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Thinking about sharing some nuts with your furry friend? Why not? After all, dogs love peanut butter. But can dogs have cashews? The short answer is yes! But, as with all good things, it’s important to practice moderation.

Are Cashews Bad for Dogs?

Cashews are safe for your dog to eat, but that doesn’t necessarily make them healthy. Cashews are high in fat and protein.3 Both of these are an important part of a healthy dog’s diet, but too much of one or the other can cause health problems.

Too much fat can cause your dog to develop pancreatitis, which leads to severe inflammation and dehydration.4 A high-fat diet can also contribute to weight gain, obesity, and diabetes. An excess of protein, meanwhile, can cause digestive issues and damage your dog’s kidneys.

If you are going to give your dog cashews, talk to your vet. You should always consult them before introducing your pooch to new foods, even if it’s a dog-safe fruit or vegetable. They can tell you if your dog is at risk of dietary issues.

Is salt bad for dogs?

Most cashews come salted. Dogs need a certain amount of salt in their diet. Salt is an electrolyte, meaning it helps with proper nerve function. But too much salt can lead to salt toxicosis. When a dog ingests an excess of salt and not enough fresh water, they become severely dehydrated. Further symptoms may include:

●      Lethargy

●      Muscle tremors

●      Seizures

●      Gastroenteritis (an intestinal infection that causes diarrhea, nausea, cramps, vomiting, and fever)

One or two salted cashews is not likely to give your dog salt toxicosis. Still, it’s important to be aware of your pup’s salt intake and make sure they have access to fresh water at all times.    

How to Safely Give Your Dog Cashews

Treats should make up no more than 10% of your dog’s daily food intake, and the same goes for cashews. Only give them out as a rare and special snack. Start with a single small piece, and watch your dog for signs of an allergic reaction. This could manifest as itching, swelling, or hives. Should this happen, bring your dog to the veterinarian right away.

Remember to only give them unseasoned cashews. You should also avoid feeding your dog cashews from a nut mix. Exposure to toxic nuts, like macadamia nuts, could lead to a medical emergency.   

Good News for Cashews

When it comes to a safe snack, cashews are one your dog can indulge in now and then. Although the health benefits are minimal, they pose few risks. Still, it’s best to be prepared for the worst-case scenario. If your dog does have a cashew allergy or is exposed to toxic foods, they’ll likely need emergency medical treatment. When the time comes, more than half of all pet parents are unable to afford the treatment their dog needs.5 Dog insurance from MetLife1 could help cover these expenses.2 Read more about how pet insurance can help you and your furry family.

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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.

1Pet 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.

2Provided 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”Are Cashews Good For You,” Healthline

4”Pancreatitis in Dogs – Symptoms, Treatment, & Prevention,” American Kennel Club

5“Access to Veterinary Care,” Access to Veterinary Care Coalition