Before coming to the question ‘Can you feed your dog cashews?’. It is important to understand that cashews are excellent and versatile snacks. They are guilt-free because of the large number of health benefits they offer in the form of antioxidants, proteins, healthy fats, and many other nutrients.
Cashews have a considerably low amount of sugar and carbohydrates, which makes them perfect for people who want to prevent diabetes or are suffering from type 2 diabetes. It is helpful in reducing not only bad cholesterol in your body but can also reduce the chances of a stroke or heart disease due to the high amount of magnesium found in cashews.
So if these nuts are so healthy and tasty for human beings, it is only natural for us to want to share them with our beloved pets so that they may reap the benefits of these protein-filled snacks too. However, many human foods (such as chocolate, alcohol, candy, coffee, etc.) are harmful, and even toxic, to dogs. Even certain fruits and vegetables contain some natural chemicals and sugars such as tartaric acid and monosaccharides found in raisins and grapes that are toxic to a dog’s health.
Thus, it is extremely important to thoroughly examine the nutritional information or ingredients of any food item that you want to give to your dog.
Keep reading to learn about the health benefits of cashews, ways in which cashews can be harmful to your beloved pet, a feeding guide for feeding cashews to your dog, nuts that are safe for your dog to eat as well as those unsafe for dogs, and other treats for your dog that are simple and healthy!
Can dogs eat cashews?
These nuts have not been deemed harmful or toxic for dogs and thus, can be given to dogs. However, they are also not considered to be the healthiest treat for dogs. So a middle ground needs to be found with feeding any dog cashews.
They are not necessary for a dog’s diet and too many cashews may be harmful to your pet. Therefore, for dogs, cashews are only good if they are given to them in moderation and once in a while.
Can dogs have cashew butter?
Dogs are infamous for being die-hard fans of peanut butter, but is it the same for cashew butter? It depends!
Your dog may or may not like cashew butter but chances are that if they are a fan of cashews, your pet will also love cashew butter. However, most store-bought cashew butter jars contain a lot of sugars, salt, fatty acids, and xylitol that are not meant for a dog’s consumption.
The simplest way to feed your dog cashew butter that is safe for them to eat is to make it yourself at home out of a dash of honey and plain, unsalted cashews. Dog-safe cashew butter can be made by blending these two until smooth. However, just like peanut butter, dogs should not be fed more than a spoonful of cashew butter each day.
Can dogs have cashew milk?
Dog-safe cashew milk can be made by blending water and some plain, unsalted cashews, but this should not be fed to dogs in large quantities.
Just like store-bought cashew butter, any cashew milk found in a store meant for humans is likely to contain a lot of ingredients that are not safe for dogs to consume. So only give your dog some cashew milk if you have made it yourself using a dog-safe recipe.
Can dogs eat cashew yogurt?
Since yogurt is completely safe and even healthy for dogs to eat, it won’t hurt them to have a little bit of it with cashews.
However, cashews contain a lot of fatty acids that may lead to some health issues for your dog, if eaten in bulk so moderation is the way to go.
Can dogs eat cashews and almonds?
Almonds are never safe for dogs to eat as their bodies cannot properly digest almonds and their esophagus, windpipe, or intestines can get obstructed.
Eating almonds can also lead to serious health problems such as pancreatitis in dogs, so they should never be given almonds whether they are with cashews or without cashews.
Health Benefits Of Cashews
Cashews contain a lot of nutritional and health benefits for not just human beings, but also dogs. A single ounce of cashews can contain around 165 calories, 14-15 grams of fat, 9-10 grams of carbohydrates, and less than a gram each of sugar, protein, and fiber.
Cashews also contain the following compounds and various vitamins and minerals that may be beneficial for a dog’s health:
Oxidation is a process that takes place within the cells of an organism and results in the production of free radicals which can further lead to disease or even cancer. Thus, antioxidants prevent oxidation from happening and free radicals from being formed and protect the cells and thus, the organism to a certain degree.
They also help in reducing bacteria and improving the immune system. Therefore, dogs can benefit from a small number of cashews, especially if they are in need of strengthening their immune system such as in the case of a bacterial infection, allergies, inflammation, or arthritis.
