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Home > Dogs > Can Dogs Eat Almonds? Vet Approved Facts & FAQ

Can Dogs Eat Almonds? Vet Approved Facts & FAQ

Can Dogs Eat Almonds

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Dr. Lorna Whittemore Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Lorna Whittemore

Veterinarian, MRCVS

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Almonds are the world’s favorite nut, with global production of roughly 1.643 million metric tons in 2021/20221. If you’re a fan, you’ve got plenty of company. It’s not surprising that you’d want to share one of your favorite treats with your canine BFF. After all, they offer several potential benefits for people, including blood sugar control and better cardiovascular health. Sadly, they don’t translate to dogs.

Almonds are not considered poisonous to your pup. However, they have some marks against them that make them an inappropriate treat. 


Nutritional Value of Almonds

The nutritional value of almonds undoubtedly prompted you to consider giving your pup almonds. After all, some people give their dogs peanut butter. However, peanuts are legumes and not tree nuts. There are stark differences between the two. Let’s consider what almonds have to offer you and your pet as part of a healthy diet.

A 1-ounce serving of unroasted almonds contains about 6 g of protein, 76.3 g of calcium, and 76.5 g of magnesium. It’s also a rich source of potassium, phosphorus, and vitamin E. While they sound good from this perspective, there is one red flag. The recommended calcium-phosphorus ratio for dogs is 1:1 to 2:1. The value for almonds is around 0.5:1.

The problem is that too much phosphorus in your pet’s diet can interfere with their calcium uptake. It’s further complicated by the nature of the nutrients. Phosphorus is ubiquitous in foods. Calcium is not. It’s worth noting that commercial dog foods are formulated with these dietary needs in mind. Nuts and seeds aren’t usually a part of a canine’s diet, so it can impair the proper digestion of them.

Image Credit: HVesna, Pixabay

Fat and Calories

We must address the elephant in the room whenever you talk about nuts and seeds: calories and fat. There’s a good reason why a typical serving is only 1 ounce. Almonds pack a whopping 164 calories in a small handful. Let’s put that figure in a canine perspective. While the recommended caloric intake for an adult human is 2,000 calories, it’s only 400 calories for a 20-pound dog.

Giving your pup over 40% of the recommended intake for one treat isn’t wise. While healthy, almonds aren’t nutritionally complete. Besides, treats should only make up 10% of your dog’s total daily intake.

On top of that, a 1-ounce serving of almonds has 14.1 g of fat. An adult canine should get a minimum of 13.8 g. Again, we must consider what else your pet is eating. Commercial dog foods contain between 25–60% calories from fat. The concern rests with obesity. Fat isn’t inherently bad; however, a balance between calories in and calories burned still exists with your pooch.

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Is the Salt in Almonds Bad for My Dog?

Dogs are not subject to the adverse effects of high sodium intake on kidney disease or high blood pressure. Consider our respective daily consumption of sodium. People typically get 50 mg/kg of body weight daily. Your pup’s intake is more like 30–200 mg/kg of body weight. Other research suggests canines and felines can adapt to varying sodium levels in their diets.

That makes evolutionary sense, given the diet of wild canines. Their prey, such as white-tailed deer, may contain comparable amounts of fat and sodium. Dogs can consume them because of thousands of years of adaptation. Domestication has resulted in an adaptive shift, whereas our pets can better digest starches. However, they are still facultative carnivores.

Image Credit: Free-Photos, Pixabay

Can Salt Ever Be Healthy for My Pet?

That doesn’t mean that salt toxicity doesn’t exist. It can occur with fatal results. The takeaway is that almonds might not be a significant contributor to these serious conditions. Perhaps the bigger question in these cases is adequate water intake. It’s also worth mentioning that dogs don’t taste salt like we do. Therefore, it isn’t going to make your pet’s food or treats taste any better to them.

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Final Thoughts

Almonds are a healthy snack for humans, but the benefits don’t translate to dogs. While they’re not toxic, they are also not a wise addition to your pet’s diet. They contain significant amounts of fat and calories, making them inappropriate for some pups, especially those prone to weight gain. We must also consider the risk of choking if a pooch consumes nuts too quickly without chewing.

You can give your pet many other treats that are healthier and better suited for canine consumption. Save your almonds as a special snack for yourself and give your pup something they can safely eat instead.

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Featured Image Credit: t_watanabe, Pixabay

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