Can Dogs Eat Cashews Safely? Tips for Feeding Cashews to Dogs!

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Yes, cashews are generally safe for dogs to eat. But since they’re high in fat, they should only be given to your pet in small numbers and as occasional treats.

There are also other available healthy snack options that can be fed to your canine companion.

Dachshund lies after eating
Dachshund dog just done eating

If you’re considering feeding your pet cashews once in while, there are some basic guidelines to keep in mind.

Keep reading to discover more about the risks of feeding too many cashews, how to safely feed your pet cashews and what are the healthy alternatives to cashews for dogs.

What are the Benefits of Cashews for Dogs?

Cashew nuts are relatively low in fiber but are packed full of nutrients. Here are some of the benefits of cashews as a rare treat for your canine companion.

  1. Cashews can be a good treat for picky eaters: Pickiness in eating habits is not uncommon for dogs. If you have a picky dog, you may be looking for foods that will tempt his taste buds. Cashews may do the trick.
  2. Fiber in cashews supports good digestion: 100 grams of cashews offer your dog 3.3 grams of fiber, which is necessary for proper digestion and nutrient absorption.
  3. Essential fatty acids in cashews keep your dog’s skin healthy: Cashews are a great natural source of fatty acids, including palmitic, linoleic, oleic, and stearic acids. These essential fatty acids help keep your dog’s skin healthy and their coat shiny and help boost your pet’s immune system.

What are the Health Risks of Cashews for Dogs?

A Cattle dog excited for the cashew snacks
A Cattle dog excited for the cashew snacks – Image source

Although cashews are healthy in small amounts for dogs, too many cashews can pose a problem for your pooch. Here are some of them:

  • Weight gain: Cashews are naturally high in fat. One ounce of cashews contains about 12.43 g of fat. A few cashews once in a while won’t put your pet’s health at risk. However, feeding your dog large amounts at once can be dangerous for his overall health. In the long term, high-fat diets could lead to weight gain which can put your dog at risk of developing obesity and pancreatitis.
  • Choking: Just like humans, dogs can experience choking if they swallow a cashew whole. If the cashew becomes lodged in their throat, it can block their airway and prevent them from breathing. In addition, the sharp edges of the cashew can damage their digestive system.
  • Poisoning: Refrain from sharing cashews that are mixed with other nuts with your dog due to the possible presence of harmful nuts that could poison your pet. For instance, macadamia nuts are particularly toxic for pets.
  • Difficulty with digestion: Some dogs can’t digest cashews easily. If your dog does struggle to digest cashews, this could result in gastrointestinal distress, constipation, lethargy, weakness, and abdominal pain.

What’s in cashews that are harmful to dogs?

If you’re thinking of adding cashews to your pet’s diet, cashews include some substances that you need to be aware of before you get cooking.

  • Sodium: Store-bought cashews generally are salted, which can be harmful to dogs if consumed in excess. This is because cashews contain high levels of sodium and salt. When eaten in large quantities, these substances can cause dehydration and sodium ion poisoning in dogs. Symptoms of sodium ion poisoning include diarrhea, lethargy, and seizures. In severe cases, it can lead to coma and death.
  • Fiber: While this is good for most dogs, too much fiber may cause an adverse reaction for some canines.
  • Poisoning: Cashew nuts on trees are protected by a shell that contains anacardic acid, a lethal poison. While this is dangerous for dogs and humans, cashew nuts bought at the store are not sold in the shell, as other nuts might be, so you don’t need to worry too much about it.

Is There Any Dog Breed Allergic to Cashews?

Canines are no exception to allergies. While there is no definitive answer as to whether any dog breed is allergic to cashews, it’s always best to consult with a veterinarian before feeding your dog anything new, just to be safe.

Symptoms of an allergic reaction in dogs can include itchiness, excessive licking, red or inflamed skin, and difficulty breathing.

If you think your dog may be allergic to cashews, or if they experience any of these symptoms after eating them, please contact your veterinarian immediately.

What Happens If Dogs Eat Too Many Cashews?

While properly processed cashews are not toxic for dogs, your pet won’t be able to process the protein contained in nuts properly.

As a result, dogs that consume large quantities of cashews may suffer from gastrointestinal distress.

While a few extra cashews here and there probably won’t do much harm, a diet of fatty snacks can lead to weight gain and problems like joint pain, respiratory difficulties, and diabetes.

How to Safely Feed Your Dog Cashews?

Dogs can eat cashews in small amounts as an occasional treat but there are safety precautions that you need to keep in mind. Raw whole cashews should be avoided as they can be choking hazards because of their large size.

