As a dog owner, your priority is making sure that your pet gets all the care it needs and deserves. A big part of that is ensuring that your furry friend doesn’t accidentally intake any food that they can’t eat.
Did you know that dogs actually have different digestive systems than humans? Believe it because it’s true! Unfortunately, this also means that our canine friends cannot have the same foods that we eat and enjoy. Making sure that you’re aware of what your dog can and cannot eat will eliminate the number of trips you’ll take to the vet.
Almond butter is a well-loved human food. But can dogs eat it? If you’ve ever found yourself pondering that question, we have the answer you’re looking for and more.
What is Almond Butter?
First, let’s recap what exactly almond butter is and what it’s made out of. It is known for having a more subtle taste than other nut butters such as peanut butter do, and that’s one of the reasons some people prefer it.
The way that this butter is prepared is by grinding raw or roasted almonds. The mixture contains at least 90% almonds, but other ingredients including salt, honey, vanilla, or beyond might be added. This is one of the reasons why you should always check the label, especially if you’re considering giving it to your pet: you never know what other ingredients could be tossed in.
Can Dogs Eat Almond Butter?
Now’s the moment you’ve been waiting for! Let’s answer the question, “can dogs eat almond butter?”
The answer is that yes, they can! Your pet can enjoy a taste of almond butter on occasion. That being said, while almonds aren’t toxic to dogs, not all canines are capable of digesting them. You should be careful until you figure out your dog’s tolerance to almonds.
So while almonds or almond butter are not toxic to your pet in tiny qualities, you should definitely think twice before giving them anything heaped with almond butter and simply give them a normal treat.
Nuts are also high in fat. This is essential to take into account because this can cause your dog’s belly to get upset. That’s another reason why significantly limiting how much nut butter your dog eats is important. We get it - almond butter is a fun addition to any meal!
But what’s not so fun? Having to bring your pup to the vet with a tummy ache. Being cautious about how much you feed them is one way to reduce the odds that this will happen.
What About Other Nut Butters?
Now that we’ve talked all things almond butter, you might have questions about which other butters are acceptable for your furry friend to have a taste of sometimes. It turns out there are actually two other types of nut butters that are safe for your pet to ingest.
The most prevalent nut butter is probably peanut butter. Not only is it a mainstay for human beings, dogs simply love the taste of it, resulting in a plethora of peanut butter flavored treats. As you might have guessed, it is safe for dogs to have peanut butter. Still, it’s important to read the label! If the peanut butter you use has xylitol in it, you should NOT feed this to your pet.
While this ingredient is safe for human beings to consume, the same cannot be said for dogs. If you’re anxious about making sure that your dog gets the correct type of peanut butter, you can check out a peanut butter formulated for dogs specifically.
Peanut butter allergies are very uncommon in dogs, so this shouldn’t be a concern. That being said, if you notice that your dog acts differently or is sick after having peanut butter, you should discontinue using it and take them to the vet to get examined.
The second nut butter that your dog can consume is cashew butter. In small doses, it’s fine for your dog to get a taste of cashew butter. Still, it’s important to keep how much cashew butter you’re giving your dog in check - you don’t want it to become a major part of their diet by any means. A bite here and there? Fine. Heaps and heaps of it? Not so fine. Remember: moderation is key!
What Nuts Should Dogs Avoid?
Remember how we said it’s important to make sure your dog doesn’t get a hold of certain foods? These nuts fall under that category. Let’s discuss what exactly you need to avoid and why.
The first nut that’s a no-no for your pup is the macadamia nut. These nuts actually contain a chemical that is toxic for dogs.
Macadamia nut exposure can manifest itself as neurological symptoms. Scary enough, only a few of these nuts is enough to do major damage to your furry friend. Dogs that ingest these nuts often experience weakness in their back legs, diarrhea, or vomiting. If your pet eats any amount of these nuts, you should immediately seek the advice of your veterinarian. Depending on several factors, your pet might require medical attention.
The second nut that your dog should not eat is the pecan. This is because they contain a toxin called juglone, which could potentially harm your furry friend. In addition to this, pecans are prone to developing mold, which could lead to its own host of problems. Because they’re high in fact, like any nut, they can also hurt your dog’s belly.
If your dog accidentally gets a hold of a moldy pecan or a lot of them (a handful or more qualifies as a lot), you should immediately reach out to your vet and keep an eye out for symptoms.
While these symptoms sometimes only last endure for a few hours, sometimes it’s a more serious situation. As always, getting guidance from your vet helps ensure that you’re taking proper steps to protect your pet’s health.
Pistachios are another nut that should be avoided. This is because dogs do not have the system required to digest the protein that can be found in these nuts. They also pose a choking hazard. If your pet happens to sneak a significant amount of pistachios, this can potentially cause gastrointestinal harm and, in severe cases, pancreatitis.
Also similar to pecans, pistachios can have mold on them, which could be particularly dangerous. Beware!
And last but certainly not least, walnuts are another nut you should avoid feeding your pet. They’re simply not the safest option and can also pose a choking hazard. In addition to this, they’re another nut that is at a higher risk of getting moldy.
And by all means, do not give your dog a black walnut! These are extremely toxic for our furry friends.
So Can My Dog Have Nuts?
Well, there you have it folks! While almond, peanut, and cashew butters are all safe for your pet to consume in smaller quantities, the same cannot be said for macadamia nuts, pecans, pistachios, or walnuts.
But just because peanuts, almonds, and cashews are safe for your pet doesn’t make them a good idea in their nut form. It’s better to stick to butters because these don’t pose a choking hazard the way nuts in their original form do.
Also, like we said, too many nuts - even if they’re nontoxic - can still cause your dog some gastrointestinal distress, which is no fun for your furry friend to endure. Be diligent about what you’re feeding them and when, and you’ll be in the clear!
As a dog owner, you want the best for your canine friend. And here at Sundays for Dogs, we know how important it is for your pet to have food that’s both healthful and delicious. That’s why we’re on a mission to help you give your dog food that’s healthier than kibble but easier than a home-cooked meal.
Part of giving your dog good food is also ensuring they don’t snatch anything that can harm them or hurt their belly. Luckily, almond butter in small quantities does not fall under that umbrella.
So next time you’re helping yourself to something yummy, your pooch can have a little snack, too.