Cashews have a ton of minerals in their tiny sizes. They contain copper, which is considered to be excellent for increasing red blood cells, improving the overall immune system, and also helping in absorbing iron, which is another mineral that cashews contain. Cashews are also filled with calcium, which is an essential part of most dogs’ diets.
Calcium is the mineral that helps in growing (in the case of puppies) and strengthening (in the case of adult dogs) bones and teeth, building and functioning of muscles, as well as maintaining a healthy heart and nervous system for your pup.
The magnesium content in cashews can also help in making your dog’s bones and teeth stronger and their heart healthier. Moreover, it helps in regulating the amount of glucose and producing energy and protein in the dog’s body as well.
3. Vitamin K
Vitamin K is an important vitamin as it helps in the healthy coagulation of blood in the dog’s body and thus, helps in blood clotting after an injury.
Vitamin K plays a huge role in regulating the amount of calcium by helping metabolize calcium and can even prevent calcium from depositing in crucial parts of the body such as the heart, muscles, and arteries.
Vitamin K is also helpful in the case of ingestion of an anticoagulant rat poison by a dog, which can lead to an acute Vitamin K deficiency and in extreme cases, cause bleeding.
Read more: How Often Do You Take A Cat To The Vet
Protein is perhaps one of the most important parts of a dog’s diet. Normally, dog food or kibble contains enough protein for their daily requirement but it can also be supplemented by eggs, meat, dairy products, etc, where it is also found in abundance.
Cashews contain a small amount of protein that can be beneficial for dogs. It helps in the overall smooth functioning of their body but is also really good at building or repairing muscles, as well as new hair or skin growth. It provides energy and regulates the production of the required hormones and enzymes in the body.
Fiber, for dogs, helps in the healthy digestion of food and the removal of any bacteria that are harmful if it enters the body.
It is an important part of their diet and the small amount of fiber present in cashews can certainly help your pet’s digestive tract.
Fat is found in cashews in the form of Omega-3 fatty acids, which are also found in fish oil and are considered to be very healthy for our skin and hair. Similarly, for dogs, these fatty acids help in maintaining the quality of their fur and skin.
They also soothe areas that feel irritated and inflamed.
Are Cashews Bad For Your Dog?
Good always comes with some bad and so do cashews! They have their own risks and side effects when it comes to feeding them to your dog and it is better to consider these risks before feeding some cashews to your dog in order to keep them healthy, active, and playful as ever.
1. Difficulty in Digestion
Cashews contain a lot of fatty acids, which can be hard for your pup to digest and can give them an upset stomach as a result of eating more cashews than is safe for dogs to eat at a time.
Symptoms of an upset stomach in dogs can be vomiting or diarrhea. Your dog will need a vet visit if they have eaten too many cashews and cannot digest them properly.
2. Weight Gain
Weight gain is a result of feeding a dog too many cashews as they contain a significant amount of fats. If your dog has a normal body weight, this can put them at risk of obesity, and if your dog is already overweight, it is recommended that you do not feed them any cashews.
This is because obesity in dogs can lead to a number of problems and put them at risk for cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and most commonly, weak joints, which can lead to arthritis. Thus, avoid feeding cashews to your dog if they are overweight or at risk of being so.
Cashews should only be given to dogs in very small quantities and feeding too many of them to dogs can lead to a number of problems, one of which is pancreatitis. It is when the pancreas becomes inflamed because of excess fat that cannot be converted into energy. It can happen if your dog has had an increase in fatty acids in their diet.
Since cashews contain fatty acids and if you feed your dog too many cashews at a time, it can put an unnecessary load on their pancreas. The symptoms of pancreatitis include nausea, vomiting, lethargy, decrease in appetite, etc.
4. Allergic Reaction
Even though this is quite uncommon, it doesn’t hurt to be aware of the fact that just like humans, dogs can have or develop a nut allergy too. Diagnosing an allergy is tedious and so is the treatment for a severe allergic reaction. Thus, look out for symptoms after your dog has eaten any kind of nut, such as peanut, cashew, walnut, etc.
These symptoms can range from severe to mild, such as redness and bumps under the front legs and between the legs, ear infections, hives, itchiness, swelling, coughing, diarrhea, vomiting, etc. Even obsessive licking can be a sign of an allergic reaction and should be taken seriously.
