Almonds are a great, healthy snack for humans, and it is tempting to toss one or two to your dog as you eat a handful. This is one of those temptations it is very important to resist. Almonds, while not as toxic as some nuts, are not safe for dogs. In fact, a general rule of thumb to follow when it comes to dogs and human food is to avoid nuts entirely.
The Dangers of Dogs Eating Almonds
Dogs don’t digest almonds very well. This can lead to gastric-intestinal distress, which is uncomfortable for your dog. Almonds, like most nuts, are also high in fat, which means that feeding almonds to your dog puts him at risk of developing pancreatitis. This condition is serious and requires the attention of your veterinarian.
Symptoms of gastric intestinal distress in dogs:
- loss of appetite
- general discomfort
Almonds pose another dangerous problem: obstruction. Almonds can block your dog’s esophagus, intestines, and even her windpipe, especially in small-breeds. These obstructions can be fatal if not treated, and they occasionally require surgery.
Flavored almonds come with their own risks. Most are heavily salted, and dogs may find the smells of the various flavors very appealing, especially flavors like smoked and barbecued. Sadly for your dog, the spices and flavorings can irritate her stomach, and the salt in the seasoning can lead to water retention and salt toxicity if consumed in large quantities.
Even those of us who don’t plan on feeding our dogs almonds are occasionally guilty of dropping a few on the ground or leaving a bag within our pets’ reach. If your dog consumes one or two almonds, don’t panic. Instead, watch her closely for signs of intestinal distress or obstruction. If your dog consumes an entire container of almonds, on the other hand, call your vet or local emergency vet for professional advice.
It's important to remember that just because some foods are healthy for humans, it doesn't necessarily mean they're healthy for dogs, too. To help you out, we've put together a list of fruits and vegetables that your dog can and can't eat. If you have questions about other human foods dogs can and can’t eat, check out this article.