Can My Dog Eat Almonds?
Almonds are everywhere. Over the years, almonds have become a favorite with the rise of products like almond milk and almond butter. The health benefits almonds offer are just so appealing that they’re now a go-to main replacement for some food items. Knowing almonds’ health properties, could your dog also benefit from them? And could it be a new snack for your canine?
If you are considering giving your dog almonds, you might want to reconsider. Your pooch may need to avoid this goodie. Almonds are non-toxic to dogs and can provide some nutrition, but this popular dry fruit is not as good as you think for your dog.
When Are Almonds Bad for Dogs?
To be clear, almonds are not toxic to dogs. A piece or two of unsalted, unflavored almonds would not cause serious harm. However, dogs have difficulty digesting almonds. Your tail-wagging friend could experience discomfort in the digestive system, or worse, develop a serious disease from eating large quantities of almonds.
Healthline suggests limiting your dog’s intake of almonds. Excessive almond consumption could lead to weight gain as the nuts are high in calories. Although almonds do not immediately pose significant risks, it is much safer for your dog to avoid snacking on these dried fruits.
Lastly, a dog’s body does not have the same capabilities as humans. Foods that are hard for canines to break down can prompt issues like toxin buildup, intestinal obstruction, or even poisoning. You should also watch out for almonds that are flavored and contain large portions of salt.
Possible Dangers of Eating Almonds
- Gastrointestinal distress. Ingesting almonds can be terrible for dogs. It comes with the risk of digestive issues like vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. It can also cause dehydration and fever. You may even notice a decrease in your dog’s energy.
- Obesity. As almonds have a high-fat content, your dog may suffer from weight issues if they consume large amounts of almonds over time. Eating almonds can increase the possibility of heart-related diseases, diabetes, and even arthritis. These nuts are not alternatives to your dog’s regular snack or meals. It is still best to only provide your dog with a balanced amount of dog food.
- Pancreatitis. While almonds do not pose an immediate danger to your dog, eating almonds in large amounts could be a cause of pancreatitis. This is due to the high fat content of almonds, which increases the chance of a disease like pancreatitis developing.
- Infections. Pooches are vulnerable to molds and toxins. Almonds may contain these harmful substances and potentially give your furry friend an infection.
In addition to these, almonds pose a choking hazard to dogs. Dogs don’t really chew their food properly, so eating almonds may obstruct their windpipe, esophagus, or stomach.
Though almonds do not provide an imminent threat to dogs, it is essential to remember the long term consequences of almonds to your canine companion. It is best to immediately act on your dog’s safety to avoid problems in the future.
Why You Should Not Feed Your Dog Almonds
Almonds are nutritious for humans, but it’s not the same case for dogs. Almonds have a high fat content, which is a cause of gastrointestinal issues.
Furthermore, almonds may be heavily salted or have added flavors. Letting your dog consume flavored or salted almonds can lead to water retention. In the long run, it also increases the risk of kidney failure.
According to WebMD, excessive salt can also induce vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration. Salt poisoning can occur in dogs, which is a serious matter for your canine. With these risks in mind, your dog must stay away from heavily salted foods like typical almonds from the grocery store.
Safe Alternatives to Almonds
Sadly, your dog cannot enjoy almonds as much as you do. But don’t worry—there are alternatives that are much safer for dogs.
- Peanut butter. Plain and unsalted peanut butter offers the same nutritional value as almonds. This is great because dogs can still enjoy the nutty taste without sacrificing their safety. When serving peanut butter to your dog, make sure to check the ingredients. Do not give them anything with artificial flavoring, extra salt, or xylitol.
- Fruits. Instead of giving your dog almonds, why not let your dog indulge in fruits instead? They also contain a multitude of vitamins and nutrients to promote your dog’s health. Fruits such as watermelon, apples, and blueberries are safe for canine consumption.
- Popcorn. If you would like your dog to enjoy human food, unsalted and plain popcorn is a much better choice than almonds. Apart from the fact that it is tasty for your dog, it has magnesium, zinc, and phosphorus that are great for your dog’s health.
So, Are Almonds Bad for Dogs?
In summary, almonds are not toxic to dogs, but feeding these nuts to them is not recommended. The high-fat content in almonds can bring your dog gastrointestinal issues and increase their risk of diseases. You may sneak an almond or two in your dog’s diet, but it’s always better to be safe than regret later.
As much as you can resist, avoid giving your pooch almonds. You should also store almonds in a secure spot so that your dog will not be able to reach them and munch on them accidentally.
There are plenty of other human foods you can feed your dog in moderation. Sticking to your dog’s prescribed diet is still the way to go.