As any dog owner will tell you, dogs will eat just about anything they can fit in their jaws. They’ll sneak into the rubbish or nose-open a cupboard door left slightly ajar, sniffing out any open packets or scraps.
All dog owners have probably had the experience of leaving food on a table or counter, going out of the room for two minutes, and coming back to find an empty plate and a guilty-looking dog.
Some owners might shrug this off after a gentle scolding. Others might panic, wondering if their dog just ate something unsafe for their species to consume.
This fear isn’t at all unfounded. See, many foods that we can eat aren’t good, or even safe, for dogs to consume. Grapes and raisins are the worst offenders, causing poor dogs to go into organ failure and die within half an hour. Chocolate is another well-known cause of sick pooches.
More-so, one particular food group that can cause problems are nuts. Can dogs eat nuts? The answer is complicated, and a straight yes or no won’t suffice.
Check out the guide below for what nuts dogs can and cannot eat, how they should be prepared, and what to do when things go wrong.
Overall, vets do not recommend feeding your dog any nuts; however, those which are edible can be a quick treat replacement.
- 1 Can Dogs Eat Nuts?
- 1.1 Can Dogs Eat Pistachios?
- 1.2 Can Dogs Eat Almonds?
- 1.3 Can Dogs Eat Peanuts?
- 1.4 Can Dogs Eat Cashews?
- 1.5 Can Dogs Eat Hickory Nuts?
- 1.6 Can Dogs Eat Pecans?
- 1.7 Can Dogs Eat Pine Nuts?
- 1.8 Can Dogs Eat Macadamias?
- 1.9 Can Dogs Eat Hazelnuts?
- 1.10 Can Dogs Eat Walnuts?
- 1.11 Can Dogs Eat Chestnuts?
- 1.12 Can Dogs Eat Acorns?
- 2 Conclusion
Can Dogs Eat Nuts?
Can Dogs Eat Pistachios?
Pistachios may be a tasty snack for people, but they cause gastrointestinal problems in dogs when eaten in large amounts.
Though these nuts are not toxic, their high fat content will cause upset stomachs, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Despite being small, pistachios can also be a choking hazard or cause intestinal obstruction – especially if they are shelled. Moldy pistachios can result in liver damage.
One or two unshelled and unsalted pistachios won’t do any harm to larger dogs. Small or medium dogs should avoid these nuts, however, as they can cause airway and intestinal blockage.
Can Dogs Eat Almonds?
Almonds are a choking hazard for dogs. People chew their food, dogs not so much – and thus the almond becomes another delicious yet unsafe snack for dogs.
If your pooch has wriggled into your food drawer and gobbled up more than a small handful of almonds, they might start vomiting, have diarrhea, experience a loss of appetite, or become lethargic.
Salted almonds can cause dogs to drink more than usual, too, and a close eye should be kept on any unusual behavior. Internal blockages are a possibility.
Whole almonds should be avoided. If your pooch licks up the crumbs of an almond cake, however, it isn’t the end of the world.
Can Dogs Eat Peanuts?
Peanuts are in every nut mix out there. They are a popular snack, both solo and when blended up to make delicious, gooey peanut butter – the latter of which is popular as a treat for dogs, as it is useful for hiding medication in.
Now, plain or raw peanuts themselves are not toxic to dogs, despite their oils and fatty content, which can cause upset stomachs, diarrhea, and vomiting if too many nuts are consumed.
If your dog licks up a peanut or two off the floor, it’s nothing to worry about.
What you need to be careful of, though, is a new sugar-replacement sweetener called xylitol. This sweetener is perfectly fine for people, yet toxic to dogs.
Peanut butter is fine as a small treat every now and then, or as a way to sneak medication past a fussy dog’s senses, but owners must either make it themselves or carefully check the label for xylitol.
If your dog has eaten peanut butter containing xylitol, take them to the vet’s immediately, as they will need to have their stomach pumped.
Can Dogs Eat Cashews?
Cashews just might be the most delicious of nuts to have in trail mixes, stir-fry, and all sorts of other meals.
Actually, they won’t do any harm to your dog as a rare treat. Although, small and medium dogs can choke on cashews.
Due to being high in protein and fats, cashews can result in health problems for dogs if they become a regular part of their diet.
One or two a week as a treat is fine, but any more than that can lead the pooch to develop pancreatitis or obesity (as well as obesity-related problems, like diabetes).
Can Dogs Eat Hickory Nuts?
Though not toxic in the same way as grapes, it is best to avoid giving dogs hickory nuts altogether.
Unshelled nuts can cause upset stomachs, diarrhea, and pancreatitis, and the shells of these nuts contain juglone, a mild toxin that can affect dogs.
