Can Dogs Eat Hazelnuts?

By John Martin - July 1, 2021

Hazelnuts in wooden spoon

Hazelnuts are one of the tastiest and crunchiest nuts out there. Do you also like to keep a jar of hazelnuts handy by your side table? Do you also happen to have an adorable dog as your friend and companion?

Well, if the answer to the above questions is yes, chances are you are tempted from time to time to feed hazelnuts to your dog. This is even more tempting when he/she looks at you with expectant eyes.

But can dogs eat hazelnuts? Are there risks? Let us find out!

Hazelnuts: What You Need to Know

Hazelnuts are laden with a lot of ‘good food traits’, including a lot of nutrients, vitamins, healthy fats and antioxidants, that make them almost irresistible.

In human beings, the consumption of hazelnuts has been found to promote a healthy heart, regulate blood pressure and improve blood sugar among other benefits.

It is also a great source of reducing oxidative stress that leads to premature aging.

It literally offers a pocketful of goodness, but does it have the same benefits for canines? And will it impact the health of your dog in a similar way?

Dogs and Hazelnuts: Is It a Yes or No Question?

To answer succinctly, yes, dogs can eat hazelnuts in theory.

To begin with, hazelnuts are not going to cause any severe issues in your dog and are not toxic for them. If you happen to give your dog one or two hazelnuts while munching on them yourself, all will be fine with your dog and the world.

The real problem, however, is the size of the hazelnuts.

These nuts, much like almonds, are of a precarious size when it comes to dogs. Smaller puppies can choke on them causing a series of issues.

If you have a grown-up dog, chances are he/she will try to swallow it instead of chewing. As a result of this mindless gobbling, the hazelnut can get stuck in its intestine, leading to a range of stomach issues.

Also Read: Can Dogs Eat Sunflower Seeds?

Are There Any Health Benefits of Hazelnuts for Dogs?

As discussed above, hazelnuts despite being full of benefits to humans, don’t serve a great purpose for a dog’s health.

However, as hazelnuts are a great source of protein, if your dog accidentally eats one or two hazelnuts, it is not going to cause a major problem.

Some peripheral benefits of hazelnuts that may or may not be beneficial to dogs include better fluid retention, better joint health and the prevention of osteoporosis.

However, it is better that you don’t give in to the cuteness of your dog and keep the bowl or jar of hazelnuts away from their reach.

What Are the Effects of Hazelnuts on Dogs?

Now that we have cautioned you against feeding hazelnuts to your dogs, it is only fair that you are made aware of the effects this popular and tasty nut can have on your dog.

May Induce Obesity

Hazelnuts are known to promote obesity in dogs. This can be particularly alarming for dogs already struggling with excessive weight.

This is because hazelnuts are rich in fat content. It is also crucial to note that both good and bad fat can lead to weight gain unless monitored efficiently.

Therefore, hazelnuts can make your dog fat and also lead to complications that arise with excessive weight such as diabetes, frailing joint health and a significant drop in their energy levels.

May Adversely Impact Your Dog’s Pancreas

Excess fat is not only something that concerns human beings. It may lead to health complications in dogs as well.

As hazelnuts are rich in fats, they can ring the knell for your dog’s pancreas. This is a very serious problem and should not be taken lightly at all.

Regular consumption of hazelnut can lead to fat accumulation in their body over a period of time inflaming their pancreas and causing fat deposits in the surrounding organs as well.

Pancreatic issues are extremely painful and may affect the dog’s digestive system. In some cases, it can also become fatal and potentially life threatening.

If you are guilty of feeding your dog hazelnuts, you need to be vigilant of their health and actively lookout for signs of pain and discomfort. Some of the most common signs exhibited by dogs if they are suffering from pancreatic issues include:

  • Persistent vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.
  • They may show signs of dehydration and fatigue.
  • Loss of petite and significant drop in their energy levels.
  • General signs of weakness.
  • Signs of fever.
  • An unlikely sharp reaction when you touch their stomach.

Obstruction in the Intestine

A very common reaction to eating hazelnuts is that your dog may choke on them. Hazelnuts are a tough nut and their size is almost conducive to choking.

Dogs can get excited by them and gobble them up without attempting to chew them. This may cause intestinal blockages and stomach discomfort as the nut will reach the stomach without fully breaking down.

Problems in the digestive tract may trigger the following symptoms:

  • Excessive vomiting and signs of diarrhea.
  • Drooling and burping uncontrollably.
  • Difficulty in bowel movements.
  • Pain and uneasiness, especially in the abdomen.
  • They may sometimes become irritable.
  • Loss of appetite.

Also Read: Can Dogs Eat Granola?

Can Puppies Eat Hazelnuts?

It is recommended to keep your puppy away from hazelnuts as far as possible. With bigger dogs, one or two unsalted hazelnuts may not be life changing but the risks increase for smaller puppies.

Puppies are more prone to choking on nuts and suffering from digestive issues.

Also, puppies are in their growing stages, so this warrants special attention to their diet and food requirements. Though hazelnuts are power packed, they don’t have significant nutritional value for canines.

Any oversight on your side may strain your puppy’s digestive system from a young age.

What Should You Do If Your Dog Has Accidently Popped Hazelnuts?

If despite being careful, your dog manages to gobble up a few hazelnuts, do not worry. It is not toxic and its impacts can be managed if you intervene at the right time.

Here is what you should do:

  1. Watch out for the signs. Even a single sign or unusual behavior must be taken into account.
  2. Consult your vet immediately as they may have a better solution than you. Please don’t try to treat your dog yourself in such a situation.

Vets are qualified to handle such situations and are better suited to find a good solution quicker.

Is Any Other Nut Safe for Dogs?

Nuts, though usually non-toxic, are high in fat content. This makes them potentially unsuitable for dogs. If you feed your dog nuts regularly, they may suffer from obesity and water retention.

Other nuts that are totally unsafe for dogs include walnuts and almonds, to name a few. Macadamia nuts are even toxic and can be life threatening.

Some people tend to feed peanuts to their pets. This is not recommended and if you want, you should only feed one or two peanuts to your pet and that too unsalted.

If your puppy gets too needy when it sees you popping nuts, you should do that away from his or her eyes. It is in their best interests.

Finally, if you want to add variety to your dog’s food, it is best to consult a vet. Keeping nuts outside the food chart is only going to stand you and your pet in good stead.

Also Read: Can Dogs Eat Chicken Feet?

The Final Word

Hazelnuts are known to have many benefits for human beings. They are great for the skin, heart and joint health. Unfortunately, the nut doesn’t have the same effect on dogs and it is advisable to not feed your pet any hazelnut.

This is because of hazelnut’s propensity to cause several intestinal issues in your dog. It can also be a potential choking hazard. When it comes to dogs, it is best to stick to recommended foods from a qualified vet.