Can Dogs Eat Almonds: Are Almonds Safe for your Dog?

The answer to the question of whether your dog can eat almonds is no.

While almonds are a healthy snack for humans, they are not suitable for dogs as these carry risks, which make the food better off from your dog’s diet. 

A Jack Russell Terrier at a dining table
A hungry Jack Russell Terrier

While a small number of almonds is unlikely to cause any harm, feeding your dog a large number of almonds could lead to negative health consequences as these are high in sodium and fat.

Keep reading our guide to discover the other risks of feeding almonds to your dog.

Why are Almonds Bad for Dogs?

Given their potential health hazards, almonds shouldn’t be a staple in your dog’s diet.

They can cause choking, gastrointestinal upset, sodium ion, and aflatoxin poisoning, as well as kidney stones. 

1. Almonds can be a choking hazard for dogs

Sharing almonds as a treat with your dog is never a good idea.

Small, hard almonds can cause your dog to choke or can get stuck in his internal digestive system, causing severe harm to your pet. 

2. Flavored almonds are too salty for dogs

Store-bought almonds generally have a lot of salt. Salt can cause toxicity to dogs, especially if eaten in large quantities.

Consuming too much salt can trigger diarrhea, vomiting, excessive thirst, lethargy, and abnormal accumulation of fluids.

In more severe cases, it can cause seizures and kidney failure.

The spices and sugars used on flavored almonds can also irritate your dog’s stomach, or cause water retention. 

3. Almonds can cause stomach upset in dogs

Some dogs may struggle to digest nuts, almonds included.

If your dog does struggle to digest almonds, this could result in constipation or gastrointestinal distress, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, weakness, and abdominal pain.

4. Almonds can lead to bladder or kidney stones in dogs

Almonds contain about 459.8 mg of phosphorus per cup. Too much phosphorus in your dog’s diet could lead to an increased risk of developing kidney and bladder stones.

If these are not removed, your dog’s bladder could rupture, which may cause death. 

5. Almonds can expose your dog to aflatoxin poisoning

Almonds can develop a fungus known as aflatoxin. This fungus develops in the hot, moist environments in which almonds grow.

Giving your dog almonds puts them at risk of aflatoxin consumption which can cause acute liver failure.

Close-up image of almonds

What’s in Almonds that are Harmful to Dogs?

Now that you are aware that dogs shouldn’t eat almonds, what specific ingredients in almonds should you be wary of?

1. High Salt Content

As mentioned, most store-bought almonds and almond butter have salt added. Even a handful of lightly salted or low-sodium almonds contains about 40mg of sodium.

As mentioned, too much salt in your dog’s diet can lead to sodium iron poisoning, which can have devastating consequences.

2. High Fat

One ounce of almonds contains about 14 grams of fat, 80% is monounsaturated, 15% is polyunsaturated, and 5% is saturated.

Too many almonds can cause your dog to put on too much weight because of the high-fat content.

This could even lead to obesity and a range of more severe health concerns such as pancreatitis.

3. Aflatoxin

You should also avoid feeding your dog almonds due to the possible presence of the harmful fungi known as aflatoxin that could poison your pet.

Some of the symptoms of poisoning are dehydration, diarrhea, vomiting, jaundice, lethargy, decreased appetite, and liver failure.

What are the Types of Almonds Dogs Can’t Eat?

There are many varieties of almonds, some of which are more dangerous to your dog than others.

Here are some almond varieties that you definitely shouldn’t be adding to your dog’s diet, or your own for that matter.

1. Bitter Almond

Also known as sweet almonds, Bitter almonds are used to make almond extract and liqueurs.

These almonds can be lethal in their raw state, whether consumed by humans or dogs.

This is because they contain traces of prussic acid or hydrocyanic acid, which is the organic version of cyanide.

2. Chinese Almonds

Chinese almonds are not almonds at all. They are apricot kernels.

Again, these can be toxic for both dogs and humans due to the cyanide they contain.

These almonds also pose a significant choking risk to your pet.

Can Dogs Eat Almond Butter or Almond Milk?

Almond butter or almond milk poses the same risks to your dogs as raw almonds.

While a small amount of almond butter or almond milk likely won’t do any harm to your dog, these products are likely to be relatively high in fat, so they still pose a risk to your dog. 

Store-bought almond butter and almond milk also often contain extra oils, sugars, and salts that are not good for your dog.

Is There Any Way You Can Feed Fido Some Almonds and Reduce the Health Risks?

A Pug looking up
A sad Pug who wants some almonds

No, it isn’t worth the risk of feeding your dog almonds.

At the same time, your dog may not react to a couple of almonds, but the risks associated with giving your dog almonds outweigh any potential benefits they could have.

There is no guarantee about how soon your dog will react to almonds, and he may have no reaction at all or may experience signs of gastric distress.

Even plain, mold-free almonds that have no added salt, sugar, or seasoning are still very high in phosphorus and fat content, leading to health problems like bladder stones, obesity, and pancreatitis.

Can dogs eat almonds in certain amounts?

Almonds are not safe for your dog to consume. While almonds are not as hazardous as other nuts, they are not the best food to share with your dog due to the health risks it poses.

Canines do not digest their protein as effectively as humans do.

Quantity also plays a role.

