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Nuts

Types of Nuts a Poodle Can and Cannot Eat

Overview

Since many types of nuts are super healthy for humans, it's common for owners to wonder which types of nuts a Poodle can eat and if any should be either added to meals for nutritional benefit or offered as snacks. 
Also, we've received many emails asking if it is okay for a Poodle to eat peanut butter.

In addition, there are always instances in which a Poodle puppy or dog may eat peanuts, almonds or other nuts by either sneaking the food or by another person unwittingly thinking that they are offering a tasty treat. 

For these reasons, this section will discuss:
  • Which nuts a Poodle of any variety (toy, miniature or standard) can technically eat
  • Calorie and other nutritional information
  • How much peanut butter a Poodle can eat and the best methods to offer this
  • Which nuts are toxic and absolutely unsafe for canines to ingest

An Overview of Nuts

While nuts do have their benefits such as containing healthy fats and being packed with protein, some nuts can also have extremely high sodium levels. Dogs do need sodium and this is present in every commercial food.

However, the general guideline is no more than 100 mg per 33 pounds (about 3 mg per each pound of body weight). This means that an adult toy Poodle weighing 8 pounds should not ingest more than 24 mg, a miniature Poodle weighing 15 pounds should have no more than 45 mg and a standard adult Poodle of 60 pounds should have no more than 180 mg of sodium. 

And even though the fat (unsaturated fatty acids) can have some benefits to humans, when ingested in high quantities this can cause stomach upset and intestinal distress to dogs.  

Therefore, as we go forward please keep in mind that while some nuts can be given to a Poodle, these need to be offered in moderation. In general, if your Poodle does instead love the taste, nuts should be considered a special treat and never as a regular snack that is routinely given. 
bowl of peanuts

Can a Poodle Eat Peanuts? 

You may be surprised to know that these are actually in the legume family and are not technically nuts. However peanuts are not considered to be toxic to dogs, therefore technically a Poodle can eat a small portion of peanuts. However, there are several concerns regarding this food. 

They are very high in fat; Dry roasted peanuts are 50% fat and just one cup of these contains 72 grams. 

The canine digestive system can have trouble digesting foods that are this high in fat (even if it is the type that is considered 'healthy') if too much is ingested and this can lead to a Poodle suffering from upset stomach, vomiting, loose stools and/or diarrhea.
In addition, the salt content is relatively high as well; 26 mg in each cup. 

Keeping in mind the recommended sodium levels for canines, a toy Poodle (8 lbs.) only needs 24 mg and a cup of peanuts would put the dog above the safe limit and this is not even factoring in the sodium that he ingests via main meals. 

Since it does contain protein, vitamin E (which can boost a dog's immune system) and vitamin H (this can help keep the coat shiny) this is a health food to some extent. It is rather high in calories however with 414 in a half cup. A Poodle can be given a few peanuts as a treat; it is not recommended to have this be a regular snack or given in large amounts. Ahead we will discuss peanut butter, which is actually quite different. 

Can a Poodle eat peanut butter? 

The answer is yes, though in moderation. You may wonder why a Poodle should not eat a lot of peanuts but why it is fine for the puppy or dog to eat peanut butter. 

There are several factors involved. 1) The nut itself is not toxic at all and does have some health benefits; it just needs to be given in moderation.  

2) Canines have trouble digesting peanuts and for many Poodles, the nuts will come out in the stools rather whole, similar to what happens when many humans eat corn kernels. So, peanut butter is handled better by the body than the whole nut itself. 
spoonful of peanut butter
3) Most owners offer peanut butter stuffed into Kongs or other treat-release toys along with kibble. This creates a super tasty treat that takes a dog a long time to actually eat and this is why it works so well when wanting to keep a Poodle busy or distracted. A Poodle is not given a lot at once and eats it slowly over the course of hours. 

If you want to give your Poodle some peanut butter, do choose the smooth variety, limit the amount to one stuffed Kong. When preparing the mixture for the treat release chew, you can use other 'sticky' ingredients as well such as a bit of cream cheese or mashed banana. A good dab of peanut butter works well to hold all of the food in. And this sort of treat works very well to keep a Poodle busy; it can be useful when used in conjunction with other methods to reduce separation anxiety. One tablespoon of peanut butter has 94 calories. 
almonds in a small cup

Can a Poodle eat almonds?

While not officially considered to be toxic, almonds should not be given to a Poodle. Unlike peanuts (which are a legume and not a nut), almonds can cause upset stomach and gastrointestinal issues including vomiting, bloating, stomach cramps, frequent or loose stools and/or diarrhea. 

In addition, depending on the size of the Poodle, almonds can create a choking hazard. 

If a Poodle accidentally ingests a few almonds, this may simply result in a couple of runny bowel movements.

If more than a few were eaten, it is suggested to offer foods such as bread and/or rice to help cushion the nuts and allow them to better pass through the body. 
If a Poodle eats a large amount (more than a handful), it would be wise to contact the veterinarian. 

Can a Poodle eat walnuts? 

Poodles should not eat walnuts and there are several serious concerns with this. In regard to fresh walnuts, these alone will cause gastric intestinal upset very similar to the above almonds.

However, the biggest concerns is older nuts that have fallen off of trees that a puppy or dog may gain access to when outside. Poodle owners should be aware of this not just in their backyards but also parks and other public places where walnut trees may grow. 

