Can Dogs Eat Macadamia Nuts: Are Macadamia Nuts Safe for your Dog?

The answer to whether dogs can eat macadamia nuts is no. While macadamia nuts are a source of various nutrients for humans, they carry certain health risks that make them very dangerous for dogs to eat.

As well as being toxic to dogs, macadamia nuts are high in fat and sodium, so they can be harmful if consumed in large quantities. Also, macadamia nuts can cause your dog to choke or form a blockage in your pet’s digestive system.

Macadamia nuts seed on wooden bowl

Keep reading to discover more about macadamia nuts and the risks of adding macadamia nuts to your pet’s diet.

Why are Macadamia Nuts Bad for Dogs?

Macadamia nuts, also known as Australia Nut and Queensland Nut, should not become a staple part of your pet’s diet because of the health risks that they present for your pet.

They can be a choking hazard, lead to sodium ion poisoning, an upset stomach, or even cause bladder or kidney stones. 

Homemade macadamia cookies
Homemade Macadamia Chocolate Chip Cookies – Image source

In addition to plain or roasted macadamia nuts, you should also avoid any products that could potentially contain macadamia nuts, such as trail mix, nut cookies, or chocolate-covered macadamia nuts.

1. Macadamia nuts can poison your dog

While macadamia nuts may be a delicious treat for humans, you should not feed them to your pet.

Macadamia nuts are toxic for dogs and feeding your dog even a small amount of macadamia nuts puts them at risk of poisoning.

2. Macadamia nuts can be a choking hazard for dogs

Giving your dog macadamia nuts as a treat is a hazardous practice.

Macadamia nuts are small, hard, and round, making them the perfect shape and size to lodge in your dog’s esophagus and cause choking.

3. Macadamia nuts are too salty for dogs

Macadamia nuts bought at the store are normally salted. Salt can be toxic to dogs if consumed in large amounts and can lead to kidney failure and seizures.

The salts and spices used on store-bought macadamia nuts can also irritate your dog’s internal digestive system. 

4. Macadamia nuts can lead to obesity

Containing a high level of fat content, feeding your dog macadamia nuts in large quantities could lead to obesity or more serious health problems such as pancreatitis which can be fatal.

What’s in Macadamia Nuts that is Harmful to Dogs?

Macadamia nuts on scoop on wooden table
Macadamia nuts on scoop on top of the wooden table

So you now know that dogs shouldn’t eat macadamia nuts but precisely what substances in macadamia nuts do you need to be aware of?

1. Toxins

You should avoid feeding your dog macadamia nuts due to the presence of harmful toxins that could poison your pet.

Scientists aren’t sure exactly what the substances are that are in macadamia nuts that are toxic to dogs, and so it’s advised that you avoid feeding your dog any product that includes traces of this nut. 

2. Fat Content

100grams of macadamia nuts contains about 76 grams of fat. Too many macadamia nuts in your dog’s diet could lead to severe weight gain and a range of serious health concerns.

3. Salt

As mentioned, most macadamia nuts and macadamia products such as butters oils have salt added to their recipes. Too much salt in your pet’s diet could have devastating consequences.

4. Phosphorus

There is about 252 mg of phosphorus per one cup of macadamia nuts. While dogs need a certain amount of phosphorus in their diet, too much phosphorus could lead to stones developing in the bladder or kidney.

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

Freshly macadamia nuts presented to Black Labrador dog
Freshly picked macadamia nuts presented to a Black Labrador dog

No, the benefits your dog could get from eating macadamia nuts are never worth the risk of feeding this food to your pet.

Although it cannot be guaranteed, exactly how your dog will react to eating macadamia nuts.

Even if macadamia nuts were not toxic to your pet, the salt, fat, and phosphorus content of these nuts could still pose a problem to your dog’s health.

Can Dogs Eat Macadamia Nuts in Specific Amounts?

As you can see, macadamia nuts are dangerous for dogs. That said, you might meet a fellow pet owner that claims their dog was perfectly fine after eating a macadamia nut.

This could be due to the size of the dog or the number of nuts consumed. 

That said, even if your dog consumes just one nut, it’s advisable to contact your vet as the consequences could be disastrous. This is because even small amounts of macadamia nuts are potentially dangerous for dogs.

Some pets have shown toxicity after consuming just 1/10 of an ounce of these nuts per two pounds of their body weight. 

How much macadamia nuts can a dog eat?

As mentioned, dogs should not be given any amounts of macadamia nuts to eat.

Even just one small nut can be fatal for your dog and thus it’s advisable not to even give your dog a sliver of macadamia nut or any macadamia nut product such as oil or butter. 

How many macadamia nuts can large dog breeds eat?

Your pet’s weight and size will determine if he will get sick after consuming macadamia nuts.

While a 150-pound Great Dane may be able to consume as much as three ounces of macadamia nuts with no side effects, you still shouldn’t actively feed these nuts to your dog. 

How many macadamia nuts can small dog breeds eat?

Smaller dogs will likely have less tolerance to macadamia nuts due to the fact that they weigh a lot less and their body will be less able to handle the toxins.

Consuming just one macadamia nut could lead to toxicity in your pint-sized pup. 

The small, hard and round shape of macadamia nuts means they also pose a bigger choking risk to small breeds like Miniature Schnauzers, Yorkshire Terriers, and Pugs.

Certain small breeds like Pugs and Beagles also shouldn’t have a lot of phosphorus in their diet due to the fact that they are at a greater risk of developing bladder stones. 

What Happens If a Dog Eats Too Many Macadamia Nuts?

