Can Dogs Eat Cashews Safely? An Expert Weighs In

·4 min read
can dogs eat cashews dog in front of cashews on a green backgound
can dogs eat cashews dog in front of cashews on a green backgound

Emma Darvick / Back in the Pack Dog Portraits / george733 / Getty

Cashews are a sweet, buttery snack that are rich in both flavor and nutrients. When it comes to us humans, cashews undoubtedly have their health benefits, like promoting brain health, heart health, bone health, and immunity. If you love to munch on cashews and share food with your canine companion, the question of 'can dogs eat cashews, too?' may cross your mind.

The verdict: yes, dogs can eat cashews as long as it's in moderation. Just try not to go too nuts with this snack!

RELATED: Can Dogs Eat Pecans?

Can Dogs Eat Cashews?

Certain nuts, like macadamia nuts, are toxic for dogs and should absolutely be avoided. The good news for cashews is that this is not the case. Dogs who nibble a few cashews off the floor will be just fine.

As with any treat, moderation is the best policy. Laura Robinson, DVM and veterinary advisor to Pawp, says that cashews are safe for dogs, but advises pet parents to watch amounts closely. "The only issue [with cashews] is that they are very high in fat, so in large amounts or in dogs sensitive to fat, it can cause gastrointestinal (G.I.) issues, such as pancreatitis."

Are Cashews Good for Dogs?

Cashews are one of the most popular nuts for us humans to snack on, and honestly, how could they nut be? These tasty, tropical nuts are a good source of:

  • Protein

  • Fiber

  • Unsaturated fats (AKA the good kinds!)

  • Magnesium

  • Copper

  • Zinc

But do dogs benefit from cashews the same as humans?

Robinson says cashews "are not necessarily good for dogs, but they're not necessarily bad" either. The amount of calories and fat in cashews serve as a great reminder that they should stay an only occasional treat.

To put it into perspective, 18 raw, unsalted cashews make up a single serving, according to the USDA. A single serving is about 160 calories, 12 grams of fat, and 9 grams of carbs.

To us, that may not seem like a lot … and we'll happily chomp away! However, cashews can make up a significant portion of our furry friend's daily diet.

According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP), a 10-pound dog requires up to 275 calories every day, a 20-pound dog needs about 400 calories, and a 50-pound dog needs around 900 calories. Veterinarians often recommend that treats consist of no more than 10 percent of your dog's daily calories. So, if your dog's at a healthy weight, give just a few whole cashews to be mindful of the calories and fat content and to let your pup enjoy the taste and nutritional benefits.

Something else to watch out for when feeding your dog cashews is nut allergies. Dogs, like humans, can be allergic to certain foods, too. While food allergies are rare in dogs, you'll want to look for signs of an allergic reaction any time you introduce your canine companion to a new food. Symptoms include:

How To Safely Feed Your Dog Cashews

When it comes to sharing human foods with your favorite four-legged friend, it's usually best to feed them food plain—and that includes cashews, too.

"Give [cashews] only in small quantities, and don't feed on a regular basis," Robinson says. "They should not be salted, seasoned, or mixed with other nuts."

Avoid salt and seasoning, as too much can be hard on your dog's stomach and can even be toxic. Cashews should also not be mixed with other nuts since not all nuts are safe for dogs to eat.

When feeding your dog cashews, Robinson advises to watch out for vomiting, diarrhea, and choking.

Can Dogs Eat Cashew Butter or Milk?

Cashew milk and cashew butter have become staples in many of our diets as a dairy-free option that's vegan-friendly in the place of cow's milk and butter. And since dogs can eat cashews, you might be wondering if they can also have a lick of cashew butter or milk.

"They are both acceptable in small quantities, just like cashews," Robinson says. "However, you want to check the ingredient list and make sure there are not too many other additives. You specifically want to check for xylitol, which is a type of sugar alcohol that is toxic to dogs. You also want to check that there are no other nuts added, such as macadamia nuts, which are bad for dogs."

So sweetened versions of cashew milk or butter would be cause for concern when it comes to your dog. As with any new food, consult with your veterinarian to see if they have any advice about feeding your dog cashews—your pet's vet will have insight about your dog's health and wellbeing that can help you make an informed choice about whether or not to feed your pooch cashews or other products made from cashews.