This includes Japanese, English and Black walnuts. When these are old and fall from trees, it is common for them to grow a particular mold that contains tremorgenic mycotoxins. 
walnut cracked open
This can cause serious issues including seizures and neurological symptoms. Other foods that have the potential to cause these same issues include moldy pasta and moldy dairy foods. These seizure-like tremors and other neurological symptoms can last for up to 3 days. With a small amount, minor symptoms will be fine muscle tremors; in large amounts these will progress to full body tremors and can be fatal. It can take up to 2 hours for a dog to show signs of poisoning. 

Treatment includes inducing vomiting and the use of medication to control the seizures (Diazepam in minor cases and often Methocarbamol via IV in severe cases).

Can a Poodle eat pecans? 

These nuts are considered to be unsafe in the same was as walnuts; with stomach issues being the main concern in regard to fresh pecans and poisoning due to tremorgenic mycotoxins in regard to older one that have fallen from trees that may contain mold. For these reasons, a Poodle should not be given pecans to eat. 

Can a Poodle eat pistachios? 

These are not considered to be poisonous, however much like almonds and fresh walnuts, the main concern is stomach upset due to a very high level of fat that is found in these nuts.

Another element to keep in mind is that a diet high in fat over a period of time can lead to pancreatitis, which is an inflammatory condition of the pancreas.

For this reason, owners should not purposefully give pistachios to a Poodle. 

If the puppy or dog ingests a few by accident, owners should keep an eye out for stomach issues such as vomiting and diarrhea since a dog can become dehydrated rather quickly. 
pistachios
If it is suspected that a Poodle got into a large amount, a call to the veterinarian should be made. 
macadamia nuts

Can a Poodle eat macadamia nuts? 

Poodles cannot eat macadamia nuts at all; these are highly toxic to canines, just as much or even more so than chocolate

The amount ingested that will cause a dangerous reaction varies quite a bit from dog to dog. 

No matter which variety of Poodle you have, anywhere from 1.1 grams to 31.2 grams per pound of body weight may be fatal if not treated. 

It can take up to 12 hours for a dog to start to show symptoms, so if your Poodle ate macadamia nuts or you even suspect that he did, it will be important to call the veterinarian immediately. 
If you wait until signs of poisoning manifest, it is much more difficult to treat. The most typical signs of poisoning include: vomiting (food or fluid), dry heaving, muscle tremors, weakness, trouble walking, hind-quarter paralysis and/or fever. 

Treatment includes giving a dog activated charcoal to help prevent the absorption of the poison and IV treatment with medications to bring down a fever and/or fluids to keep the body hydrated. 

Can a Poodle eat cashews? 

These are not toxic to dogs and have a bit less fat content than peanuts. For each 100 grams, peanuts have 49 grams of fat and cashews have 44 grams. 

This is not a huge difference, however if you were to choose between giving a Poodle cashews or peanuts, cashews would be the better choice. 

With this said, most canned or bagged cashews are very high in sodium and this along with the fat content makes them not a good choice for a snack despite the protein and vitamins that they contain.  
cashew nuts
If your Poodle ate some cashews, there is generally no reason for concern and owners can give a small amount as a treat every now and then. If you are going to give some to your Poodle, try to offer the no-salt added type. One ounce has 157 calories.

However, if a Poodle somehow got into a bag or bin and ate a lot of cashews, this could lead to cramping and other stomach issues.  

Nuts Found Outside

There are many types of nuts that can be found outside on the ground and Poodle owners should be aware that many of these can be dangerous for a dog to swallow
acorns
Acorns are perhaps the most prevalent. It's not that uncommon for a dog to mouth an acorn when outside during certain times of the year when these can be found in abundance in parks and other places where a Poodle may be brought. 

These are not toxic, however the hard shells and inner husks do present a possible blockage issue and there may be mild gastrointestinal upset. 

If your Poodle eats an acorn by accident, do keep an eye on him and call the vet should any signs of distress start to present. 
If you suspect that your dog ate several acorns, it is suggested to contact the veterinarian right away as x-rays may need to be taken to diagnose possible internal blockage. 

Do keep in mind that black walnuts (as mentioned above) or even butternuts often fall from trees where dogs have access and these can be toxic if they are old due to a certain mold that grows inside of them. 

If you do suspect that your Poodle ingested a wild nut, it is best to play it safe by calling the vet. If you do are not sure what type of nuts was ingested or if you suspect that it was an old nut that may have mold, it is best to take a few with you so that you can show them to the veterinarian. 

Summary & Reminders

Since many nuts are simply not good for canines and some are toxic, do please keep these nuts out of reach of your Poodle… and never underestimate what a motivated and curious Poodle puppy or dog can reach or get into (i.e. pocket books, backpacks, gym bags etc.).
When in doubt about what your Poodle may have accidentally ingested, always be safe rather than sorry by contacting your dog's veterinarian for advice. With any food (or non-food) item that was eaten that could possibly cause internal blockage and/or toxic reaction, the earlier treatment is given, the best changes for a positive prognosis and recovery. 

As a final note, please always keep a bottle of 3% hydrogen peroxide in your house, since this is the preferred method of inducing vomiting in canines, should your Poodle ever eat something toxic and your vet instructs you to do this. The normal dosage is 1 ml per pound of body weight and using a plastic medicine syringe (the type used to give liquid medication to babies), this can be measured out and deposited into the inside cheek of the Poodle. 
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