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Understanding which foods are safe for dogs can be tricky, and nuts are no exception. Some are generally safe and some are very toxic. But can dogs eat almonds? Short answer, not really. Dogs should not eat almonds for a number of reasons, but there is a bit of a gray area.

Keep reading to find out why dogs shouldn’t eat them, how to spot serious reactions, and what to do if you think your dog ate almonds.

Why Are Almonds Bad for Dogs?

Almonds are not considered toxic to dogs, which is why the “can dogs have almonds” discussion can get a little complicated. But just because they aren’t necessarily toxic doesn't mean dogs should have them. They can pose a few problems for dogs and should be avoided.

Almonds are high in fat, and many dogs have issues digesting them. They are also choking hazards, especially for small dogs.3 According to the American Kennel Club, some of the more serious risks of giving dogs almonds include gastrointestinal distress, pancreatitis flare-ups, and bowel obstructions.4 Pancreatitis and bowel obstructions require swift veterinarian attention.

Another thing to keep in mind is that many of the almonds we buy at the grocery store are often heavily salted or flavored. Salt can be poisonous to dogs and can lead to increased water retention, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, and in the most extreme cases, death.5

Can Dogs Eat Almond Butter?

We all know dogs love peanut butter as an occasional treat! And while it may be tempting to think almond butter is an acceptable replacement for peanut butter, it’s a bit more complicated than that. Almond butter is generally considered safe for dogs but can still be an issue, especially if your dog has trouble digesting almonds.

If you have to avoid peanut butter in your home, talk to your vet about your options.

Can Dogs Eat Almond Flour?

Yet another complication for you. Almond flour is generally considered safe for dogs in small amounts and is sometimes used in homemade dog treats. But just like almond butter, it’s not always the best choice.

Again, check with your vet before feeding it to your dog.

What Happens if Your Dog Eats Almonds?

Different dogs will react differently to eating almonds. Some may have no signs of an issue while some may react poorly. Signs of a serious issue after your dog eats almonds can include:

●      Vomiting

●      Diarrhea

●      Gas

●      Loss of appetite

●      Lethargy

What To Do if Your Dog Eats Almonds

If your dog only ate a couple of almonds, don’t panic. As long as they aren’t showing signs of choking or an upset stomach, there’s not too much reason to be overly concerned. Just continue to watch your dog for symptoms.

The same does not apply if your dog ate a large quantity of almonds. Call your vet or local animal hospital if you think your dog had more than just a few almonds. They will be able to direct you on what care is needed.

If your dog is showing signs of distress, seek immediate care.

Try Other Treats and Keep Your Pup Safe

Because almonds and dogs don’t really mix, we suggest trying out other “human food” treats. Crunchy fruits and vegetables like apples or carrots are great options. Just remember to speak with your vet before adding any foods to your dog’s diet.

You can also keep your pet safe by poison-proofing your kitchen, having emergency numbers on hand, and familiarizing yourself with basic first aid for pets.

When accidents happen or emergencies strike, the last thing you should be worried about is affording the care your furry family member needs. A dog insurance policy with MetLife1 may be able to help cover those unexpected but urgent vet visits.2 Learn how pet insurance works in the moments you need it most.

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Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances.

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.

2 Provided all terms of the policy are met. Application is subject to underwriting review and approval. Like most insurance policies, insurance policies issued by IAIC and MetGen contain certain deductibles, co-insurance, exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force. For costs, complete details of coverage and exclusions, and a listing of approved states, please contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC.

3 “Can Dogs Eat Almonds?” PetMD

4 “Can Dogs Eat Almonds?” American Kennel Club

5 “Salt Is Toxic To Pets,” Pet Poison Helpline