Whether you want to enjoy a classic ballgame treat or are looking for something quick and easy to hold you over until dinner, nuts can be a delicious anytime snack for humans. Many pet parents love the savory flavor nuts offer…but is it okay to give your four-legged friend a few of these crunchy morsels, too?
Yes, dogs can eat nuts of certain kinds, but not all. This is because there are many types of nuts, and each varies in shape, how they’re grown, and the minerals & nutrients they contain. For instance, safe nut varieties such as peanuts and cashews offer healthy nutrients like fiber, protein, vitamin E, and magnesium. On the other hand, unsafe types, such as macadamia nuts, contain toxins harmful to dogs.
If you do opt to treat your dog to a safe variety, individual nuts are best served only as an occasional treat because of their high fat content. However, if you’re looking to incorporate that nutty flavor into your dog’s snacks, here are four nutritious and safe options!
Safe Ways to Feed Your Dog Nuts
Nuts are versatile snacks! From peanut dog treats to creamy spreads, here are some scrumptious ways to serve nuts for dogs.
Long-Lasting Nut-Flavored Chews
Who says nuts have to be a quick snack? Many natural animal parts and other long-lasting dog chews come with added nutty flavors to keep the indulgence going. You can even find chews that are stuffed with peanut butter flavored filling, providing an exciting challenge for your dog as they work their way to the center. Many long-lasting rewards also offer the bonus of cleaning teeth as your four-legged friend chews, giving them a healthy smile to go along with flavor they love.
Shop Stuffed Shin Bones with Peanut Butter Flavor
Nut Butter Spreads
Nut butters are a delightful snack for dogs who have been extra good! Cashew butter, hazelnut butter, almond butter, and of course, peanut butter are all safe as long as they don’t contain xylitol, cocoa, or other artificial ingredients that are harmful to dogs. Add a scoop of your pup’s favorite variety to their food bowl to give their meal a surprise nutty twist. Nut butters also make great additions to stuffable chew toys, bringing treat time and chew time together for an even more exciting experience.
Peanut Butter-Flavored Treats
It’s hard to resist a delicious peanut butter-flavored treat! Pick up some dog treats with peanut butter for those times you want to reward your pooch with some savory-sweet goodness crafted just for them. Look for treats that contain natural ingredients and do not have any artificial flavors or preservatives, as they will offer a more wholesome snack.
Peanuts, Cashews, and Other Nuts
In addition to nut-flavored treats, you can give your dog actual nuts as a special treat. Peanuts and cashews are both safe nuts for dogs, just be sure you remove any shells and avoid varieties with added ingredients like salt or cocoa. Don’t overdo it though; eating too many nuts can lead to gastrointestinal upset, so be sure to feed in moderation. Looking for other types of nuts dogs can eat? Plain hazelnuts, pine nuts, and chestnuts chopped into smaller pieces are all good choices.
Nuts to Avoid
Certain nuts can be a toxic food for dogs, including macadamia nuts, pecans, and black walnuts. While not toxic, almonds and pistachios can pose choking hazards due to their size and shape (even if they are de-shelled), so they aren’t good options either. Consult your veterinarian if your dog ingests these types of nuts, and monitor them for symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, or tremors.
Can Dogs Have Peanut Allergies?
Yes, dogs can have peanut allergies and may experience some of the same symptoms as human allergy sufferers like itchy skin or wheezing. However, peanut allergies in dogs are not as common as protein allergies from foods such as dairy, beef, chicken, chicken eggs, soy, or wheat gluten, according to VCA Animal Hospitals. Fortunately, no clinical reports have described dogs having adverse food reactions related to nut allergies, according to The Canadian Veterinary Journal.
Related: How to Manage Your Dog’s Seasonal Allergies
A Crunchy Surprise
Dogs can eat nuts safely in a multitude of ways, and it’s hard to resist the appetizing flavor they offer. In addition to nut-flavored treats, there are many healthy human foods for dogs you can give them on the regular. Fruits and vegetables such as apples, blueberries, carrots, sweet potatoes, and celery all offer healthy nutrients and delicious flavor. You can also mix some dog-friendly fruits into plain yogurt for an extra-special treat!