Be sure to chop them into small pieces so your pet doesn’t choke on them.

Also don’t feed your pet unshelled cashews. The shells contain a toxic called anacardic acid which can cause digestive problems and irritation in your dog’s skin.

It’s recommended to look for plain roasted cashews that are unsalted and unseasoned or contain additional herbs or spices that are harmful to your dog’s health.

You can also try crushing some cashews and sprinkling them over your dog’s food as a tasty topper to entice picky eaters. If you have questions about feeding cashews to your dog, it’s best to consult your vet.

Are Cashews a Good Treat for Dogs?

A Kooikerhondje dog ignoring the cashew treat
A Kooikerhondje dog ignoring the cashew treat – Image source

No, cashews are not good for dogs as regular treats. While they are technically safe for dogs to consume, cashews contain high amounts of fat which are unhealthy for your pet’s health if given in large quantities regularly.

Also, there are other healthy snacks that you can give to your pet.

What percent of a dog’s diet should cashews make up?

Most vets recommend sticking to the 90/10 rule for your dog’s treats. This means that your dog’s treats, cashews included, should not make up more than 10% of their daily calorie intake.

When working out your dog’s daily caloric intake, bear in mind that a one-ounce serving of cashews contains 157 calories.

When should dogs eat cashews?

There is no specific time of day that dogs should eat cashews. If you do decide to give your pet cashew, be sure to keep it in moderation.

Also, if you’re giving it to him for the first time, why not turn it into a special occasion and give him cashews on 23 November, which is National Cashew Day!

When should dogs not eat cashews?

Dogs with existing medical conditions like pancreatitis shouldn’t eat cashews because they contain too much fat.

It’s also not recommended to feed cashews to those dogs with a history of urinary problems as they’re high in phosphorus content which can cause bladder stones.

It’s also risky to feed this type of nuts to dogs that are prone to allergies.

If your pet suffers from any of these illnesses, it’s best to consult first with your vet to avoid serious health problems.

What are the Food Recipes Made with Cashews for Dogs?

While store-bought dog treats are certainly convenient, there’s something special about giving your furry friend a homemade treat. If you’re looking for a new recipe to try, you might want to consider using cashews.

Of course, as with any new food, it’s important to check with your vet first to make sure that cashews are safe for your dog.

Once you have the green light from the vet, there are plenty of recipes out there that feature cashews as a key ingredient.

For example, you could try making a simple pup-friendly cashew butter or creating some cashew-based doggy biscuits. Whichever recipe you choose, your dog is sure to appreciate being treated to something homemade.

What are the Parts of Cashews and Ways to Serve Them to Your Dog?

Black Labrador dog waiting for the cashew treat
Meet Lillard, a Black Labrador dog waiting for his favorite cashew treat – Image source

If you think cashews are a good addition to your dog’s diet, it’s best to check if all of its parts are okay for your pet to consume.

Also, going over the different ways of serving them to your pooch will make preparing his bowl easier for you!

1. Raw Cashew Nuts

Truly raw cashews are not safe to eat. This is because the toxic compound urushiol, also found in poison ivy, is present in the raw nuts. Contact with this substance can trigger several reactions, including skin allergies.

The nuts marketed as raw in most stores have actually been steamed to remove the toxins and are safe for dogs and humans to consume.

2. Roasted or Cooked Cashew Nuts

Roasted Cashew Nuts
Roasted Cashew Nuts in a bowl

Dogs can eat cashews cooked or roasted. The problem is that most roasted cashews you buy at the store have been roasted with salt or even coated in sugar and caramel.

These are very unhealthy for dogs due to the high fat, sugar, and salt content. Always look for plain roasted cashews when picking out nuts for your pooch.

3. Cashew Fruit

The cashew fruit or cashew apple is the red or yellow fleshy part of the cashew plant to which the cashew nut attaches. When the fruit is ripe, it will fall off the tree, and it is very perishable, so it starts to rot quickly.

Some people harvest the sweet yet sour flesh of the fruit to make juice. That said, it’s not advisable to let your dog consume fallen cashew fruits due to the urushiol compound found in the shell of the nut that is toxic for dogs.

4. Cashew Leaves

As mentioned, the raw cashew plant contains the same compounds found in plants like poison ivy and poison sumac.

The chemical irritants, known as anacardic acids found on the leaves of those plants, are also found on cashew leaves, so you shouldn’t let your dog eat or even touch these leaves. Contact with cashew leaves can cause itchy skin and rashes.

5. Cashew Milk

Cashew milk is typically made of raw, unsalted cashews and water. As raw, unsalted cashews are safe for dogs to consume, so is cashew milk, provided it hasn’t been sweetened with sugar or xylitol, an artificial sweetener that is toxic to dogs.

