This post is included on query Can Dogs Eat Almonds? and risks of eating almond, are almond bad for your dog? and everything you should know about it.
(Picture Credit: Getty Images)
Can dogs eat almonds? The short answer is no, dogs can’t eat almonds, even though your dog may have eaten an almond or two in the past and felt fine.
Can Dogs Eat Almonds?
While almonds aren’t likely to be toxic, they aren’t handled well by dogs’ digestive systems and can cause obstructions. They also present a choking hazard and other dangers to your dog’s health, especially if they are salted or seasoned.
Although almonds are healthy for human consumption, they are not necessarily the best foods for our dogs to have. Our canine companions have different nutritional needs that adhere to their internal structure.
While almonds are not toxic, it is one of those foods that dogs cannot digest as quickly as us. So, can dogs eat almonds? The long and short of it is NO. Your dog may have taken a few bites in the past and felt fine, but now that you are aware of its hazards, you should tuck away any bag of almonds you have.
If you’re looking for a source of protein for your dog, there are plenty of healthier, safer options than almonds. Keep these nuts for the humans in your home only. And as always, ask your vet before you share human foods with your dog.
Here’s what you should know about almonds and dogs.
Why Are Almonds Bad For Dogs?
(Picture Credit: Getty Images)
Although almonds, themselves, are not likely to be toxic to dogs, they are known to sometimes harbor a certain kind of mold called Aspergillus mold, which contains Aflatoxin. This substance can cause poisoning in your dog, as canines are particularly affected by it.
Many almonds are covered in salt and other seasonings that can be harmful to dogs. Too much salt can cause water retention, which is especially dangerous for dogs with heart conditions. In large quantities, salt consumption can lead to salt toxicity. Spices and seasonings may taste good to dogs, but many of them can lead to gastrointestinal upset.
Even if you give your dog plain, mold-free nuts with no added seasoning or salt, there are still several dangers. Almonds are high in phosphorus, which can make bladder stones more likely to form. The high fat content can lead to gastrointestinal upset in the short term and conditions like obesity and pancreatitis in the long term.
Dogs’ digestive systems don’t process the protein in almonds well, which can cause gastrointestinal blockages. Additionally, the small, hard nuts are choking hazards, especially for smaller dogs or dogs who don’t completely chew before swallowing.
As with almost any food, dogs may have an allergic reaction to almonds. Rarely, this can lead to anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening condition. If you see the signs of an allergic reaction, including sneezing, coughing, swelling, hives, or difficulty breathing, contact your vet right away.
But what about things that are just almond flavored and don’t contain the full nuts? Well, almond flavored products often contain sugar, artificial sweeteners, chemicals, and other things that would harm your dog’s health.
Make sure you read all labels. It’s always a good idea to consult your veterinarian before sharing any human food with your dog.
What Should You Do If Your Dog Eats Almonds?
(Picture Credit: Getty Images)
One or two almonds aren’t likely to impact your dog’s health, so long as your dog isn’t allergic. Keep a watch for any signs of choking if your dog manages to swallow an almond.
You should also look out for symptoms of gastrointestinal blockage, vomiting, diarrhea, or other digestive system distress and call your vet if you spot them. If your dog still appears to be fine several hours after eating the nuts, there is probably no cause for concern.
If your dog manages to steal a lot of almonds, however, you should call your veterinarian or poison control right away.
Most of the time, they will instruct you on how to induce vomiting in your dog, so long as you call within 30 minutes of your dog eating the nuts. If more time has elapsed, you may need to rush your dog to the emergency vet for treatment.
Your dog may be given intravenous fluid, supportive care to avoid liver damage, medication to reduce symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea, or treatment for pancreatitis.
You might be interested in : Can dog eat nuts?
Almonds have numerous science-backed health benefits to humans. Eating at least ten almonds a day goes a long way in incorporating valuable nutrients to your diet. So, a bag of almonds is quite an excellent way to snack! While you are relishing your bites, it is natural to wonder, If Your Dog can have some Almonds too and receive the same nutritional benefits?
What are the Potential Dangers of Almonds for Dogs?
1. Potential Choking Hazard
Almonds are obstruction hazards to our canine companions because they seldom chew their food. Our dogs’ mouth is not set up for chewing because a majority of their teeth are for crushing and ripping, not grinding. Some dogs even swallow their kibble whole.
