Can My Dog Eat Almonds?

Your dog is likely to look at any food in your hand like it’s
the only food in the world – even if his bowl is overflowing with
a meal of his own. But taking a moment to think about what’s in
our snacks before we offer a bite or two can keep our dogs safe and
healthy. Almonds are a favorite snack for people looking to live a
healthier lifestyle, and an excellent choice according to
nutritionists. Munching on a serving of almonds instead of cookies
or cake can help you lose belly fat and promote heart health.

Fun Fact: The sweet almonds we get from our local grocery stores
are totally safe to eat, but bitter almonds aren’t safe for
anybody. Bitter almonds contain prussic or hydrocyanic acid, which
can be deadly if consumed. It only takes 7 to 10 unprocessed bitter
almonds to kill. Processing by baking or boiling destroys the toxin
and makes them safe to use, but they’re still banned for sale in
the U.S.

Other nuts that are safe for humans are still outright toxic to
dogs. Macadamia nuts can cause temporary weakness, vomiting,
diarrhea, and inability to walk in dogs. Walnuts and pecans are not
toxic themselves, but many vets recommend avoiding them anyway
because moldy husks can produce a chemical that is toxic to
pets.

Though almonds don’t contain anything that is toxic to dogs,
there are still a few things to consider before you share your
snack.

Salt and Seasonings

Though some people prefer their plain nuts, almonds are now sold
in a variety of flavored seasonings and coatings. Of course we know
that chocolate is toxic to dogs, so we should never offer a
chocolate-covered almond, but what about the other varieties?

We really ought to watch out for the same things we wouldn’t
usually give our dogs when it comes to seasonings. Excess salt,
sugar, and artificial sweeteners go at the top of the list of
things that should be off-limits. Some brands sweeten their almonds
with xylitol to keep the sugar and calorie content down.
Xylitol
is another thing that is fine for humans but extremely
toxic to dogs. The internet is littered with
warnings from heartbroken owners
who lost their dogs to
artificial sweeteners – it’s best not to keep it in your home
at all, especially if you have a dog who likes to counter surf.

Dogs need some sodium in their diet, but too much can be bad.
The most common consequence of consuming too much salt is
dehydration, but if your dog really overdoes it, it can also lead
to sodium ion poisoning. Symptoms include vomiting, limping,
lethargy, and seizures, among others. It’s not likely that your
dog will become seriously sick from just a handful, but because
almonds often come in salted varieties, we’d like to mention it
here. (See more information on
salt poisoning here
.)

Obstructions

Dogs don’t chew as thoroughly as humans, so owners of small
breed dogs should keep an eye out for potential choking hazards. It
isn’t as serious an issue with larger breeds, but with small dogs
come small throats. Consider slivered or sliced almonds instead of
whole, or break the nut in your hand before passing it over to your
little dog.

Calories

Like any non-essential snack, it’s important to consider your
dog’s overall diet. Too many calories become excess fat, and too
much excess fat can become obesity. It’s more than just having a
pudgy puppy, it’s also extra stress on bones and joints, and the
potential to become bigger issues like heart and liver disease.
Your dog’s caloric needs will vary depending on his breed, age,
activity level, and current weight – it’s best to talk to your
vet to figure out what he needs!

It’s often said that your dog’s diet should be 90/10 – 90%
of his calories should come from his meals, and 10% should come
from treats. Almonds aren’t the best choice to stay low-calorie.
Just 1 ounce of almonds is about 130 calories. If you’re trying
to keep your dog slim, consider a different snack, like blueberries
(85cal/cup) or a hard boiled egg (70cal/large egg.)

Almond Butter v. Peanut Butter

If you’re considering switching your dog’s peanut butter to
almond butter, there may be a few things you want to consider. Both
butters are safe for dogs, with similar calorie and sugar content.
Almond butter has much more vitamin E, iron, calcium and fiber than
peanut butter. Still, peanut butter has pretty high amounts of all
of these.

Almond butter is often considered a healthier choice than peanut
butter, but only by a bit. Whichever you choose, be sure to pick a
jar that doesn’t contain xylitol or added sugars, as many nut
butters do.

Feeding your dog almonds

Can dogs eat almonds? Yes. But not all almonds are equal. The
best choice are plain, unsalted almonds – raw or roasted.
Remember to watch the size of the almonds to avoid obstructions,
especially in smaller dogs, and not to feed too many. You might
feel bad giving your dog such a small amount, but you can make your
dog’s special snack last a longer by putting the nuts inside a
treat-dispensing toy that will knock them out as it rolls
around!

If you’re planning on baking treats, chopped or slivered
almonds, almond flour, and almond butter without added sugar or
xylitol are all great choices – especially if your dog has
allergies and needs gluten or grain-free treats!

Try these recipes:


Banana-Almond Puppy Treats from Pretty Fluffy.

“We’ve created a soft, yummy, and super healthy puppy treats
recipe that we hope your puppy (and even full grown doggies) will
love as much as ours. I won’t judge if you decide to steal a few
bites, they taste like miniature banana bread cookies. YUM. The
smell of banana and cinnamon alone will have all the pups in the
yard paying extra close attention to you!”

Photo:
PrettyFluffy.com


Sweet Potato Almond Butter Dog Biscuits from
MoreThanYouCanChew.

“I came up with this concoction by mixing two of his favorite
treats into one. Now, this recipe includes almond butter instead
of peanut butter since it’s known to be a bit healthier, however,
an all-natural peanut butter can be used as well. It’s super
simple to put together and if you don’t mind putting in a little
forearm work to kneed dough for your pup, he will love you forever
because these totally outweigh those preservative packed
store-bought treats.”

Photo:
MoreThanYouCanChew.com

Almond-Coconut
Flour Dog Treats from Sweet Recipeas
.

“So when she developed all these allergies I thought nothing
of making her own treats when I couldn’t really find that many in
the market place…and none that were cost effective. I couldn’t
find much online either so that’s why they are on this blog. I
want to help those who love their dogs as much as I do and can’t
seem to find dairy and grain free treats for their pups.”

Photo: SweetRecipeas.com

The post Can My Dog Eat
Almonds?
appeared first on iHeartDogs.com.

Source: FS – Dogs – iHD
Can My Dog Eat Almonds?