6. Cashew Butter or Cashew Cheese

Cashew butter or cashew cheese is also safe for your dog to consume, but be sure to only give it to him in small quantities.

Cashew butter and cheeses are likely to be relatively high in fat, so don’t give your dog more than a teaspoon or so a day.

You may also want to make your own cashew butter using unsalted cashews, honey, and water, as store-bought butter often contains extra oils, sugars, and salts that are not good for your dog.

7. Cashew Chocolates

Any kind of chocolate-covered nuts, like cashew chocolates, is poisonous to dogs as they contain a toxic chemical called theobromine. Dogs can’t metabolize theobromine, making them more sensitive to the chemical’s effects.

Just a small amount of chocolate can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs, while too much can cause seizures, irregular heart function, and even death.

What Foods Can Be Mixed with Cashews for Dogs?

A Borzoi dog eating yoghurt
A Borzoi dog eating yogurt with meat chunks – Image source

While cashews are generally safe for dogs to eat, plain cashews are a better option than those that are coated in salt, sugar, or chocolate. Also, some dog-friendly foods that go well with cashews include the following:

1. Plain Yogurt

The probiotics found in yogurt help with your dog’s proper digestion. If you are going to feed your dog yogurt with cashew, it should be plain and free of any added sweeteners, both natural and artificial.

2. Bananas

Bananas are an excellent treat for dogs packed full of fiber, potassium, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, and Magnesium.

This versatile fruit can be blended into a smoothie with other dog-safe fruits like strawberries and blueberries, frozen, or mashed up as a tasty topper.

3. Mangoes

Mangoes share many similar traits to cashews in that they are packed full of antioxidants, contain good levels of various vitamins and minerals, and have a high fiber content.

Like cashews, they are safe to feed your dog but do so sparingly as they also have high sugar content.

Are cashew products safe for dogs?

Be careful of feeding your pet cashew products made for human consumption, such as cookies, scones, and muffins. These often are loaded with sugar and artificial flavors, colors, and chemicals.

Some artificial sweeteners, such as xylitol, can be highly toxic to your pet. Also, the high sugar content of these foods can cause tooth decay, weight gain, and even diabetes.

How Many Cashews Can Your Dog Eat?

Cashews are safe in small quantities as long as they are unsalted and unseasoned. As a general rule, you shouldn’t give dogs more than 10% of their daily calories in the form of treats.

For a 20-pound dog, you can give 3-4 shelled cashews per day. However, you should only feed your dog cashews as an occasional snack since they are too high in fat.

What are the Dog Food Recipes that Contain Cashews?

A Pomeranian dog eating an ice cream
A Pomeranian dog eating ice cream – Image source

Are you keen on preparing your pooch’s food bowl by yourself? You can use cashews in place of peanuts in many homemade dog treat recipes. Here are some easy-to-follow recipes that your pet will surely love.

  1. Banana Cashew Butter Ice Cream
  2. Homemade Nutty Dog Treats
  3. No-Bake Cashew Butter Flax Seed Treats

What are the dog food products that contain cashews?

Due to the high salt and fat content, most reputable dog food and treat companies won’t include cashews in their recipes.

However, some companies offer treats made with peanut butter so that your pet can still benefit from the various nutrients nuts provide.

Can Dogs Eat Cashew Derivatives?

Cashews themselves are not toxic for dogs, however, they’re surrounded by a shell that contains a toxic called anacardic acid which can cause gastroenteritis and skin irritation.

If you have a cashew tree in your backyard and your pet accidentally eats old cashews off the ground, monitor him for possible adverse reactions and contact your vet if needed.

What diseases can cashews help in dogs?

The risks of feeding your pet chestnuts outweigh their benefits. If you’re considering giving healthy treats to your dog, chestnuts are not the best option. There are other nutritious dog treats that you can offer to your pet.

What Are Healthy Alternatives to Cashews for Dogs?

Even though giving your pet cashews once in a while is OK, there are many healthy treat alternatives that you can feed to your dog in moderation.

So, Can My Dog Eat Cashews?

Dogs can safely eat cashews, as long as they are shelled, unsalted, and unseasoned and they’re not mixed with other nuts that are toxic to dogs.

Feeding them plain cooked or roasted cashews that are chopped in small pieces as occasional treats and in moderation can be okay. However, these types of nuts are not the best option for dogs as regular treats.

It’s always best to consult with your veterinarian if you’re considering feeding new food like cashews to your pet.

Have you ever given your pet cashew? Share your experience in the comments below!

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