Question: Can dogs eat almonds? And can dogs eat almond butter?
Answer: Whatever you’re eating, your dog suddenly wants some of that as well. Ever happened to you? Yeah, welcome to the club that’s made up of just about every dog owner out there!
No matter what it is, your little friend wants in on the action!
But, unfortunately, and especially when it comes to food we give our dogs, it doesn’t always work like that. Not everything we eat can be safely eaten by dogs as well.
And when it comes to nuts, this is a very important and delicate subject, because some types of nuts can be toxic to your dog.
Nuts And Toxicity In Dogs
Two examples of such type of toxic nuts to dogs are walnuts and macadamia nuts, while two examples of safe nuts for dogs are cashews and peanuts.
(If you’d like to learn more about the facts you need to know before feeding your dog cashews or peanuts, check out these two quick reads we’ve previously written – this article about cashews for dogs and this article about peanuts for dogs).
Some types of nuts can lead to simple problems such as an upset stomach in your dog, more serious issues such as toxic poisoning and all the way to life threatening events such as an obstruction in their digestive tract which would require surgery to save their life.
Not to mention that the average cost to treat poisoning from nuts in your dog is more than $400, I’m sure that’s something you’re not looking forward to try out now, are you?
(Here’s a nice little infographic we found from Wag The Dog UK about nuts and dogs – check it out, it’s very interesting and easy on the eye.)
So, with all this talk about nuts in general, what’s the take on almonds? Can dogs eat almonds or should they be kept away from them as far as possible?
Can Dogs Eat Almonds? The Short Answer
The short answer is NO [sorry if I burst your bubble there 🙁 ]
While almonds aren’t necessarily toxic to dogs (like other nuts mentioned above are), they can still cause a whole world of health problems for your dog.
This means you should not intentionally feed your dog any almonds under any circumstance.
Almonds are wonder foods for human beings, but dogs don’t get any nutritional benefits that we get out of them. And add that to all the potential health hazards your dog faces if they eat almonds, there really is no reason at all for you to feed them any.
Why Are Almonds Not Safe For Dogs?
Just so it’s clear one more time, almonds are not necessarily “toxic” in the complete sense of the word to your dog, but can nonetheless cause many potential problems.
- Stomach upset: Since your dog can’t easily digest them, almonds can give your dog stomach upset and gastric intestinal distress
- Obstruction: Since dogs don’t chew on their food like humans do, eating a whole almond could possibly lead to the obstruction of their esophagus, stomach windpipe, which could all be potentially fatal to your dog.
- Pancreatitis: Since almonds are rich in fat, they can cause pancreatitis in dogs. You can tell if your dog has pancreatitis if they start to vomiting, have diarrhea, show a decreased appetite level and show weakness and lethargy. As soon as you suspect your dog has conducted pancreatitis, you should have them checked by your veterinarian so they properly treat them and so the illness does not develop into something fatal.
- Water Retention: Especially true if your dog eats salted almonds. Water retention becomes a terrible problem for dogs which have heart disease, because the combination of these two can be fatal and lead to the death of your dog. Dogs love the smell and taste of salted almonds, and will eat them at the slightest chance they get, so it’s your duty to make sure any kind of almond is kept as far away from your dog as possible. Not to mention the fact that salty almonds can possible cause sodium ion toxicosis in your dog. Tomato is another human food that causes water retention in dogs, so you should be wary about issues like this.
What To Do If Your Dog Eats Almonds
First of all, if your dog finds their way to some almonds and consumes a few, please don’t panic, there’s really no need to.
As we established above, a few almonds won’t necessarily be toxic for your dog. Just do your best to make sure that doesn’t happen.
If your dog had a few almonds and you didn’t notice them choke due to an obstruction or any other signs of something wrong a while after, you have nothing to worry about.
But, if you think or know that your dog has just eaten a whole lot of almonds and/or notice any signs of sickness or something wrong, immediate action and treatment is required.
You must immediately stop everything you’re doing and call your veterinarian, they will tell you what the required course of action from there on is.
Your veterinarian will most probably induce your dog to vomit in order to get rid of the risk of toxicity by the almonds they just ate.
Can Dogs Eat Almond Butter?
Just like we covered peanut butter in the article discussing whether dogs can eat peanuts or not, it’s only logical that we talk about whether dogs can eat almond butter in this article.
And, the good news is that just like peanut butter is good for your dog in moderate amounts, almond butter is also good for your dog in small amounts.
Almond butter is a goldmine of vitamin E waiting to be tapped by your dog, which do all sorts of health wonders for their bodies.
If you want to feed your dog almond butter, make sure you do your proper research and stay away from brands that use artificial sweeteners in them (especially Xylitol, which could prove to be deadly if your dog consumes it).
Xylitol is a deadly substance that we’ve talked about before, such as in this article about what types of ice cream dogs can eat, so you have to know your facts about that.
You want to make sure you only feed your dog 100% natural, plain, unsweetened and unsalted almond butter.