Can Dogs Eat Cashews?
Dogs love treats — this is a universally well-known fact. And as humans, we have grown accustomed to giving our furry friends the occasional treat here and there, especially when they are good dogs (which is, let’s be honest, all the time). Treats are great for dogs too. They help reinforce good behavior and provide an opportunity for you to bond with your pet.
Treats are not only beneficial for training, but they can also make terrific chewing alternatives, as opposed to your shoes and furniture. Sometimes, you might be inclined to give your dogs human food as treats — bread, chicken, and nuts like cashews. This brings up the question, are cashews safe for my dog?
Can My Dog Eat Cashews?
Yes, your dog can eat cashews!. Like some other human foods, cashews are generally safe for canine consumption. But your dog should only eat small amounts of cashews, and you must take some extra safety precautions when feeding them this nut.
Some Facts About Cashews
Cashews are high in monounsaturated fats, which are great for maintaining a healthy heart. Cashews are also known to have powerful antioxidants, which are largely beneficial for bones, blood vessels, and connective tissues. As for our furry friends, cashews make for good treats and little snacks here and there.
In fact, cashews are among the few nut varieties that are considered safe for dogs to consume. But as we mentioned, they should consume these nuts in moderation.
Are Cashews Good for Dogs?
Cashews are generally not harmful to dogs in small quantities, but we cannot say that they are completely good for them either.
Nutrients Cashews Provide
Cashews are rich in a wide range of nutrients. An ounce of cashews provides you with dense amounts of calories, protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Plus, cashews are also a good source of fiber, magnesium, manganese, and zinc. All of these nutrients are important for your dog’s energy production, brain health, immunity, and bone health.
Feeding Cashews to My Dog
If you are interested in giving your dog cashews, you must introduce the nut to them slowly. This gradually trains them to become fond of the treat and ensures they are not allergic to it. The first few times you feed your dog cashews, keep an eye on them to make sure they digest them well and don’t choke.
How to Feed Cashews to Dogs?
When feeding your dog cashews, it is best to go for the plain and unsalted variety. Dogs’ stomachs cannot handle huge amounts of sodium. An excess amount of salt in their diet can cause gastrointestinal distress and dehydration. So, stick to plain cashews when feeding your four-legged friend. This goes without saying that processed cashews with other artificial flavors in them are a no-go as well.
How Often Can I Feed My Dog Cashews?
Cashews are best served to dogs in small, infrequent portions. One or two unsalted cashews should not bring your dog any harm. The fiber, protein, and fat found in cashews can spell trouble for dogs in large amounts.
Potential Dangers of Cashews for Dogs
One of the most important things to do when introducing new food to our pets is to make sure that they are not allergic to it. This applies to cashews as well. Before feeding your dog cashews, you may want to give your veterinarian a call and ask whether your dog may be allergic to the nut.
They will tell you what to watch out for and what to do in case of an allergic reaction. If your dog happens to be allergic, stop feeding them cashews altogether. While dogs enjoy treats like cashews, consuming these nuts in large quantities can lead to health complications in the future. Here are a few issues to be on the lookout for:
- Weight gain – One health issue could be weight gain. The high fat content found in cashews can cause your four-legged friend to gain some weight.
- Pancreatitis – The very same fat content in cashews may also bring on pancreatitis. Excessive amounts of fat in your dog’s diet can hinder the pancreas’ ability to break down fats, leading to inflammation in the organ. Pancreatitis may require aggressive treatment if it is not diagnosed early.
You also have to be vigilant when feeding your dog cashews and make sure there are no other varieties of nuts in the bag.
Some nuts that are toxic to dogs are macadamia nuts, walnuts, and almonds. All of these nuts will cause tummy troubles in your canine companion. These nuts are unhealthy for dogs and are difficult for their systems to digest.
Cashew Allergy Symptoms to Watch Out For
Some signs that your dog may be allergic to cashew are:
- Heavy breathing
- Rapid heart rate
- Paw biting/licking
If you fed your dog cashews (or they snatched some from the counter when you weren’t looking) and they start showing signs of distress or allergy, take them to the vet right away.
Other Kinds of Nuts That Are Safe for Dogs
Aside from cashews, a few other nuts are also safe for your dog to eat on occasion. These are:
- Brazil nuts
It is important to note that like cashews, these nuts also contain lots of fat and are best served in very small quantities. If you plan on introducing new treats to your pet and are unsure whether they are good for them, it doesn’t hurt to give the vet a call. A veterinarian can guide you with their professional medical advice.
Once you get the green light, you can go ahead and give small amounts of cashews to your dog. You never know, cashews just might be their next favorite treat!
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