Can my dog eat cashew nuts? Yes, cashews are generally safe for dogs to eat. Unlike macadamia nuts, cashews are not toxic to dogs. However, there are some basic guidelines to keep in mind if you’re considering feeding your dog cashews.
Feeding Cashews to Dogs
While cashews are nontoxic, there are some risks associated with feeding these tasty nuts to our canine companions. Cashews are a high-fat, high-protein snack. This poses potential problems for dogs, especially if they are fed cashews in large numbers. High-fat diets can lead to pancreatitis, a potentially life-threatening condition that requires the immediate attention of a veterinarian.
Fatty foods also contribute to obesity. Regularly feeding foods like cashews to your dog increases their chance of gaining weight and developing obesity-related problems, such as diabetes or joint issues.
The largest risk, however, comes from other nuts. Cashews are often sold in variety packs and containers, especially around the holiday season. This poses a health hazard for your dog, as some nuts, like macadamia nuts, are very toxic. Nuts can also be obstructions and choking hazards. This is especially problematic in small dogs, but larger nuts are dangerous for large breeds, as well.
Furthermore, cashews are also usually salted. Excess salt can lead to salt toxicity, which causes vomiting, weakness, diarrhea, muscle tremors, and seizures.
The most important thing owners should look out for when feeding any new treat to their dog is the symptoms of an allergic reaction. These symptoms include swelling, itching, and hives. While the chances of your dog developing an allergic reaction to cashews are relatively low, knowing the symptoms of an allergic reaction is important when giving your dog any new human food for the first time.
Cashews and Dogs
While it can’t necessarily be said that cashews are bad for dogs, it wouldn’t be accurate to say they’re good for dogs either. Your dog can eat cashews as long as they’re not mixed with other nuts, preferably if they’re not salted or seasoned in any way. These nuts might not be the best snack, but one now and again won’t hurt them. However, considering the pros and cons involved, there really is no reason why you should feed nuts to your dog.
If you decide to feed cashews to your dog, remember to offer them in very small quantities, and don’t feed them on a regular basis. If you have more questions about feeding this nut or other human foods to your dog, talk to your veterinarian.
Here at the AKC, we field many queries from anxious dog owners about what is and isn’t safe for their canine companions to eat. Questions range from the obvious (“Can dogs eat steak bones?”) to the trendy (“Can dogs eat quinoa?”) Check out more “Can dogs eat…” articles on AKC.org to see what other foods could be harmful to your dog, including cherries, avocados, and onions.