5. Salt Poisoning
Cashews are often commercially sold as salted cashews and these are not meant to be consumed by dogs at all. Dogs do not need a lot of salt or sodium in their diet as their body is not designed to process it properly.
Ingesting too much salt can result in too much water in the bloodstream which can make dogs dizzy or even induce a seizure. The most severe symptoms of salt poisoning are convulsions, coma, or even death. Thus, never feed your dog salted cashews, but only plain and unsalted ones.
6. Liver Problems
Cashews and most other nuts can develop mold over time. Liver problems usually happen when the cashews or nuts that have been fed to the dog had mold on them. It is also an uncommon situation but cashews must always be checked for mold before consuming because the toxin called aflatoxin can lead to liver failure in dogs if eaten by them.
7. Bladder Stones
Cashews contain a significant amount of oxalates, which can result in bladder stones. Symptoms of bladder stones in dogs include struggling to urinate, blood in the urine, abdominal pain, change in behavior regarding urination, etc. Thus, if your dog is prone to bladder stones, avoid treating them with cashews.
A Guide To Feeding Your Dog Cashews
Cashews sure are a wonderful snack for us humans but if you want to feed them to your dog, there are some things that should be considered and kept in mind before doing so:
- Be careful of the Quantity
Cashews can be a healthy snack for your pet dog, only if it is given to them in a very small quantity, that is, a dog should not eat more than 3-4 cashews each day.
However, if your dog has never eaten cashews before, it would be best to give them an even smaller amount so that you can monitor them for any signs of an allergic reaction or stomach upset that might follow.
- Check for molds
Before feeding your dog some cashews as a treat, be sure to check the nuts for mold that can sometimes develop. This mold can be very dangerous to dogs because of aflatoxin, which is a toxin present in the mold and it can lead to liver failure in dogs.
- Avoid certain types of cashews
Cashews are most often sold as salted or as part of a variety of mixed nuts. Dogs should never be fed cashews out of such a mix because many other nuts are toxic for dogs and can be fatal for a dog to eat. Similarly, with salted cashews, there stands the risk of salt poisoning as dogs do not need a lot of salt in their diet.
- Find out the right Serving size
Cashews can also be a choking hazard for dogs, especially smaller breeds. Thus, cashews should be broken into small pieces so that they are easier for the dog to swallow. Larger breeds of dogs may eat the whole cashew at a time but they must be supervised.
Other Nuts That Dogs Can or Cannot Eat
Let us see what other nuts, besides cashews, you can give to your dog!
- Peanuts (Safe for dogs)
Peanuts are very similar to cashews because they also have a high protein and fat content and are not toxic for dogs. Dogs find them extremely tasty and enriching but love peanut butter even more.
However, like cashews, they should also be given to dogs in a very small quantity as they contain fatty acids that could result in weight gain or obesity, heart problems, and pancreatitis.
It should be kept in mind that you give your dog only plain and unsalted peanuts as store-bought salted peanuts can lead to salt poisoning for your dog or contain xylitol, which is toxic for dogs.
- Pistachios (Safe for dogs)
Dogs can also have pistachios, which are even considered healthy for them because of the many vitamins and nutrients pistachios contain. These include fiber for digestion, proteins for muscle growth, as well as antioxidants to remove free radicals.
However, they also have their own risks as they are small in size and can be a choking hazard for a dog. They also tend to have a lot of salt sometimes, which is not a part of a dog’s diet and can harm them. Similar to most other nuts, pistachios contain a lot of fatty acids that can give rise to obesity and associated problems such as pancreatitis, heart disease, etc.
- Walnuts (Certain types are safe for dogs)
Not all types of walnuts are safe for consumption by dogs. The black walnut is not safe for a dog at all due to the presence of juglone, which is a very toxic and poisonous substance for a dog. It can lead to severe consequences such as seizures or convulsions.
However, the English walnut contains much lower amounts of juglone and your pet is likely to be okay if they eat such a walnut or two. All kinds of walnuts are highly susceptible to mold, which is very dangerous for dogs to consume.
Moreover, there is a large number of fats and calories in a single walnut and dogs should not be given walnuts too often or in large quantities.
- Macadamia Nuts (Toxic!)
