Ever found yourself munching on a handful of cashews and wondered: “can dogs eat cashews?”
The short answer is yes, dogs can eat cashews.
But as with any human food, there are a few things you need to keep in mind before you let your dog indulge.
Here’s everything you need to know about feeding your dog cashews safely…
Are Cashews Nuts?
Cashews are not nuts, neither are they legumes, as many people believe. They grow on a tropical tree called Anacardium occidentale, which produces a stalk called a cashew apple. The fruit grows under the cashew apple and is known as a drupe. The shell is inedible and toxic, but inside is the cashew. Cashews’ botanical classification is a drupe seed. Other drupe seeds are walnuts, almonds, pistachios and pecans, so those are technically not nuts either.
Can Dogs Eat Cashews Safely?
Yes, cashews are safe for dogs to eat – in moderation. They contain healthy fats, proteins, and minerals that can be beneficial for your dog. However, like any other food, you still need to be careful about how much you give your dog.
Dogs have different digestive systems than humans, so some foods that we can eat without any problems can cause health issues for dogs. That’s why if you’re giving your dog cashews for the first time, it’s always best to start with a small amount and watch for any signs of discomfort, allergies, or digestive problems.
Also, if you feed your dog cashews, it's important to stick with plain, unsalted, and unflavored cashews. Salt and other flavorings have the potential to cause stomach upset, dehydration, and other health problems in dogs.
Lastly, even though they’re safe to eat, even plain cashews should be fed in moderation. Too many cashews can quickly raise your dog’s fat and calorie intake, which means these nuts can lead to obesity if fed too frequently.
Can Dogs Eat Honey Roasted Cashews?
While plain cashews are safe for dogs to eat, honey-roasted cashews are not recommended. Flavored nuts often contain seasonings and high amounts of sugar, which can lead to obesity, dental problems, and even diabetes in dogs.
The added salt, sugar and flavorings in honey-roasted cashews can also cause stomach upset and other health issues for your dog. So, it’s best to stick with plain, unsalted cashews for your dog.
Can Dogs Eat Salted Cashews?
Salted cashews are not good for dogs. The high salt content can lead to excessive thirst, dehydration, and even sodium ion poisoning in dogs.
Sodium ion poisoning in dogs is a serious condition that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, seizures, and even death in severe cases. So, it’s best to avoid giving your dog salted cashews altogether.
If your dog accidentally eats a few salted cashews, it likely won’t cause a problem. But be sure to watch him for any signs of sodium ion poisoning (weakness, muscle tremors, and other seizure-like activity) and contact your vet immediately if you notice any symptoms.
Cashew Benefits For Dogs
Cashews for dogs should only ever be an occasional snack or treat. That said, there are plenty of cashew benefits for dogs as long as they’re fed in moderation:
1. Support Bone Health
Cashews are a great source of magnesium, which is helps maintain healthy bones in dogs. Magnesium helps in the absorption of calcium and promotes strong bone growth, reducing the risk of bone-related diseases.
Magnesium also has plenty of benefits outside of bone health: it’s responsible for over 300 functions in the body!
2. Help Blood Sugar Levels
Cashews are a rich source of healthy fats and proteins that can help regulate blood sugar levels in dogs. Protein and fats are absorbed more slowly, so they can help stabilize energy levels without spiking blood sugar too much.
This is especially beneficial for dogs with diabetes.
3. Reduce Oxidative Stress
Cashews contain antioxidants, including vitamin E, that reduce oxidative stress and support normal body functions.
4. Aid Digestion
Finally, cashews are high in fiber, which is essential for maintaining good digestive health. Depending on their diet, dogs may not get enough fiber in their daily diets. But fiber is super important when it comes to regulating bowel movements, preventing constipation, and promoting a healthy gut microbiome.
Feeding Your Dog Cashews Safely
Even though there are cashew benefits for dog, you don’t just want to feed your dog any old cashews, or let him eat as much of them as he wants.
Feeding your dog cashews safely is easy, as long as you keep a few general guidelines in mind:
- Start by feeding a small amount and watch for any signs of discomfort or digestive problems.
- Only give your dog plain, unsalted cashews, preferably organic to avoid pesticide or herbicide residues.
- Limit the amount of cashews you give your dog. Too many can cause stomach upset, obesity, and other health problems.
- Cashews should never be a substitute for your dog's regular diet. They should only be given as an occasional treat, snack,m or reward.
Dogs can eat cashews safely as long as you follow the guidelines mentioned above.