Did you know that the US is the biggest producer of almonds worldwide? Packed with healthy nutrients and numerous benefits, almonds are the go-to snack for humans. If you own a dog, you might be asking yourself, can my dog eat almonds?
It might surprise you to learn that dogs can’t digest almonds as easily as humans. Here’s why you shouldn’t give your dog almonds.
Are Almonds Safe for Dogs?
While almonds aren’t toxic to dogs, they should be avoided. Dogs can’t digest almonds in huge quantities. Like most nuts, almonds have high-fat content and could possibly lead to pancreatitis. It is a serious condition that needs a vet’s immediate intervention.
Dogs don’t always chew their food properly and the hard texture of almonds could lead to a choking hazard. While a large or medium-sized breed can digest one or two almonds, a small breed faces a higher likelihood of an obstruction upon consuming almonds.
Store-bought almonds frequently come packaged with various seasonings and flavors. Flavored almonds could irritate your dog’s stomach and the salt present in the seasoning could result in salt toxicity and water retention if consumed in huge quantities.
Why Are Almonds Bad for My Dog?
You’re probably wondering, “Can my dog eat almonds?” While almonds aren’t toxic for dogs, a mold called Aspergillus forms on them. Aspergillus contains a substance called Aflatoxin, which is harmful to dogs.
Almonds also contain large amounts of phosphorus content, which could result in bladder stones.
The high-fat content could also lead to a gastrointestinal upset in the short term and pancreatitis and obesity in the long term. While rare, dogs might exhibit an allergic response to almonds, leading to anaphylaxis-a potentially life-threatening condition.
It is safe to say that dogs should be kept away from almonds. Let us take a look at some of the symptoms of allergic reactions seen in dogs who eat almonds. Coughing, sneezing, hives, or difficulty breathing are some of them.
Mentioned below are the health hazards almonds cause for dogs.
Typically, dogs don’t chew their food. This means that if they swallow an entire almond, it could result in possible life-threatening obstructions of the stomach, esophagus, or windpipe in small dog breeds.
Like numerous packaged nuts, almonds are frequently salted. Salt causes increased water retention in your dog. This is especially dangerous in dogs with cardiovascular disease.
The high-fat content in almonds causes pancreatitis. This either results in simple indigestion or becomes fatal. Symptoms to watch out for include diarrhea, appetite loss, vomiting, and lethargy. Talk to your vet at the earliest for immediate treatment in such a scenario.
Are All Nuts Bad for My Dog?
You might also be wondering, “what nuts can dogs eat?” Generally, veterinarians don’t endorse any type of nuts for dogs. However, if you must then cashews, hazelnuts, and peanuts are less harmful.
Pecans and walnuts are vulnerable to a certain type of mold, which comprises tremorgenic mycotoxins that could result in seizures, tremors, and even damage your dog’s neurological system.
You shouldn’t feed your pet macadamia or hickory nuts either because they’re toxic. Pistachios and black walnuts are also known to be especially harmful to canines.
What to Do If My Dog Ate Almonds?
You must know what to do if my dog ate almonds? You should monitor your dog for the next couple of hours. Watch for symptoms such as diarrhea or vomiting for a subsequent couple of hours.
If you notice any appetite changes or indication of stomach discomfort or pain, you should consult your vet.
Other signs include a refusal to eat and lethargy. If your dog has consumed a huge quantity of almonds in a short period, your vet might decide to use medication to induce vomiting.
However, if almond is lodged in a segment of the intestines or stomach, abdominal surgery would be necessary.
Safer Alternatives to Almonds
Don’t risk giving your dog almonds and constantly wonder, how many almonds can a dog eat? You’re better off opting for the following alternatives:
Peanuts are technically legumes since they grow underground. This means they aren’t nuts per se. Although they provide a great protein source, most consider them nuts. Consequently, they’re safe for dog consumption but should be given sparingly.
Peanut butter is a popular dog treat because dogs love its taste. Just make sure you feed it sparingly and cautiously. You should equally find ways of diluting peanut butter content by blending it with lower fat products such as low-fat yogurt.
Cashews are soft and reasonably sized. They’re considered safe as long as they’re shelled and consumed in moderation. Avoid cashew shells because they comprise urushiol-a toxin that causes itchiness in dogs. Remember to opt for unprocessed and unsalted varieties of cashews.
Your dog shouldn’t have any health problems as long as these nuts remain uncoated, unsalted, and are given in moderation. Finely chop or crush them before feeding them to your dog. Doing so will avoid choking or them getting lodged in your dog’s intestines.
While it’s tempting to give your dog a share of everything you eat, practice caution while doing it. In particular, you’ll want to avoid giving your dog almonds to avoid unnecessary health issues.
Check out this article on Can My Dog Eat Cherry.