Macadamia nuts are known for being highly toxic for dogs but it is not clear what makes them so dangerous for dogs to consume.
Signs of macadamia include weakness in the hind legs, lethargy, vomiting, fever, diarrhea, and tremors. If your dog eats even a little bit of macadamia nuts, they should be taken to the vet immediately.
- Almonds (Not safe)
Almonds are highly nutritious and beneficial for us humans, but even though almonds are not toxic for dogs, they should never be given to dogs as their bodies are simply not made to digest almonds.
Their peculiar size and shape can also get stuck in a dog’s throat and thus, makes almonds a choking hazard for dogs. Almonds are also mostly sold as salted, chocolate covered, or seasoned with spices, all of which make the snack even more dangerous for dogs to eat.
- Pecans (Not safe for dogs)
Pecans are important ingredients of popular holiday dishes such as pecan pies or cookies, but these are yet another kind of nuts that are not safe for dogs to eat. A substance called mycotoxin can be toxic for dogs and even lead to severe liver damage.
They also contain juglone, also found in walnuts, which makes these nuts not safe for consumption by dogs. It can result in vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and an upset stomach for your dog if eaten. The mold which can form on pecans can induce seizures or convulsions. Therefore, avoid feeding your dog pecans.
- Hazelnuts (Not safe for dogs)
Hazelnuts are a favorite among people due to their many benefits and uses. However, the presence of juglone and mycotoxins makes these kinds of nuts very unsafe for dogs to consume.
If eaten by a dog, it can result in vomiting, diarrhea, or gastrointestinal problems for your pet.
Alternative healthy treats for dogs
If you have decided against giving your dog some cashews, here are some natural and healthy treats for your dogs that you can give to them instead!
Apples are perhaps the healthiest and most easily found snack in a house, not just for humans but also for dogs. They are full of important nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that are good for dogs. These include vitamin A, which helps their vision as well as their bones, and vitamin C, which is important for strengthening the immune system as a whole.
Apples contain fiber which is good for dogs‘ digestive systems, and antioxidants that fight against free radicals. So a slice or two of an apple is definitely sure to benefit your dog in the best way.
However, make sure to remove the seeds and the core before giving it to a dog because of the presence of cyanide in it which is toxic for a dog to consume.
Strawberries are awesome as a topping to just about any dessert like pancakes or cakes, and they taste great on their own as well. Fortunately, our dogs can taste and appreciate them too. strawberries have fiber, for smooth functioning of the digestive system, and vitamin C for their immune system.
The only downside to feeding strawberries to dogs is that they have a high sugar content and thus, they cannot be served to dogs in a large quantity. Also make sure that you only feed fresh strawberries to your dog, and not canned strawberries that have syrup in them as that will be too much sugar for dogs to consume safely.
Bananas are healthy and delicious fruits. They Are a great source of fiber, potassium, copper, and many vitamins to help the digestion process, regulate blood in the body, and improve the immune system so that it is better prepared to fight all diseases.
Bananas can be a great treat for dogs but like most other fruits, they have too much sugar and only a small quantity is recommended for dogs. Thus, it is best to practice moderation with this fruit as well.
- Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes have many advantages as treats for dogs. They have many beneficial vitamins and minerals, such as vitamins B6 and C, Both of which can help in improving the immune system and overall body function.
They also have beta-carotene and fiber, which helps in improving vision and digestive function, respectively. However, raw sweet potatoes can be dangerous to consume, so you should only feed your dog plain cooked or boiled sweet potatoes that have not been seasoned.
Carrots are known for being great for our eyesight, and the same is true for dogs as well. Moreover, they also contain a lot of fiber and antioxidants such as beta-carotene that can help their body function better and ward off diseases whenever necessary or even prevent them from occurring.
Carrots can also help against the buildup of plaque in teeth. However, this vegetable should always be cut up into small, bite-sized pieces before being served to dogs because bigger pieces can be a choking hazard to dogs.
- Green peas
Peas are an awesome snack for us humans. They are easy to prepare and eat, but can dogs eat green peas too? The answer is yes. These are rich in many vitamins and minerals that are required by dogs in their diet, and also contain a high amount of protein and fiber, which is very beneficial for muscle building and growth, and digestion.
