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Are Nuts And Seeds Safe For Dogs To Eat?

In the human diet, nuts and seeds are some of the all-time healthiest foods that we can eat, but some can be toxic for our four-legged friends. To avoid accidentally poisoning your dog, it is essential to learn which human foods they can eat and which they should avoid. 

Can Dogs Eat Nuts?

Dogs can safely eat many kinds of nuts, including peanuts, English walnuts, cashews, pecans, and almonds, but just because they’re not toxic to dogs doesn’t mean that they are entirely safe. Before you start adding nuts into your dog’s diet, there are a few risks to be aware of: 

Nuts Are Calorific 

Nuts are a high-energy snack, meaning that they are very calorically dense and should be fed in moderation. If your dog is overweight or prone to weight gain, it may be best to feed them lower-calorie snacks like raw fruit or vegetables. 

Nuts Are A Choking Hazard 

Many dogs have a tendency to gobble down their food without sufficiently chewing it first. This increases their risk of choking on certain foods. It’s often best to grind nuts up into nut butter, which can be licked and ingested more slowly to prevent choking. 

Nuts Should Not Be Fed To Dogs With Pancreatitis 

Pancreatitis causes your dog’s pancreas to become irritated and inflamed. This can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. Dogs with pancreatitis must avoid high-fat foods, and therefore, nuts are off the menu. 

Nuts Can Be Coated In Toxic Ingredients 

Finally, although peanuts, almonds, pecans, and English walnuts are safe for dogs to eat, sometimes they are coated with ingredients that aren’t. If you are buying nuts for your dog, then always buy unseasoned nuts without the extra sugar, salt, or any form of chocolate coating. 

What Nuts Are Toxic To Dogs? 

Not all nuts are safe for dogs to eat. Black walnuts and macadamia nuts are the two main nuts that should always be avoided, and some vets also add pistachios to the list as they are a particularly high choking hazard. 

Can Dogs Eat Seeds?

The vast majority of the seeds we incorporate into our diet are also healthy for dogs to eat. This includes seeds like flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, and chia seeds, some of which are already added to many dog foods to help with coat conditioning. Although most seeds are perfectly safe for dogs to eat, there are a few to watch out for, including apple seeds, which contain cyanide, and poppy seeds, which are extremely toxic. As with nuts, it’s important to remember that seeds are high calorie and energy-dense foods and so should always be fed in moderation and avoided if your dog is overweight or has a condition such as pancreatitis. 

February 11, 2021 by Gillian Brady
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