We’re all guilty of sneaking human foods to our pooches from time to time, and while we’re aware of food no-nos like chocolates and grapes, nuts can be a little trickier as some are perfectly fine to give as treats, but others are not. 

Despite the high-fat content in nuts, there are actually many nutritional benefits for your dog. With such a variety available at your local supermarket, it can be pretty confusing to differentiate the good from the bad. If you’re not sure what nuts are doggy-safe, check out our list below:

•  Peanuts

They are not toxic to canines and should be served raw or roasted, unsalted, and without their shells. Although they are high in fat, peanuts are a great source of protein. Hence, it’s often considered a superfood for active pooches. Peanut butter given as a treat should be natural and must only include peanuts without the addition of sugar, salt, or artificial sweeteners.

Verdict: Safe!

•  Cashews

As with peanuts, cashews are non-toxic and safe to feed in moderation — as long as they have been cooked or roasted. Raw cashews contain a toxin that can be eliminated through cooking.

Verdict: Safe to give in moderation.

•  Hazelnuts

Generally alright to feed in moderation. However, due to their size, they may pose a choking hazard to smaller pooches.

Verdict: Safe to give in moderation.

•  Chestnuts

Even though chestnuts are not toxic to dogs, they can pose a choking hazard to Fido and should be avoided.

Verdict: Safe if accidentally ingested, but avoid feeding.

•  Pistachios

These nuts, although not toxic to dogs, are rich in fat and can lead to tummy upsets or pancreatitis. The occasional pistachio (without the shell) is alright, but do avoid giving anything more.

Verdict: Safe, but avoid feeding anything more than one occasionally.  

• Macadamias

These nuts contain an unknown toxin that can lead to neurological issues and are super high in fats. This can cause your pooch to have serious gastrointestinal distress or may lead to pancreatitis.

Verdict: NOT safe.

•  Pecans

Feeding your pup pecans can result in them having gastrointestinal distress. Mouldy pecans also contain tremorgenic mycotoxins which can cause seizures or neurological symptoms.

Verdict: NOT safe.

* The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified pet health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. Always make a pet health care decision in partnership with a qualified veterinary or pet health care professional.

*This article was updated on 29 Jul 2020. It first appeared in PetsMagazine.com on 25 Oct 2016.