A Chihuahua sits next to a bowl of walnuts.

Can Dogs Eat Nuts? It Depends.

Nuts and seeds are tasty, protein-rich snacks, but are they safe to share with pets? In general, the answer is no. High fat content makes nuts and seeds a potentially-hazardous treat, especially for dogs that are prone to intestinal distress, weight gain, or pancreatitis. A few types are even toxic.

Can Dogs Eat Almonds?

A few almonds won’t hurt your dog or sabotage their diet. Unsalted, unseasoned almonds are as fatty as any of their relatives, but there’s no real risk to nibbling on a few.

Can Dogs Eat Cashews?

Like almonds, plain cashews are typically safe in moderation. Keep an eye out for signs of an allergic reaction, however. Nut allergies aren’t especially common among pets, but some pups will experience symptoms like swelling and sneezing.

Can Dogs Eat Peanuts?

Yes, peanuts are technically legumes. They’re also a suitable treat in moderation. Your dog can safely enjoy the occasional handful of shelled, unsalted peanuts. However, be careful with peanut butter. Just about all dogs love the taste, but some brands contain the dangerous artificial sweetener xylitol. The ingredient can cause sudden drops in blood pressure and, in severe cases, liver failure.

Can Dogs Eat Pecans?

Pecans present a host of potential risks to hungry dogs. In addition to their high fat content, large pecans are often a choking hazard, particularly for small and mid-sized dogs. Like other types of nuts, pecans are vulnerable to mold growth. Moldy pecans can leave unsuspecting dogs suffering from both intestinal and neurological symptoms.

Can Dogs Eat Pistachios?

Pistachios are risky for many of the same reasons as pecans. Their sharp shells can cause choking, oral injuries, or intestinal blockages. Even shelled pistachios are often too large for dogs to digest safely. They’re also susceptible to aflatoxin growth, which can lead to liver failure and other potentially deadly conditions.

Can Dogs Eat Macadamia Nuts?

The eye-popping fat content is just one reason to keep macadamia nuts away from your pets. Both raw and cooked, they contain a deadly toxin that can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and muscle weakness. Even a single nut is too many. Seek out emergency veterinary care if you believe your dog may have ingested macadamia nuts.

Can Dogs Eat Sunflower Seeds?

Removed from their sharp shells, unsalted sunflower seeds are perfectly safe for occasional canine consumption. Watch out for those shells — even a few can lead to choking, esophageal injuries, or intestinal blockages.

Can Dogs Eat Walnuts?

Be careful with walnuts. English walnuts (the kind most familiar to human palates) are safe for dogs, but black walnuts are highly toxic. Symptoms of poisoning include fever, muscle weakness, and seizures.

Say No to Nuts

Even dog-safe nuts and seeds shouldn’t make up the bulk of your pet’s diet. While just a few are toxic, nearly every nut is too high in fat to serve as a dietary staple. You might not consider nuts an unhealthy treat, but even small portions can disrupt your dog’s daily nutritional intake and potentially lead to health issues.

Always consult with your veterinarian before adding new foods to your dog’s bowl and seek immediate veterinary care if you have any cause for concern.