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Can Dogs Eat Nuts?

July 1, 2021

Nuts are generally a great healthy snack for humans. They’re full of protein and healthy fats that provide fuel for us. Naturally, many dog owners want to know, “Can dogs eat nuts?” Dogs may enjoy nut-based snacks as special treats, but some nuts can be toxic to them, and some can lead to severe health issues. 

Though not all nuts are toxic to dogs, most of them are high in fat, and dogs who eat too many run the risk of developing pancreatitis or obesity. Also, you’ll want to watch out for any signs of an allergic reaction. Like humans, dogs and puppies can have specific nut allergies, so be sure to watch for swelling, itching, hives, and other signs of an allergic reaction if you choose to feed your dog nuts. 

You may want to share a snack with your companion, but it’s important to do research, consult your vet, and know your dog’s specific health needs.

Can Dogs Eat Peanuts?

Peanuts are high in protein, vitamins B6 and E, niacin, and healthy fats. So peanuts can offer dogs a protein-rich treat that is generally healthy for them to eat. But you should take care to feed your dog the right amount and kind of peanuts.

The peanuts that we snack on come in a variety of flavors: salted, honey roasted, candied, and countless others. Peanuts with additional flavor added may be harmful to dogs. The only peanuts that dogs should eat are dry roasted or raw peanuts that are unsalted. Although they will probably be okay if they manage to scoop up a salted peanut or two off of the floor, the sodium in salted peanuts is more than dogs need and can have harmful effects if they eat too many.  

Peanuts are high in fat, so moderation is important. A diet that’s too rich in fat can lead to pancreatitis and obesity, so dogs shouldn’t eat peanuts in large quantities. It’s best to limit the number of peanuts your dog eats to just a few. And dogs shouldn’t eat peanuts every day, so owners should save them for a rare and special treat.

Can Dogs Eat Almonds?

Another popular snacking nut is the almond. As with all the nuts on this list, anything salted or otherwise artificially flavored is not good for dogs. But even though raw almonds can be a healthy snack for humans, dogs shouldn’t eat them at all.

Dogs can’t digest almonds as easily as humans can, and so they can cause gastrointestinal problems. Though they should be fine if they eat only a couple, if they accidentally ingest more, be sure to look for symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, flatulence, lethargy, and loss of appetite. If you observe any of these symptoms, consult your veterinarian.

Almonds can also be difficult for dogs to swallow. Dogs who eat almonds run the risk of blocking their windpipe, esophagus, and intestines. This risk is higher in smaller breeds. These problems often require surgery to rectify and are sometimes fatal.

Can Dogs Eat Macadamia Nuts?

While it may seem unlikely that a dog would get macadamia nuts, it’s important to know that they should never eat them. Macadamia nuts are toxic to dogs and can cause macadamia nut toxicosis. Dogs who’ve eaten macadamia nuts may show symptoms like vomiting, ataxia, hyperthermia, depression, and weakness, especially in their back legs. If you suspect that your dog has eaten macadamia nuts, call your vet immediately. 

Can Dogs Eat Cashews?

Cashews, like peanuts, are generally safe for dogs to eat, but you should still take some precautions. Cashews are high in fat, so avoid feeding dogs large quantities of them. Like with peanuts, eating too many cashews can lead to health problems such as obesity and pancreatitis. 

Though cashews are not toxic to dogs, they do run a risk of exposing dogs to toxicity. Often, cashews are mixed with other nuts and ingredients in a medley. Sometimes the ingredients with which they are mixed—such as raisins or chocolate—can be toxic to dogs. If you’re going to feed your dog a small number of cashews on occasion, then be sure that they aren’t mixed with any other ingredients and that they’re unsalted and unflavored.

Can Dogs Eat Peanut Butter?

Many dogs love peanut butter, and their owners love to watch them eat it. Some may spread it inside a chew toy for a long-lasting delicacy. However, there are some things owners should be aware of before they feed their dog peanut butter.

Peanut butter can be a healthy treat for dogs, providing them with healthy fats, proteins, vitamins E and B, and niacin. As with peanuts, the best option for peanut butter is unsalted. Many dog owners resort to making their own peanut butter to avoid any unhealthy additives that can be in store-bought peanut butter. 

One such additive that dog owners must be keenly aware of is xylitol. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener found in many human products, including sometimes in sugar-free peanut butter, and is very dangerous to dogs. If dogs consume xylitol in large quantities, it can lead to low blood sugar, seizures, and even liver failure. If anyone suspects that a dog has ingested xylitol, they should contact their vet or a poison control hotline immediately.

There are plenty of safe kinds of peanut butter that dogs can enjoy. Making homemade peanut butter just for your companion is the best and safest way to give your dog this treat, and there are plenty of healthy, easy-to-make recipes out there.

Discover Your Dog’s Unique Needs

It’s important to make sure that you account for nut calories in your dog’s daily diet. Also, be sure that any nut-based snacks are sourced cleanly, and keep an eye out for any recalls, as nut-based snacks can run the risk of contamination with Salmonella. Every dog is unique, so they all have special needs. Be sure you’re feeding them well and avoiding anything harmful, and they will thrive alongside you.

Though Embark doesn’t test for food allergies or sensitivities, you can learn more about your dog’s specific needs and genetic health risks with Embark’s Dog DNA Test—the most accurate, highest-rated on the market. Embark is building a powerful platform for scientific discovery that will accelerate advancements in personalized dog care, and you and your dog can be a part of it. By using Embark’s products, customers can fuel new research and help all dogs lead longer, healthier lives.