Almonds are a great snack for humans. But, can dogs eat almonds? The answer is no. While almonds might not be as toxic as some nuts, they are one of those foods that canine companions can’t digest as easily as people.
Are Almonds Bad for Dogs?
In general, you should not let your dog eat almonds. Here are a few hazards that might come along with your pup chomping down on an almond.
Dogs don’t chew their food like humans do. So, if they swallow the almond whole, it could lead to potential life-threatening obstructions of the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, or even the windpipe if aspirated in small breed dogs, says Goldstein.
Potential Severe Gastro-Intestinal Upset
“Almonds are high in fats and can cause a flair-up of pancreatitis in some dogs,” says Perez. Some signs of pancreatitis are vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and lethargy.
Pancreatitis can look like simple indigestion at first, but become severe and lead to a fatal disorder. When suspected, pancreatitis should be properly diagnosed and aggressively treated by your veterinarian.
Possible Water Retention
“Almonds, like many packaged nuts, are often heavily salted, and this intake of salt can cause increased water retention in dogs, which is particularly dangerous in dogs with heart disease,” explains Perez.
Why are almonds bad for dogs?
While not all nuts are toxic to dogs, they should never be fed as a treat. Consuming nuts can cause your dog severe gastrointestinal distress, bladder or kidney stones, or aflatoxin poisoning.
They’re also a choking hazard. While allergic reactions to almonds are uncommon in dogs, they have occurred. Be particularly careful with seasoned almonds, as some of the ingredients could be toxic, and the high salt levels can lead to water retention or salt toxicity.
Signs of almond poisoning in dogs
If your dog consumes almonds of any type, be on the lookout for these signs of distress. Note that almonds are particularly susceptible to a mold called Aspergillus that can cause aflatoxin poisoning.
Call poison control and take your pet to the vet or emergency clinic immediately if they exhibit any of the following:
- Loss of appetite
Causes of Almond Poisoning in Dogs
Although properly processed almonds aren’t poisonous, in and of themselves almonds do present a number of secondary risks. These risks can include:
Almonds that humans get to snack on for themselves often have salt and other seasonings added to them. Too much salt can cause increased water retention in dogs and possible injury to the kidneys. This can be particularly dangerous for dogs with heart conditions.
Aflatoxin is caused by the mold Aspergillus. Although aflatoxin levels in foods are only mildly toxic to humans, dogs are acutely sensitive to it There are often trace amounts of these molds on tree nuts such as almonds, walnuts, brazil nuts, and pistachios.
High phosphorus content
The high phosphorus content in most nuts can eventually increase the likelihood of forming bladder stones.
Dogs do not always chew their food as effectively as humans and this may lead to a choking hazard due to the hardness of the nut combined with its size and shape.
Nuts are quite high in fat which is a primary contributor to developing pancreatitis, a painful illness that can considerably shorten your canine’s life.
What to Do if Your Dog Eats Almonds
Pets of different sizes may react completely differently to identical quantities of nuts ingested. If your dog consumes a couple of almonds and isn’t presenting any signs of choking or an obstruction, there’s little cause for concern.
However, “If you think your pet just ate that five-pound bag of almonds that you left by the sofa, the most effective treatment is to induce vomiting if the ingestion occurred within the previous 30 minutes,” shares Perez.
This can be done with hydrogen peroxide under the guidance of a veterinarian or with the assistance of poison control.
If you are unsure when the nuts were consumed, or you cannot induce vomiting, then the only option is to monitor your pet for signs of illness. If your pet becomes ill, call the veterinarian and make an appointment immediately.
If there are no signs of choking, gagging bloating, vomiting, or discomfort and you believe your dog only ingested a few almonds, they are most likely okay and can be watched at home says Dr. Richard Goldstein.
“Dogs do not get the nutritional benefit from almonds that we do and they can cause harm. There are so many better healthy choices for a treat, even if they ask, beg, and go nuts over them.”
Can Dogs Eat Almond Butter?
Dogs shouldn’t eat almond butter or almond milk for that matter for one of the same reasons they shouldn’t eat almonds: Almond butter and almond milk are both high in fat, which can cause or worsen pancreatitis.
Additionally, Graham says, almond butter and milk can contain additives that can be dangerous for dogs. One of the more common harmful additives to look out for is xylitol, which acts as a sweetener and is highly toxic to dogs.
If your dog does eat something with xylitol in it, Graham says to take it to an emergency veterinarian immediately to prevent hypoglycemia and liver failure.
Is Almond Milk Safe For Your Dog?
Your dog can drink almond milk only in small amounts. Almond milk contains almonds and large amounts of water. Thus, it is safe for your dog to drink. However, it would help if you did not make almond milk a substitute for water.
Furthermore, most store-bought almond milk has additives in them. It is not advisable to feed your dog almond milk with added flavors or sugar. If you want to buy almond milk for your dog, ensure that it contains more almonds than other additives.
Additionally, almond milk that contains xylitol is hazardous to dogs. Xylitol is a toxic substance that is harmful to dogs.
Most almond milk products humans consume are filled with extra flavor to make them less nutty. It is challenging for your dog to digest all these extra flavors and sugar. Any milk consumption for your dog should be done in moderation.
Can Your Puppy Drink Almond Milk?
Almond milk is not advisable for puppies. To this end, your puppy might suffer from diarrhea after consuming excessive amounts of almond milk.
Also, do not make almond milk a substitute for breast milk in young puppies. All newborn puppies should drink their mother’s milk. If the mother isn’t available, look for vet-approved puppy formula