Can Dogs Eat Walnuts?
Walnuts have been a part of human diet since thousands of years. They’ve found applications in salads, pastas, breakfast cereals, soups, and baked goods. As much as tasty and delicious they are, the same is for their nutritional content. They are also used in walnut oils which is a premium oil used on salads. So as far as humans go, walnuts are pretty much well established in our day-to-day diets. Can we do the same for our dogs? The answer is, not pretty much so but some walnuts once in a while are fine.
Do dogs like Walnuts?
Walnuts are high in fats and find applications in mouthwatering dishes like walnut brownies and cakes. And dogs have taste buds which are fat favoring, just like humans. Hence, they tend to love Walnuts and its dishes.
Are Walnuts good for dogs?
Store bought plain walnuts are the only ones which are safe for a dog to eat. But this lies true only if given in very small quantities. If you want to feed a walnut to your dog, you have to make sure it’s a high quality and plain one. Walnuts are otherwise susceptible to a type of black mold which is be very toxic to your pet.
Health benefits of Walnuts
There may be some risks attached to these nuts but if given carefully and in limited quantities, they can prove to be very nutritional for your dog. Walnuts contain healthy fats, proteins, dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals. These nutrients are very essential to the growth of your pup and can help lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels for them. If we look at each of these ingredients, we may find the following –
Vitamins – are a boon for their eyesight, especially for the matured ones, as they help prevent cataracts and helps avoiding night blindness and even dry eyes. They are essential for digesting fats and supports bone growth, reproduction, cellular differentiation and immune response in dogs. They also boost energy metabolism and assists skin tissue maintenance. For the young puppies, they support their overall growth.
Dietary Fiber – As the name suggests, it becomes a catalyst for your pup’s stomach and intestines. It not only helps in the regular digestion of food but can also help curing the symptoms of diarrhea and constipation.
Proteins – It is important for dogs to repair their muscles as well in case of any injury or for gaining strength. Corn contain proteins which can help repairing muscles and other body tissues. In addition to proteins, they are also rich in potassium which can help improve your dog’s nerves and muscles.
Minerals – Bone development, nerve and muscle function, balancing of fluid in the cells, thyroid function, skin and coat maintenance and red blood cell production are all the activities in which minerals contribute a significant amount
Fats – Infamous by the word, fats are actually an essential nutrient in not only humans but also dogs. They provide energy, assist in development of the body cells, nerves, tissues and muscles.
All these nutrients in Walnuts make it a good addition to that dog’s diet but that doesn’t mean it should be added in big proportions to the bowl or fed regularly to your dog.
How much Walnuts is good Walnuts for your Dog?
Only a couple of walnuts once a while, that too given that all the cautions are taken care of.
How should you not feed Walnuts to your Dog?
Walnuts are good in very small quantities for the dog. But how exactly to add Walnuts into the dog’s diet is also important. There are other cautions to note before pouring a couple of them in the dog’s bowl
No molds and No blacks – These are extremely toxic nuts for your dog and should be completely avoided
Not in any form of brownies or cakes – Sugar is a very big no for dogs as their gut is not made to digest it properly and can lead to several harming conditions
No salt – Just like sugar, salts or any spices for that matter are a big no for your dog and should be avoided as much as possible
What can happen if your dog eats an unusual amount of Walnuts?
Vets usually do not recommend any type of nuts for your dogs. Walnuts have a unusually high fat content which can lead to obesity and other severe gastric problems. On the other end, despite the high nutritional content of walnuts, dogs can’t seem to extract a lot of it as the negatives outweigh the positives here.
So, if your dog ate a lot of Walnuts while you were building up muscle in the gym or at home, or were trying to find a movie on Netflix or you just ended up feeding more than recommended amount, keep an eye out for the following symptoms of an upset stomach. You should contact your vet right away if you see –
Severe conditions like pancreatitis or gastroenteritis
Some varieties of walnuts can even lead to intestinal blockages which can be fatal
If by any chance any fungus was developed on the walnuts because of their high moisture content, it can be very toxic if eaten by dogs which can cause tremors and seizures
Which dogs should not eat Walnuts?
There can be some dogs, not specific to any breed which can be more susceptible to stomach harm from Walnuts. For them, Walnuts should altogether be eliminated and other sources of proteins and vitamins should be looked at. The list includes –
Dogs with nut allergies – If an allergic dog is fed a walnut, it can cause some very serious damage on the skin, stomach and overall health
Specific diets – If your vet has recommended a specific diet for your pet for its training or growth purposes or just for basic health purposes then avoid it
Dogs with a higher weight – If your dog is susceptible to obesity or has already been gaining more than usual weight then you might want to avoid walnuts as it is very high in fats and can trigger obesity.
Common foods toxic to dogs
There are a number of common foods that are toxic to dogs. Some of the most common include chocolate, onions, garlic, grapes, and raisins. If you’re unsure whether a food is safe for your dog, it’s always best to consult with your veterinarian.
Vegetables are a pretty safe food group for pooches. Add some color and variety to their food dish with asparagus, bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, lettuce, cucumbers and celery. If you want to give your pooch a refreshing treat, chop up some bananas, blueberries, oranges, melons, pumpkins, apples, kiwis, dates, pitted cherries, cantaloupes and papayas.
Like cats, dogs can safely eat most seafood. Opt for canned tuna, salmon, seaweed, shrimp, crabs and lobster. Please make sure to deboned and thoroughly cook to avoid bacteria.
Dogs can also enjoy beans, just nor chili. You might be wondering which beans can your dog eat. Well, you can add unseasoned green beans, black beans, lima beans, pinto beans and garbanzo beans to their plates for variety. Do not give your dog kidney beans. They are highly toxic for dogs.
Dogs may love peanut butter, but are nuts suitable for dogs? It depends. You can give pups nut butter to help them swallow a pill. Dogs can enjoy small amounts of almonds, cashews, pistachios and walnuts. Skip giving pups any dried fruit to be on the safe side. Dogs shouldn’t be given raisins, which are dried grapes.
With those pleading eyes and wagging tails, it can be hard to say no to our dogs when we are enjoying our food. However, there are better ways to keep pets happy. Exploring pet insurance options is a great way to learn about ways that help you find peace of mind. Spot offers pet insurance plan options that help you focus on your pet’s care, not cost.
While walnuts may be healthy in terms of the nutritional value they possess, the negatives and risks outweigh the probable gain here. Plus there are some of its variants that can be very dangerous and fatal in some cases if fed to dogs. Even the vets recommend going for peanuts, almonds or cashews if you want to feed nuts and extract the nutrients. We are sure the dog won’t miss out on much. Just make sure you cuddle him and play with him enough.
Happy Mood and Health to your Doggo and lots of Love and Licks to you!
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