Crunchy, buttery, and tasty, cashews are a perfect snack to satiate a starving tummy while providing a healthy dose of heart-friendly fats and proteins. The tasty treat is also high in fiber and packs a punch of immune-boosting nutrients such as zinc, copper, and magnesium.
But can dogs eat cashews? Absolutely, yes. Chewy is sure to go nuts over cashews. The creamy, protein-rich nut is a nutritious fido-friendly treat. However, there are some crucial factors you have to consider before feeding your dog cashews to ensure you’re not doing your canine more harm than good.
Let’s jump in!
Benefits of Feeding Dogs Cashews
Cashews are some of the few nut varieties that are safe and healthy for your furry best friend. The rich, buttery nut is jam-packed with nutrients for your Fido. These include:
Cashews are rich in powerful antioxidants, namely polyphenols and carotenoids, that help to reduce inflammation and prevent illness, including cardiovascular disease. The anti-inflammatory properties of these antioxidants help slow down aging and minimize pain from inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and dysplasia.
Cashews are loaded with various essential trace minerals such as zinc, magnesium, calcium, copper, phosphorus, and iron.
- Copper helps to improve cognitive function and maintain brain health, and its deficiency has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease.
- Zinc and magnesium boost the immune system.
- Phosphorus and calcium are suitable for bone formation, blood coagulation, and nerve impulse transmission.
- Iron supports the creation of hemoglobin and enzyme development for stronger immunity.
- Magnesium helps absorb calcium and vitamins for stronger bones, healthy skin, and healthy eyes.
- Vitamin K assists in transporting calcium to your dog’s teeth and bones for ideal bone health. It helps prevent osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, heart disease, and cancer of the liver and prostate. Vitamin K also supports blood coagulation which is beneficial for dogs with osteoporosis and blood-related diseases.
High in heart-healthy fats
Cashews are an excellent source of essential omega-3 fatty acids, which help lower levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) in the blood. Omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids, in the correct balance, help control inflammation and give your dog a shiny, strong, healthy coat.
Omega 3 will also strengthen the hair and teeth and soothe irritation in canines with dry, flaky, and itchy skin.
A low glycemic index makes them a healthy treat for dogs with diabetes as it helps lower cholesterol levels for a healthier heart fortified against stroke and heart disease.
Risks of Feeding Dogs Cashews
While cashews are safe for dogs, there are some risks associated with feeding these creamy nuts to your furry friend.
Cashews are a high-protein, high-fat snack. Regular feeding of fatty foods increases the chances of your pup gaining extra weight and becoming a chubby Fido. Excess weight can eventually lead to obesity. When your dog is obese, they are at high risk of developing obesity-related heart disease, diabetes, and joint pain.
As we’ve already mentioned, cashews are a high-fat treat. Although it’s the “good” fat that is beneficial to your pup, too much of it can cause havoc to their health. One common health problem caused by feeding your canine high-fat foods is pancreatitis.
The life-threatening condition results when the pancreas is inflamed because it’s unable to digest fat. Sensitive breeds such as Schnauzer are prone to this condition. Symptoms include a hunched back, diarrhea, vomiting, fever, lethargy, and dehydration.
Dog parents should always look out for signs of allergic reaction when introducing new foods to their pup’s diet. Canines are often allergic to chicken, dairy, and eggs. They may also be allergic to tree nuts such as cashews. Symptoms include itching, swelling, redness, and hives.
Although your dog has minimal chances of developing an allergic reaction to cashews, knowing the symptoms is crucial when feeding them the tasty treat. It’s best to offer a small quantity and monitor your dog’s response before gradually increasing the amount.
Salty cashews can be tasty for you but not for Chewy. Feeding your hound salted cashews can lead to salt toxicity which causes weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, seizures, lethargy, and muscle tremors. You should, especially, avoid feeding salted cashews to pups with heart disease.
Although the phosphorus in cashews is good for bone health, it can also harden the inner lining of your pup’s ladder leading to the formation of bladder stones.
