Can Dogs Eat Water Chestnut – Is It Safe?

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
Learn about water chestnuts in a dog's diet in this article. Is it safe? Could water chestnuts harm your dog? Read on and discover.

Water chestnuts are packed with antioxidants that can help humans feel better.

When it comes to the human diet, water chestnuts are one of the best antioxidant sources, that may reduce the risk of many chronic diseases and conditions.

For humans, water chestnut is most beneficial due to its high potassium percentage which can lower the high blood pressure and risk of stroke.

As you may know already, both stroke and high blood pressure, are linked to heart disease.

These are the most efficient sides of water chestnuts in the human diet, but are water chestnuts equally effective in a dog’s diet, as well?

Read on to discover if water chestnuts and dogs go together.

Can Dogs Eat Water Chestnut

When it comes to dogs and water chestnuts, the answer is wider than yes or no.

It’s known that dogs can eat anything, but if they should eat anything is a completely different story.

The short answer here is yes – dogs can eat water chestnuts, but you should stick only to freshwater chestnuts, instead of canned ones.

Read on to learn why you should be hes to these two.

Water chestnuts are packed with high levels of pyridoxine and potassium, making this vegetable nutritious when your dog is fed with them in moderation.

This vegetable isn’t commonly used in a dog’s diet, so you should feed your Fido with water chestnuts only as an occasional treat and in moderation.

If you are not a frequent consumer of water chestnuts yourself, you may be wondering if chestnuts and water chestnuts are the same, which is why we will elaborate on this one first.

Important: Always peel water chestnuts before you share them with your dog.

Are Chestnuts And Water Chestnuts The Same?

Even if you are a chestnut lover, you may ask yourself a couple of times if a water chestnut is the same as a chestnut.

It’s common for people to get confused when talking about chestnut and water chestnut because their names are very similar. This name similarity is the only similarity between these two.

Chestnuts are edible seeds. Chestnuts are the fruit of the chestnut trees, while water chestnuts are not classified as a fruit, not as a nut.

In fact, water chestnuts are an aquatic vegetable that is well-spread in different regions of Asia, Australia, and tropical Africa.

This water plant comes with green leaves and is often used by us for its corms that grow underground. This corm is what we know as the water chestnut.

Are Water Chestnuts Safe For Dogs?

Water chestnuts are packed with nutrients. To put this in numbers, let’s see just how many ingredients (and in what amount) you can expect to see in 100 grams of water chestnut:

  • Potassium 583 mg
  • Manganese 0.34 mg
  • Water 75%
  • Protein 10 g
  • Fat 0.1 g
  • Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6) 0.33 mg
  • Energy 95 kcal

As you may conclude already these nutrients are not only beneficial for the human diet but for the dog’s diet as well.

Yet, the best parts of this plant are seen in four major ingredients and benefits that come with them:

  • High water content. Food that is rich in water keeps the body hydrated. This is something that is especially a handful on hot summer days when dogs are at higher risk of heatstroke.
  • Protein. Water chestnuts are packed with proteins that create amino acids, that are responsible for repair of cells, bone, and skin in dogs.
  • Potassium. Potassium is the key factor when it comes to keeping kidney function in dogs in balance. Plus, potassium helps strengthen the muscle and heart functions. Next to this, potassium in dogs can even help with indigestion.
  • Low fat.Water chestnuts are extremely low in fat. As such, they are perfect for dogs. It’s well-knwon that food high in fat leads to obesity in dogs and even lethargy.

Thanks to these ingredients it’s safe to assume that water chestnut is a healthy treat for your Fido.

Still, you should serve this plant as an occasional treat to your dog.

Serving water chestnuts in moderation will keep your dog’s stomach at ease.

On the other hand, if you offer water chestnuts to your dog fair too often you can expect him to experience mild to severe stomach disturbances.

Can Dogs Eat Frozen Water Chestnuts?

Whenever possible serve your dog only fresh water chestnuts. They won’t mind having a bite of the frozen ones, especially if it’s a hot summer day.

Learn how to freeze dog food properly and have the right bag to keep fresh treats stored in the best way possible.

When it comes to freezing water chestnuts and freezing they should do fine stored well in a plastic bag.

Stored like this, freshwater chestnuts can be perfectly stored for up to a week.

Can Puppies Enjoy This Healthy Treat?

When it comes to dog treats and treat-related preferences there is no specific age restriction.

It’s important not to feed puppies with adult or senior food, because they won’t get any benefits from it. Puppies are growing fast.

As such, they need food that will help them thrive and support their overall health and growth. This is why puppy food is often more expensive than the one for adult dogs – it is richer in ingredients.

As for the treats, the same rules apply to puppies, adult dogs, and even senior dogs.

Just make sure what kind of treats you serve them, but in general, a fresh cucumber will be a delicious treat to dogs of all ages.

Also, industrial treats are always a great option. Water chestnuts can be served to puppies as long as you do it strategically.

Make sure that you start with a small amount, observe the dog carefully, and if you notice anything unusual contact your veterinarian.

Whenever it comes to new dog food or treats start gradually and increase the amount as you go. Monitor your dog closely and react if you notice anything unusual.

How much water chestnut can a dog eat? An adult dog can eat 2-3 water chestnuts without any stomach disturbances.

