Can Dogs Eat Cashews? | Coach Doggo

You’re casually sitting around popping some cashews and notice your dog staring at you. Your mind instantly wanders to the question of “can dogs eat cashews?”

Cashews are a delicious, buttery snack rich in nutrients and flavor. Unlike other nuts, cashews are a truly tropical treat. Cashews hang themselves down from the bottom of bright red fruits that grow on scraggly trees in the tropics. Besides the nut, people also love munching on the red cashew fruit for its nutritious juice. When enjoying this yummy snack themselves, dog parents can’t help but wonder, “can dogs eat cashews?”

To answer this question simply, yes, dogs can eat cashews. However, although cashews aren’t toxic for dogs, they can be allergic to them – this occurrence might be rare but is extremely dangerous. Otherwise, feeding your dog cashews in limited quantities as an occasional snack is perfectly alright.

Cashews are a huge love/hate food. While some people can’t get enough of this sweet, buttery, and absolutely delicious snack, others decline the offer to engage their taste buds with the scrumptiousness of cashews. Dogs, however, are ever ready for a cashew treat. Their eagerness toward getting a taste of this buttery snack, especially when you’re munching on it, makes you wonder if you should give them a treat or two.

As a veterinarian and dog expert specializing in dog nutrition, I’m here to help guide you on whether cashews are good for your dog or not.

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Can Dogs Eat Cashews?

The fact that dogs love peanut butter is more than enough to make you believe that other nuts are safe for your pet as well. The truth is that they’re not. Cashews aren’t toxic for dogs, but there’s a chance your dog could be allergic to them.

Although this is a rare occurrence, it can be quite dangerous for your beloved pup. So, when you feed your dog cashews, make sure to look out for signs of an allergic reaction.

If you know your dog isn’t allergic, cashews can make for a great occasional snack for them, especially the younger ones. Since cashews are high in fat and protein, they’re pretty beneficial for young and active dogs. However, they can be equally harder on the system of overweight or older dogs.

Cashews are good to give your dog every once in a while since they can provide beneficial nutrients, such as omega-6 fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acids that can help control inflammation and keep the coat soft and shiny.

Moreover, cashews also contain fiber, antioxidants, protein, and minerals, including vitamin K, calcium, flavanols, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, and zinc.

Are Cashews Toxic for Dogs?

Unlike macadamia nuts, cashews aren’t toxic for dogs and don’t necessarily need to be avoided. As with any high-fat treat for dogs, practice moderation. Nibbling on a few cashews won’t do your dog any harm. However, you must keep a close eye on the amount of cashews your dog consumes. The major problem is that cashews are very high in fat, so when ingested in large amounts, they can cause gastrointestinal problems, such as pancreatitis.

Are Cashews Healthy for Dogs?

Just because a food has high nutritional properties and benefits humans, it doesn’t mean it will work the same for animals. As tropical nuts, cashew nuts are an excellent source of fiber, protein, copper, zinc, magnesium, and unsaturated fats. Its high fats are concerning for dog parents. Though it may not seem like a lot, cashews can make up a considerable part of your four-legged friend’s daily diet.

So, before feeding your dog cashews, the first question you should ask is, “does my dog require extra fat in their diet?” If that’s the case, then cashews are a great source. Moreover, they also contain other nutrients, such as vitamin K, vitamin E, and zinc, that can benefit your dog’s health.

Cashews are around 17% protein, 48% fat, and 30% carbohydrates by weight. So, on average, a cashew nut contains one gram of fat. The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) suggests that a 10-pound dog needs 275 calories a day, a 20-pound dog around 400 calories, and a 50-pound dog around 900 calories.

Vets also recommend the treats makeup no more than 10 percent of a dog’s daily calories. So, if your dog is healthy overall, just a few cashews should be fine while keeping in mind the calories and fat content. Limited quantities will allow your pup to enjoy the snack while fulfilling its nutritional requirements.

Is Eating Cashews Dangerous for a Dog?

While dogs can safely enjoy a few cashews, consuming them in large amounts can lead to many health issues down the road.

Allergies

Although rare, it is possible for a dog to get a severe allergy to cashews. Like humans, dogs can be allergic to certain foods, too. So, whenever you introduce your canine to a new food, make sure to look out for signs of an allergic reaction.

  • Itchy ears
  • Licking their paws
  • Rash
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Swelling
  • Hives

Obesity

Most dogs can safely have cashew nuts from time to time. However, since cashews contain high levels of fat, you’ll need to be careful when giving them to your pet as a treat. Since the average caloric intake of a 10-pound should be around 275 calories a day, and just an ounce of cashews contains 160 calories, this small treat will account for almost 75% of their daily requirements. If you give them other meals along with this and make it a regular occurrence, your pup is bound to gain weight, placing them at risk of serious health problems.

Pancreatitis

Cashews’ high-fat content is also a major concern when it comes to canines prone to pancreatitis. Incorporating fatty foods in your dog’s diet can cause their pancreas to get inflamed due to its inability to break down the fat.

As a dog parent, you must constantly look out for common symptoms of the disease, including lethargy, abdominal pain, and decreased appetite. When it goes undiagnosed for a long period, pancreatitis may require aggressive treatment.

Upset Stomach

Fatty meals can be tough to digest for dogs. Hence, munching on too many cashews can cause their stomach to get upset, resulting in vomiting and diarrhea. This is why it’s important to keep this snack out of your pup’s reach or ensure you’re around to supervise it when it’s eating.

Bladder Stones

Cashew nuts are packed with phosphorus, a substance that can harden inside a dog’s bladder, leading to bladder stones.

*Note: If your dog is following a prescription diet for other medical problems, such as diabetes or kidney disease, make sure to consult your vet before giving your pet cashews.

How to Feed Your Dog Cashews

If you plan on sharing human foods with your four-legged friend, it’s best to feed them food plain, including cashews. Your dog can only have cashews in small quantities occasionally. The cashews shouldn’t be seasoned, salted, or mixed with other nuts.

Salting or seasoning can be hard on your dog’s stomach and maybe even toxic. Additionally, mixing cashews with other nuts can be deadly for your pup. For instance, some nuts, such as macadamia nuts, are toxic to dogs, while others, including walnuts, almonds, and pecans, are bad for them. Therefore, you must ensure that you only give them the unsalted variety from a cashew-only bag.

Furthermore, don’t forget to inspect the cashews for mold before feeding your dog. Some types of mold contain a substance called aflatoxin that can upset your dog’s stomach causing bowel obstruction or liver failure.

Never feed your dog any kind of chocolate-covered nuts, including chocolate-covered cashews, since they are sweetened with xylitol and can result in serious illness.

How Many Cashews Can You Give Your Dog?

When feeding your dog cashews, follow the 10% rule that limits a dog’s treats to 10% of their daily diet. That will limit a 20-pound dog to about 3-4 cashews a day. Any more than that will exceed their daily caloric requirements.

About THE AUTHOR

Russell Wright

Russell Wright

I have had dogs my whole life and have always trained my own dogs with patience and positive reinforcement. My dogs are my life. My family always had dogs growing up. I've trained dogs for clients while working at a local dog daycare. I hope that my research and experiences are helpful to you as I share them here.

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