family, pistachios are closely related to cashews. If your dog has an allergic reaction to cashews, they’ll also be allergic to pistachios. Otherwise, it’s up to you to watch and monitor your dog after giving them their first pistachio.
Risks Associated with Dogs Eating Pistachios
Pistachios pose no additional risks to dogs beyond the usual fare. Indigestion is the biggest thing to watch out for. If feeding a smaller dog, consider chopping up the pistachio to prevent choking. Be sure to pick unflavored and unsalted pistachios if you’re planning to feed them to your dog.
Are Pistachios Good for Dogs?
Pistachios are not good for dogs. Like all other nuts, they are high in fat.
5. Can Dogs Eat Almonds?
❌It’s not recommended.
Are Some Dogs Allergic to Almonds?
Almonds present the same allergic reaction risk as any other nut. They contain proteins that dogs have difficulty digesting and, at the very least, most dogs will not enjoy the experience.
Risks Associated with Dogs Eating Almonds
Aside from indigestion and allergic reactions, the greatest risk posed by almonds is intestinal obstruction. These uniquely shaped nuts have a tendency to get lodged in the intestines, causing symptoms such as constipation and infection. This same quality also makes almonds dangerous choking hazards for all dogs, regardless of their size.
Are Almonds Good for Dogs?
Almonds are not good for dogs. These high-fat treats pose an extreme choking risk and, if fed in excess, may even cause pancreatitis.
6. Can Dogs Eat Corn Nuts
❌No! Corn nuts are not a recommended treat for dogs.
Are Some Dogs Allergic to Corn Nuts?
As with any ingredient, corn nuts pose a risk of causing an allergic reaction. However, the more concerning issue with these nuts revolves around how they are processed and packaged.
Risks Associated with Dogs Eating Corn Nuts
Corn nuts pose all of the same risks as other nuts, such as digestive upset and choking. Because the majority of corn nuts are processed and packaged with different ingredients and flavorings, the larger risk is their potential to contain excessive amounts of salt, sugar, or even toxic ingredients.
Are Corn Nuts Good for Dogs?
Corn nuts are not good for dogs and should be avoided.
7. Can Dogs Eat Peanuts?
Are Some Dogs Allergic to Peanuts?
Peanuts tend to cause allergic reactions in some dogs, but most are fine to eat a few. The most important thing to watch out for when feeding peanuts as a treat is the ingredient list. Never feed a dog peanuts that contain any sort of flavoring or additive. Salted peanuts, while delicious, should also be avoided.
Risks Associated with Dogs Eating Peanuts
Peanuts pose the same risk as any other nut. Dogs ingesting these treats may have an upset stomach or an allergic reaction. If fed peanut butter containing the artificial sweetener xylitol, a dog should be immediately taken to the vet, as this additive is toxic.
Are Peanuts Good for Dogs?
Peanuts are not exactly great for dogs, but they aren’t as bad as some other nuts. While their high fat content makes them unsuitable for regular feeding, these nuts come with the benefit of being packed with a variety of vitamins and proteins.
As such, many brands offer peanut treats or peanut-butter-based treats which is safer than eating whole peanuts. At The Dog Bakery, we offer the delicious PB and Yummy Bar, a homemade treat that your dog is sure to love! We also recommend peanut butter. There are many peanut butters made just for dogs with no sugar or hydrogenated oils.
8. Can Dogs Eat Macadamia Nuts?
❌ Definity NOT! Macadamia nuts are toxic to dogs, but not deadly in small quantities.
Are Some Dogs Allergic to Macadamia Nuts?
Dogs can be at risk of allergic reactions to almost any food, just like humans. That said, macadamia nuts are far more likely to cause toxicosis than they are to trigger an allergic reaction. Either way, you should keep macadamia nuts away from your dog.
Risks Associated with Dogs Eating Macadamia Nuts
The most common symptoms of macadamia nut toxicity in dogs include weakness, depression and lethargy, vomiting, and tremors, with m
ore serious cases including stiffness, lameness, inability to stand, and hyperthermia. While these symptoms can be extremely uncomfortable and concerning for pups with other underlying conditions, macadamia nut toxicity on its own is rarely long-lasting. Most dogs recover within 24-48 hours after ingestion, and some dogs show no symptoms at all.
Are Macadamia Nuts Good for Dogs?
No. Macadamia nuts are toxic to dogs and have no nutritional value for their diet. Macadamia nuts are also high-fat and can cause tummy trouble, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and pancreatitis in extreme cases.
9. Can Dogs Eat Walnuts?
❌ It isn’t recommended, and some varieties are toxic to dogs.
Are Some Dogs Allergic to Walnuts?
It is possible for your dog to be allergic to walnuts, but it isn’t a common allergen. Even though dogs aren’t commonly allergic to walnuts, they aren’t good for dogs, and some varieties are downright dangerous, so don’t share these nuts with your canine friend.
