Some dogs will eat pretty much anything, but can dogs eat almonds? Although these nuts are a healthy and tasty treat for humans, they shouldn’t be fed to dogs. If your dog accidentally consumes a large amount of them, you should take action.
The American Kennel Club advises that, although almonds aren’t toxic like some other types of nuts, they should be avoided since they’re hard to digest and large quantities of them can also cause a range of problems.
You’ll be relieved to know that just one or two almonds are unlikely to cause an issue for most dogs, but if you want to share your grocery shopping with your dog, it’s best to check out our guide to what human food can dogs eat before heading to the supermarket.
Are almonds good for dogs?
Although almonds and other types of nuts are good for humans, the same can’t be said for giving them to dogs.
You might be tempted to give an almond to your dog to nibble on, but it’s important that they don’t develop a taste for this kind of food. While it’s unlikely that one or two will do too much damage in the long term, high-fat foods such as almonds are difficult for dogs to digest on a regular basis.
In the short term, they can also cause tummy upsets and other symptoms, such as vomiting, wind, lethargy, and a feeling of discomfort.
Why are almonds bad for dogs?
There are a few reasons why almonds are a bad idea for your dog.
Almonds – like most nuts – are high in fat, so they can cause long-term problems, such as pancreatitis. These, in turn, can lead to life-threatening problems for your pooch.
Flavoured or coated almonds could also be problematic. If they are covered in salt, for example, this could lead to water retention in your dog, another potentially fatal problem. Other coatings, such as certain spices or chocolate, can also be dangerous.
Another big problem with almonds is their small size and hard texture. If they are not chewed properly, they can cause a blockage in a number of places – your dog could choke on them, or they could get stuck somewhere along the intestines. This is a particular risk for smaller breeds of dogs.
What to do if your dog eats almonds
If your dog picks up one or two almonds, it’s unlikely to be considered an emergency – especially for otherwise healthy dogs.
That said, it’s important to be on the lookout for any of the symptoms listed above, such as a tummy upset or unexpected lethargy, so that you can get assistance should you need it.
However, if your dog ingests a large number of almonds – a whole bag, for example – then it should be taken seriously. It’s important to get advice from your vet as soon as possible. They may decide to take immediate action, such as inducing vomiting.
While it’s true that dogs are fortunate enough to be able to eat many of the same foods that we humans can enjoy, there are a few foods that are wiser to avoid, and others that are actually quite dangerous.
When it comes to almonds, you should never knowingly feed them to your dog, they should be discouraged from eating them, and monitored closely should they come into contact with them. Always seek advice from your veterinarian if you are unsure.
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Amy Davies is a freelance writer and photographer with over 15 years experience. She has a degree in journalism from Cardiff University and has written about a huge variety of topics over the years. These days she mostly specialises in technology and pets, writing across a number of different titles including TechRadar, Stuff, Expert Reviews, T3, Digital Camera World, and of course PetsRadar. She lives in Cardiff with her dog, Lola, a rescue miniature dachshund.