Cashews are healthy so some dog owners want to share them with their pets. Eating a serving of nuts each day offers lots of health benefits, but what about for a four-legged friend? We’ll weigh the pros and cons of canine cashew consumption here!
It’s safe to assume that the good things you hear about cashew nuts don’t apply so much to Fido. In truth, dogs don’t need to be consuming any nuts. They tend to be high in calories and fat and are not digested so well.
That said, it likely won’t be harmful to feed your pooch a small amount of cashews on occasion. However, if your dog has certain medical conditions then it’s a different story. You also have to consider that some pets may be allergic to nuts.
Can I Give My Dog Cashews? Answer: Yes, on occasion
You can feed a healthy dog a few, but try not to turn it into a habit.
You should know there are certain health problems, such as pancreatitis, where cashew nuts are inappropriate and considered harmful and even toxic. Further, some people would argue that pet dogs should be following a very specific diet that doesn’t ever include nuts, including cashews. In that sense, a much better choice would be something like specially formulated chew sticks with built-in antioxidants.
The Positives of Cashews
Cashews are an abundant source of dietary fiber and are moderately lower in fat content compared to other nuts like almonds, pecans and walnuts. They’re also a good source of calcium, magnesium, protein, flavonols and antioxidants. If given as an occasional snack, cashew nuts may be a net benefit for your dog’s health. However, consumption should be strictly limited.
If you do decide to give your dog some then unsalted low-sodium cashews are the way to go.
The Negative Aspects
Unfortunately, consuming too many cashew nuts can lead to several undesirable outcomes. First off, they can reduce the overall quality of your dog’s diet because these nuts do not provide any meat-based protein. The high in fat and sodium in cashews, most nuts actually, isn’t optimal. Too much can lead to weight gain and poor digestion. The’ll also be more exposed to other serious health problems such as artery blockages, gall stones, bladder stones and pancreatitis.
Nuts are one of the most common food allergens for humans as well as dogs. If your pooch is allergic to cashew nuts they experience vomiting, diarrhea and excessive thirst. They could even break out in hives. More severe cases involve sodium toxicosis (salt poison) or even anaphylactic shock. Last but not least, feeding these as a snack too often can teach your dog a bad feeding habit.
Even Worse Nuts
Not all nuts are strictly off limits for dogs. Besides cashews, moderate consumption of almonds and peanuts are usually harmless as an occasional treat. However, walnuts and especially macadamia nuts are exceedingly toxic for dogs and should never be given.
Consider Allergic Reactions
Nuts, but not usually cashews, can sometimes cause allergic reactions. Dogs are no different in this respect but you can’t know until they try some. For mild cases, such as skin rashes and irritation, you may give your dog a couple of milligrams of Benadryl or apply a topical ointment. Benadryl is administered primarily based on body weight but consult with a veterinarian. Severe allergic reactions, following cashew consumption or whatever else, require a visit to a local animal clinic.
Conclusion on Cashew Nuts
Under normal circumstances, you can occasionally feed your dog some cashews. If you do so, provide them with small amounts. But understand that nuts in general aren’t a great snack choice for a pet dog. The high levels of fat and calories aren’t well suited as a treat even though there are many healthy aspects associated with cashew nuts. Try not to make a habit of giving your dog these nuts or any kind for that matter.