Two Sides to the Hazelnut Coin – Are they Safe For Dogs?
The short and surface-level answer to this question is that hazelnuts will not make your dog sick and are not considered toxic. However, there are risks that might make them too bothersome to work into your dog’s diet. While these nuts are packed with vitamins and nutrients, they can be hard to chew and digest, making them risky for smaller dogs as well as puppies and older dogs that have trouble eating ad digesting food properly.
Can dogs eat hazelnuts, and should they? As a supplement and a treat worked into an otherwise balanced and nutritious diet, these nuts can be a good way to add some beneficial oils and fats to your dog’s diet. Be aware; however, that overindulgence can lead to obesity and stomach issues as they are known to be harder to digest than many other types of nuts.
Ultimately, you should consult a veterinarian and weigh the pros and cons together If you do decide to work hazelnuts into your pup’s diet, here are some things you will want to consider.
Nutritional Facts About Hazelnuts
Around 50 grams of hazelnuts, which is far more than what a dog should have in one single serving, contains:
- Carbohydrates: 8.35 grams
- Calories: 314 total
- Fat: 30.4 grams
- Fiber: 4.85 grams
- Sugar: 2.71 grams
- Protein: 7.5 grams
- Sodium: 0 milligrams
- Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
Hazelnuts that are raw and untreated with no additional flavors or additives are also packed many key nutrients and trave vitamins, including:
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin B6
So, from a pure health benefits perspective, these tasty treats are a lot better for your dog than sugary foods or other human foods you might be tempted to share with them. However, on the other side of the hazelnut coin are some real risks that must be considered.
4 Risks of Feeding Hazelnuts to Dogs
Understanding the common risks of feeding your pet hazelnuts and knowing what to look for in case an issue does arise is important for a pet owner. You need to decide whether your dog can benefit from eating hazelnuts or if there is too much risk involved. Also, be sure to contact your vet team if anything concerns you or your dog develops any worrisome symptoms.
1. Allergic reaction: An underlying risk anytime dogs eat foods that are made for humans or that are not in their normal, natural diet is some kind of allergic reaction. And just like with people, nuts are more likely to lead to allergic reactions than many other foods. Common side effects to look out for include itchiness, rash, swelling, watery eyes and nose, shaking, and gastrointestinal problems. Severe allergic reactions can be dangerous at times, so contact a vet right away if worrying symptoms occur after your dog eats hazelnuts.
2. Constipation: The bulky and tough shell surrounding the actual nut of the hazelnuts is a severe choking hazard for dogs. The nut inside is safe to eat, but the hull is difficult to break and chew, and many dogs will try to swallow them whole. Additionally, if a hazelnut is swallowed whole, it is difficult to digest and can sit in your dog’s stomach for some time. Undigested hazelnuts cause blockages which interrupt digestion and waste disposal, and it can lead to severe pain, and vomiting, and needs to be considered an emergency situation.
3. Gastrointestinal upset: Feeding nuts in general to your dog, like any other new food item, carries a risk of it bothering your dog’s stomach. Common symptoms of stomach upset can include nausea, vomiting, gas, bloating, and diarrhea. This can occur because of a mild reaction to the fat and minerals in the nuts or the fact that your dog just cannot digest the nuts as easily as they can other food. When you try to feed your dog hazelnuts for the first time start small, so any stomach issues are minor and short-lived.
4. Pancreatitis: Giving your dog a large number of hazelnuts is not a good idea due to their high fat and oil content. All of this adds on calories that can be difficult for some dogs to burn through appropriately. Eating excessive hazelnuts will put your dog in a caloric surplus which puts stress on many vital organs as excessive fat is held around the heart, lungs, and pancreas. If your dog eats hazelnuts, you should mention it to your veterinarian team and be sure that visits include a check of the pancreas and concerns over obesity are addressed.
Final Thoughts on Hazelnuts for Dogs
Hazelnuts are loaded with a number of vitamins and minerals that help keep your pup healthy and strong. Many elements in these tasty nuts are essential for overall health and wellness and can safely be added to your dog’s diet so long as proper care is taken ahead of time. Hazelnuts themselves are non-toxic, but they do pose a significant choking hazard and can commonly cause intestinal blockage.
So can dogs eat hazelnuts? Yes, but it might not be the best option. The best way to determine what is best for your canine family member is to consult with a local veterinarian and follow their advice and recommendations.