Can dogs eat walnuts safely?

English walnuts are generally safe for dogs to eat, outside of the considerations mentioned above. But black walnuts (a type of walnut not commonly eaten by people) are toxic for dogs. The symptoms of toxicity are vomiting, muscle weakness and tremors, a high temperature, and seizures.

Fresh walnuts are safe for dogs to consume in moderation. However, black walnuts are poisonous to dogs, and moldy walnuts may contain toxic mycotoxins. Whole walnuts are a canine choking hazard too. Today, we examine the conditions under which walnuts can be safe for dogs and those under which they can be harmful or even fatal. We’ll also examine the various varieties of walnuts, including candied, spiced, or cooked walnuts, as well as some healthier walnut substitutes.

Walnuts are actually considered stone fruits. To access the similarly wrinkled but edible nut inside, you must crack open their hard, wrinkly shells. Additionally, walnuts are an excellent source of fiber, healthy fats, protein, and numerous other vitamins and minerals for people. Eating walnuts can improve bone health, lower cholesterol, heart, and neurological problems, as well as many other health issues, such as gallstones and epilepsy. But are walnuts safe for dogs to eat, or are they harmful to them?

Well, some nuts, like cashew nuts, are safe for dogs to eat in moderation. However, some, like macadamia nuts, are toxic and should never be given to dogs. So where do walnuts fit into this spectrum? Are walnuts safe for dogs to eat? Do walnuts and dogs go well together?

The gist of it is that while most fresh walnuts, including the English variety, are safe in moderation, black walnuts and moldy walnuts are extremely toxic. Additionally, the larger size of walnuts and improper preparation can endanger your dog. Have you ever been worried that your dog had eaten some English walnuts? If so, read on to learn why, while in moderation, we advise avoiding them.

As was already mentioned, walnuts are frequently praised as a healthy food option for people, but this does not imply that they are equally healthy for dogs. Given that dogs have adapted to a diet high in carbohydrates, it is widely believed that high-fat foods are bad for them. But according to recent research, carbohydrates only make up a very small portion of a dog’s ideal diet, with proteins and fats making up the other half of each. Dogs shouldn’t be allowed to eat excessive amounts of fat, but a healthy amount of fat in their diet isn’t necessarily bad.

But over time, adding human treats like walnuts to your dog’s diet is not very advisable. If your dog has a sensitive stomach or is predisposed to this disease, consuming foods with a lot of calories and fat can make them obese and raise pancreatic concerns for them.

Are Walnuts Safe for Dogs to Eat

Although there is a small risk if your dog eats a walnut, as we previously mentioned, you should avoid giving your dog walnuts on a regular basis because they can develop a type of black mold that is extremely toxic to dogs.

There are fungi that can grow on walnuts that produce mycotoxins, which are metabolites that are thought to be cancer-causing, while other fungi produce tremorgenic mycotoxins, which can cause tremors and seizures.

Black mold can grow on any walnut at any stage during the growth and processing cycle, including shelled or unshelled walnuts that you buy in grocery store bags, though they are much less likely to do so than walnuts gathered from backyard trees.

Never give your dog walnuts picked up from backyard trees. The best course of action is to simply stop giving your dog walnuts, even though it is possible to wash and dry nuts to attempt to remove any potential mold.

The black walnut is another type of walnut that should never be given to dogs as it is especially toxic to them. Native to Northeastern U. S. Black walnuts are non-toxic to cats but toxic to horses, dogs, and Canada And if there is a walnut tree in your neighborhood, be aware that dogs who eat moldy, old walnuts off the ground run the risk of developing tremors and seizures from Penitrem A, a mycotoxin that can cause severe generalized tremors, opsoclonus, and seizures in dogs.

While we’re still talking about dogs and edible nuts, it’s important to note that macadamia nuts should be avoided. Macadamia nut consumption in dogs can result in hind end weakness, tremors, lethargy, and hyperthermia.

What Happens if Your Dog Eats Walnuts

The condition can be fatal if left untreated, particularly in a small dog, puppy, or geriatric dog. If your dog does accidentally consume a moldy walnut or black walnut, symptoms to watch out for include vomiting, tremors, and seizures. Your veterinarian will need to be contacted right away.