As for the puppies, you should think of small amounts. For puppies, one water chestnut from time to time is more than enough.

Can Dogs Eat Canned Water Chestnuts

It’s no secret that people love canned food. Not only that it comes with some benefits, but it’s usually sweet and has a long shelf life.

On top of that, canned products are easy to serve. Canned food items are also affordable, which makes them budget-friendly for any home.

But… If canned food is OK for humans, does it mean that canned food is a great option for dogs as well? No, canned food should never be served to dogs. That being said, canned water chestnuts should never be served to dogs.

In most cases, if your dog grabs a few canned water chestnuts he will be fine, but you should do your best to prevent that situation.

Canned water chestnuts are packed with sodium which makes them potentially dangerous for your dog to consume.

Sodium is actually salt, and although humans tolerate the high amount of salt fairly, dogs don’t.

In fact, dogs are very sensitive when it comes to salt. Too much salt can lead to many health issues in dogs, including kidney disease.

Sodium poisoning is a real thing, and you don’t want your dog to experience this condition.

Sodium poisoning is not only an undesirable condition in dogs, but it can even be fatal in some cases. This is why it can be helpful to know the signs of salt poisoning in dogs.

Here are the most common symptom of salt poisoning in dogs:

  • Extreme thirst
  • Seizures
  • High fever
  • Trouble breathing
  • High heart rate
  • Coma

If you notice any other symptoms after your dog ate canned water chestnuts make sure that you contact your veterinarian.

Can Dogs Have Raw Water Chestnuts?

In fair moderation, yes. Dogs will love raw water chestnuts as an occasional treat.

Slice them and remove the outer skin before you serve them to your dog and keep in an occasional thing.

Water chestnuts are high in carbs and fiber, and too much of both can lead to stomach issues.

This is especially important to bear in mind if your dog is on a special weight regime, or you are trying to maintain your dog’s weight.

Can Dogs Have Water Chestnut Skin?

This is a big no-no. Think about water chestnuts as an apple.

Serving an apple to your dog is fine as long as you remove the outer skin and inside seeds. The same applies to this water plant.

Remove the chestnut skin before your serve the water chestnut to your dog. The outer skin of raw water chestnuts is not edible.

It is too hard and might cause serious damage and problems in the dog’s digestive tract.

Can Dogs Have Water Chestnut Seeds?

Do water chestnuts have seeds? Water chestnuts do not have visible seeds, but they are there. This is why you should serve really small pieces of water chestnut to your dog.

Water chestnut seeds aren’t something that you even people could consume, so make sure that it stays away from the dog’s reach as well.

Can Dogs Eat Horse Chestnuts?

Water chestnuts and other chestnuts are very different items. The truth is that majority of chestnuts are toxic to dogs. If that is the case, why water chestnuts are safe for dogs to consume?

Water chestnuts are not made of actual nuts, but of marsh grass which makes them safe for dogs to consume. On the other hand, horse chestnuts are highly poisonous to dogs.

The main reason for this is that horse chestnuts come with a neurotoxic glycosidic saponin called aesculin.

It is very rare for dogs to experience chestnut poisoning, but it still may happen if chestnut is ingested in large amounts.

When dogs ingest something toxic there will be some gastrointestinal issues in dogs.

On the other hand, if they experience toxic elements in high doses, it will commonly affect their nervous system.

If your dog experiences horse chestnut poisoning, you can expect to see the following symptoms:

  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Drooling
  • Extreme thirst
  • Dilated pupils

Should Dogs Have Chestnuts?

Chestnuts don’t have only a few benefits when it comes to nutrients. They may be low in fat, but other than there aren’t many nutritional benefits.

Never feed your dog uncooked whole chestnuts. As long as chestnuts aren’t packed with harmful compounds and chemicals, chestnuts should be safe for dog consumption.

In the meantime learn which vegetable is a great option to serve to your dog. Dogs love vegetable, and if you tend to read pet food labels, you may notice that dog dry food always contain some percent of vegetable.

That being said, here are the top five vegetables that your dog will adore:

  • Broccoli This delicious veggie can boost dog’s overall immunity and help dog fight arthritic inflammation.
  • Can Dogs Eat Carrots? Raw or cooked, your dog will love carrot. Not only that it keeps dog’s teeth healhty, but it can help dog builg immunity and maintain good eyesight.
  • Pumpkin Pumpkin is rich in fiber and as such can help dog with his digestive system. If your dog struggles with diarrhea serve him some pumpkin.
  • Parsley. Did you know that parsley is packed with potassium. Or that potassium regulates nerve signals? Next to potassium, parsley is packed with beta-carotene which is essential for dog’s eyes and muscle health. On top of that, parsley supports kidney health.
  • Kale. Kale can prevent arthritis, urinary tract disease, heart disease and allergies.

The Bottom Line

To sum up, it’s safe to say that water chestnuts are safe for dogs to consume as an occasional treat.

No matter how much you Fido might enjoy this watery plant, you should still keep it a fun treat served from time to time.

Even the healthiest food served in enormous amounts can lead to some kind of health disturbance.

Make sure that you serve water chestnut as an occasional treat to help your dog get needed nutrients, while also enriching the dog’s diet.