Can Dogs Eat Nuts?

Written by: Jamie
Updated: March 8, 2020

Can dogs eat walnuts? Can dogs eat peanuts? These are just some of the nut-related doggie questions we’ll be cracking open here.

can dogs eat nuts

The nutritional benefits of nuts to us humans are well known. You can’t escape the mention of their protein and good fats in any new diet or food fad.

But, can the same be said for your dog? Can dogs eat peanuts? What about walnuts?

Before you feed your dog nuts, you need to know what types are safe and what types aren’t safe for them to eat.

Answering the question if your dog can eat the handful of nuts currently sat in your hand is as simple as a walk in the park with a dozen energetic puppies. Dogs and nuts is not a straightforward topic.

There are some nuts which your pups will be able to eat – in very careful moderation – and some that they will need to be kept away from.

Read on for a breakdown on all the popular nuts and if you can give in to those puppy dog eyes.

Group of twelve dogs

Can Dogs Eat Walnuts?

The problem with giving your dog walnuts is a recurring theme among a lot of types of nuts. You will find that many of the objections to feeding your dog nuts are because they are too high in fat. This is the case with walnuts.

They have exceptionally high-fat content for a dog’s diet. Yet, there is a secondary problem with feeding your dog walnuts. Dogs don’t chew their food like us humans do. Therefore, most walnuts will be difficult to digest. These unprocessed nuts can go on to cause issues with your dog’s bowel movements.


Can Dogs Eat Peanuts?

Peanuts are a little friendlier to our four-legged family members. They also contain high-fat content, but not so high that they cannot be afforded a few peanuts if you wish to treat them. Just be sure you do not overdo it.

You will also need to avoid variations of peanuts that are not roasted, unsalted or are still wearing their shells.

Peanuts other than these can be harmful to your dog. The other good news is that dogs are much less likely to have a peanut allergy like humans are.


Does that mean you can give man’s best friend a lick of peanut butter too?

Well, on the whole, it’s safe if you only give a small quantity on rare occasions and the peanut butter has low levels of sodium.

It’s even more important that you never give your dog peanut butter with Xylitol in. This is a harmful toxin to your pup with severe consequences.

Can Dogs Eat Almonds?

Another frequent find in our kitchen cupboard is a packet of almonds. However, this is another type of nut that is too high in fat.

The reason these high-fat nuts are dangerous in the jaws of your dog is that their smaller pancreases struggle to break them down in the same way we can.

As a result, eating almonds can give your pup pancreatitis. 

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Can Dogs Eat Pecans?

Dogs should also be banned from sniffing out your pecan nuts. The reasons for them not eating pecans are identical to those that we mentioned surrounding walnuts.

They are not only too high in fat, but they are also often too large and can disrupt your dog’s bowel movements when swallowed.

pecan nuts

Can Dogs Eat Macadamia Nuts?

Another common nut that may be accidentally given to your dog without knowing the consequences are macadamia nuts.

We may have saved the most toxic nut for last. These nuts are so toxic to dogs that they can cause your dog to experience dizziness, tremors, or temporary paralysis. Keep their greedy paws well away!

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So, What Nuts Are Safe For Dogs?

When we say that nuts are safe for dogs, we mean it’s okay for them to have some nuts in moderation.

In fact, there are no nut types which are completely safe for dogs to guzzle away on because they all have a high-fat content.

It’s recommended to leave nuts out of your dog’s diet altogether.

With so many nutritious dog foods and treats on the market, there is really no need to feed them nuts.

Yet, if you’re pooch is nutty about nuts, then the best nuts to give in careful moderation are cashews, pistachios, and the aforementioned peanuts.

rottweiler chihuahua and food bowl

Other Things To Look out For

There are some more key considerations when giving your dog nuts. The nuts may have been added with other ingredients that can become harmful, such as salt and chocolate.

Chocolate is especially toxic to dogs and should always be avoided. Nuts may also go moldy. If a moldy nut is given to your dog it’s likely to result in neurological distress, seizures, and significant liver issues. This goes for all moldy food – not just moldy nuts.

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What To Do if You Suspect Something Is Wrong

If you believe that your dog has eaten a nut they were not supposed to or may have had too many nuts that are generally considered safe, then you should seek immediate help from a trained professional.

Call your local veterinarian for advice to make sure your furry family member is safe and healthy.

In A Nutshell

We can summarize the guidance on nuts for dogs with the following takeaways:

  • It is recommended to avoid giving any nuts to your dog
  • Walnuts and pecans should be avoided due to their high-fat content and their size which cannot be broken down as well as a human can when chewing. This means dogs can also suffer from bowel issues
  • Almonds should also be avoided
  • Macadamia nuts may be the most toxic nut and should never be given to a dog
  • Peanuts, cashews, and pistachios are not as toxic and dangerous. These can be given in careful moderation, but it would be better to refrain from giving your dog these foods.
  • Never give your dog a nut that has a chocolate coating
  • Seek out professional help if you suspect your dog is suffering from a nut-related problem
About the Author

Hi, I'm Jamie! I've always been around dogs and now writing about them is an absolute joy.
Read more about my story here.
Reach me at or connect with me on LinkedIn below.

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