Yes, dogs can eat cashews as they are a good source of protein and fatty acids. Make sure to feed only unsalted cashews and that too as an occasional treat. The excessive fatty acids in cashews can lead to obesity, diabetes, and joint issues.
Cashews are not toxic for dogs as compared to other nuts like macadamia nuts. However, there are some potential risks.
According to USDA, 100g (3.53 ounces) of cashews contain 553 calories, 30.2g of carbohydrates, 43.8g of fat, 18.2g of protein, and 5.91g of sugar.
- Cashews are low in sugar and rich in health-promoting nutrients. They contain a high level of copper, magnesium, and manganese- compounds essential for energy production, brain functions, immune system, and bone health in dogs.
- Cashews are a rich source of antioxidants such as carotenoids and polyphenols, which may protect from disease and inflammation. But more research is needed to explore how cashew intake may affect dog health.
- Cashews have a lower caloric count. They are rich in fiber and protein which both help your dog stay full and reduce hunger cravings. It’s for this reason that your dog may be more likely to lose weight when snacking on them in moderation.
- Based on the available research, nut-rich diets seem to be advantageous for dog heart health. Cashews may also be beneficial in lowering blood pressure, triglycerides, and cholesterol. However, more studies are needed before strong conclusions can be drawn.
- A high-fat diet can result in pancreatitis, a life-threatening condition that requires immediate veterinary attention.
- Fatty foods also contribute to weight gain. Feeding your dog too many of these kinds of foods increases the likelihood that they will either become fat or develop a related disease, such as diabetes or joint issues.
- Cashews can lead to obstruction or choking in smaller dogs. Larger cashews or nuts pose a threat to large breeds as well because they could get lodged in their throat and cause severe injury.
- Cashew nuts can make your pup’s bladder hard, which may contribute to the formation of bladder stones.
- Cashews are usually salted. Too much salt can lead to salt toxicity, the symptoms of which include vomiting, weakness, diarrhea, and muscle tremors in dogs.
- Despite the relatively low chances of developing an allergic reaction, it’s important to identify the symptoms when introducing dogs to any human food. Symptoms include swelling, hives, and itchiness.
How to feed cashews to dogs?
- Contact your vet before serving any new food to your dog.
- Choose packaged, unsalted, raw, or roasted cashews to feed your dog.
- Be sure to inspect cashew nuts for mold before feeding them to your pet. Some types of mold can contain aflatoxin, which can upset the stomach and lead to serious bowel obstruction or liver failure.
- It’s best to not give your pup cashews that are shelled because the shells contain a toxin called anacardic acid which can cause gastroenteritis and dry out their skin.
- Never feed your pup any chocolate-covered cashews, as well as other nut products sweetened with xylitol. These are toxic to dogs and can lead to serious illness.
How many cashews can a dog eat?
3-5 unsalted cashews are good for a dog in the daily diet. Too many can lead to gastrointestinal issues. Always remember that any treat should not exceed 10% of a dog’s daily diet.
Can dogs have cashew butter?
No, if you bought the cashew butter from a store as they’re often full of added or unnecessary (and unhealthy) salt, sugars, or oils that are not safe for dogs.
There is an easier way to make dog-safe, honey-sweetened cashew butter at home by blending 1 cup of unsalted, roasted cashews with a dash of honey in your food processor until smooth.
Plant Breeder and Freelance Content Writer