This is a complicated one – dogs can technically eat walnuts in very small quantities, but they are a choking hazard and really shouldn’t be fed to your dog.
It’s always best to consult a veterinarian before introducing any kind of food to your canine friend. Some dogs have a high tolerance to certain foods while others can be easily affected by what they consume.
What is a walnut?
Walnuts are a type of nut that is typically grown in China, Mexico, Iran, and Turkey, but is native to North-Eastern America. It is known for its numerous health benefits for humans such as decreasing bad cholesterol and blood pressure and reducing inflammation.
Although they are good for humans, they are not so good for your furry friend.
What are the good and bad effects of walnuts on dogs?
Walnuts are not recommended for dog consumption. Although they may provide nutrients to your canine companion’s diet, the risks outweigh any nutritional value.
Several studies show that nuts, in general, are not advisable for dogs to eat because they may cause toxicity, seizures, and other neurological symptoms. They can also choke dogs and obstruct their bowel movement because they are not easily digestible.
Why are walnuts toxic to dogs?
Moldy, or rancid, walnuts are toxic to dogs because they contain tremorgenic mycotoxin which can be fatal when ingested by your furry friend. Because of the high moisture content of walnuts, they are susceptible to developing mold and fungi, which can cause severe neurological damage in your dog.
Because they cannot be broken down easily, walnuts can also cause gastrointestinal blockages.
What if my dog has eaten a walnut?
It is more likely to be not that serious if your dog has eaten a small amount of walnut. However, you should still watch out if your pet develops allergic reactions or other symptoms. If the food you have given your furry friend contains walnut as an ingredient, the risk might not be that high compared to eating a whole walnut. But, it is still best to visit a veterinarian if you suspect anything odd after your dog has eaten walnut or any kind of nuts.
As a rule of thumb, it is always good to check whether a certain food you want to introduce to your dog’s diet is safe or harmful. So if you’re wondering if your dog can eat eggs, carrots, lemons, or strawberries, head on over to our dog diet guides.
Watch this video to check whether your dog is exhibiting symptoms of food poisoning: