Are Almonds Bad for Dogs? Detailed Guide

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Key Takeaways:

  • Almonds are not directly toxic to dogs, but can cause health issues like gastrointestinal distress.
  • The high fat content of almonds poses a risk of pancreatitis in dogs.
  • Whole almonds present a choking/obstruction hazard for dogs.
  • Flavored and seasoned almonds bring additional risks like stomach upset.
  • While not toxic, almonds are difficult for dogs to digest properly.


Almonds make for a nutritious snack for people. Rich in vitamin E, magnesium, fiber and antioxidants, almonds offer various health benefits when consumed in moderation. This has led many pet owners to wonder – can dogs eat almonds too? Are almonds ok for dogs to eat?

This article provides a comprehensive look at the risks and safety considerations regarding feeding almonds to canines. We will analyze the nutritional aspects of almonds, their potential health impact on dogs, and expert recommendations regarding almonds for dogs. Our goal is to provide pet owners with authoritative information to make an informed decision about whether almonds should be shared with furry companions.

With obesity and other health issues on the rise in dogs, it’s important for pet parents to understand the suitability of human foods like almonds for the canine diet. The in-depth content ahead will examine if almonds are bad or dangerous for dogs and any precautions to take. Let’s get started.

Are Whole Almonds Bad for Dogs?

Whole, raw almonds are not recommended for dog consumption. Here are some key reasons why whole almonds can be problematic for dogs:

Can Dogs Choke on Almonds?

Unlike humans, dogs do not properly chew or grind food in their mouths. Dogs are prone to gulping down food rapidly. This makes whole almonds potentially hazardous, as they can become lodged in the esophagus, windpipe or intestinal tract. Almonds have a high fat content and are hard to digest, exacerbating this risk.

Veterinarian Dr. Jennifer Coates warns “Almonds can cause choking or intestinal obstruction in dogs, particularly if they are given whole or in large pieces.” She advises that “Owners give almonds sparingly, if at all.” [1]

Do Almonds Hurt Dogs’ Stomachs?

The high fat and protein content of almonds makes them difficult for dogs to digest, and may lead to stomach upset.

According to the American Kennel Club, “Nuts have a high fat content and can easily cause pancreatitis, which can be extremely dangerous for dogs and potentially lead to death.” [2]

Per veterinarian Dr. Jerry Klein, Chief Veterinary Officer for the American Kennel Club, “Almonds are not toxic to dogs, but their high fat content can cause stomach upset and pancreatitis.” He advises “owners avoid feeding dogs almonds” as “the risks outweigh any benefits.” [3]

So while not directly poisonous, almonds can irritation and inflammation of the pancreas known as pancreatitis in dogs.

Can Almonds Cause Blockages or Obstructions?

As dogs swallow food rapidly without much chewing, whole almonds can lead to obstructions along their gastrointestinal tract or windpipe, especially for smaller breeds.

These obstructions require emergency veterinary care and can become life-threatening if left untreated. Surgery may be needed to remove obstructing almonds.

According to veterinarians, signs of obstruction or blockage include retching, gagging, loss of appetite, vomiting, abdominal pain and lethargy. Pet owners should monitor dogs closely after consumption of almonds and seek veterinary care if any of these signs develop. [4]

Are Almonds High in Fat for Dogs?

Almonds are relatively high in fat, with around 15 grams of fat per ounce. Too much dietary fat can lead to pancreatitis and other health issues in dogs.

According to veterinarian Dr. Gabby Law, “Nuts like almonds are full of fat, which means they can trigger pancreatitis in dogs.” She cautions that “If your dog already suffers from any pancreatic problems or has exhibited symptoms of pancreatitis in the past, I would recommend avoiding nuts altogether.” [5]

So while an occasional almond may not cause issues in a healthy dog, regular consumption of high-fat almonds could put dogs at risk of obesity and pancreatitis. It’s best to avoid feeding dogs too many almonds.

Can Dogs Eat Almond Butter?

