Can Dogs Eat Walnuts? The Risks And Dangers

Can dogs eat walnuts? Find out in this comprehensive article! Learn why walnuts can be harmful to dogs and what to do if your dog has eaten them.
Can Dogs Eat walnuts?

In this article, we will explore the risks associated with dogs consuming walnuts and discuss the reasons why walnuts can be harmful to dogs. We will also provide guidance on what to do if your dog has ingested walnuts and suggest safer alternatives for your furry friend to enjoy.

Nutritional Content of Walnuts

Overview of Nutrients

  • High in Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Rich in antioxidants
  • Good source of vitamins and minerals

Health Benefits for Humans

  • Improved heart health
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Enhanced cognitive function

The Dangers of Walnuts for Dogs

High Fat Content

  • Potential to cause obesity
  • Increased risk of pancreatitis

Mold and Aflatoxin Contamination

  • Aflatoxin: toxic substance produced by mold
  • Risk of liver damage and other health problems

Gastrointestinal Obstruction

  • Risk of blockages in the digestive system
  • Potential for choking hazard

Identifying and Addressing Walnut Ingestion in Dogs

Signs and Symptoms

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite

Steps to Take If Your Dog Ingests Walnuts

  1. Assess the situation: How many walnuts were consumed? What type of walnuts were they?
  2. Monitor your dog for symptoms
  3. Consult your veterinarian for advice and potential treatment options
  4. Prevent future incidents by keeping walnuts out of reach

Safer Alternatives to Walnuts for Dogs

Dog-friendly Treats

  • Dog-specific treats designed with their health in mind
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables, such as apples, carrots, and green beans

Nut Alternatives

  • Consider dog-safe nuts, such as peanuts or cashews (in moderation)
  • Always choose unsalted and unseasoned nuts


In summary, while walnuts may provide a range of health benefits for humans, they are not a suitable snack for dogs. The high fat content, potential mold contamination, and risk of gastrointestinal obstruction make them a dangerous choice for our canine companions. Instead, opt for dog-friendly treats and safer alternatives to ensure your pet stays happy and healthy.

Medically Reviewed by Ivana Crnec, DVM

Ivana is a DVM with a specialty in domestic carnivores – dogs & cats. She is passionate about educating pet owners and raising awareness about pet health.

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