Rachel
Rachel is a stay-at-home pet mom, caring for her dog, cat, turtle, tortoise, and fish. She's a content writer in various niches but most notably in the pet field, educating pet parents on the health and wellbeing of their furry friends. When she's not writing, she's reading, playing video games, or organizing something.
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Can Dogs Eat Walnuts?

Rachel Poli Author
Rachel
Aug 12 ·

There are pros and cons to feeding your dog people food, no matter what it is. So, can dogs eat walnuts? How safe is the nut for your furry friend? The answer is more complicated than a simple yes or no. These nuts are safe, but it might be better to keep them away from your pooch. So, let’s talk about walnuts and the pros and cons they pose to dogs.

Are walnuts safe for dogs to eat?

Walnuts are safe for dogs to eat. This means that they are not toxic, so walnuts, in small quantities, shouldn’t make your pup sick. However, walnuts are prone to growing black mold, which is toxic to dogs. In other words, it’s probably best to stay away from feeding your dog walnuts.

In addition, there is a type of walnut called the Black Walnut. It’s native to northeast North America and Canada. These walnuts are particularly toxic to dogs, though it’s unsure why.

can dogs eat walnuts

What are the pros and cons of walnuts if my dog eats them?

If your doggo happens to grab a walnut or two off the floor, they’ll most likely be okay. However, walnuts, even if they’re not moldy, can pose some issues for dogs. Walnuts are high in fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It sounds great, but too much can have negative effects. 

These nuts are also high in fats, which can cause stomach upset, diarrhea, or vomiting. If not treated right away, the issue can become worse. For example, your pup may end up with gastroenteritis or pancreatitis. Walnuts are also a choking hazard and can cause intestinal blockage, especially in smaller dog breeds.

Moldy walnuts are highly toxic to dogs. If they happened to eat one of these, then severe issues may occur. These walnuts contain fungi that produce mycotoxins. This may cause your furry friend to have seizures and other neurological complications. 

What is walnut poisoning?

If your dog consumes too many walnuts or each one that’s moldy or black walnuts, then they may end up getting walnut poisoning. There are many symptoms to watch for if you think your dog accidentally ate too many walnuts.

Symptoms may include:

  • Panting
  • Vomiting
  • Restlessness
  • Hypothermia
  • Weakness
  • Dehydration
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle tremors
  • Seizures
  • Liver damage

can dogs eat walnuts

In severe cases, or if it’s not caught right away, walnut poisoning may also result in death.

When feeding walnuts to your dog, always give them in small amounts and moderation. In addition, keep an eye on your dog while they eat the walnuts to ensure it agrees with their system and that they don’t choke on the nuts. 

Before deciding to feed your dog walnuts, talk to your veterinarian about it first. They’ll be able to tell you the positives and negatives and help you decide if it’s a good idea for your dog or not. In addition, your vet will be able to give you more information on walnut poisoning and what to do about it. 

Can dogs eat shelled walnuts?

No, shelled walnuts are not safe for dogs to eat. One of the reasons for this is that fungi and mold can grow inside the shell. This protects the walnut less, giving them more reason to grow mold or fungi.

On the other hand, walnut shells reduce the choking hazard. However, it still might not be worth it to give your pooch shelled walnuts. The shells can still get stuck and cause an intestinal blockage, though. Smaller dogs, especially, are more prone to this.

Can dogs eat washed walnuts?

If you want to be cautious about the mold and fungi, you can wash the walnuts. Then, boil them and allow them to dry before feeding them to your dog completely. However, the effort might not be worth it because not all the mold might be killed.

In addition, you can cook walnuts, but that won’t get rid of any of the mycotoxins. So, cooking these nuts won’t have any different effects on your dog as if you gave them raw walnuts.

can dogs eat walnuts

Should you give your dog walnuts?

As you can see, the answer is pretty complicated. Walnuts are safe for dogs to consume, and they do have some health benefits, but they might not be worth the risks they pose. Walnuts can be a choking hazard and, if they happen to grow mold or fungi, it can make your pooch incredibly sick.

Our recommendation is to keep your dog away from walnuts, but you should always talk to your vet about it first.

Similar reading: other nuts dogs can or can’t eat

Rachel Poli Author
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Rachel
Rachel is a stay-at-home pet mom, caring for her dog, cat, turtle, tortoise, and fish. She's a content writer in various niches but most notably in the pet field, educating pet parents on the health and wellbeing of their furry friends. When she's not writing, she's reading, playing video games, or organizing something.
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