Whole cashews can cause choking in dogs from small breeds, like the Australian Terrier, Bichon Frise, or Bolognese, though larger breeds can also be affected. To reduce the risk, you can chop the cashews into smaller pieces, grind them to a powdery consistency, and sprinkle them over your poodle’s food or make cashew butter.
Cashews are often sold in a trail mix with other nuts like peanuts, walnuts, or macadamia nuts, especially during the holidays. This trail mix pack poses a health hazard to your canine companion as some nuts like macadamia nuts are toxic to dogs.
Related: Can Dogs Eat Nuts? Learn Which Kinds are Dangerous
Can Dogs Eat Raw Cashews?
Yes, raw cashews are fine for dogs. But, first, you need to inspect the nuts for mold, which has disease-causing toxins to dogs.
Most store-bought cashew nuts are salted or seasoned with spices like cinnamon. These additives can harm your dog, so it’s best to offer plain, unsalted raw cashew nuts.
Is Cashew Butter and Cashew Milk Safe for Dogs?
Cashew butter and cashew milk have become staples in our diets. They come in handy if you’re looking for a dairy-free option that is healthy and nutritious in place of cow’s milk and butter. Considering dogs can eat cashews, you may be wondering if they can also have cashew butter or milk. The good news is they are acceptable for your four-legged friend.
But, check the ingredient list to ensure there are no other toxic nuts and additives such as xylitol, a type of sugar alcohol that is toxic to pups. Store-bought varieties are also packed with additional ingredients such as sugars, salts, and oils that can be problematic to your pooch.
You can consider making your homemade dog-safe cashew butter by combining a cup of unsalted cashews with a teaspoon of honey and blend till smooth. But you still have to serve it in moderation and limit serving to 1-2 tablespoons per day.
Related: Can Dogs Drink Milk? Here’s What Experts Say!
How Many Cashews Can My Dog Eat?
An active 20-pound dog needs between 300 and 400 calories a day, and one ounce of cashews is about 18 nuts which contain 126 calories of fat. This is about 30 to 40% of your pup’s calorie needs. Remember, treats should make up 10% of your Fido’s daily caloric intake.
Considering cashews are high in calories (one cashew is ten calories), less is more, especially if your dog is overweight and inactive. So 3 or 4 cashews daily would be safe for your hound.
But, if your pup has any existing food allergies or stomach issues, you’re better off sticking to dog-friendly foods.
How to Safely Feed Your Dog Cashews?
As a starting guideline, you need to know what’s in your cashew nuts. Skip seasoned or salted cashews. Dogs’ tummies aren’t designed to handle too much sodium, and excessive salt can cause gastrointestinal distress and dehydration.
Also, don’t feed your pup any flavored or coated cashew nuts. Some store-bought cashews are coated with chocolate which contains theobromine – a toxic compound to canines.
So stick to plain cashews, especially for dogs on a prescription diet for medical conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease, and bladder stones.
Another essential rule: feed your dog cashews sparingly. Cashews can quickly pile up the pounds and cause pancreatitis. If your dog is overweight or diabetic, ditch the cashews for alternative healthy treats like carrots or apples.
Do not feed Chewy unshelled cashew nuts. The shells contain a toxin known as anacardic acid, which causes chronic gastroenteritis and irritates your pup’s skin. Furthermore, remember to inspect the cashews for mold. Some mold types contain aflatoxin, a poisonous toxin that can cause liver damage to dogs.
Finally, when introducing your pup to cashew nuts, go slow. Your dog may have nut allergies you’re unaware of, which might not settle well with their tummy.
What Nuts Are Toxic to Dogs?
Cashew nuts may be okay once-in-a-while treats for your dog, but some nuts are toxic to your furry friend and should be avoided. Here are some of the nuts you should avoid feeding Chewy:
Recap: Can Dogs Eat Cashews?
Cashews are a safe and healthy treat for your dog if you offer them in moderation. The healthy fat, protein, and fiber can only harm your pup when fed in large amounts. Cashews should also not be mixed with other nuts like macadamia nuts to avoid toxicity.
Although cashew nuts are not necessary to your dog’s diet, an occasional, salt-free, crunchy treat won’t harm Fido.