In general, fatty human foods like walnuts can upset your dog’s stomach and cause the standard signs of stomach discomfort, such as vomiting and diarrhea. Consuming walnuts, however, can occasionally result in the emergence of more severe conditions like pancreatitis or gastroenteritis. While gastroenteritis results from an inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, particularly the stomach and intestines, pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas that can either be acute or chronic. For your dog, either of these ailments—especially pancreatitis—can be extremely serious or even fatal.

In addition to their high fat content, prepackaged walnuts may also contain additives like salt or other seasonings that can be harmful to our pets. For this reason, it is best to keep dogs away from walnuts. Large amounts of salt can make a dog very sick.

Plain, store-bought walnuts aren’t necessarily toxic to your dog in small quantities, assuming they don’t contain any black mold. They are one of the larger nut varieties, though, so they may not only be challenging for Fido to digest but also pose a serious risk of intestinal blockages, especially in smaller breeds. These blockages need to be surgically removed and, if left untreated, could be fatal. Additionally, there’s a greater chance that the shell will result in a blockage if your dog eats a shelled walnut.

Another risk is choking because many dogs eat their food without chewing it, and a walnut’s shape makes it more likely to get stuck in an overly eager dog’s throat.

When are Walnuts Bad For Dogs?

The most crucial thing to keep in mind is that moldy and black walnuts are bad for your dog. But even the non-poisonous ones are hard and small. So, it’s easy for them to cause internal blockages. Let’s examine more closely the instances in which walnuts can be harmful to our dogs.

The answer to the question “Are walnuts toxic to dogs?” is that they can be in some circumstances. You must be careful about the type of walnuts you feed your dog. The English (Persian) walnut and the black walnut are the two most popular varieties of walnut. The English walnut was chosen for more widespread commercial production because the black walnut has a harder shell. While black walnuts are toxic to dogs, English walnuts are not, according to research

Additionally, due to the high water content in walnuts, they are prone to mold. Moldy walnuts that contain tremorgenic mycotoxins are thus another significant risk to dogs. Fungi produce tremorgenic mycotoxins that, if consumed by dogs, can be fatal. They are a type of mycotoxin that affects dogs’ muscles and nervous systems. So ingesting moldy walnuts can be really harmful to them.

Severe symptoms in dogs include vomiting, seizures, and tremors. Scroll down to the section on what to do if your dog eats moldy or black walnuts to learn what to do if you notice these symptoms or if you know that your dog has consumed moldy walnuts.

Can dogs eat walnuts safely?

Another concern is the size of walnuts. Walnuts are bigger than other nuts like peanuts. Additionally, the size of walnuts, whether they are shelled or not, can present a choking hazard, particularly for smaller dogs. And since they are harder for dogs to digest and could result in bowel obstructions if they eat a lot of them, they may also cause stomach issues for them. So what does this all mean?.

Therefore, the general response to the question “Are walnuts safe for dogs?” is not really Some walnuts can be perfectly safe for dogs. However, it’s best to refrain from letting your dog try a walnut if you have any reservations about its freshness. Additionally, by not providing this snack, the risk of choking is reduced.

Once more, any minor health benefits that walnuts may have as an occasional treat are greatly outweighed by the dangers of black walnuts or moldy walnuts. So, no, walnuts are generally not good for dogs. Despite the fact that your dog won’t necessarily be harmed by fresh walnuts, there are many other better treats you can give them.


What happens if a dog eats a walnut?

Choking hazards, intestinal obstruction, upset stomach, and more severe conditions like pancreatitis and illness from black mold that can grow on walnuts and is toxic to dogs are just a few of the risks for dogs that eating walnuts poses.

Why can’t dogs eat walnuts?

Juglone results in seizures or convulsions in dogs, as well as laminitis in horses. Mycotoxins, a poisonous substance produced by molds and fungi that can also result in convulsions or seizures, can also be found in walnuts. Make sure your dog stays away from any fallen moldy walnuts if you have a walnut tree.

Will 1 walnut hurt my dog?

Fresh walnuts are safe for dogs in small amounts. However, black walnuts are poisonous to dogs, and moldy walnuts may contain toxic mycotoxins. Whole walnuts are a canine choking hazard too.

What nuts can dogs not eat?

Nuts That Are Toxic for Pets or Should Be Avoided
  • Macadamia nuts – Very toxic to dogs. …
  • Black walnuts – Very toxic to dogs. …
  • Dogs and cats should not consume old or moldy walnuts.
  • Raw cashews are toxic to cats and should be avoided by dogs.
  • Pistachios – Should be avoided for dogs and cats.