Can Dogs Eat Almonds? - Nut Tolerance in Canines
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It is common for guardians to want to share everything with their dog. It is equally common for dogs to want to eat everything in sight. This means, when munching on some almonds, your dog might try to beg for some and you might just give into them. However, a responsible guardian will know whether or not this is good for the dog. This is why AnimalWised is here to answer the question can dogs eat almonds?
By knowing what we can and cannot feed our dog, we can help to ensure their health and well-being for years to come. Whether you think your dog can eat almonds or not, signs of gastrointestinal disease are important to monitor, so take them to the vet if you think there is possible intoxication.
Are almonds good for dogs?
When asking ourselves if dogs can eat almonds, we need to know the chemical composition. While a dog will find something like chocolate appetizing, it contains the chemical theobromine which is toxic to dogs. Almonds contain the chemical oxalic acid. If ingested in sufficient quantities oxalic acid can seriously harm the dogs renal system. Fortunately, the dog would need to eat large quantities of oxalic acid for significant health damage to occur.
Dogs can eat almonds in moderation. It would only cause damage to the canine if they ate them regularly every day or if they ingested a large quantity all at once. Almonds can be included in a canine diet if they are used as a rare treat or reward. Certain nuts like almonds can be of some nutritional benefit as they contain fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They also provide the dog with energy, so they might be a good reward when training outdoors.
If you do decide to offer your dog some almonds, then they should always be raw or blanched. Salted or friend nuts of any kind add unhealthy elements to their diet they could live without. We also need to be considerate of choking hazards, so monitor them after eating in case they have something stuck in their throat.
Nut allergies in dogs
Although we know that almonds are not a food which is toxic to dogs, we need to take into account the dog's individual constitution. The size of your dog will affect the amount of almonds they can eat before they ingest enough oxalic acid to cause harm. For example, a handful of almonds to a German Shepherd is not going to cause as much harm as the same amount would do to a Chihuahua. Also, choking hazards increase as a smaller dog's throat is restrictive.
Another aspect is not to do with size, but the dog's ability to process certain foods. While dogs can generally stomach food of varying quality better than humans, this does not mean they are insusceptible to allergies. If you feed almonds to your dog, look out for the following allergic reaction symptoms:
- Red bumps on skin
- Excessive scratching
- Swelling (especially around the face and neck)
- Skin rashes
- Breathing difficulties
- Chronic gas
In acute cases, the dog may start to choke and an emergency situation will occur. We need to be careful when giving our dog any new food. Monitor them closely and stop feeding them it and take them to a vet to confirm there is not some other pathology at fault.
Almond oil for dogs
We also need to be careful with almond oil. While we may be able to use it sparingly, dogs will not be the same and might eat a lot before we even notice. This oil should not be ingested by dogs as it is high in fat and can still pose a threat to the renal system.
However, this doesn't mean almond oil can't prove useful in other forms. Almond oil can be added to canine shampoo to provide some extra nutrients and shine to their coat. However, we still need to be careful. When we put anything on our dog's skin, it is possible they can have an allergic reaction. est a little bit of almond oil on a small patch of skin and if there is no reaction, you should be able to use it on the rest of their body.
Almond milk for dogs
We highlight almond milk for dogs as this is a product which has become increasingly popular of late. As have other so-called ‘milks’ such as those made of rice, soy, oats, etc. However, it is important to distinguish these products from actual milk. They are not milks since they are not secretions from the mammary glands of mammals. Instead, they are drinks which use ingredients such as almonds and extract their juice. Adding it to water, it is then used as a milk alternative.
Dogs should be able to drink products like these sparingly. However, there will be little to no nutritional value for the dog, so it is not worth your time doing so. Another factor is that these milks often include other ingredients which can hurt your dog. Many contain sugars which are not useful in a dog's diet and can lead to problems such as diabetes.
Not that dogs should drink regular milk either. Once they grow out of their puppy stage, dogs are no longer able to properly digest lactose, a protein found in cow's and other milks. If they continue to drink sufficient quantities of milk a adult dogs, they can end up with gastrointestinal problems. This will vary dog to dog, but there really is no point in risking it.
Food dogs can eat
Dogs can eat almonds and many foodstuffs which are otherwise suitable for human consumption. On the other hand, there are many household foods which are toxic to dogs. When feeding our dogs, we need to give them good quality feed which meets all of their nutritional needs. Reputable commercial dog food companies should provide a feed which meets all of the dog's needs and maintains their health. Your dog will likely have some preference as to which one they like the most.
We can also provide our dog with homemade food, as long as this too meets their nutritional needs. You cannot give them your leftovers and expect them to have a balanced diet. We need to speak to our veterinarian and work out not only dogs need for a balanced diet, but what are the nutritional needs specific to our dog. You can then create a homemade diet which affords the dog with complete nutrition.
If you want to read similar articles to Can Dogs Eat Almonds? - Nut Tolerance in Canines, we recommend you visit our Diet problems category.