By hannah hollinger
Published: 05/23/2019, edited: 11/17/2021
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Dogs love food; it’s as simple as that. They will happily eat just about anything you serve to them, especially if they think they are getting a yummy treat. Rewarding your clever pup for good behavior while on a walk or practicing obedience training is a good thing. You may wonder, can dogs eat cashews as an extra special reward tidbit?
In general, yes, it is safe for dogs to have cashews. There are precautions to take, however, and we’ll discuss those here.
Are Cashews Good For Dogs?
Cashew nuts are full of healthy nutrients. Cholesterol free and low in sugar, these tasty nuts contain potassium, magnesium, and calcium. They contain enriching vitamins and minerals that add nutritional punch, like iron, magnesium and folate. Packed with protein, cashews also provide plenty of fiber.
However, the nuts also have a high fat content and when eaten the way most humans enjoy them, which is in their processed and salted form, they become high in sodium.
To put it simply, cashews are not harmful to dogs in small quantities, but cannot be classified as good for them either.
What Are The Risks Of Feeding My Dog Cashews?
When researching the topic can dogs eat cashew nuts, the consensus is the same across the board. While canines do enjoy nuts and can process one or two without too much trouble, eating them in large quantities can lead to health issues down the road.
The fat content of cashews can present a problem. A steady snack of these delicious (but highly caloric) nuts will cause your furry buddy to gain weight. Additionally, your pup’s digestive system will likely rebel against the processing work involved in digesting the nut. Your dog could suffer from an upset stomach and experience diarrhea.
The risk of weight gain is not the only issue. The high fat content in cashew nuts may bring on a bout of pancreatitis. Excessive fat in the diet can lead to the pancreas becoming inflamed because of the inability of the organ to break down the fat. When pancreatitis occurs, a dog can have symptoms like lethargy and lack of appetite. They may exhibit abdominal pain, too. Pancreatitis is a disease that can require aggressive treatment if not diagnosed in the early stages.
Other considerations point to a need for caution when giving your dog cashews. The phosphorus in cashews can contribute to painful bladder stones because the mineral can harden within the bladder. Too much salt can lead to salt toxicosis, and although rare in dogs, the possibility of an allergy is always there. Signs of an allergic reaction can be vomiting and diarrhea, and in severe cases, hives and severe itching will occur as well.
Be very careful when giving your dog cashews, that there are not other nuts in the mix. Macadamia nuts are highly toxic to canines, and pecans can cause liver damage because of aflatoxin. Walnuts carry the risk of causing an intestinal obstruction (we all know that dogs do not always chew their food well), and they may contain mold that can trigger a seizure. Almonds are known to cause stomach upset and are difficult for a dog to digest.
Giving your dog a cashew nut now and then will not cause a serious problem. But why not keep this treat for once in a rare occasion? To avoid the worry and concern over potential issues that can come with the consumption of nuts, consider other healthy and palatable tidbits to feed your dog as a reward. Carrots and green beans are favorites with hungry canines looking for a new taste, and the bonus is that they are nutritional, too.
A pup who could use a boost in the hydration department will welcome a taste of ripe and juicy watermelon; make sure that the seeds are removed and do not give your dog any of the rind. Bananas and strawberries are a delectable vitamin-packed treat but must be given in moderation due to the high sugar content.
Homemade dog biscuits and treats are a surefire way to please your dog and know that what you are giving them is risk-free. Find an easy, yet healthy recipe that includes dog-safe peanut butter, canned pumpkin (make sure it is not pie filling), eggs and whole wheat flour and whip up a batch of tiny treats.
Although giving your dog a cashew nut now and again is okay, there are plenty of alternatives that are just as palatable, yet a safer choice.