Can dogs eat walnuts?

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Dogs are known for being scavengers and able to eat just about anything, and this includes stuff from the bin as well as what they might find when out and about.

If you live in an area where they grow then walnuts may be one food source that you wonder about and whether or not it is safe for dogs to eat them.

Walnuts are not the best for dogs and it is best to avoid them. They can contain a poisonous substance called Juglone and can often have moulds or fungus. They can cause seizures in dogs and make them seriously unwell.

can dogs eat walnuts
Can dogs eat walnuts?

You should really avoid giving walnuts to your dogs.

The most common types that you’ll find are Black Walnuts and English Walnuts and both types ( particularly black ones ) contain a substance called Juglone.

This is a poisonous substance that is produced by the roots of the walnut tree and is secreted into the ground around the tree – to prevent other plants and trees from growing nearby.

Walnuts are also easy hosts for funghi and moulds, which often form on the shells of the nuts, particularly if they are damp and have been left on the ground.

Often these funghi and moulds can be tricky to spot but they can cause serious problems if ingested by dogs.

What should I do if my dog eats walnuts?

If you suspect your dog has eaten a walnut, try to find out as much as possible about how many they have consumed and what type of walnuts.

If the walnuts were from the kitchen and were clean and fresh then things will most likely be okay but, if they were walnuts that were old or your dog found them when out on a walk, then you’ll need to monitor your dog carefully.

Generally, it is always best to get veterinary advice if they have swallowed any but obviously this depends on the severity of the situation and having an idea about what exactly you’re dealing with will help a lot.

It’s best to put the dog in a safe and comfortable place so that they can be monitored and observed.

You should watch for any signs of vomiting, shivers or seizures and, if any occur you’ll need to visit the vet immediately.

It may be necessary for them to have an injection to counter the effects of the walnut, which usually means being admitted into the veterinary clinic where such treatments are available.

The signs that your dog has eaten walnuts vary and depend on the amount eaten and the size of your dog.

Generally, small dogs will show signs within a few hours but larger dogs may take longer to develop any symptoms.

Vomiting is often reported in cases where only one or two nuts have been consumed by smaller breeds. Larger breeds might not show these initial signs and may only show signs of toxicity after a few days.

The symptoms will depend on the amount eaten but, in most cases your dog will start having seizures which can sometimes be fatal if not treated quickly.

Additional signs include:

– lethargy and weakness

– lack of coordination (ataxia)

– excessive drooling due to problems swallowing and pain

– skin and fur changes such as a blue tinge to the skin and hair loss.

The severity of the walnut poisoning will depend on your dog’s size, breed and how much they have actually eaten.

If you’re concerned about your dog’s health after potentially eating walnuts then contact your veterinary clinic straight away.

Can I give my dog walnuts in small doses?

Walnuts and any other type of nut (including peanuts) should not be given to your dog or offered as a treat because they can cause serious health problems.

There is no safe amount for dogs to eat so it’s best to avoid giving them nuts at all, but especially walnuts.

There is also no need to give walnuts to dogs, they’re not a natural food source for canines and, given the potential risks involved with walnuts, it simply doesn’t make any sense in feeding them to your pet.

Walnuts can pose a choking risk to dogs too

As well as the mould and other risks, walnuts can present a choking hazard to dogs.

Almost any dog can choke on something like a walnut so it’s simply best to keep them out of your dog’s reach.

Is it okay for my dog to eat walnut shells?

Walnut shells are one of the main hosts of moulds and funghi as they are the part of the walnut that is exposed to dirt and damp so, no – don’t let your dog eat walnut shells.

Can I give my dog bread with walnuts in it?

Most breads don’t contain any walnuts at all and others will only contain small amounts, which isn’t likely to cause your dog any issues.

There’s no harm in giving your dog a small piece of bread that contains walnuts and they seem like a good treat but, you need to be aware of the potential risks involved.

The answer is that it’s not ‘really’ okay because you just don’t know what could be lurking in that walnut-enriched treat so, the risk simply isn’t worth it when considering how dangerous even a small amount of walnuts can be.

If you feel your dog deserves a treat then it’s much better to give them something that is safe and won’t cause them any health issues.

There are plenty of other ‘safe’ treats available that can be used without having to worry about your dog being adversely affected by the food you’re feeding them.

For example, dogs love meat so why not try making your own treats with good-quality meat?

You can even make dog cookies using ingredients that are completely safe for your pet to eat.

Or you can simply buy some good, meat based treats that are suitable and have been produced for consumption by dogs.

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Final Words

If you haven’t already got the message then walnuts are not good for dogs and should not be fed to them.

If your dog does manage to eat walnuts then the best course of action is to talk to your vet to get their professional advice and to minimise any risk that your dog may face.

Walnuts can cause serious health problems for your dog so, avoid feeding them or anything that might potentially contain walnuts.

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Last update on 2022-03-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API