Bored dog lying on the sofa
Not feeling well dog lying on the sofa

Your furry friend could show signs of macadamia poisoning within three to twelve hours of consuming these nuts. Symptoms of poisoning include vomiting, lethargy, weakness in the back legs, and hyperthermia.

Like humans, dogs can also be allergic to nuts, and symptoms of a nut allergy can include indigestion, sneezing, itchiness, and even an ear infection.

How to treat macadamia nut poisoning in dogs? 

If your dog eats some macadamia nuts by accident, you can follow these steps.

  1. Try not to get stressed: Try not to panic. If you’re stressed, your pet could pick up on your panicked vibes and may also start to show signs of stress.
  2. Get in touch with your Vet: If your dog eats macadamia nuts, phone your vet immediately. Your vet will likely want to see your dog straight away.
  3. Keep the evidence: You will need to explain to your dog exactly how many macadamia nuts your pet ate and what type of nuts they were. Try to keep the packaging or any leftover nuts to show your vet. 
  4. Listen to your vet: Don’t try to induce vomiting yourself or wait to see if your dog gets better by himself as it may be too late. Follow whatever advice your vet gives you as they’re best placed to care for your pet. 
Doctor examining the Beagle dog
The veterinary doctor and his assistant examining the Beagle dog

If your pet consumed macadamia nuts over two hours ago or eaten more than two ounces of these nuts, your vet is likely to recommend giving activated charcoal to your dog to limit any absorption of toxins.

This may be mixed with sorbitol which will help the macadamia nuts to move through your dog’s system faster. 

Typically, the dose will be 3 milliliters of 70% sorbitol and activated charcoal per kilogram of your pet’s body weight.

With appropriate vet care, most dogs can recover from macadamia nut poisoning within 48 hours. 

How Do I Prevent My Dog From Eating Macadamia Nuts? 

While you know you shouldn’t actively feed your dog macadamia nuts, our furry friends do have a habit of eating what they shouldn’t. 

To ensure your pet doesn’t eat anything he shouldn’t, make sure that you store your macadamia nuts in a place your pet can’t reach.

Also be sure that all children, family members, and workers at your home are aware never to give your pet these nuts to eat.

You can also just stay away from giving your pet any products that contain nuts to be doubly sure he won’t accidentally come across macadamia nuts.

Also, ensure that you check ingredient labels to make sure nuts aren’t in the ingredient list or that the factory the products are made in doesn’t use nuts. 

Be careful of also placing nut and seed mixtures in bird feeders that your dog may reach or where nuts may accidentally fall on the floor to be scooped up by your pet.

Are There Any Health Benefits of Macadamia Nuts?

Pile of macadamia nuts on the table
Pile of macadamia nuts rich in monounsaturated fats – Image source

There are many benefits to eating macadamia nuts as humans.

Macadamia nuts are an excellent source of protein, fiber, essential fatty acids, and nutrients like manganese, thiamine, copper, magnesium, iron, and vitamin b6. 

While your dog also needs all of these in their diet to maintain good body health, he still shouldn’t be given macadamia nuts to eat due to the risks mentioned above.

There are better sources of the above elements for dogs such as beans, chicken, and fish.

What Other Dangerous Nuts to Avoid Feeding Your Dog?

Almonds in a bowl on a wooden table
A bowl full of Almonds on a wooden table

There are many different types of nuts, and not all of them are dangerous for your dog to consume. That said, some can be particularly hazardous. You should always avoid feeding these types of nuts to your pet.

  • Pistachios which can contain a type of mold that can lead to poisoning.
  • Hickory nuts which can upset your dog’s stomach and are also a choking hazard for pets. 
  • Black walnuts which contain Juglone, an allopathic toxin that can have devastating effects on your pet’s digestive system.
  • Hazelnuts which are also a choking hazard and are very high in fat which could lead to obesity or pancreatitis.
  • Almonds which can be fatal if eaten in their raw state due to traces of organic cyanide.
  • Pecans which can contain the toxins aflatoxin and juglones which can be fatal for dogs.

What are Safe Alternatives to Macadamia Nuts for Dogs

Terrier Beagle mix dog sneaking the cooked chicken
A hungry Terrier Beagle mix dog sneaking the cooked chicken on the stainless bowl – Image source

Rather than giving your pet macadamia nuts to eat, you can try feeding him a number of other tasty treats, including the following. 

  • Peanuts which can be fed to your dog raw or roasted as long as they are deshelled and not salted. Peanuts do however have a high-fat content so go easy on the quantity and never feed them to your dog if they have been mixed with raisins.
  • Cashews which can be eaten raw or roasted. Xylitol-free cashew nut butter can also be safely fed to your dog.
  • Chestnuts which can be eaten if they are off the sweet chestnut variety. Horse chestnuts on the other hand can be poisonous for both dogs and humans.
  • Chickpeas which are a good source of folate, fiber, potassium, zinc, vitamins K and B6 and magnesium. 
  • Chicken which is a great protein source and is also very affordable. Duck which is a novel protein source that will offer your pet plenty of iro.

What’s the Verdict? Can Dogs Eat Macadamia Nuts?

Lovely dapple Dachshund dog sitting on the porch
Lovely dapple Dachshund dog sitting on the porch waiting for the meal – Image source

As you can see, you should not feed macadamia nuts to your pet. Macadamia nuts can be toxic for your dog and feeding them to your pet could poison him.

The possible benefits that these nuts could have for your dog are outweighed by these health risks. In addition, macadamia nuts are high in fat and salt which is not good for your dog.

If your pet accidentally got hold of some macadamia nuts, be sure to contact your vet immediately.

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

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