Can Dogs Eat Nuts? Learn Which Kinds are Dangerous

All dog parents will agree that we are often tempted to share the foods and things that bring us pleasure with our fur babies.

The problem is that not all human foods should be shared with dogs. Some of the foods which we enjoy are unhealthy for the dogs, others they cannot digest, but worst of all, there are foods which we can eat daily, but which can harm or kill our dogs!

Some types of nuts are almost harmless to canines, but others can be toxic and deadly. You can take the time to read out more about which nuts and seeds are safe to eat and which are not.

But when unsure, when you are asking yourself “can dogs eat nuts?” in order to stay on the safe side, the best answer to the question is – keep the nuts to yourself, and give your dog a dog appropriate and safe treat instead.

Read on to find out more everything you need to know about dogs eating nuts and some seeds.

So, can dog eat nuts or not?

There isn’t a straightforward answer to this question that dog parents often ask themselves.

Even though there are some nuts that are not toxic to dogs, they do contain high quantities of fat which can cause weight gain and obesity in pups.

Also, many of the nuts on the market have been salted or treated with chemicals which could cause dehydration and may even poison the dogs.

Of course, you should completely avoid feeding your pup with nuts covered in chocolate or candy coating, because chocolate can be toxic to dogs even in small quantities.

You may think that raw unsalted nuts are a healthy choice, but while they are a good choice for us humans, they too can pose a risk to the dog’s health. Old nuts which have mold can cause neurological distress, seizures, and liver problems in canines. This is why you should keep your dog away from any kind of moldy food altogether.

Be warned that macadamia nuts and black nuts are toxic for dogs and should be avoided at all times.

Peanut butter can be given as an occasional treat and in small quantities, but stay away from brands that include artificial sweetener xylitol because it can cause low blood sugar and liver failure in dogs.

As for seeds, it is safe to give your dog some peeled sunflower seeds. Also, honeydew, watermelon, and cantaloupe seeds are harmless for dogs.

You should keep your dog away from fruit pits though because they can be toxic or cause obstructions in the gastrointestinal tract.

So, avoid giving your dog whole apricots, plums, nectarines, peaches or cherries, let alone let them eat the pits themselves.

Are nuts dangerous for dogs?

There are some nuts and some seeds which can be dangerous for dogs. But even if the nut is deemed safe for canines, your dog can still be harmed, especially if it has a sensitive stomach or pancreatitis.

Large nuts such as walnuts and pecans can cause intestinal and stomach upsets and obstructions in smaller-sized dogs.

Moldy nuts can cause serious neurological adverse effects too.

Some nuts like macadamia or black nuts contain substances that can be toxic for pups too.

Are there any nuts that a dog can eat?

Since peanuts are part of the legume family, they are considered safe to eat by canines but only in very small quantities, and of course without added salt or sugary or chocolate coating.

Cashews too are safe as occasional (rare) treats and in very small quantities.

Both cashews and peanuts are high in fat, so you shouldn’t use them as regular treats for your pup if you want to prevent it from becoming overweight or obese.

Large quantities of nuts can cause pancreatic problems too.

Can nuts actually be beneficial for dogs?

Some vets and animal nutrition experts believe that in limited quantities, nuts can be a good source of omega fatty acids for dogs.

Still, if you are thinking to add some nuts or seeds to your pup’s diet, speak to your vet first!

Why are nuts not good for dogs?

Even though not all nuts are toxic for dogs, they are all high in fat and can cause obesity and pancreatic issues.

Also, eating nuts can cause water retention in dogs.

Some nuts present a choking hazard, and can also obstruct the gut of the dog.

Macadamia and other nuts are highly toxic to dogs.

Here is a list of the most common nuts and the answer to the question – can dogs eat these nuts?


Almonds are not actually toxic for dogs, but they are high in fat and hard to digest. Fatty foods like almonds are dangerous for dogs because they can cause weight gain, and obesity as well as lead to pancreatitis because of the inability of the pancreas to digest them.

Related: Can Dogs Have Almond Flour?


Your dog can safely eat a few peanuts if they are removed from their shells, roasted and unsalted. But do not give your dog peanuts excessively, because they too contain too much fat for the dog to be able to process. This can put a toll on the pancreas of the dog, and can also cause weight gain and obesity which will shorten the lifespan of your dog.

Peanut butter

If you choose creamy peanut butter with low sodium content, then it is acceptable to give your dog limited quantities as a treat occasionally.

Make sure the peanut butter does not contain xylitol, which is an artificial sweetener highly toxic for dogs!

Overall, you can give your dog some of the safe peanut butter from time to time, but do not turn this into a regular habit.


When they are removed from their shells, pistachios are not dangerous or toxic for dogs. Still, once again due to the high-fat content, feeding your dog pistachios as treats on a regular basis is not advisable.

Avoid giving your dog pistachios still in their shells, because they can cause obstructions of the gastrointestinal tract.


Although they are high in fat, cashews are considered one of the safer options when it comes to the nuts which dogs can eat. Because of the inability of dogs to digest fats so well, too many cashews and too often can cause an overload of the pancreas and can lead to pancreatitis.

Plus, your dog will likely gain weight and can become obese, which can lead to numerous serious health problems and could shorten the pup’s life.


Walnuts are not the best option for your dog unless they are ingested in moderation. While nuts contain several vitamins and minerals, dogs cannot digest them easily. Furthermore, walnuts contain legume proteins, which can be harmful if ingested in excess.

Avoid feeding your dog nuts, especially whole nuts, nuts with shells, or nuts that have been lying on the ground for long and could have mold. Mold is extremely toxic and dangerous for dogs.


Just like walnuts, pecans are very large and are high in fat, which makes them even harder to digest by pups. Eating too many pecans too often can cause stomach upsets. Eating whole pecans can cause obstructions to the bowel movement and of the digestive tract.

Sunflower seeds

If you take the time to remove them from their shells, and if they are unsalted, you can safely treat your dog with small amounts of sunflower seeds. Watch out for your dog gobbling up sunflower seeds and their shells at ballgames.

Macadamia nuts

When you ask yourself can a dog eat nuts? Keep in mind that macadamia is the most toxic nut for canines.

Even in limited quantities, they can be toxic to pups. They can cause dizziness, temporary paralysis, and tremors in dogs, so if you suspect your pup has eaten macadamia nuts – contact your vet as soon as possible.

Pine nuts

Pine nuts are high in fat and in phosphorus, so it is not a good idea to give them to your dog.

If eaten regularly and in large quantities, pine nuts can cause pancreatitis and obesity.

Brazil nuts

Brazil nuts may be delicious to us, but they are among the fattiest of nuts of all. They can cause digestive problems and in the long term cause harm to the pup’s pancreas and make the dog obese.

Final words regarding the question – can dogs eat nuts

Nuts are not the best choice if you want to give your dog a special treat. Regular consumption of high-fat nuts can cause digestive problems, pancreatic problems and can cause obesity in your dogs.

They often contain phosphorus and sodium which too are harmful to dogs, and shouldn’t be part of the dog’s diet.

This is why it is advisable to abstain from giving your dog nuts altogether.

After all, there are thousands of healthy dog treats available on the market, which you can choose from to spoil or reward your good dog.

You want the best for your four-legged companion, right? Then feed it with dog-friendly foods, and keep the human food and treats to yourself!

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