Risks Associated with Dogs Eating Walnuts
The Persian walnut, also known as the English walnut, is technically safe for dogs when carefully shelled and unsalted. That said, it isn’t a treat we recommend sharing with your dog since even this safe variety of walnut can harbor toxic black mold, which could cause serious neurological damage.
Black walnuts, which are native to North America, are not safe for dogs and can cause toxicosis. A frequent cause of calls to poison control and emergency veterinary centers, black walnuts can cause severe vomiting, pain, and neurologic abnormalities that last long after being eaten.
Be sure to contact your veterinarian immediately if you think your dog has eaten black walnuts or walnuts harboring mold.
Are Walnuts Good for Dogs?
No. Walnuts provide no nutritional value for dogs and can cause serious toxicity. Additionally, walnuts kept in your cupboard or fridge for too long may be more likely to grow toxic molds, making them even more dangerous to the safety of your pets.
10. Can Dogs Eat Hazelnuts?
Technically yes, so don’t panic if your pooch swipes a hazelnut. But we don’t recommend letting your dog eat hazelnuts.
Are Some Dogs Allergic to Hazelnuts?
Dogs can be allergic to almost anything, just like humans, and hazelnuts are on that list. Since it isn’t recommended that you feed your dog hazelnuts, you might never learn whether your dog is allergic to this nut; but it’s not a good idea to try to find out. If your dog is prone to food allergies, it’s best to avoid all foods that don’t offer your pup specific nutritional benefits.
Risks Associated with Dogs Eating Hazelnuts
Nuts, as we’ve mentioned, are high in fat, and when consumed in large quantities can cause pancreatitis and serious gastrointestinal issues for your pooch. For small dogs, hazelnuts can also be a choking hazard, so it’s better to keep these tasty treats for yourself.
Are Hazelnuts Good for Dogs?
Hazelnuts are not a good source of nutrition for your dog, and really shouldn’t be a go-to snack for your pooch. There are plenty of healthier, and tastier, treats on the market!
11. Can Dogs Eat Pecans?
Yes, but also no. Don’t worry if your dog eats one or two pecans, but don’t let it become a habit.
Are Some Dogs Allergic to Pecans?
Yes, some dogs may be allergic to pecans. Like humans, dogs develop allergies to a variety of foods that may not be “typical” to their species. Because of this, it’s always important to research new foods, and avoid adding new ingredients to your dog’s diet without first consulting your veterinarian.
Risks Associated with Dogs Eating Pecans
Pecans on their own are not technically toxic to dogs, but like walnuts, these nuts can easily grow molds that can create gastrointestinal distress or toxicity in dogs. In some cases, ingesting moldy pecans has resulted in extended neurological symptoms. Some molds are also known to be fatal to dogs and other household animals, so you should closely monitor your dog and contact your veterinarian if your pup eats pecans.
Because pecans are also high in fat, like other nuts, consuming large quantities can also result in pancreatitis, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, etc.
Are Pecans Good for Dogs?
Pecans are not good for dogs, and should not be included in their regular diet or treats. If you like to eat pecans, do your best to keep them carefully away from your dog and don’t let them sit in your cabinets or fridge for too long. Old pecans will be more likely to develop toxic molds, which are particularly dangerous to dogs.
How to Safely Feed Nuts to Dogs
Photo Credit: @khonsu.weimaraner
At the end of the day, it’s your job as the pet parent to do your research if your particular dog can eat nuts.
Nuts are a treat for dogs, and they should never be fed in excessive quantities. Moreover, you should never feed nuts from a mixed variety pack to your dog. The best bet is to feed your dog-safe peanut butter.
Can dogs eat nuts? If you want to feed your dog a nut or two, then follow these safety tips to make sure your treat doesn’t end up hurting your pup:
- Only offer a few nuts and never provide them regularly
- Dice or chop nuts to prevent intestinal blockage and choking
- Never feed seasoned or salted nuts
- Avoid products that are sweetened, especially if they use xylitol
- Always avoid overly oily products
- Never feed dogs nuts that contain or were processed with hydrogenated oil
- If purchasing butters, (such as peanut or cashew) always check the ingredients list
- Never provide sweetened nuts
- Always remove the shell of the nut, as these are hard and sometimes even impossible to digest
Bonus: Can Dogs Eat Honey Nut Cheerios?
These sweet little cereal bits may not be a nut, but they contain “nut” in their title! If you’re purchasing natural or brand name Honey Nut Cheerios, then these are safe to feed to your dog! The primary ingredients of this cereal are little more than a bit of sugar and processed oats.
However, as with any sweet treat, these should be fed in moderation! As long as you do your research and provide a balanced diet, your dog is sure to love receiving treats as much as you love to give them!