Rewarding your growing puppy with tasty treats as he practices his manners can motivate him to learn more about proper behavior. Nuts such as cashews are small and yummy, making them seemingly ideal to use as part of that motivation. Although cashews aren't dangerous is tiny amounts, they aren't the best choice for your puppy's growing nutritional needs.
Commercial puppy food is designed with a specific balance of nutrients to accommodate your canine prince as he grows toward adulthood. This includes high amounts of protein balanced with carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals to keep his organs functioning propery, his coat shiny and his energy level high, as only puppies' energy can be.
Cashews aren't horrible choices for adult dogs, although you should only give one or two per day to your fur-child. They offer healthy fats and fiber that can keep your pooch's skin supple and his digestive system working smoothly. The calories they provide can help supplement the needs of underweight dogs, as long as you run it by your vet first.
Plusses can also be minuses, especially when you're talking about feeding cashews to puppies. The fat that can produce supple skin and the calories in cashews can also quickly lead to an overweight pup. Too much fiber can result in digestive issues, such as diarrhea. Cashews contain phosphorous, which, while not harmful in small amounts, can build up over time to produce bladder stones. Even more dangerous is the salt content in most cashews. Too much salt can lead to sodium ion poisoning, which causes severe vomiting and diarrhea, seizures and death. Your puppy's food likely contains the right amount of all these nutrients, so adding more in the form of cashews can throw his system off balance.
Like cashews, you should avoid most nuts with puppies and keep them to a bare minimum with adult dogs. However, some are more dangerous than cashews for different reasons. Macadamia nuts, pecans and walnuts can lead to serious neurological problems with your pet, causing paralysis or death. It's sometimes an unseen mold hitching a ride on the nut that causes the problem, but you don't know which nuts are infected. Stay away from pistachios, too -- they've been linked with pancreatitis in dogs.
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