Dog parents often wonder if feeding cashews to dogs is acceptable or not. The short answer is yes, but you must make sure that they are cooked, and you should only feed them to your dog in moderation. Too much of anything isn't good for dogs — or humans for that matter.
Cashews for dogs?
Cashews are safe for dogs to eat, generally speaking. Cashews are not toxic to dogs as long as they're cooked or roasted. Raw cashews have a toxin that gets eliminated during the cooking process. They are high in protein and fat. For the latter reason, it's advisable not to feed large quantities of cashews to your dog. High fat diets and foods can cause pancreatitis, an often fatal affliction in dogs that requires veterinary intervention.
Fatty foods and treats can also lead to obesity, and that can cause joint problems or diabetes, which is common in dogs and cats. It's a good idea to use only unsalted cashews, as salt can be bad for dogs. Some dogs can be allergic to nuts — either specific nuts or all nuts — just like humans. Be careful if your dog is prone to allergies. Look for allergic reactions, such as swelling, itching, or hives.
Keep an eye on quantity
For an active dog that weighs about 20 pounds, you can give him a few cashews per day, but no more than three or four. Larger, active dogs can probably have a little more, but it's best not to overdo cashews regardless of your dog's size because of the fat content. Less is more!
Though these nuts are high in nutrition, it's best to find a delicate balance between counting on cashews as your go-to treat versus just feeding a cashew here and there occasionally. A great way to use cashews without overusing them for treats is to make recipes substituting cashews for peanuts or peanut butter. There are many recipes available online.
Dogs love cashews
If your dog sees you enjoying a bite-size treat, they will naturally be curious to see if you'll share. Many dogs love cashews because of the resemblance to dog treats as well as the consistency and taste. Cashews are full of healthy, beneficial nutrients including antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, omega-6 fatty acids, calcium, zinc, magnesium, and other vitamins and minerals. These nutrients are helpful in reducing inflammation; making bones, skin, and fur healthier; and boosting the immune system.
Which nuts are bad?
There are actually quite a few types of nuts that shouldn't be given to dogs because they can be harmful or even dangerous. Macadamia nuts, pecans, walnuts, pistachios, and almonds are toxic for dogs.
Peanuts are not considered toxic to dogs, but there are folks who say peanuts are the one nut that can cause pancreatitis in dogs more than any other. As with cashews, it's best to give a peanut once in a while or make recipes with unsalted peanut butter but don't count on peanuts as the main treat for your pooch.
What about grapes and raisins?
For dogs, eating even one grape or raisin (a dried grape) can be fatal. Grapes and raisins cause kidney failure in dogs, and it's pretty much immediate. Believe it or not, scientists do not know which substance in grapes/raisins actually causes acute kidney failure in dogs. If your dog has eaten a grape or raisin, go to your vet immediately. Look for these signs and symptoms of grape toxicity:
- Appetite loss
- Weakness or lethargy
- Diarrhea or vomiting
- Panting, dry nose or mouth, pale gums
- Dehydration, including excessive thirst and/or lack of urination