If you are a dog owner, you may often ask if your dog can eat a specific food such as a piece of your leftovers from a meal you can’t finish or perhaps a snack you want to share with your canine friend. You may even look into giving them foods that are considered healthy for humans, but many snacks and other food items that can be easily processed by our digestive tracts can turn out to be trouble when given to certain animals. You also may have heard different stories as to whether a dog’s diet is that of a carnivore or more that of an omnivore. One particular food item that seems to come up often when asking about your dog’s food palette is almonds.
Yes or No
Whether you snack on raw almonds, toasted almonds, trail mix with almonds, or any other food item containing almonds; you may occasionally want to give your dog a piece as a snack or to at least try. However, the question of whether or not your dog is able to eat almonds has to be answered before feeding them to your pet. Fortunately, most dogs are able to eat almonds, but they are not necessarily the best snack for them to have. Despite almonds being a healthy snack for human consumption and being nutrient-rich, they shouldn’t be the first choice of snack your dog should have. Almonds are a good source of calcium, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin E which can benefit dogs quite a bit, but the nut itself may have some negative side effects. While your dog may be able to eat almonds and some other types of nuts, try not to make it a common snack food as they can cause many unwanted effects for your pet.
Every living creature has different nutritional needs that adhere to their bodies’ physique and internal structure and should be followed to keep them healthy and in top shape. Some animals may not even need some of the same vitamins and minerals we do, as some can be toxic to them. Much like how plants breathe carbon monoxide and we breathe oxygen, some animals have crucial differences in the way their bodies work in comparison to ours. Before feeding your dog almonds, always look at the total amount and percentages of vitamins and minerals the almonds contain in comparison with your dog's daily nutritional needs.
Will giving your dog some almonds ruin their daily intake? Make sure to read the back of your dog's food and measure out how much you generally give them to have the most precise nutritional information for your pet. While one or two almonds may not hurt them, if your dog is getting one or two every day, it can potentially push them over their daily nutritional requirements and become a bit of a problem if it becomes a normal part of their daily intake. If anymore goes into their diet, it can lead to some minor to serious health issues in the future if left unchanged.
If feeding your dog almonds becomes commonplace, then you’ll soon find there may be some complications that will arise. First is the consistency of almonds that can make it hard for your dog to swallow with the way they chew their food, making it quite the choking hazard. In some cases, almonds could cause blockages in a dog’s windpipe or in their intestines and could require surgery to remove these obstructions in a worst case scenario. Another effect from the almond’s consistency is that it can cause irritation in a dog’s digestive tract and can make it hard for the dog to process it through their body. This irritation can lead to many other side effects in your dog; such as an upset stomach, vomiting, weight gain, and diarrhea.
Also, don’t forget to take into consideration your dog's breed and size. These factors can greatly increase or decrease the risk associated with any food for your dog. A smaller dog can be more negatively impacted by almonds than a bigger dog with a larger intestinal tract. It’s also worth noting that dogs are genetically optimized to eat meat. This means that they are not as well prepared to break down plant matter and their digestive tracts are made to easily process meat. That being said, it has been documented that they can digest plant-based foods, just not as well as other foods. Another factor is that dogs usually chew their food enough to swallow it but it’s not always the case with smaller foods, as dogs are more likely to just swallow the food as is.
Nuts Dogs Can Eat
While almonds should be best given to dogs in extremely small quantities or be avoided altogether due to the above information, other nuts should be given the same caution as well and even more so, as some can be toxic to your dog. Some nuts are completely fine but come with the same warnings as almonds and can be hard for a dog to digest such as cashews, pecans, pistachios, and walnuts. These nuts are usually high in fat content and can lead to unhealthy weight gain in your dog and can lead to some other health issues if your dog is fed certain quantities on a normal basis.
One type of nut that can cause numerous issues in dogs and can be highly toxic are macadamia nuts. Unlike other nuts that dogs can eat in small quantities on an irregular basis, macadamia nuts can be very dangerous to dogs and other animals in small amounts. Depending on your dog’s breed and size is what determines at what amount do macadamia nuts become a health hazard for your dog. However, at no point should you feed a dog macadamia nuts as even at amounts as low as a gram, a dog can suffer symptoms of stomach pain, tremors, fever, vomiting, and even mood changes. Macadamia nuts are not the only poisonous nut to be cautious of feeding to your dog, but it is best to just keep nuts out of your dog’s diet altogether.