As humans, we seem to have an inherent desire to share the things that give us pleasure, especially foods. With a world of information available at our fingertips, it only makes sense to inquire what human foods are safe for dogs to eat before we offer them to our pets. Dogster has looked into various food groups and asked if dogs can eat fruits, vegetables and dairy products. Now, we turn our attention to popular snack nuts. So, can dogs eat nuts? Can dogs eat almonds? What about peanuts, pistachios, cashews and other nuts?
Can dogs eat nuts?
It isn’t so straightforward.
Although some nuts may not contain native toxins that adversely affect dogs, the shells of all nuts present the risk of tearing tissue as they move through a dog’s digestive tract. Can dogs eat nuts out of their shells then? The meat of many nuts contains high quantities of fats that can cause upset stomachs. Many store-bought, commercially-available nuts are also packaged with salt and other chemicals, which can dehydrate or even poison dogs.
Can dogs eat nuts covered in chocolate or other candy coatings? These types of nuts are even more dangerous. Chocolate is toxic to dogs.
And can dogs eat nuts that are raw? On the whole, even raw nuts seem to be unwise food choices for dogs, even if they are given in moderation as treats. Old nuts that have mold on them present a whole load of other problems and should be kept away from dogs. Mold toxins can cause seizures, neurological distress and liver problems for dogs. In fact, moldy foods of any kind or variety — no matter where they sit on any version of the food pyramid — should be disposed of properly.
So, can dogs eat nuts of any kind? With all these cautions and provisos out of the way, let’s look more closely at the question: Can dogs eat nuts? And can dogs eat nuts like almonds, peanuts, pistachios, etc.?
Can dogs eat almonds?
Can dogs eat almonds and if so, are almonds good for dogs? As with most of the nuts we’re looking at here, almonds are not … technically toxic for dogs. However, as with most of these nuts, almonds are high in fat, making them difficult for dogs to digest in large quantities. Fatty foods can be dangerous for dogs because they exceed the capability of their pancreas to break them down and process them. Too much fat in a dog’s diet can lead to pancreatitis.
Can dogs eat peanuts?
Peanuts are one of the most common nuts that come to mind when thinking, “Can dogs eat nuts?” If they are raw or roasted, removed from their shells, and unsalted, dogs can safely eat a few peanuts. Dogs don’t tend to experience peanut allergies as frequently or as violently as humans do, but those food allergies do exist. Peanuts do contain more fat than is usually good for dogs, so a few peanuts should be okay, but proceed with caution. This is especially true if your pet tags along to dog day at your local baseball park, where peanuts may litter the bleachers.
Can dogs eat peanut butter?
Whether dogs can eat peanuts and whether they can eat peanut butter seem to be different questions altogether. Creamy peanut butter, with as low of a sodium content as possible and in limited quantities tends to be a safe and entertaining treat for dogs. If amusing YouTube videos are any evidence, dogs really seem to enjoy a spoonful of peanut butter. Here at Dogster, though, we wouldn’t recommend feeding a dog anything simply for entertainment. Also, make sure any peanut butter you’re feeding your dogs does not contain xylitol, which is toxic to dogs.
Can dogs eat pistachios?
Removed from their shells, pistachios can be okay for dogs, but are not recommended. Pistachios are not toxic to dogs, but have too high a fat content for dogs in large quantities. Do not give dogs pistachios that are still inside the shell, which, like other nuts in the shell, can cause digestive blockages that can be dangerous in their own right.
Can dogs eat cashews?
Cashews are high in fat, and it doesn’t take many for a dog to reach the limit of their recommended fat intake. Too many can lead to weight gain and pancreatitis.
Can dogs eat walnuts?
As with most of the nuts when wondering, “Can dogs eat nuts?” walnuts are too high in fat for dogs. That aside, walnuts also tend to be larger than nuts such as peanuts or pistachios. Dogs don’t chew their food as thoroughly as humans do, so larger nuts, like walnuts, are more difficult to digest. Unprocessed, larger nuts can obstruct a dog’s bowel movements.
Can dogs eat pecans?
No, and for all of the same reasons as walnuts. Not only are they too high in fat, but too large and difficult to digest. Another frequent problem for dogs and nuts is stomach upset if they eat too many.
Can dogs eat sunflower seeds?
If they are unsalted and removed from their sharp shells, yes, sunflower seeds are okay for dogs in small amounts. Another one to watch out for on the ground or in the bleachers at ballgames.
Can dogs eat macadamia nuts?
This is the most toxic nut when thinking, “Can dogs eat nuts?” Macadamia nuts are the grapes and raisins of the nut kingdom. They are highly toxic to dogs, even in limited quantities, but no one is yet certain why. Of course, unless you live in Hawaii, Australia, or certain countries in Africa or South America, a dog’s risk of accidental ingestion is probably small. A few macadamia nuts can cause real short-term neurological problems for dogs — tremors, dizziness and even temporary paralysis. Your dog is better off without macadamia nuts.
It is important to remember that, voracious eaters as dogs can be, they are generally much smaller than people. This means that dogs will often have trouble processing and digesting things that present humans with relatively few issues. Based on our research, it seems the best course of action when it comes to dogs is to keep them away from nuts.
Thumbnail: Photography by Stockcrafter / Getty Images.
This piece was originally published in 2014.
Plus, are nuts truly healthy for YOU? Come find out >>
40 thoughts on “Can Dogs Eat Nuts? Find Out Which Nuts Are Safe — And Which Aren’t”
“Black walnuts (a type of walnut not commonly eaten by people) are toxic for dogs.
The symptoms of toxicity are vomiting, muscle weakness and tremors, a high temperature, and seizures. These types of nuts should never be fed to dogs.” https://www.petmd.com/dog/nutrition/evr_dg_dog-owners-guide-to-nuts-and-seeds
Amanda Ardente, DVM, PhD
Jul 30, 2020
It was impressive, and i actually loved while reading this blog.
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This is a highly informative article.
Normally, you’d think any kind of nut is safe for dogs to eat. But reading how nuts with high fat content isn’t good for their digestion, surely sheds light on how careful we must be when we feed our canines. I particularly like the part wherein you said not to feed our dogs simply for entertainment— that’s my key takeaway.
I have here an article covering how acorns aren’t good for our pups too! https://goldenretrieverlove.com/is-it-safe-for-my-dog-to-eat-acorns/
Great article but don’t forget acorns!
Now that fall is coming on our pups are more likely than ever to find an acorn on the ground and they are NOT good 🙂
We actually did a writeup on this as well as how to prevent your pup from picking them up here… https://goldenretrieverlove.com/is-it-safe-for-my-dog-to-eat-acorns/
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Dogs can eat any nuts which humans can, but just like humans they are best fed singly and in small amounts.
Thank you for your help and research.
I’m sorry others don’t feel the same.
You have helped me.
God bless you
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Peanut butter is a bare nonsense.
Can contain aflatoxine and xilytol.
No sense to take a risk for a treat that can be given,in any case,in very small quantities.
Better treats based on fish.
Blue Buffalo did a voluntary recall on one product they sell so it’s not a rumor. This is something you can check with the company and/or www. avma.org or the FDA. Almost every brand of dog food has a recall at some point because of where they’re made or what they were contaminated by or various reasons just like with human food . Our dogs can’t read and they don’t know what a recall is except when we yell “ come “. When a dog food company has announced there is a problem , air-on the side of safety. Smart companies will Inform the public to protect the brand and so they don’t get sued .I personally trust a company more that lets me know a peoblwm before it could cause harm .It’s-much worse to ignore something that’s potentially dangerous especially when you’re the one making a choice that your dog can’t control, like what you feed them .
When I had recently adopted an older dog, she got into a bag of unshelled peanuts that I keep for the squirrels. Let’s just say I think she regretted it gorging on them. She threw them up. She had eaten the shells too. I’m careful to keep them far away from her now.
You need to recheck your facts. Snopes.com had a page about the supposed lead poisoning by Blue Buffalo. ONE person claimed the lead poisoning and filed a complaint. The result was there was NO lead poisoning. This is just a RUMOR! Please, please, please check the facts first before spreading rumors!
Thank you, Nancy! I just about panicked reading the postings about BB poisoning pets, as I just ordered our 2nd bag of BB! I would have checked online/done research but reading your reply quickly settled me down.
Thanks from me as well. I feed her a mixture of BB wet and Royal Canin Specific breed Pomeranian. Phew.
Snopes.com is NOT a reliable source of truth. Ask your vet what is the best things to feed your dog as snacks and ask them what is a reputable website to use for questions. The is A LOT of misinformation on the world wide web and even sites that you think are reputable are not. Don't use SNOPES.COM for fact checking
Blue Buffalo dog food is poisoning dogs. Please find another brand. Also research other brands too, before feeding to your dogs. Fromm is a good brand.
I feed all my dogs buffalo blue dry dog food since then they’ve had no allergies no sickness nothing they do like carrots apples just wondering if for a dog that has no teeth what is the best food to give him I do order it down to make it soft and I’m clearly put hard-boiled egg is it’s okay
I hope your pet is still alive… Do some research bad stuff
One day I was having some almond milk – was almost empty and my Sophie was looking at me so I gave her oh I gonna guess it was less than 2 cups – to finish off the carton-
She lapped it up quickly – as she was laping it up I though oh gee almonds – this was last week and have not seen any negative side effects… but wont do it again either!
HI, how about PILI Nuts?
Can i give my litte Dog 1 or 2
Thy for the Information
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Very disappointed with this. 1st of all, there’s quite a bit of salt in most dog foods which seems to be tolerated quite well, so saying they shouldn’t have peanuts because of salt doesn’t hold water. You can have an allergy to most anything and I’m guessing that a VERY low percentage of dogs have an allergic reaction to peanuts so THAT doesn’t hold water. The fact that peanuts are quite fatty in nature and not to give them to your dog is just silly, what are we going to do, feed our dogs nothing but peanuts non-stop for days at a time? This holds no water as well.
Why not just stick to the facts? Which are: NO, peanuts are not harmful to dogs unless your dog has an allergy to them, and as with all things, too much of anything is bad.
This article definitely seems to have an underlying theme of “the sky is falling!”. Replace every mention of dog with people and see how much sense it makes. We don’t eat the shells of nuts, why would we feed shells to dogs?
There is too much salt in salted peanuts for human consumption. Of course it’s too high for dogs…
I haven’t given Ruby any peanuts, but she chews raw carrots very thoroughly.
My 14 year old dog not only chews more thoroughly than most dogs, she also shells peanuts before eating them! So I don’t hesitate to share a few with her.
I have a rattier who loves nuts of all types He even eats acorn while the squirrels in the trees, seem to protest his action. I don’t give him much but he does love those acorns. He also shells them before eating them.
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