Can dogs eat nuts?

Did you know that some nuts are highly toxic to dogs?


Nuts are a healthy part of the human diet. They are packed full of protein and healthy fats - but while it may be tempting to share a couple of nuts with your dog, you should check first. Are nuts safe for them to eat? The answer depends on the type of nut you want to give them. Some are very poisonous. Others can be fed occasionally.

Beware! Macadamias are highly toxic 

It’s a bit of a mystery. No one knows why macadamias are so dangerous to dogs. Unfortunately, only the smallest amount can be fatal. Do not feed your dog macadamias or any food that may contain traces of macadamia. If they accidentally eat any, take your dog to your vet straight away, as with immediate treatment, they are likely to make a full recovery. 

What about other types of nuts? 

All other types of nuts are okay for dogs in very small quantities. This includes:

  • Pecans
  • Walnuts
  • Pistachios
  • Hazelnuts
  • Almonds
  • Brazil nuts
  • Cashew

Since nuts are naturally high in fat, they can cause your dog to become obese, leading to many different health issues. In turn, this can cause pancreatitis and other diseases. On top of naturally occurring fat, be aware that many nuts are cooked in oil and salt, both of which shouldn’t be fed to dogs.

Choking hazard

Nuts are hard and small, so they can also be a choking hazard, particularly for small dogs and puppies. Since dogs do not have molar teeth to grind up nuts, it may cause them to choke if they swallow them whole.

What about peanuts?

If we are being very strict, peanuts are legumes! They are safe for dogs but only in tiny quantities. Most dogs don’t have peanut allergies, but some dogs have ended up with an upset stomach after eating them.

Very occasionally, dogs have developed neurological issues after eating a lot of peanuts, leading to muscle spasms and fits. It is thought the salt the peanuts were covered in could have caused the problem, rather than the peanuts themselves.

Beware of peanut butter

Watch out for peanut butter! Peanut butter intended for humans can contain lots of oil, salt and additives, which can be toxic to dogs. You need to be particularly aware of xylitol. This sweetener is quite often added to peanut butter. Whilst it is safe for humans, it is highly toxic and poisonous to dogs. However, there are types of special peanut butter that are safe for dogs - just always double check first.

Dogs should avoid nuts!

You can see from reading this blog that nuts and nut products are not a great choice of treat for your dog. It’s too easy to feed them the wrong variety, the wrong amount, or nuts cooked in too much oil and salt.

To make your life easier, put nuts on the ‘No’ list, along with all the other foods you must not give to your dog. If they don’t have any nuts, there is no chance of any problem!

With a Kennel Club Pet Insurance policy, you can access the free Pet Health Helpline, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The veterinary-trained team will advise on any concerns or queries that you may have over your pet’s health – much like the NHS 111 service for people. Call free on 03333 32 19 47.