However, kibbles are softened by the saliva. Consuming a whole almond, on the other hand, could lead to life-threatening obstructions of the windpipe or the esophagus. This is especially true for small and toy breeds.
2. Risk Of Indigestion
Your dog’s digestive system is another matter to consider when asking If dogs could eat almonds. Perhaps a handful of almonds won’t knock out a ravaging Labrador, but one thing is for sure — his digestive system will struggle.
The risk of intestinal blockage is exceptionally high in puppies and toy breeds. They are indigestible for dogs, so popping a handful of almonds causes your dog to poop bits of them. You are also likely to find blood in your dog’s stool.
3. Possible fluid retention
Dogs love the savory taste of almonds, especially the flavored variety — barbecue, smoked, cinnamon, etc. Packaged nuts are seasoned heavily with salt. Too much salt makes your dog seriously thirsty and causes increased water retention.
Water Retention is particularly dangerous to dogs with heart ailments. It also injures the kidneys, which may lead to renal problems. Likewise, excessive consumption of packaged almonds can lead to salt toxicity.
Flavored ones are worse because they contain artificial flavors and other derivatives that could open another medley of potential health risks to dogs. So, don’t even think of leaving a bag of these nuts on the couch.
4. Almonds could aggravate pancreatitis
Almonds are quite high in fat, which is the primary contributor to developing pancreatitis. It is the inflammation of the pancreas; usually marked by abdominal pain. Other symptoms of pancreatitis are loss of appetite, lethargy, vomiting, and diarrhea. This condition can lead to simple indigestion or become severe and shorten your dog’s life. Pancreatitis should be accurately diagnosed and aggressively treated by your vet.
5. Increase in the risk of bladder and kidney stones
The high phosphorus content in nuts, such as almonds, increases the likelihood of forming bladder and kidney stones — both of which are painful for dogs.
The bladder may rupture if the obstruction is not removed, which is potentially life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Beagles, Bulldogs, dachshunds, and pugs are genetically predisposed to bladder stones.
6. Almonds may cause allergies
Even a single almond can impact your dog’s health if he is allergic to tree nuts. Keep a close watch for signs of an allergic reaction and call your veterinarian right away. Signs to look out for include sneezing, hives, coughing, and difficulty breathing.
7. Might expose your dog to aflatoxin poisoning
Aflatoxin is a toxic substance found in crops and nuts, such as almonds, Brazil nuts, peanuts, and pistachios. Produced by the common mold Aspergillus that causes food spoilage.
Aflatoxin in food is mildly toxic to humans, but our canine companions are sensitive to it. So, be sure to close the cupboard door; otherwise, your dog might nudge it in and steal some slightly stale almonds.
Can Dogs Eat Almond Milk?
Almond nuts are not recommended for dogs because it causes obstruction and indigestion. This brought owners to the idea of giving almond milk to their dogs, instead. so it doesn’t surprise me when people ask, “Can dogs have almond milk?”
Pet authorities, such as the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, do not recommend almond milk to dogs, as they become lactose intolerant after their mothers wean them. Adult dogs do not possess the lactase enzymes required to break down lactose.
As a result, your dog could suffer from diarrhea and vomiting if he takes in large amounts. Puppies should not drink almond milk, either. Puppies should only drink their mother’s milk, but in the case of an absent mother, a formula designed for puppies is the second-best option.
The truth is, our dogs can survive without milk, and even puppies only need it for a short time. Note that your dog will not receive beneficial nutrients from almond milk. It is only an expensive yet unnecessary addition to your dog’s diet.
What Should You Do if Your Dog Eats Almonds?
Dogs of different sizes may have different reactions to identical quantities of almonds ingested. A Labrador may remain in good spirits after stealing a handful of almonds, but a curious Bichon is at risk for esophageal or intestinal obstruction.
Monitor your dog for diarrhea, vomiting, unsettled sleeping, and changes in appetite within the next 6 to 12 hours. Any sign would warrant a trip to the vet.
If your dog ate a large bag of almonds, say a three-pound bag, in a short period, rush your greedy pal to the emergency vet for treatment. Supportive treatment, such as IV fluids for dehydration and pain management medications, shall be given for immediate concerns.
Your veterinarian may use a specific drug that will make your dog evacuate the almonds from his stomach. If there is obstruction, abdominal surgery is likely required.