Can Dogs Eat Hazelnuts? Are Hazelnuts Safe for your Dog?

While technically, dogs can eat Hazelnuts because they are not toxic to pets, you really shouldn’t be adding these treats to your pet’s diet.

That’s because although hazelnuts may carry some benefits to dogs, they also have a range of health risks that you need to be aware of. 

Cracked hazelnuts

Hazelnuts are very fatty with high salt content and could lead to various diseases. Also, these hard, round nuts could form a blockage in your pet’s internal system or lead to choking.

In this article, we’ll talk more about hazelnuts and why it’s so dangerous to add them to your pet’s diet.

Why are Hazelnuts Bad for Dogs?

Obese Chihuahua feeling tired
An obese Chihuahua dog chillin’ on the couch – Image source

Hazelnuts should not be readily fed to your dog for several reasons. They could cause your dog to choke or put him at an increased risk of developing obesity, pancreatic problems, bladder stones, or sodium ion poisoning.

1. Hazelnuts can cause your dog to choke

Giving your dog Hazelnuts as a treat is a risky practice. Hazelnuts are round, small, and hard, so they are perfect for getting lodged in your dog’s esophagus and causing choking.

2. Store-bought hazelnuts can be too salty for dogs

Hazelnuts bought at the store are usually salted, and salt is toxic to dogs in large quantities and can cause kidney failure and seizures. The salts and spices used on store-bought hazelnuts can also irritate your dog’s stomach.

3. Hazelnuts contain too much fat

Hazelnuts contain 61g of fat for every 100 grams. Several health problems can be caused by too much fat in your dog’s diet, such as obesity or pancreatitis, which can be fatal.

What’s in Hazelnuts that are Harmful to Dogs?

Pile of peeled hazelnuts
A tempting pile of peeled hazelnuts

So we know dogs should not consume hazelnuts, but what exactly are some of the substances in hazelnuts that you should be aware of?

1. Mycotoxins

Mycotoxins are fungi that can cause seizures in dogs. These are particularly prevalent in nuts like hazelnuts due to their high moisture content.

Nuts that have been stored in dark, damp conditions are more at risk of developing mycotoxins. Ingesting mycotoxins can also lead to vomiting, indigestion, and diarrhea.

2. Juglone

Black walnut trees contain an allopathic toxin known as Juglone. This same toxin can sometimes also be found in hazelnuts and can lead to severe problems for your pet, such as digestive system issues or even anaphylaxis.

Which Types of Hazelnut and Foods Made from It Dogs Can’t Eat?

Ice cream with hazelnuts
Delicious ice cream with pieces of waffle and hazelnuts in a bowl

Still unsure about feeding your dog hazelnuts? Let’s have a look at the different types of hazelnut food products that you should stay away from offering to your dog.

1. Raw Hazelnuts

Your pet’s digestive system might get blocked by raw hazelnuts, or your dog could choke on these round nuts.

If you decide to offer your dog a raw hazelnut, be sure to remove the tough skin first, which is difficult for your pet to digest. Also, be sure to wash raw hazelnuts to eliminate any pesticides.

2. Roasted Hazelnuts

While roasting hazelnuts might help soften these nuts to make them more digestible to your pet, it’s still not recommended that you feed them to your dog.

Store-bought roasted hazelnuts also have added salt, sugars, and fats, which are unsuitable for your dog.

3. Hazelnut covered in chocolate

Your dog should never be given any product that’s coated in chocolate. Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, which are toxic for dogs.

These chemicals stop your pet’s adenosine receptors from working correctly. This means your dog will not feel sleepy, and his nervous system can be stimulated beyond normal levels.

4. Hazelnut Ice Cream

Any form of ice cream made for human consumption will contain too much-added sugar for your dog. Dogs also struggle to digest lactose, resulting in abdominal pain and digestive upset.

Hazelnut ice cream may also contain ingredients such as raisins and chocolate, which are toxic for dogs.

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

It would be best not to feed your dog Hazelnuts because the benefits it could gain from eating them are not worth the risk.

Although Hazelnuts are not toxic for dogs, the salt, fat, and phosphorus content of these nuts could still pose a problem to your dog’s health.

Hazelnuts in a wooden spoon
Close-up of hazelnuts in a wooden spoon

Can Dogs Eat Hazelnuts in Specific Amounts?

As you can see, Hazelnuts can be very bad for your dog, especially if consumed in large amounts.

If your dog manages to gobble down the odd hazelnut that falls on the floor before you can pick it up, it isn’t likely to harm him, but you should stay away from actively feeding these nuts to your dog.

How many hazelnuts can a dog eat?

Your pet’s weight and size will determine if he will get sick after consuming Hazelnuts. If you want to feed your dog the odd hazelnut, try following the 10% rule.

This means that any treats given to your pup should only account for ten percent of your pet’s daily calories. To help you work this out, hazelnuts offer 628 calories per 100 grams.

