When it comes to foods that dogs should and shouldn’t eat, nuts are a hot topic of conversation. While nuts such as almonds, English walnuts, peanuts, and cashews are generally safe for dogs to eat, other nuts, including macadamia nuts and black walnuts, are highly toxic to dogs and should be avoided.
While almonds are one of the nuts considered non-toxic to dogs, they should still be fed with caution. Here are some things to consider when feeding almonds or any nut to your dog.
Almonds Are Calorific and High In Fat
Almonds are a very calorically dense food and are primarily made up of fat. While the odd teaspoon of almond butter is unlikely to cause your dog any harm, feeding them too many almonds could result in unwanted weight gain. While humans are able to process fat fairly easily, dogs find it much harder to process fatty foods, and eating too much fat can cause them to develop a disease called pancreatitis.
Almonds Can Be A Choking Hazard
Both shelled, and unshelled almonds are the perfect choking hazard to dogs that don’t properly chew their food. If you’re going to feed your dog almonds, then chop them into more manageable pieces or grind them into nut butter.
Nuts Can Grow Mold
All nuts are susceptible to mold if they become damp. Mold usually isn’t a problem in human-grade store-bought nuts but can begin to grow if the nuts are left exposed to the open air and humid conditions. Shelled or unshelled, moldy nuts can be toxic to dogs and should be discarded well away from your four-legged friend.
Keep An Eye Out For Unwanted Extra Ingredients
Lastly, if you’re going to feed almonds to your dog, then stick to raw, unseasoned almonds rather than any which may have been coated with extra ingredients such as salt or sugar. In particular, never feed your dog almonds that are coated in chocolate, and keep an eye out for the sweetener xylitol as it’s toxic to dogs too.
How To Feed Your Dog Almonds Safely
Non-toxic nuts such as almonds can be fed to your dog in small quantities so long as they fit within his calorie requirements. After all, nuts are packed with vitamins, minerals, and omega-3’s which all contribute to a well-balanced diet. You may want to steer clear of nuts if your dog is prone to weight gain, and remember to always chop them or grind them into a nut butter to prevent your dog from accidental choking.
To learn more about almonds, check out this post for an in-depth look at one of your favourite nuts!