Can Dogs Eat Walnuts

As you may have noticed, your dog’s curiosity isn’t really something that fades with age. They are always eager to explore new things, particularly those that appear edible. Food doesn’t seem like the worst thing that your puppy can pick up off the floor, but we also know that accidental food poisoning can lead to an unexpected trip to the veterinary office, or worse.

Ever wondered whether dogs can eat almonds? Read here to find out more.

Or can dogs eat honey? Find out here.

Benefits of Walnuts

Walnut contains a lot of essential nutrients for our body. Thus, it’s usually a healthy addition to many of our favorite desserts and snacks. Unfortunately, dogs are unable to get similar benefits when digesting walnuts. Unlike sweet almonds and roasted cashews, which dogs can ingest safely in limited quantities, most walnuts are toxic even in small amount and should be avoided altogether.

Are Walnuts Safe for Dogs?

Walnuts can get contaminated with fungi and mold that are toxic to our pets. The tremorgenic mycotoxins that can accumulate in walnuts can upset a dog’s stomach or cause severe and potentially fatal systemic poisoning.

Even English walnuts, which are less toxic, are still hazardous if unchecked. Also, walnut has high fat content, which means that even if your dog eats walnuts in small quantities, they can still get various health problems and complications.

When are Walnuts Bad for Dogs?

Can Dogs Eat Walnuts__pup in vet_s clinic for check-upBlack walnut and moldy walnut are always a no-no for your pooch. But even those that are not contaminated can make their stomach upset or even cause intestinal blockage or choking if the dog is unable to break the food down properly. And before you ask, the outcome is the same even if the dogs eat cooked walnuts.

There’s nothing safer than avoiding walnut altogether. Even better, you should practice giving your buddies dog-safe treats that are unsalted and unseasoned. Cooked chicken or fresh carrots comes to mind, just don’t forget to slice and dice them for easier digestion.

What Happens if a Dog Eats Moldy Walnuts?

Dogs can suffer from mild to severe poisoning after ingesting moldy walnuts. In some cases, an allergic reaction may also occur for pets who are already allergic to nuts. Due to high-fat content, dogs may also develop pancreatitis over time, which is a painful and life-threatening condition for them.

Symptoms of Walnut Poisoning for Dogs

Can Dogs Eat Walnuts__fresh walnuts under a walnut treePet owners can look out for the following common noticeable signs of walnut poisoning:

  • Vomiting
  • Allergic reactions (itching, hives, digestive issues)
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive salivation
  • Fever
  • Tremors
  • Elevated heart rate, excessive panting
  • Lethargy or restlessness; weakness, especially in the hind legs

If the symptoms are severe or unclear, but the dog is clearly suffering after eating walnuts, then bring them to the local vet immediately. In addition, nuts are generally a choking hazard as well as a common cause of intestinal blockages.

Which Nuts are Toxic to Dogs?

If you can’t avoid nuts altogether, then you should at least watch out for the following types of nuts that are extremely toxic to dogs.

Black Walnut

Walnuts are generally harmful for dogs, but black walnuts are outright toxic [1], including the walnut tree and the seed’s hull. A component called juglone in these walnuts can poison your pup and induce severe vomiting, diarrhea, and tremors.

Macadamia Nuts

Can Dogs Eat Walnuts__macadamia nut is not recommended for dogsOne of our personal favorites! However, macadamia nuts are highly toxic to our dogs.

Vets and researchers remain unsure about the specific substance [2] that makes macadamia nuts terrible for dogs, much like with raisins and grapes. One thing that’s certain is that symptoms of poisoning can manifest even from eating as little as 1/10 of an ounce per roughly 2 pounds of body weight.

The most common sign is weakness, especially in the hind legs, but dogs can also feel cases of fatigue, diarrhea, vomiting, tremors and fever.


Pecan are not as toxic as black walnuts or macadamia nuts, but they are not safe for dogs either due to its high fat content.

Bitter Almonds

Can Dogs Eat Walnuts__bitter almond is toxic for humans and their petsWhile sweet almonds are not harmful to our pets in small amount, bitter almond, which is typically harvested and raised outside the US, are toxic to them and to us.

Bitter almonds are different from the ones we see in our local grocery stores, since these almonds are used to make bitter almond pastes or extracts. When broken down, bitter almonds produce cyanide. While there’s no clear indication on how much bitter almond is bad for you or your pet, it’s best avoided for general safety.

Raw Cashews

Roasted cashews are not considered toxic to dogs. However, the same cannot be said for raw cashews.

Hickory Nuts

Similar to black walnuts, hickory nuts contain juglone. As such, accidental ingestion can lead to a myriad of problems that will likely warrant a trip to the vet.

Are Walnuts or Pecans Poisonous to Dogs?

Walnuts and pecans can both be poisonous to dogs even if symptoms aren’t immediately noticeable. Feeding walnuts to your puppy is simply a bad idea. Instead of nuts, you can consider healthy snacks from your kitchen such as carrots, broccoli, cooked squash, and cooked chimkin!

Final Thoughts On Avoiding Walnut Poisoning in Dogs

Dogs eat nuts with the same vigor as us, but even so, the effects often cannot be further apart. Walnuts, in particular, contain healthy fats and other nutritional benefits for humans but are generally unhealthy for dogs.

Your dog’s possible incompatibility with nuts also applies even to unsuspecting processed products. In fact, even as a common treat, too much peanut butter can be harmful to your dog’s digestive system in ways that it isn’t to ours.

All things considered, the best precaution is still to avoid feeding walnuts to your pets and practice giving them treats that are part of their natural diet. In case your canine companion ingests walnuts and exhibits an accelerated symptom or two, then bring them to the veterinarian as soon as you can so that they can receive proper care and fully recover.

We have also written about can dogs eat mango here.

You can also read up on can dogs eat tomatoes.

Reference List:

[1] Coleman A, Merola V. Clinical signs associated with ingestion of black walnut tree (Juglans nigra) wood, nuts, and hulls in dogs: 93 cases (2001–2012), JAVMA. (2016)

[2] Cortinovis C, Caloni F. Household Food Items Toxic to Dogs and Cats, Front Vet Sci. (2016)

Can Dogs Eat Walnuts

Related Articles

Can Dog Eat Oranges

Can Dog Eat Oranges

Oranges are generally safe to eat for dogs in minimal amounts. Otherwise, its high sugar content and acidity can trigger health problems and allergic reactions in your unsuspecting pup. On

Read More »
Cute Rottweilers

I Love Rottie

Everything About Rottweilers

Our deep affection for these magnificent dogs started years ago when we welcomed our first Rottweiler into our family. Over time, we’ve added a few more of these big-hearted furballs to our clan, and along the way, we’ve gained valuable insights into their distinct personalities, needs, and quirks.

Whether you’re a seasoned Rottweiler owner or contemplating bringing one into your life for the first time, we’re here to offer guidance and can’t wait to share our knowledge and affection for this remarkable breed with you!

Our Popular Articles
Join Us

Join Our Rottie Community

Receive practical information to care for your Rottweiler

Can Dogs Eat Walnuts