How many Hazelnuts can large dog breeds eat?

While a 150-pound Great Dane may be able to consume hazelnuts with no side effects, you still shouldn’t give too many of these nuts to your dog due to the high fat and salt content.

How many Hazelnuts can small dog breeds eat?

Smaller dogs are more at risk when given hazelnuts to eat as Hazelnuts’ small, hard and round shape means they also pose a more significant choking risk. 

Hazelnuts also contain 290mg of phosphorus per 100g, and some small breeds dogs like Pugs and Beagles shouldn’t consume too much phosphorus as they could be at risk of developing bladder stones. 

What Happens If a Dog Eats Too Many Hazelnuts?

Sick Chihuahua lying on the bed
A Chihuahua dog being unwell lying on the bed – Image source

There’s no guarantee of how your dog will react to eating too many hazelnuts. Over time, dogs given too many hazelnuts may be at increased risk for developing diseases like obesity and pancreatitis. 

Dogs that eat too many hazelnuts in one sitting may not react at all, or they may experience signs of toxicity—symptoms of poisoning, weakness, vomiting, and lethargy.

How to treat hazelnut poisoning in dogs?

As mentioned, hazelnuts are risky for dogs because they contain harmful substances, such as mycotoxins and juglone. If your dog eats some hazelnuts by accident, you can follow these steps.

  1. Try not to get stressed or panic: Pets can pick up on your anxiety and may also show signs of stress if you’re stressed.
  2. Contact your veterinarian: You should contact your vet if your dog eats hazelnuts. Depending on how many hazelnuts your dog consumed, they may suggest a visit immediately.
  3. Keep any packaging: Your vet will require an explanation about how many hazelnuts your dog ate and what kind of hazelnuts they were. You can show your vet the package or leftover nuts.
  4. Take the advice of your vet: Don’t try to induce vomiting yourself at home. Follow whatever direction your vet gives you, as they are best placed to care for your pet. 

How Do I Prevent My Dog From Eating Hazelnuts?

Despite knowing you shouldn’t actively feed your dog hazelnuts, our pets have a habit of eating things they shouldn’t. 

Store your hazelnuts in a place out of reach of your pet to ensure that he doesn’t eat anything he shouldn’t. Also, ensure that all your children, family members, and employees know not to feed nuts to your pet.

Are There Any Health Benefits of Hazelnuts?

While hazelnuts are a good source of protein and fiber, most vets recommend that they shouldn’t be included in your pet’s regular diet.

This is because the risks that these nuts pose to your pet far outweigh any benefits they could provide. 

What Other Dangerous Nuts to Avoid Feeding Your Dog?

Pistachio nuts seed with shell
Pistachio nuts seed with shell laid on the table

All nuts do not poison dogs, and there are different types of nuts that your dog can consume. There are, however, some nuts that are incredibly toxic, and these types of nuts should never be fed to pets.

  • Pistachios can contain a type of mold that can lead to poisoning.
  • Hickory nuts can upset your dog’s stomach and are a choking hazard for pets. 
  • Black walnuts are known for the toxin Juglone which can have devastating effects on your pet’s digestive system. 
  • Horse chestnuts contain a harmful chemical that can poison your dog. 
  • Almonds which can be lethal if consumed in their raw state because they contain the organic form of cyanide.
  • Pecans which can contain the poisons of aflatoxin and juglones which can be lethal for canines.

What are Safe Alternatives to Hazelnuts for Dogs

Dog eating coconut on the beach
A dog being refreshed after eating a coconut on the beach – Image source

You may want to consider feeding your pet some of these tasty treats instead of Hazelnuts.

  • Peanuts can be fed to your dog if they’re deshelled and not salted. Dogs can also safely consume peanut butter if it doesn’t have any xylitol in the recipe.
  • Cashews which can be eaten raw or cooked. Without xylitol, cashew nut butter can likewise be given as a treat to your pet.
  • Chestnuts which can be eaten assuming they’re of the sweet chestnut variety. They should be roasted and chopped before giving to your pet.
  • Chickpeas are an excellent source of fiber, magnesium, folate, potassium, zinc, and vitamins K and B6
  • Chicken is a very affordable protein source that most pets love.
  • Duck is a novel protein source that will offer your pet plenty of iron.
  • Coconut is also a great source of fiber and works as an anti-inflammatory due to the presence of lauric acid.

What’s the Verdict? Can Dogs Eat Hazelnuts?

As you can see, while dogs can eat hazelnuts, it’s not advisable to feed this treat to your pet. Hazelnuts can contain toxins and are high in fat and salt, which is not suitable for your dog.

Hazelnuts also pose a severe choking hazard to dogs or could end up getting lodged in your pet’s digestive system. These health risks outweigh the possible benefits these nuts could have for your dog. 

Has your pet ever eaten hazelnuts? Please share your experiences in the comments below so that we pet owners can learn from each other.

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