What Nuts Are Bad for Dogs?

nuts in dow bowl

If you have a dog, it is important that you know which nuts you cannot give them.

This food can make for a tasty snack, but it can have a toxic effect on these animals. We will go over some of the nuts that you should absolutely never feed your dog.

Are Nuts Bad for Dogs?

Not all nuts are bad for dogs, and in fact they can offer a number of nutritional benefits in moderation. For example, almonds, peanuts, and cashews are okay for dogs. You will need to exercise common sense though. Anything in excess is not good for these animals, including nuts.

Nuts to Avoid Giving Your Dog

Knowing which nuts your dog absolutely cannot have will help you keep it in good health over the years. A lot of owners like to give their dogs these foods, but it is not always a good idea. Whether it is because they are toxic or a choking hazard, you will need to know this.

kid feeding dog with nuts

1. Walnuts

While walnuts aren’t inherently toxic to dogs, they can cause an intestinal blockage. This can pose a serious threat to your pet’s health, and it could even be fatal. The fact is that dogs aren’t great at crushing these nuts with their teeth, so tend to swallow large pieces at once. 

If your dog isn’t able to digest it, there could be some serious issues. Some of the most common signs of an intestinal blockage include diarrhea, vomiting, and lack of appetite. If it severe enough, you might even notice your dog whimpering in pain. It is crucial that you see a veterinarian right away. Surgery may be needed to clear the blockage.

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2. Macadamia Nuts

You should never give your dog any macadamia nuts, as they are fairly toxic to them. While an otherwise healthy dog probably won’t die from eating one, it can still be dangerous. Large quantities, however, can be fatal for these animals.

A lot of dogs are simple not able to digest these nuts properly. If you notice any balance issues or shaking from your dog, you should take them to the vet immediately. It is especially dangerous to give your dog chocolate that contains these nuts. The combination of these two toxic foods can easily be fatal.

dog eating nuts

3. Pistachios

Dogs that consume a large quantity of pistachios at once can develop problems with their pancreas. The swelling of their pancreas could be fatal if it is not treated right away. Another danger of this is that this organ can release certain enzymes that cause other serious health problems.

If you ever see your dog consume more than a few pistachios at one time, you should take them to the vet without hesitation. The sooner you seek treatment for them, the better their chances will be of coming through without any serious consequences.

4. Peanuts

You can give your dog a small amount of peanuts every once in a while, but they should be unsalted. Even a small amount of salt can have a negative impact on your dog’s health, especially if it is given to them on a regular basis.

Fat Content in Nuts

The high fat content in most nuts makes them unhealthy for your dog in large amounts. This is just one of the reasons why you should make it an occasional treat. The more often you give your pet this food, the more likely they are to develop health problems. These animals are not meant to eat a high fat diet, as it often leads to excess weight gain.

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Moldy Nuts

Nuts with even small amounts of mold on them can be very dangerous for your dog to consume. This can lead to balance or coordination issues and even seizures. Eating one moldy nut is unlikely to result in death, but you should still keep a close eye on them. Rotten nuts aren’t usually dangerous for humans, but dogs cannot digest them in the same way.

Tips for Giving Your Dog Nuts

There are a few tips that you should follow when it comes to giving your dog nuts, including:

  • Moderation is key: You should never give your dog a large amount of nuts at one time. This can come with a high risk of choking, especially if you have a smaller dog. Too many nuts on a regular basis can cause all sorts of health problems, even if they aren’t inherently toxic.
  • Look for signs of a negative reaction: While nut allergies are fairly uncommon in dogs, it is still important to look out for the signs. If you notice any swelling of the face, vomiting or diarrhea after your dog eats nuts, you should see a vet right away. You also need to look out for signs of choking while it is eating.
  • Chop them up first: Cutting up the nuts into smaller pieces before giving them to your dog will reduce the risk of choking. If you have a small dog, this is very important to keep in mind.


  • Nuts can be a nutritious snack for your dog, but some of them are inherently toxic or dangerous.
  • If you still are unsure. Give your dog regular food.
  • Walnuts are not toxic for dogs, but you need to be careful when feeding them to your pet. Dogs often swallow large pieces that they cannot digest, which can lead to an intestinal blockage.
  • While macadamia nuts are only moderately toxic for these animals, they can be fatal when consumed in large quantities.
  • Pistachios also present a potential health threat to your dog, as they can cause pancreatitis in large amounts.
  • Peanuts are fine for dogs in small amounts, but they have to be unsalted. Salted peanuts can negatively affect your pet’s health.
  • You should never allow your dog to consume any nuts that are rotten or have any amount of mold on them.
  • Make sure that you don’t feed your dogs nuts on a regular basis or in large quantities all at once.
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