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Cashews share a love and hate relationship with humans. Some love it; others can’t stand it. Personally, I can only enjoy three to four cashews before I’ve had enough.
This isn’t the case with dogs, though, who will wolf down dozens of kernels in one sitting. Cashews aren’t toxic to dogs, but they can pose a threat if consumed in large amounts.
So, can dogs eat cashew nuts?
Cashews are a nutritious snack. They’re packed with proteins, healthy fats, and vitamins that are essential for your dog’s health.
However, there are four reasons why we can’t recommend cashews as a part of your dog’s daily diet.
Cashews are roughly 48% fat, which means just a handful can exceed your dog’s caloric needs. Veterinarians recommend that adult dogs get 12% of their caloric needs from fat. So, if your dog needs 300 calories a day, 36 calories should be derived from fat.
Now, let’s put that into perspective, one ounce of cashews (around 18 kernels) contains almost 120 calories in fat. That’s nearly four times what your dog needs!
This tells us that one or two cashews a day may be more than enough for your dog. Too much fat can cause problems like pancreatitis, an inflammation that requires immediate medical attention.
If you’d like to, you can feed your dog one kernel every now and then.
This isn’t common but possibly life-threatening. If your dog starts displaying any signs of an allergic reaction, you’ll need to take your dog to a vet immediately.
The usual symptoms of an allergic reaction are swelling, rash, and itching. If your dog displayed allergies to any type of nuts in the past, it’s best to altogether avoid cashews as well.
Like all tree nuts, cashews can grow molds that contain neurotoxins. These tremorgenic mycotoxins can cause tremors, seizures, or even death.
The best thing to do with cashews is to wash them under cold water for a couple of minutes. Then, dry them up and check for any signs of mold growth before serving.
Unfortunately, many dog owners don’t pay attention to the amount of sodium their dogs should consume.
Sodium is essential for the maintenance and growth of cells. However, excess sodium (a.k.a. too many salted cashews) can be harmful and sometimes dangerous for your dog.
Veterinarians recommend a maximum of 100 mg sodium for adult dogs. Again, one or two nuts should be enough. Although, unsalted cashews would be the wiser alternative.
It’s best to play it safe with foods like cashew and just avoid it altogether. Keep in mind not to feed your dog too many cashews; only one or two will suffice. Just keep a lookout for signs of allergies, and don’t fall for those adorable puppy eyes again!