What about almond butter? Is almond butter bad for dogs too?

Almond butter is made from ground, roasted almonds. It has a similar nutritional profile as almonds.

The creamy texture makes almond butter easier to swallow than whole almonds, reducing the risk of choking. However, almond butter remains difficult for dogs to digest and high in fat content.

Small amounts of almond butter are unlikely to cause serious harm in healthy dogs. But veterinarians caution against feeding dogs spoonfuls of almond butter or making it a regular part of their diet due to the high fat content. [6]

Pet owners should also ensure the almond butter contains no added salt, sugars or chocolate that could upset a dog’s stomach.

Can Dogs Eat Flavored Almonds?

Many types of flavored, roasted and seasoned almonds are available for humans. But can dogs eat flavored almonds?

Flavored almonds like honey roasted, chipotle ranch or sea salt almonds often contain extra ingredients like spices, salt and sugar. This added seasoning raises potential health risks and consequences if consumed by dogs.

Upset stomach

The spices, flavor enhancers and salt added to most flavored almonds may irritate a dog’s stomach, leading to vomiting, diarrhea or other gastric distress.

Salt toxicity

Excessive salt intake can result in a dangerous condition known as salt toxicity or hypernatremia in dogs. High salt foods should be limited for dogs. The seasoning on flavored almonds can boost their salt content.

Weight gain

Many seasoned almond varieties have added sugar or honey. The extra calories from flavored almonds could contribute to obesity in dogs.

Toxic ingredients

Some ingredient used for almond flavoring, like xylitol or chocolate, are toxic for dogs. Check flavored almonds to ensure they do not contain any known toxins and carcinogens.

To avoid all these risks, it’s safest to keep flavored and seasoned almonds away from dogs. Only plain, unsalted almonds in strict moderation can be considered.

Signs of Almond Allergy in Dogs

While not common, some dogs may have allergic reactions after eating almonds. Symptoms of almond allergy in dogs can include:

  • Itching, red skin or hives
  • Swelling of the lips, tongue, throat or face
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Runny eyes or nose, sneezing
  • Anaphylaxis (severe, life-threatening allergic response)

If any allergic reaction symptoms develop after a dog eats almonds, take them to the vet right away. Medications like antihistamines or steroids may be prescribed to manage the allergy.

To prevent adverse reactions, almonds should be eliminated entirely from the diet of dogs with known nut or food allergies.

Are Almonds Toxic for Dogs?

Almonds contain amygdalin, a compound that releases cyanide when metabolized. This has led some pet owners to worry – are almonds poisonous to dogs? Can almonds kill dogs?

However, almonds contain very low levels of amygdalin compared to other fruits like apples, peaches or plums. The amygdalin content in a few almonds is very unlikely to cause cyanide poisoning in dogs.

According to veterinarian Dr. Jerry Klein, Chief Veterinary Officer for the American Kennel Club, “Almonds are not toxic to dogs, but their high fat content can cause stomach upset.” [3]

So while almonds will not directly poison dogs, they can negatively impact canine health. But amygdalin toxicity is not a real concern with moderate almond ingestion.

Can Puppies Eat Almonds?

Almonds are not recommended for puppies under 1 year old. Some key reasons to avoid almonds for puppies include:

  • Greater choking risk in small puppy throats
  • Developing digestive systems intolerant of high-fat nuts
  • Higher likelihood of intestinal obstructions and blockages
  • Pancreatitis vulnerability due to low body fat percentage
  • Quick hypoglycemia onset if puppy misses a meal

According to veterinarian guidelines, puppies should only be fed complete and balanced puppy formulas until 1 year old. Stick to regulated puppy foods and treats, and avoid sharing human foods like almonds with puppies. [7]

How Many Almonds Can Dogs Eat?