While some reports say dogs can eat almonds in small amounts, consuming large quantities may upset the stomach or cause more severe complications.

The more almonds your dog eats, the greater the risk of choking and gastric blockage.

How many almonds can large dog breeds eat?

Your dog’s size plays a factor in how many almonds he can safely consume without getting sick or putting on too much weight.

Regardless of your dog’s size, you shouldn’t let him consume almonds as almonds pose a choking hazard and can lead to poisoning, no matter the size of your pet.

How many almonds can small dog breeds eat?

Smaller canines are more likely to be intolerant of almonds.

Eating just one almond can cause a severely upset stomach for little dogs, and almonds have a greater risk of getting stuck in the esophagus of your small pet. 

Also, some small dog breeds such as Dachshunds, Pugs, English Bulldogs, and Beagles are more prone to developing bladder stones due to the high phosphorus content of almonds.

What Happens If a Dog Eats Too Many Almonds?

A Yorkshire Terrier being carried by a veterinarian
A Yorkie who got sick after eating too many almonds

If your dog has eaten more than a few almonds, it’s important to watch for signs of digestive distress, such as vomiting or diarrhea.

If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s best to take your dog to the vet immediately.

With prompt treatment, most dogs will recover from eating too many almonds without any long-term effects. 

On the other hand, some dogs may require surgery or other intensive treatment to fully recover. 

What to do if your dog eats almonds?

If your dog consumed a significantly large amount of almonds, do not wait for symptoms. Instead, do the following:

  1. Do Not Show Signs of Panic: First and foremost, try not to show your worry. Your dog may sense your anxiety and become worried. More so, this may get in the way of you helping him effectively.
  2. Get in Touch with Your Vet or the Pet Poison Control Hotline Immediately: If your dog gets a hold of big amounts of almonds, seek help from your vet at once. The professional will give advice on the best treatment plan for your pet based on his situation.
  3. Follow Your Vet’s Advice: If you get in touch with your vet within half an hour after your dog consumed almonds, they will most likely instruct you to induce vomiting. On the other hand, if more time has passed, you might have to rush your dog to the vet for emergency treatment. Your pooch might receive medications to alleviate the symptoms of digestive upset. In some cases, intravenous fluid and other supportive care are more apt to prevent the consequences of poisoning and other illnesses such as pancreatitis.

How Do I Prevent My Dog From Eating Almonds?

Keep almonds out of your dog’s reach. Place them in high areas such as in the cupboard or on a shelf. You can also try training your dog to stay away from almonds.

For instance, you could give them a treat every time they leave an almond alone. With time and patience, you can help to keep your dog safe from this potentially harmful food.

Are There Any Health Benefits of Almonds?

Almonds do not benefit dogs, as the risk almonds pose to dogs far outweighs any potential benefits that almonds could offer as they do for humans.

Thus, almonds should never be offered to your fur baby.

What Other Dangerous Nuts to Avoid Feeding Your Dog?

A bowl of pistachios

Nuts come in different varieties, some of which your dog can safely consume and others that they should not. Here are some nut types that you should not feed to your dog.

  • Macadamia nuts can cause diarrhea and vomiting. The exact reason why is still unknown, but it also causes weakness, tremors, and lack of coordination.
  • Pistachios, which may contain aspergillus mold. As pistachio shells typically split just before harvesting, they’re more likely to be exposed to aspergillus mold than other nuts. This mold can cause pistachio poisoning, specifically in dogs with existing medical conditions.
  • Walnuts can cause toxicity in dogs. The main culprit is a substance called Juglone, which is found in black walnuts. When consumed by dogs, Juglone can cause symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and even death. In addition to Juglone, walnuts also contain fungi that can be harmful to dogs. 

What are Safe Alternatives to Almonds for Dogs

A dog with peanuts
Gracie the doggo likes some peanuts – Image source

Aside from almonds and other nuts that are unsafe for dogs, there are alternatives that you can give your dog as a pleasant treat.

  • Peanuts can be a healthy treat in moderation as long as they are not allergic. These are a good source of protein and healthy fats, and they also contain essential vitamins and minerals. In addition, peanuts can help to keep a dog’s coat shiny and healthy.
  • Cashews: are an excellent source of protein and vitamins, which offer loads of health benefits to your dog. They’re also high in essential fatty acids, which can help to improve your dog’s joint health. In addition, cashews are a good source of dietary fiber, which can help to keep your dog’s digestive system running smoothly.
  • Peanut Butter: Xylitol-free peanut butter is a popular treat for dogs. Not only it’s delicious, but it also provides several nutrients such as protein, healthy fats, and vitamins and minerals, all of which are important for your dog’s health. Putting peanut butter on your dog’s lick or chew toy can also improve his oral health.

What’s the Verdict? Can Dogs Eat Almonds?

As discussed, your dog is better off without almonds in his diet.

Almonds carry numerous health risks to your dogs such as choking, stomach upset, poisoning, and the potential formation of kidney stones.

If your dog manages to get his hands on a piece or a handful of nuts, get in touch with your vet right away.

They will help you minimize the negative health consequences of almond consumption in your pooch.

Has your dog got a taste of almonds? How did his body respond? Kindly share your fur baby’s experience in the comments below to help other fur parents stay informed.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.