The Nut Cracker: Can Dogs Eat Almonds?

can dogs eat almonds
can dogs eat almonds

Who doesn’t love almonds?  Their taste leaves you wanting more.  Plus, they’re pretty much good with everything – almonds on chocolate, almonds on ice cream, almonds with cereal, you name it!  

Almonds have been known as a superfood due to its benefits for your body. Not only is it rich in macronutrients such as protein, dietary fiber, vitamin E, and magnesium, it is also rich in calcium which is good for your bones.  

dogs can't eat almonds

“I love almonds.  I think I might share one with my dog too.”  Well, hold up.  Before you chunk a handful of almonds on your puppy’s bowl, dogs cannot digest them properly which could lead to serious health issues.  Be it plain or seasoned, these nuts are high in fat which can lead to water retention and other hazards.

So what happens if my dog eats almonds?  Well… it’s not toxic but here are some health risks that would affect your dog when consumed:

  • Choking hazard
choking hazard

Unlike humans, we chew our food. Dogs usually gobble which could lead to an obstruction in their esophagus and windpipe. Dogs, in general, cannot digest nuts properly. This may cause a potential choking hazard especially for smaller breeds.  Doing so could be fatal and might lead to surgery.  

  • Gastrointestinal Upset
Gastrointestinal Upset

Almonds are high in fat and calories.  It may trigger some dogs to have an inflamed pancreas also known as pancreatitis. Dogs who have pancreatitis may manifest symptoms such as abdominal pain, vomiting, difficulty in breathing, lethargy, and diarrhea. It is necessary to contact your vet if you see your dog showing symptoms.

  • Water-retention

If your dog ate almonds that are salted or flavored, it imposes a risk of water retention in dogs. This could be extra risky for dogs who are diagnosed with heart disease. Salted almonds could lead to dehydration as well as fluid retention in dogs. Fluid-retention can also harm your dog's kidney. Some flavored seasoning in almonds that are considered toxic are onion or garlic flavoring.

  • Risk of Kidney and Bladder Stones 
Risk of Kidney and Bladder Stones

Almonds or nuts in general are considered as high oxalate foods that should not be fed to dogs that are diagnosed with calcium oxalate stones. You may refer to one of our blog posts regarding bladder stones in dogs. Almonds also contain phosphorus which increases the risk of kidney and bladder stones in dogs. This may cause the bladder to rupture if the obstruction is not removed.

  • Aflatoxin Poisoning
Aflatoxin Poisoning

Aflatoxin is produced by the mold Aspergillus which causes food spoilage. It may be mildly toxic to humans but, for dogs, they are acutely sensitive to it. Symptoms of aflatoxin include vomiting, jaundice, liver failure, and loss of appetite. If you notice your dog manifesting these symptoms make sure to contact your veterinarian for proper diagnosis.

  • Allergic Reactions
Allergic Reactions

Make sure to look out for symptoms of allergy once your dog has consumed almonds. Symptoms include: difficulty of breathing, coughing, sneezing, and hives. It is important that you contact your veterinarian immediately. 

But what happens if your dog ate almonds?

But what happens if your dog ate almonds?

Don’t panic.  Make sure to monitor your dog for signs of choking or other allergic reactions from consuming almonds. If there are no signs of distress after almond consumption, then there is no need to worry but make sure monitoring continues from time to time. If things get worse, make sure to contact your veterinarian immediately. 

Now that we finally cracked the nut code, I guess we’ll be more aware with what we feed our dogs later on.  Now go enjoy that almond-coated Magnum all to yourself!

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