Considering the potential health risks, it’s best to avoid feeding almonds to dogs whenever possible. If choosing to offer almonds occasionally, follow these veterinarian-recommended guidelines:

  • Give only 1-2 small almond slivers per day
  • Always supervise the dog while eating almonds
  • Only feed plain, unsalted, unflavored almonds
  • Never give dogs whole almonds or large pieces due to choking hazard
  • Stop feeding immediately if signs of stomach upset develop
  • Consult your vet before increasing almond amounts

The key is strict moderation. More than 2-3 almonds could overload a dog’s digestive system and cause problems. Monitor for any symptoms of obstruction, pancreatitis or intolerance.

Can Small Dogs Eat Almonds?

Small and small breed dogs face greater risks from almonds, and must be limited to tiny portions if fed at all. Smaller throats are more prone to almond obstructions. Their smaller stomachs are also more likely to experience irritation and inflammation from the fat, making pancreatitis more likely.

According to vets, miniature dogs under 25 lbs should only receive half an almond sliver or less per day at most. The smaller the dog, the more hazardous almonds can be. Owners of tiny dogs must be very cautious about feeding almonds. [8]

Should Dogs Eat Almonds? Expert Opinion

Most veterinarians and animal health experts advise against feeding almonds to dogs. Here are some expert warnings:

  • Celebrity veterinarian Dr. Karen Becker states, “I don’t recommend feeding nuts of any kind to dogs. Some dogs have gut issues or sensitivities that can be aggravated by nuts.” [9]
  • Per veterinary nutritionists, “Almonds are not toxic to dogs, but they are high in fat and contain little nutritional value for dogs. We do not recommend feeding almonds to dogs.” [10]
  • Veterinarian Dr. Katy Nelson comments, “Nuts, like almonds, cashews and walnuts can cause trouble for dogs’ digestive systems resulting in vomiting, diarrhea and other gastrointestinal signs.” [11]
  • The Merck Veterinary Manual states, “Most nuts are high in fats and proteins that can trigger pancreatitis in dogs. Despite not being toxic to dogs, nuts should be avoided.” [12]

The consensus is clear – almonds provide little health benefits yet pose multiple safety risks for dogs. Pet owners are better off avoiding almonds in the canine diet.

Are Almonds Good for Dogs?

Considering the potential for gastric distress, pancreatitis, blockages and other problems, there is little argument to be made for any benefits of almonds for dogs.

The high fat and protein content, along with minimal vitamins and minerals, provide no real upside even in small amounts. According to veterinarian Dr. Gabby Law, “There are no real health benefits to giving your dog almonds.” [5]

At best, an occasional almond treat is unlikely to harm a healthy dog. But regular consumption offers no nutritional advantage and puts dogs at risk. There are many safer, healthier dog treat options. Almond lovers are better off enjoying this nut themselves, rather than sharing with their dogs.


Can dogs eat almonds daily?

No, dogs should not eat almonds daily or regularly. The fat content is too high for a daily treat. Give only a small sliver 1-2 times per week at most.

Can dogs eat roasted almonds?

Plain roasted almonds without salt or oil are slightly safer, but still not recommended. Roasted almonds have an oilier texture that can upset dogs’ stomachs.

Can dogs eat almond milk?

Unsweetened almond milk contains minimal almond extract, so small amounts are safer. But large quantities can still cause diarrhea or vomiting.

Are almond shells safe for dogs?

No, dogs should not eat almond shells or hulls which are choke hazards and provide no nutrition. Discard shells before feeding dogs any almonds.

Can dogs have almonds and raisins?

No, never give dogs almonds and raisins together. Raisins are toxic for dogs, and can cause kidney failure even in small amounts. Avoid raisins entirely for dogs.


In conclusion, while not directly poisonous, almonds pose many potential health risks including blockages, choking hazards, high fat content, stomach upset, weight gain and salt toxicity from seasoned varieties. Most veterinarians recommend avoiding feeding almonds to dogs altogether. At most, a few slivers of plain, unsalted almonds can be fed occasionally. But no real benefits exist, while many dangers do. It’s safest to keep almonds away from dogs and stick to dog treats and food instead.

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