It is a fact that people find nuts very healthy and that they consume them a lot.
Therefore, it is not surprising that many dog owners wonder if they can give nuts to their pet.
One of the most frequent questions typed on Google, regarding dogs, is:
“Can my dog eat peanuts?”
Some owners, thinking that they are equally nutritive for dogs as for humans, use nuts as a treat. Even though dogs usually like the taste, their stomach doesn’t like them as much.
Many nuts are among foods that are toxic for dogs and should therefore be avoided. In fact, one of the most toxic nuts is the macadamia nut. We are here taking look at three of the most frequent nuts, from a dog’s perspective.
Can dogs eat peanuts?
Peanuts are usually safe in small amounts, but you should still be aware of some possible side effects. Peanuts are not toxic which is good, but they are still high in fat.
While they are safe to use in dog cookies and other treats, a high intake of fat can lead to an upset stomach.
Some of the consequences could be diarrhea and vomiting. Dogs don’t digest fat that easily, so if they consume a lot of fat they can develop pancreatitis.
This is a result of the consumption of fat, when the pancreas becomes inflamed, and it is very painful for the dog. Even if your dog can get treatments for pancreatitis, it is one of the most painful conditions and should be prevented from happening.
Another consequence can come from the rough shell of the peanut, which can cause physical damage to the digestive tract. Therefore, you should always make sure that the peanuts you give your dog are removed from their shells, whether they are boiled, roasted or raw.
If you want to reward your dog with a peanut treat, it would be best to use a low-sodium peanut butter or lower-salted peanuts. Too much salt can result in sodium ion toxicosis.
Also, do not feed your dog with peanut treats for people, for example peanut butter cups or candy bars (chocolate is toxic for dogs), as this could lead to accidental poisoning.
Having said that peanuts are very high in fat, you shouldn’t give your dog too much. The rule of thumb applies. Limit the consumption of peanuts to an occasional treat; it should never be a meal.
Can dogs eat peanut butter?
Peanut butter is usually safe to eat, as long as it is without salt or sugar, and can be used as a reward in a toy or a chew bone, considering that dogs in general like the taste of this treat.
In normal amounts, peanut butter can even be beneficial for the oral health of the dog. As many dogs don’t like teeth cleanings, peanut butter can be used as flavored toothpaste, as bate. It is not rare that dogs who can taste peanut butter during teeth cleanings respond more positively and endure this process.
The conclusion sounds – as long as the peanuts are unsalted or untreated with spices or other flavorings they are safe for dogs on special occasions. In fact, you can even make some homemade dog treats that include peanut butter.
Read more: Can dogs eat peanut butter?
Can dogs eat almonds?
While very beneficial and nutritive for us, dogs don’t get these benefits from almonds. It is not a good choice for pet snacks. Almonds are not toxic, but they are not easily digested either. Possible consequences can be an upset stomach and gastric intestinal distress. Other consequences could be obstruction or water retention.
Considering that dogs don’t chew their food as humans do, if they swallow the whole almond a life threatening obstruction could happen. Regarding water retention, they are explained by the high amount of salt in almonds, like in many nuts. This can particularly affect dogs with heart disease.
However, dogs love the taste of almonds, especially the flavored ones (jalapeno, barbecued, smoked, salted, etc.). If given a chance, they will most probably eat them, but it’s the owner’s responsibility to prevent them in doing so.
If you notice that your dog ate a couple of almonds and isn’t showing any sign of choking or vomiting, or any other discomfort, there is no need to be worried.
However, if your dog has eaten a noticeable amount of almonds, the best thing would be to induce vomiting within 30 minutes. This can be done with hydrogen peroxide, under the guidance of a veterinarian.
If you can’t induce vomiting or you don’t know when the almonds were induced, you should observe your dog and monitor for signs of illness. If ill, call the veterinarian immediately. Long term problems with frequent consumption of almonds could be unwanted weight gain, from the high level of fat.
Can dogs drink almond milk?
Regarding almond milk, it could be used as a substitute for cow milk, if your dog has problems with digesting milk. However, dogs do not need milk in general, so almond milk would also be pretty useless.
Freezing almond milk also isn’t really the best idea because freezing it will probably change its texture and flavor.
Can dogs eat almond butter?
As for almond butter, it is not dangerous and can be used in the same sense as peanut butter. In terms of economy, it is three times the price of peanut butter, and is not more useful in any way so there’s practically no reason to choose it over peanut butter.
Also, dogs digest peanut-based food easier than almond-based food, so the logical choice would, in that aspect as well, be peanut butter.
We have reached the conclusion that almonds are quite unnecessary. The smartest thing is to keep them for yourself.
Can dogs eat pistachios?
Pistachio nuts, as peanuts, are rich in fat and can cause an upset stomach. Frequent eating of pistachios, just as with peanuts, can cause pancreatitis.
Some signs of pancreatitis are vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite and lethargy. A couple of pistachios from time to time are not harmful, but a bigger amount of these nuts could lead to swelling of the pancreas.
Enzymes released by pancreas can cause damage in other parts of the body, resulting in death. Many cases of pancreatitis can be treated, but if the damage is too big, there is not much that can be done for the dog.
Even though pistachios are safe in general, in small amounts, you should be cautious about moldy nuts. These could contain aflatoxins (mycotoxins produced by a fungus Aspergillus) which could lead to health troubles such as liver failure, which can later lead to neurologic signs.
This does not only apply to pistachios, but to all moldy nuts.
So, can dogs eat pistachio nuts? Better not!
Another consequence, not unique for pistachios, could be choking.
As for almonds and many other nuts, pistachios do not have a function in the diet of a dog. The best thing would be to avoid them and prevent stomach problems of your dog.
As a conclusion, we state that nuts and legumes (the peanut is a legume, not a nut) are very high in fat and not beneficial for the dog.
A high intake of fat can result in pancreatitis and problems with digesting, conditions which should be avoided as much as possible. Other consequences could be physical damages on the digestive tract, as a result of the contact with rough nut shells, and some life-threatening chokings.
However, a couple of peanuts here and there are not necessarily bad for your dog. We have also explained the positive effect it can have in the dental hygiene of a dog.
In moderation, at special occasions, unsalted, unsweetened and without other additives, and of course without the shell, peanuts do not present any danger for the dog.
Almonds and pistachios should be avoided as much as possible, even though there is no need to panic if your dog has a couple at rare occasions. Nuts, so beneficial for us, have no nutritive value for dogs so there is usually no point in sharing them with your dog. There are other and better treats for your pet!