Can Dogs Eat Walnuts?

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4 min read
4 min read

Updated - Aug 28th, 2023

Key Points

  • No, dogs should not eat walnuts due to the risk of walnut toxicity.
  • While walnuts are nutritious for humans, they can cause health issues in dogs.
  • Some dogs may not like the taste of walnuts, preferring their regular dog food.
  • Even in small amounts, walnuts can cause gastrointestinal upset or an obstruction in dogs.

Walnuts, while a healthy snack for humans, are not recommended for our canine companions. These nuts can pose a risk to dogs due to their high fat content and the potential for walnut toxicity.

It’s crucial to remember that what’s good for us isn’t always good for our pets. While walnuts are packed with beneficial nutrients for humans, they can cause health issues in dogs, including gastrointestinal upset and potential obstructions. Always consult with your veterinarian before introducing new foods into your dog’s diet.

Can Dogs Eat Walnuts?

The short answer is no, dogs should not eat walnuts. While walnuts are non-toxic to dogs in the same way that some other nuts are, they can still pose significant health risks. Walnuts are high in fat, which can lead to obesity and pancreatitis in dogs if consumed in large amounts. Additionally, walnuts can pose a choking hazard or cause ‌intestinal blockage, particularly in smaller dogs.

The Risks of Dogs Eating Walnuts

Feeding your dog walnuts can lead to several health issues. The high fat content can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and pancreatitis. Additionally, moldy walnuts can contain tremorgenic mycotoxins, which can cause seizures or neurological symptoms.

Nutritional Value of Walnuts

While walnuts are high in protein and healthy fats, they are not a suitable food for dogs. Dogs require a balanced diet that is specifically designed for their nutritional needs, which walnuts cannot provide.

Safe Nuts for Dogs

While walnuts are not safe for dogs, some other nuts can be given in moderation. These include:

  • Peanuts (Unsalted and not coated in any kind of flavoring. Peanut butter, in moderation, can also be a great treat.)
  • Cashews (Must be cooked or roasted, never raw. Also, unsalted and in small quantities.)

However, it’s always best to stick to dog-specific treats, as even safe nuts can cause issues if consumed in large amounts due to their high fat content. Always consult with your veterinarian before introducing new foods into your dog’s diet.

Alternatives to Walnuts for Dogs

If you’re looking for healthy treat alternatives for your dog, consider dog-safe fruits and vegetables, such as apples (without the core and seeds), carrots, and cucumbers. There are also many dog-friendly commercial treats available that are designed to be nutritionally balanced.

What to Do if Your Dog Eats Walnuts

If your dog consumes walnuts, monitor them closely for any signs of distress, such as vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, or lethargy. If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Other Dog-Friendly Human Foods

There are many human foods that are safe for dogs to consume. These include:

  • Carrots: A great source of vitamins and fiber, and they can help keep your dog’s teeth clean.
  • Apples: Packed with vitamins A and C, just make sure to remove the core and seeds.
  • Blueberries: A superfood that’s rich in antioxidants, which are beneficial for dogs.
  • Pumpkin: High in fiber and vitamin A, it can help with digestive issues.


Are black walnuts harmful to dogs?

Yes, black walnuts are particularly harmful to dogs. They can cause a type of poisoning called “tremorgenic mycotoxicosis,” which can lead to seizures and neurological symptoms.

Can puppies eat walnuts?

No, puppies should not eat walnuts. The high fat content and potential choking hazard make them unsuitable for puppies.

How many walnuts are toxic to dogs?

Even a small amount of walnuts can cause health issues in dogs, such as gastrointestinal upset. If your dog consumes walnuts, it’s best to contact your veterinarian.

Are there any nuts that are safe for dogs?

Some nuts, like peanuts and cashews, can be safe for dogs in small amounts. However, it’s always best to consult with your veterinarian before introducing new foods into your dog’s diet.

What should I do if my dog eats a walnut?

If your dog eats a walnut, monitor them closely for any signs of distress. If you notice any symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, or lethargy, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Bottom Line

While it might be tempting to share your snacks with your furry friend, it’s important to remember that not all human foods are safe for dogs. Walnuts, in particular, can pose significant health risks. Instead, opt for dog-safe treats and foods that can provide the nutrients your dog needs without the potential hazards. As always, when introducing new foods to your dog’s diet, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian.

Pumpkin Team

Pumpkin Team

Passionate Pet Experts & Parents
We are a team of writers, designers & product developers who all double as passionate (ok, obsessive) nerds of the pet world.
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