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Nuts are excellent for humans. These wholesome, delicious snacks are an important part of our diet as they contain protein and healthy fats. But are nuts dangerous for dogs? Many animal experts say nuts are not a healthy choice for dogs. Some nuts may also be toxic for dogs. We will look at the varieties of nuts that might be okay for dogs to eat occasionally and the types that need to be avoided completely.
We will also discuss common signs of nut poisoning and what to do if your dog has ingested toxic nuts.
If you feed your dog nuts occasionally, it should not be a problem. But if your dog has ingested a large number of nuts, it can cause severe health problems. Nuts are not suitable for dogs due to their high fat content and also due to the sweeteners and additives added in nut mixes. The high fat content present in nuts like almonds, cashews, and walnuts cannot be digested by dogs easily. Often, nut mixes are also be packed with raisins, chocolate, and salt. All these ingredients can be toxic for dogs if consumed in large amounts.
The size of your dog also matters. If you have a small-sized breed, large whole nuts such as walnuts or pecans can also obstruct their intestines if swallowed. Nuts can also cause dogs to gain weight as they are high in calories. Too much salt intake can also cause high blood pressure in dogs.
Peanuts are a great source of protein and are safe to feed your dog. But as they are high in fat, they should be fed sparingly. Peanut butter is a popular sticky treat loved by dogs. But again, it should be given in a very small amount. A single teaspoon of peanut butter contains the daily fat allowance for a 42-pound dog. (pawlicy.com). Also, make sure peanut butter does not contain the artificial sweetener xylitol as it can be highly toxic and also lethal for dogs.
Cashews are okay for dogs to eat in small quantities. But only feed your pup unsalted and unseasoned cashews.
Hazelnuts are okay for dogs, too, but they should also be unsalted and uncoated. But make sure they are chopped as small dogs can choke on whole, large nuts. Large nuts can also clog their intestines and make it difficult to defecate.
Almonds, Pecans, Pistachios, and Walnuts should be avoided completely. Dogs cannot digest the proteins present in these nuts. These nuts also contain aflatoxins that are poisonous to dogs. Walnuts and their varieties, such as black, Japanese, and English walnuts, also contain fungi that can cause seizures, tremors, and vomiting. Walnuts can also cause an upset stomach and pancreatitis.
Macadamia nuts are also highly toxic. The ingestion of these nuts is not lethal or fatal but can cause severe discomfort for dogs. Macadamia nuts can cause vomiting, weakness, cold intolerance, and difficulty walking.
Dog owners should be aware of the signs of nut poisoning. If you detect any of these signs in your dog, contact a veterinary doctor immediately. Symptoms of nut poisoning include extreme weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors, seizures, and diarrhea.
If your dog has ingested harmful nuts, you will start noticing signs of toxicity within 12 hours of ingestion. Neurological signs like weakness, muscle tremors, and seizures will be visible within this time period. If your dog starts vomiting and has diarrhea continuously, it could be a sign of pancreatitis and will require medical attention immediately. Always let your veterinarian know exactly what your dog ingested so they can treat your dog and prescribe medication accordingly. As long as your dog has not developed pancreatitis (which requires veterinary attention), other symptoms usually resolve on their own within a 12-48 hour time period.
If your dog stays indoors, make sure to store nuts in an area inaccessible to your dog so they do not eat any by accident. If you ever want to feed your pup a few dog-friendly nuts, make sure they are additive-free and do not contain any coatings. Many nuts are coated with chocolate or spices and garlic; make sure to avoid all of those. Check the ingredients on the packet of nuts thoroughly before feeding them to your dog. Precaution is key to avoid any unprecedented dietary accident with your pup.
When it comes to dogs, it’s best to avoid nuts entirely. There are many other nutritious snacks for dogs that fulfill their protein, fiber, and fat requirements. If feeding your dog well-rounded nutritious meals, then additional snacks are not even necessary. If you purchase your dog food, many dog food brands design their recipe to ensure all dogs’ dietary requirements are met. If you want to feed your dog anything extra, make sure to consult with your vet first. Usually, vegetables, fruits, and supplements make up for any nutrition-related need your dog lacks.
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