Most dogs love peanut butter, but what about nuts? Can dogs eat nuts safely? The answer is, yes they can eat SOME nuts but others are dangerous.
For a small dog like a Morkie, any type of nut can be a problem:
- most tree nuts are infected with low levels of mold, including pistachios, walnuts, hickory nuts, and pecans. Moldy nuts contain aflatoxins, which can lead to lifelong health troubles for your dog, including liver failure.
- almost any nut can be a choking hazard in little breeds
- large nuts, like whole pecans and walnuts, can actually block your small dog’s stomach or intestines, causing tremendous digestive system problems.
- dogs with sensitive stomachs or a condition like pancreatitis shouldn’t have nuts because they can lead to discomfort and diarrhea.
Deadly: macadamia nuts
These delicious buttery nuts from Hawaii and Australia are THE worst thing for a dog. Why? They contain an unknown toxin that attacks the nervous system, causing severe neurological problem.
Your dog might appear drunk, staggering all over; or he may lose his ability to walk (temporarily or permanently!) Severe vomiting and weakness can also be symptoms.
If you suspect your Morkie has eaten macadamia nuts, see the vet at once.
More Nuts to Avoid
Almonds aren’t as dangerous or deadly but they can cause a lot of digestive upset for your Morkie, along with the choking possibility.
Pistachios are “OK” except if they are mouldy and this type of nut is susceptible to mould. Not enough for us to notice, let alone affect us but for a small dog, they can mean trouble.
Cashews don’t contain anything particularly poisonous to dogs but they ARE high in fact which can lead to obesity and even kick start pancreatitis in your small dog.
Brazil nuts are THE fattiest of all nuts, so again, should be avoided because of the risk of pancreatitis.
Walnuts are not only responsible for severe digestive illness in dogs, they can obstruct the bowel, leading to more serious problems. Plus, they’re one of “the moldies.” (Black Walnuts are just as bad for dogs.)
No to Black Walnuts
Be aware of some wacky advice on holistic and all-natural dog care sites: they are encouraging us to switch from harsh deworming chemicals and medicines, to more natural ways to fight worms, like chamomile. BUT one thing that’s mentioned as a dewormer is Black Walnut! There’s often an accompanying warning, like this one:
“Black Walnut. Black walnut is a very effective natural dewormer, but it can be harsh on your dog’s system, so keep it for cases that don’t improve with the more gentle solutions listed above.
While it can effectively get rid of parasites (even heartworm), the strong ingredients in black walnut can cause vomiting, diarrhea and gastritis. It’s best to use it in consultation with a holistic vet.”
No to Almonds
The AKC says avoid almonds for your dog because they can cause digestion problems even though they aren’t as toxic as some nuts. If your Morkie gets into almonds, expect him to have an upset stomach, pain in the stomach, gas and possibly diarrhea.
No to Pecans
Pecans are bad for dogs because they can cause aflatoxin poisoning. Symptoms include loss of appetite, lethargy, vomiting, colored urine and jaundice, liver failure, blood-tinged vomit, and bloody or blackened stools.
Peanuts aren't nuts - SO THEY'RE OK
What about peanuts and peanut butter?
Peanuts and peanut butter are NOT toxic to dogs – because they’re not nuts.
But don’t feed your Morkie too many, because of their higher fat content. Avoid salted or seasoned peanuts. Peanut butter is another treat dogs seem to love, and it can be an occasional treat or used in making dog biscuits.
While “nut” is in their name, peanuts are legumes just like kidney beans, peas or lentils. Peanuts grow underground, while most other nuts grow on trees.
The One Peanut Butter that IS Bad for Dogs - Very Bad!
More and more manufacturers are offering ‘low cal’ peanut butter. It’s made with XYLITOL, a sugar substitute which is HIGHLY DANGEROUS to dogs.
Please watch for this ingredient on a number of foods and candies that your Morkie might get into.
Smarter Snacks for your Morkie
Instead of nuts, try your Morkie with a small piece of your favorite fruit – apple, banana, peach. (NOT grapes).
Or try some veggies including a bit of carrot, celery or a green bean.
No matter how healthy a snack might be, remember the 10% rule – only 10% of your Morkie’s total calories per day should be made up of snacks. The rest should be a balanced dry or wet food or a combination.