August 11, 2017 · Written by Foodtolive Team
What Are the Safe Nuts for Dogs to Eat
Safe nuts for dogs are cashews, peanuts, and hazelnuts. In general, this food group can be rather dangerous for your pet. Even the so-called ‘safe nuts’ must be treated with extreme care and given in moderation.
Safe Nuts for Dogs: Benefits and Considerations
Nuts are extremely nutritious, which is the main reason they are good for you. The three safe types of nuts for dogs provide them with the same nutritional benefits. However, aside from essential vitamins and minerals, they also contain a high level of fats.
Your pet needs to consume a healthy amount of fats the same way you do. However, they require a much smaller dose. As the main ingredient of a canine’s diet is meat, they get all the fat they need from it. Therefore, any they receive from the nuts is excessive, which means it can become a cause of obesity. Fatty foods also often cause indigestion.
In order to ensure that the safe nuts for dogs are truly safe, you must give your pet this food in moderation. Use them as a treat for pets that enjoy the taste or crush a few nuts and mix them with dog food. Do this no more than 3 times a week and don’t give small dogs more than one nut.
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Other considerations for the ‘safe’ nuts for dogs include:
These nuts aren’t toxic and are generally safe for the pet even raw. You can also give the pet roasted hazelnuts, but never season them with any spices or syrups. Bear in mind that whole nuts are a choking hazard for small dogs. They can cause obstruction in the gut, which might be fatal.
Peanuts are safe for dogs roasted or raw as long as they are shelled and unseasoned. Peanut allergies in dogs are extremely rare.
Cashews can cause indigestion and other stomach problems if your dog eats too much. However, 1-2 nuts should be fine.
NOT Safe Nuts for Dogs:
2. Hickory nuts
Like the majority of ‘unsafe’ nuts, this variety contains juglone. It’s an extremely dangerous toxin. The amount of the element in nuts is very small and isn’t dangerous to humans. However, it’s enough to pose a serious risk to animals.
3. Macadamia nuts
Macadamia nuts are the most un-safe nuts for dogs you can find. They are extremely high in fats. This means this treat will give your pet indigestion by default. This food also contains a toxin that affects the nervous system. It might cause seizures and other neurological problems. The strange thing about them is that researchers have yet to succeed in identifying this toxin and explaining why it’s so dangerous to dogs.
Pecans also contain juglone and they are large enough to cause obstruction if eaten whole. These nuts are also higher than average in fats, so they pose a higher risk of stomach issues.
Pistachios aren’t toxic, but they don’t fit into the ‘safe nuts for dogs’ group because they might cause pancreatitis. Vets don’t understand the mechanism of this ‘relationship’ completely. However, the majority of sources advise to avoid feeding them to canines. It’s believed that pancreatitis is caused by overeating foods high in fats.
No matter their type, walnuts are dangerous for dogs because of the toxins and fats they contain. Sadly, the things that make them beneficial to humans make this food bad for canines.
How to Feed Your Dog with Nuts
If you are determined to give your pooch some ‘safe’ nuts for dogs, you should remember two simple rules.
1. Never season the product with anything
Salt, spices, syrup, etc. are all extremely bad for dogs. You shouldn’t season any of pet food and nuts, especially, are risky enough without the added dangers.
2. Don’t give whole nuts to your dog
Chopping nuts will prevent gut obstruction and choking. However, it’s best to give this food to your pets in the form of butter. Animals usually enjoy this more and it’s much easier to digest. Unseasoned peanut butter is a common ingredient in dog treats.
How Are Nuts Bad for Dogs
However, to your dog this incredible food mostly gives indigestion and a variety of health risks. The most common problems caused by not safe for dogs nuts are:
1. Digestive disorders
In most cases, this shows in the form of vomiting, stomachache, and/or diarrhea. The severity of the condition may vary but if you notice any of the symptoms, exclude nuts immediately. If the problem doesn’t go away, contact your vet.
Dogs might have a much lower rate of peanut allergies than humans, but they often develop an allergic reaction to other types. Walnuts, in particular, can cause severe reactions.
Pancreatitis is a chronic inflammation that deals severe damage to your pet’s insides and shortens their lifespan. It’s mostly caused by consuming too many fatty foods. If your dog is already struggling with unhealthy weight, no type of nut is safe for it.
Bear in mind that nut allergies in dogs can trigger many different symptoms. The most common are bald patches, skin irritation, and constant itching. However, sometimes nut allergies trigger coughing fits, obsessive licking, skin infections, and even chronic ear infections.
If you suspect your dog might have an allergy, contact the vet. They will be able to determine the allergen with a blood test.
Safe Nuts for Dogs: Final Words
There are some safe nuts for dogs and in extremely small amounts, most types of this food might not cause problems. However, canine bodies aren’t fit for digesting this type of heavy food. Therefore, it would be best to avoid giving your dog nuts altogether. At the very least, restrict these occasions to a rare special treat.