That being said, too many green peas can be harmful to a dog. They contain a chemical compound known as purines, which produces uric acid. Too much uric acid in the body can lead to kidney stones, so only feed your dog a spoonful of peas a day.
It is always good to eat green vegetables that are full of important nutrients. Broccoli is one of many green vegetables that are considered safe for dogs to eat. These vegetables contain many vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin K, and potassium.
These will help strengthen your dog’s bones, heart, and immune system. Too much broccoli can cause stomach upset in dogs, so only small quantities of this vegetable are recommended at a time for dogs. Make sure that you only serve plain and seasoned broccoli to your dog, whether it is cooked or raw.
Watermelons can be a great and refreshing snack, not just for humans, but also for dogs. These fruits are a great source of important vitamins and nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and potassium, which will keep your dog‘s immune system and overall body function working in their favor.
Most importantly, this red-green fruit consists of 92% water, which can be a great help in keeping your dog hydrated in the hot summer. However, just like apples, the seeds of this fruit, as well as the rind, can be dangerous to consume for a dog and should be removed beforehand.
Celery is another green leafy vegetable that is safe for dogs to eat. It is full of fiber, and many other necessary vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, and manganese.
These vitamins and minerals are sure to improve your dog‘s health and overall immunity. Celery is often recommended to dogs who are overweight because of its high fiber content as well as the fact that it has a low amount of fat.
Cucumber is yet another kind of fruit that is really beneficial for dogs. They are a rich source of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin B-1, potassium, copper, magnesium, etc. these nutrients are very useful in a dog’s diet and just like watermelons, cucumbers are also full of water.
The high water content can help your dog stay hydrated and certain nutrients in this fruit can remove bad breath. They are also low in fat and calories, which makes them a perfect treat for overweight pups.
Read more: How to Use Chopsticks Like a Pro
Cashews are a tasty and healthy treat for us but are cashews toxic to dogs? No! Dogs can actually benefit from a few cashews every day, but only if they are served in moderation. These healthy nuts consist of antioxidants that fight off free radicals, calcium that makes the bones stronger, protein that helps build muscle, and other minerals such as copper that help regulate the number of blood cells, and magnesium that strengthens bones and teeth.
However, there are also many risks associated with cashews and dogs, such as the high amount of fat in them that might harm an overweight dog. Salted or seasoned cashews can lead to salt poisoning for a dog. It is better to give your dog some other healthier options as a treat like apples, cucumbers, carrots, celery, bananas, etc.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about feeding cashews to dogs
Many nuts that we love to eat are actually poisonous or toxic to dogs. Macadamia nuts are perhaps the most well-known as being toxic for dogs because even a little bit of these nuts can induce tremors, fever, vomiting, etc. in a dog. Almonds are also very dangerous for dogs because of their strange size and shape, which can easily get stuck in a dog’s throat. Dogs find it very difficult to digest almonds as well. Pecans contain juglone and mycotoxin, both of which are toxic for dogs and can lead to liver damage, upset stomach, vomiting, or diarrhea. Hazelnut is another kind of nut that is not safe for dogs to eat. Like pecans, they also contain juglone and mycotoxin which are really harmful to a dog’s body and are likely to make them very sick.
There are both benefits and risks to feeding your dog cashews. These nut varieties are full of antioxidants, copper, calcium, and magnesium, which can help your dog fight off free radicals that lead to cancer, regulate blood in the body, and strengthen their bones. They also contain some amount of protein, fiber, and vitamin K, all of which will build and maintain your dog’s muscles, and help improve their immune system. However, cashews also contain a lot of fats, and too many cashews in your dog’s diet can lead to obesity, pancreatitis, liver problems, or bladder stones. Thus, never feed your dog more than 3-4 cashews in a day, and avoid giving them cashews as a treat daily. If your dog has never eaten cashews before, it is better to give them only one or two and observe them over the next couple of days for signs of an allergic reaction.
It is most likely that dogs like cashews for the same reason as we humans. However, we might never know for sure. Maybe they enjoy the snack for its rich, creamy, and buttery taste, maybe they like the texture. Whatever may be the case, do not let them have more than a few at a time as cashews are not all good for dogs and too many can lead to serious health issues such as obesity, pancreatitis, liver problems, heart diseases, bladder stones, etc.