Can Dogs Eat That

Can Dogs Eat Almonds? Everything You Need to Know

almonds nuts roasted salted

As a dog parent, you may be tempted to share your favorite snacks, like almonds, with your dog. But before you let your pup munch on these tasty nuts, it’s important to understand the potential risks.

In this post, we’ll dive into everything you need to know about feeding almonds to your dog.

Are Almonds Safe for Dogs?

The short answer is no; dogs shouldn’t eat almonds. While almonds aren’t toxic to dogs, they can pose several potential health problems and should be avoided. 

1. Obstruction Hazard

One of the primary concerns with feeding almonds to dogs is the risk of obstruction. Unlike humans, dogs don’t chew their food thoroughly before swallowing. If they swallow an almond whole, it could potentially cause a life-threatening obstruction in the esophagus, stomach, or even the windpipe, especially in small breed dogs.

little dogs standing in light studio together

2. Aflatoxin Sensitivity

Another issue to consider is aflatoxin, a type of mold that can be found in trace amounts on tree nuts like almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts, and pistachios. While the levels of aflatoxin are only mildly toxic to humans, dogs are much more sensitive to it. Consuming almonds with aflatoxin can lead to serious health issues for your pup.

almond kernels nuts plate

3. Gastrointestinal Upset and Pancreatitis

Almonds, rich in fat, may induce significant gastrointestinal disturbance in certain dogs. Signs such as vomiting, diarrhea, reduced appetite, and lethargy may manifest. In severe instances, the elevated fat levels can prompt pancreatitis, an agonizing and potentially life-threatening inflammation of the pancreas.

4. Water Retention and Heart Disease

Many packaged almonds are heavily salted, and this excess salt intake can cause increased water retention in dogs. This is particularly dangerous for dogs with pre-existing heart disease, as the extra fluid can put additional strain on their cardiovascular system.

closeup shot brown dog lying ground

5. Bladder Stones and High Phosphorus Content

Most nuts, including almonds, have a high phosphorus content. Over time, consuming too much phosphorus can increase the likelihood of developing bladder stones in dogs. These painful stones can cause urinary tract issues and may require surgical removal.

close up veterinarian taking care pet

What if My Dog Accidentally Eats Almonds?

If your dog manages to sneak a few almonds when you’re not looking, don’t panic. The reaction can vary depending on your pet’s size and the amount of almonds ingested. If your dog only consumed a couple of almonds and isn’t showing any signs of choking or obstruction, there’s likely no cause for concern. 

almond meal flower tasty healthy

However, if you suspect your dog ate a large quantity of almonds, such as a five-pound bag left unattended, immediate action is necessary. If the ingestion occurred within the last 30 minutes, inducing vomiting under veterinary guidance or with the help of poison control may be the most effective treatment. If you’re unsure when the nuts were consumed or unable to induce vomiting, closely observe your dog for signs of illness and promptly contact your veterinarian if any symptoms appear.

close up veterinary doctor taking care pet

Safer Alternatives to Almonds

If you’re looking for healthy and safe ways to treat your dog, there are plenty of options that don’t come with the risks associated with almonds. Here are a few nutritious human foods that most dogs can enjoy in moderation:

1. Apples (without seeds or core): Crisp and juicy, apples provide vitamins and antioxidants.

2. Bananas: Rich in potassium and vitamins, bananas make a sweet and healthy treat.

3. Carrots: Crunchy and fiber-rich carrots are a great low-calorie snack.

4. Green Beans: With low calories and high fiber content, green beans are an excellent addition to your dog’s diet.

5. Peaches (without pits): Fresh, ripe peaches offer vitamins and fiber, but always remove the pit before feeding.

6. Canned Pumpkin (not pie filling): Pumpkin can help regulate digestion and provide essential nutrients.

7. Cooked, Unseasoned Sweet Potatoes: A tasty source of vitamins and minerals.

dog eating a carrot

Final Words

While it might be tempting to share your favorite almond snacks with your furry friend, it’s best to resist the urge. Almonds and almond-based products like almond butter and almond milk can pose serious health risks to dogs, including obstruction, aflatoxin sensitivity, pancreatitis, water retention, and bladder stones.

pet lifestyle together with owner

If you want to treat your pup, stick to safer alternatives like fresh fruits and vegetables. And as always, if you have any concerns about your dog’s health or diet, don’t hesitate to contact your veterinarian for expert advice.


About Judith D. Swan

With a passion for pooch health and nutrition, I've dedicated myself to exploring every "Can dogs eat...?" scenario you can imagine. With a background in veterinary science and years of experience in the pet care industry, I bring a wealth of knowledge to the table. From the common to the curious, I've researched it all to ensure that your canine companion gets the best possible care. But hey, I'm not just about facts and figures. As a proud dog parent myself, I understand the bond between humans and their four-legged pals. That's why I'm committed to providing trustworthy, practical advice that keeps both tails wagging.