Can Dogs Eat Macadamia Nuts?

Angela Vuckovic
by Angela Vuckovic

Is your pooch nuts about nuts? Not all of them are safe for canine consumption, though, so be sure to read up on macadamia nuts and their toxicity for dogs.

Macadamia nuts are fruits of the rare macadamia tree. It is indigenous to Australia and can be very expensive due to its long cultivation period and handpicking. Still, these nuts are a tasty addition to many dishes and sweets and are often used in Halloween cookies. While humans find them delicious, these nuts are a big no-no for dogs. Let’s learn why.

Simply put – macadamia nuts are toxic to dogs. If they happen to eat some – even in small doses – trouble can quickly rise. This trouble is known as macadamia toxicity and can be marked with some very serious side effects. These include weakness and the paralysis of the rear limbs. Other issues include abdominal pains, joint aches, and muscle tremors. Macadamia toxicity does not occur instantly: it begins some twelve hours after ingestion, and often first appears through your dog’s inability to stand. Interestingly, it is not known what these nuts contain that makes them toxic, and why only dogs display these symptoms of poisoning, but the facts remain- macadamia nuts are highly dangerous for dogs.

Again, the effects of the poisoning will often be dictated by the number of nuts your pooch ate. In higher doses, poisoning will be more severe and can require opiate medication in order to relieve the symptoms, until the toxins are out of your dog’s body.

It is reported that the side effects diminish after 24 to 48 hours, and can be treated at home when the doses ingested are small. Large doses that cause paralysis, constant shakes, and a high fever, will require urgent veterinary care.

In some rare cases, macadamia nuts poisoning can lead to the inflammation of the pancreas, or pancreatitis. You can spot the symptoms of this after just three days: vomiting, lethargy, loss of appetite, and general weakness are all sure signs you need your vet’s help. While seldom fatal, this condition can cause a string of issues with lingering effects.

If you do happen to prepare and use macadamia nuts for yourself, it is crucial to keep them well out of reach of dogs – at all times. Just one moment of carelessness can lead to a string of issues: doggos will use any chance they get to snatch a tasty treat from the table.

Angela Vuckovic
Angela Vuckovic

A proud mama to seven dogs and ten cats, Angela spends her days writing for her fellow pet parents and pampering her furballs, all of whom are rescues. When she's not gushing over her adorable cats or playing with her dogs, she can be found curled up with a good fantasy book.

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