Even if only a small amount of shelled nuts are consumed, pooches can develop a fever, excessive drooling, tremors, and vomiting. These nuts can be a choking hazard to dogs of all sizes too.
If your dog has eaten hickory nuts, shelled or unshelled, keep a close eye on them and have your vet’s number handy.
Can Dogs Eat Pecans?
Pecans are a wonderful nut that is top notch for desserts. It can be hard to resist the puppy eyes a pooch will give you while you scarf down a slice of pecan pie, but you must resist!
Pecans can be a choking hazard and potential internal obstruction for dogs of all sizes. Even the slightest hint of mold on pecans can cause seizures or neurological issues!
Call your vet immediately if your pooch has eaten pecans. Symptoms to watch out for are vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness, fever, seizures, and tremors.
Can Dogs Eat Pine Nuts?
Pine nuts are delicious on salads, and add a pleasant crunch and flavor to savory dishes. High fat content aside, letting your dog lick up the few pine nuts that fell on the floor won’t do any harm.
Regular consumption could cause pancreatitis, upset stomachs, and urinary tract issues.
Basically, don’t actively feed pine nuts to your dog, but don’t panic if they pick some out of the trash.
Can Dogs Eat Macadamias?
This is an easy one to answer! Nope! Macadamia nuts are not safe for dogs, not even in tiny amounts.
You shouldn’t even let dogs eat baked goods that contain macadamia nuts, even if they give you the biggest, saddest pair of pleading, puppy eyes you have ever witnessed. Don’t do it!
These nuts can cause, aside from the usual choking hazard, vomiting, ataxia, weakness (especially in the hind legs), hyperthermia, tremors, and fever.
If your dog has eaten macadamia nuts and these symptoms are not very mild, call your vet immediately.
Can Dogs Eat Hazelnuts?
Roasted or ground up into a chocolate-y, breakfast spread, hazelnuts are a lovely dessert food.
Due to their round shape and large size, hazelnuts present a choking hazard in dogs of all sizes – and people, for that matter.
Hazelnuts can easily cause bowel obstructions too. Dogs’ digestive systems cannot break down nuts as well as ours can, and this is a big part of why nuts can cause internal blockages in pups.
Aside from the usual vomiting and diarrhea, if you notice that your dog has difficulty going to the toilet, has little appetite, or seems to be having abdominal pain, you need to head down to the vet.
Can Dogs Eat Walnuts?
Walnuts – another nut mixed into yummy desserts and baking delights.
Do you need to worry if a few pieces of walnut you’re chopping up end up on the floor and are subsequently dive-bombed by your dog? Nope. Whole walnuts can be a choking hazard though.
Black and moldy walnuts are a different story. Black walnuts are toxic to dogs, and if ingested, will result in seizures and tremors. Scary!
Can Dogs Eat Chestnuts?
Short answer, yes, dogs can eat chestnuts. Long answer, they can, but they shouldn’t.
Chestnuts are high in fiber, and dogs can benefit from having a morsel of ground up chestnut mixed through their food.
Whole chestnuts are just too large to be safely eaten and will be a choking hazard. Down the intestinal track, hazelnuts can cause bowel obstruction too.
Horse chestnuts, or conkers, on the other hand, are toxic. Unless the dog is small or old, eating one conker usually won’t do much harm. However, if symptoms are multiple or severe, get to your vet ASAP.
If you noticed your dog gnawing on a conker, keep a close eye on them for a day. Most symptoms will start to show within a few hours of ingestion, and they include diarrhea, vomiting, excessive drooling, extreme thirst, muscular twitches, paralysis, seizures, tremors, dilated pupils, and sudden death.
Though some of these symptoms may be scary, death typically only occurs when a large amount of conkers were eaten.
Can Dogs Eat Acorns?
Squirrels may love acorns, and dogs may love gnawing on any they find also. Should you be worried if your pooch is sniffing around an acorn tree? Yep.
Aside from being a large choking hazard, with the potential to block the digestion track internally, acorns can be toxic to dogs. Upset stomachs, diarrhea, and kidney disease can all spring up if your dog makes a habit of eating acorns.
If you have an acorn tree in your yard, be sure to rake up any fallen nuts and dispose of them where your pooch can’t reach them.
Here’s a video explaining more about dogs and nuts.
So, can dogs eat nuts? In some cases, yes. Aside from macadamia nuts, acorns, and conkers, if your dog gobbles up a stray nut from the floor, you don’t need to panic.
But, should you feed your dog nuts? Nope! The risks outweigh the rewards in feeding dogs nuts as treats or as meal additives. There are far healthier foods available.
Pet ownership is a big responsibility, and there are certain foods that should be avoided – nuts being only one of them.