Can Dogs Eat Almonds?

If your dog has ingested some almonds, then you might find yourself worrying that they have done themselves harm. This is not a food that we will typically associate with being “doggy safe” and indeed, the general advice is that you should keep almonds away from dogs. In this post, we will take a look at why you should keep almonds away from your dog, just how bad it can be if they eat them, and what you should do if that happens. We’ll also look at some good alternatives to almonds.

Can Dogs Eat Almonds?

To reiterate, it is not a good idea to feed your dog almonds. The reason for this is not that almonds are toxic. Some nuts are toxic for dogs and should absolutely be avoided at all costs – these include walnuts. Thankfully, almonds are not on this list.

But while almonds aren’t likely to cause serious immediate damage to them, they aren’t easily digested. Almonds are very tough for even humans to digest, being made primarily from fiber and heavy fats. This is good for us and can help to improve our digestive system and our bowel movements. However, it can be a problem for dogs, seeing as they have a different type of digestion from humans – which is generally a lot more sensitive. Remember that in the wild, dogs would not have been particularly likely to come across almonds!

Therefore, if your dog should eat an almond, it can have a hard time digesting it, and might therefore experience gastrointestinal distress. In the worst-case scenarios, this can lead to a blockage.

Sugared Almonds

What’s even more important is that you try to keep almonds that have been prepared as a treat for humans away from dogs. While that extra sugar and salt makes for a delicious snack, this isn’t a treat you should share with Fido. Dogs are relatively much smaller than humans, and that large amount of salt can be an overdose for them, leading to dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and potentially even a heart attack.

The same is true for that sugar. Eating pure sugar like this is very bad for dogs in the short term and the long term. This can lead to nerve damage, heart problems, and more. This is why if a dog ever gets hold of a box of chocolates, you should call the vet immediately.

What to do If Your Dog Eats Almonds

If your dog has eaten a few almonds off the floor, then there is no need to panic. In all likelihood, this is something your dog’s digestion can handle. You might find that they spend a little extra time in the garden and that it isn’t terribly comfortable for them, but it’s unlikely to be life threatening.

That said, you should also keep an eye on them. If your dog appears to be labored in their breathing, or if they seem to be choking, or if they don’t go to the toilet for a long time, then you may wish to take your dog to the vet.

If your dog has eaten a large amount of sugared almonds, on the other hand, then this can be more of a problem. As mentioned, such a large amount of sugar can be very harmful and lead to heart problems, along with nerve damage, and potentially even death. Again, this is unlikely, but if your dog has had a lot of a sugary snack, then it is a possibility.

Alternatives

It is a shame that dogs can’t eat almonds seeing as they are filled with a lot of very healthy benefits. Almonds and other nuts are rich in fiber, they are high in protein, and they are also a great source of unsaturated fats – fatty oils included the vaunted omega 3!

Omega 3 is incredibly good for human and dog brains and helps to improve the communication between brain cells. It also prevents inflammation and can combat arthritis as well as brain fog as a result.

The good news is that there are lots of alternative and more natural ways to get these same benefits for your dog.

Fiber

As mentioned, too much fiber is actually a bad thing for your dog! A healthy and safe source of moderate fiber, though, can come from carrots. These actually help to clean your dog’s teeth, keeping them clean and strong so that they can enjoy playing tug of war and eating tasty snacks for a long time to come!

Omega 3 Fatty Acid

If you want to get your dog a good source of omega 3 fatty acid, then salmon is a good choice. Just like nuts for humans, this can help to improve brain function, prevent inflammation, and combat against age related cognitive decline. You can give your dog a supply of salmon by finding a dog food brand that includes salmon in its ingredients list. Likewise, you can also give your dog salmon from your own plate by shredding it up and removing the bones before you put it in their bowl. Just be careful not to give them too much salmon as it can contain large amounts of the heavy metal mercury – and this can be neurotoxic in large quantities.

Minerals

If you want to give your dog a vegetable that is safe for it to eat and that will provide minerals like zinc, manganese, calcium, and iron, then something like broccoli is a great choice. This can help to strengthen your dog’s bones, improve their digestion, and even boost their mood and brain power.

Closing Comments

Almonds aren’t the most dangerous foods for your dogs, but they can be a problem and it’s best to avoid them. If your dog does get a few almonds off your plate, it likely won’t be a serious issue unless they are very sugary and very salty. In that case, give your vet a call and try getting it back out of them if necessary!

That said, there is no harm in supplementing the doggy diet with a host of other great nutrients. Carrots, broccoli, salmon, and more can be great choices for your dog. And actually there are a lot of human foods if you do your research that are safe to share!

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