March is National Peanut Month! Can dogs eat peanut butter? One of the questions we’re asked most frequently, believe it or not, is if it is safe for dogs to eat peanut butter and peanuts. The answer is yes; generally speaking, it is safe for dogs to eat peanut butter, peanut products or peanuts themselves. However, just like humans, some dogs may experience an allergic reaction to peanuts. For those dogs, eating peanuts can be very dangerous, so proceed with caution!
Dog owners are often curious about other nuts, too, and whether it’s OK to let their pooches munch on them. As it turns out, the answer is usually no. We’ll give you the lowdown on a variety of nuts that may not be good choices for your dog’s snacking.
Of all the nuts on this list, macadamia nuts represent the greatest threat to dogs. If consumed in even small amounts, these nuts can cause severe neurological symptoms, including weakness, vomiting, walking "drunk," tremoring, lameness (especially in the rear legs) or even a complete (but temporary) inability to walk. It is unknown exactly what toxin macadamia nuts contain that causes this reaction in dogs. (PetMD)
Some nuts are safer than others for your dogs to eat. If your dog gets into your almonds, there’s no need to panic; your dog should be OK. The almonds won’t kill him. That said, almonds can be difficult for dogs to digest, and therefore may cause gastrointestinal distress, i.e., an upset tummy. So, it’s not a good idea to intentionally feed almonds to your dog as a snack. (VPI Pet Insurance)
Pistachios are generally safe for dogs, but be cautious about moldy nuts. These may contain aflatoxins, which can lead to a variety of health troubles for your dog, including liver failure. Always use caution, or just pick a better treat to give your pet. (DogHeirs)
VPI Pet Insurance says that walnut poisoning is one of the most common claims for toxic ingestion. Their average cost to treat it is $315.74. Walnuts can cause upset tummies in dogs, or even bowel obstructions. And, as with other nuts, moldy walnuts are a particular hazard, possibly causing seizures or other neurological symptoms. (VPI Pet Insurance)
Black walnuts contain a substance called juglone which, while toxic to some animals, is mostly non-toxic to dogs. Still, eating black walnuts is a bad idea for dogs, so don’t offer them as a snack. They can still cause severe digestive upset if eaten. (Garden Guides)
As with other tree nuts, moldy pecans may become contaminated with low levels of aflatoxins. This can be dangerous for dogs. Symptoms of aflatoxin poisoning include loss of appetite, lethargy, vomiting, orange-colored urine and jaundice, liver failure, blood-tinged vomit and bloody or blackened stools. (DogHeirs)
Cashews may be OK to feed dogs occasionally and in moderation, but if you’re erring on the side of caution, you might want to avoid these nuts altogether. Cashews are very high in fat, and it doesn’t take too many before your dog will have eaten too many. Too much fat from cashews can lead not only to weight gain, but may cause pancreatitis, a painful inflammation of the pancreas. (The Daily Puppy)
Brazil nuts are among the fattiest of all nuts, and contain a particularly high amount of saturated fat compared to other nuts. Even eating a small of amount of these nuts can equal too much fat for your dog, which can cause gastrointestinal upset and/or other digestive difficulties. You may therefore want to avoid feeding Brazil nuts to your dog altogether. (FitDay)
Next: 10 'People Foods' Dogs Can Eat Too
Hickory nuts contain juglone. No, not an annoying Insane Clown Posse fan, but a potentially toxic chemical. But juglone or no juglone, hickory nuts can put a serious hurtin’ on your pooch’s tummy. Be particularly wary of moldy hickory nuts. They can contain tremorogenic mycotoxins which may cause seizures or other neurological symptoms if eaten. (VPI Pet Insurance)