High in fibers, vitamin E, magnesium, and healthy fats, almond is everyone’s go-to healthy treat. Additionally, almond is also beneficial in keeping your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar in check. With all these science-backed benefits, almonds would be a perfect choice if you want to start a healthy lifestyle, away from junk foods and factory-produced chips.
However, if you live with a dog by your side, it’s natural to ponder, can dogs eat almonds? Does the advantage also apply to your furry friend?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. While almonds are a great addition for humans’ diets, almonds—or nuts in general—are a bad choice for dogs. Some nuts, such as macadamia, even can poison your dogs if you’re not careful.
Why Almonds are Bad for Your Dogs
“Can dogs eat almonds?” as previously stated, the answer is no, and you should not be tempted to give them even when they like it. While the health benefits and effects regarding dogs and peanuts are still generally unexplored, the American Kennel Club believes that almonds belong to the harmful side. Here are some of the reasons why.
Almonds Create Indigestion Risk
Dogs’ digestive systems are different from humans, and there are things that they can’t consume because their digestive systems are not built for it. In this case, almonds create a blockage in the system. While crunching several bites won’t knock them down, younger breeds or pups will have a hard time expelling it from their body; resulting in a stomachache or blood in their feces.
Enacts Fluid Retention
Dogs love the savory taste of store-bought almonds. Unfortunately, these almonds are packed with salt. Overconsumption of salt can cause serious thirst in dogs, which may lead to fluid retention. Fluid retention is especially lethal for dogs as it damages the kidneys. Surely, you won’t want to see them hurting on a hospital bed, let alone paying $637, which is the average cost to treat dog’s acute kidney problems
Possible Choking Hazard
Canines teeth are designed to tear and crush, not chew. Due to this fact, dogs seldom grind their own food and swallow them whole. Giving your dog almonds will only increase the risk of choking hazard as the unchewed almonds can easily obstruct their windpipe.
Contributes to Pancreatitis
While almond’s fats are healthy fats, it has a high risk in aggravating pancreatitis. Often shown in the forms of stomach pain, loss of appetite, and lethargy, pancreatitis is a dangerous health problem and should be treated professionally by a vet. To make things worse, pancreatitis aid is considered as the most expensive aid for dogs, with almost $800 for an average treatment.
Exposes Your Dog to Aflatoxin Poisoning
According to a study, nine out of nine dogs are likely to die after an aflatoxin poisoning. Produced in most crops and nuts including almonds, aflatoxin is a toxic substance that causes food spoilage. While the substance bears minor harm to humans, our furry companions are extremely sensitive to it.
So, the next time someone asks you, “can dogs eat almonds?”, tell them about aflatoxin poisoning, and they will distance their almonds jar as far as possible from their dogs.
Creates Kidney Stones
Nuts, including almonds, are high in phosphorus, which increases the risk of bladder and kidney stones in dogs. Pugs, beagles, and dachshunds are some of the breeds that have a high risk of infection. Aside from being painful for your furry friends, kidney stones might turn into a life-threatening condition if not treated immediately.
What You Should Do If Your Dogs Ate Almonds
First and foremost: do not panic. If your dogs accidentally ate almonds, going into a full-blown panic will only inconvenience both of you. Dogs from different sizes and breeds have different tolerance and reaction to the almonds consumed.
If they managed to steal one or two bites of almonds, closely monitor your dogs during the first hour for a sign of choking or allergy. If there’s no sign, you can keep monitoring them for diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite, or sleeping trouble during the next six until twelve hours. Any sign of those means a red light and a trip to your trusted veterinarian.
Different treatments might be required if your dog managed to steal a large pack of almonds. Say, if it’s a three pounds worth of salty almonds, you need to contact your vet for immediate poison control. The treatments range from IV fluids for dehydration, painkiller, to abdominal surgery to clear any internal obstruction.
What About Almond Milk?
Since almonds are not suitable for dogs’ digestive system and general health, many dog owners came up with the idea to give them almond milk instead. Thus, it won’t be a surprise when someone asks you, “can dogs eat almonds when it’s pasteurized?”
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, almond milk is not suitable for canines as they don’t possess enough enzymes to break down the lactose. Generally, milk is not a part of a dog’s diet; puppies only drink milk from their mother, and adult dogs are lactose-intolerant. In cases where pups are separated from their mother since birth, puppy-designated formula milk is a better option than almond milk.
What About Almond Butter?
Apparently, the same case goes to almond butter. Along with the surge of a health-conscious lifestyle, many people left dairy-based products and settled down with an organic one. Now that they’ve made a major change in their lifestyle, they question whether their dogs can follow their steps. Thus, born the question, “can dogs eat almonds in the form of butter?”
Rau Animal Hospital noted that your furry sidekick can have occasional almond butter treat. However, proceed with caution as they might have an allergy, or the butter contains toxic substances such as xylitol. Xylitol is dangerous for canines as it causes liver failure, intestinal distress, and even death.
Furthermore, since almond is high in fat, be mindful of the intake. An overfeeding can lead to an upset tummy and canine obesity.