Is It Okay For a Dog to Eat Walnuts?

by Betty Lewis
    If you want to share a treat with your pup, stick to his doggy treats, or give him a cube of apple.

    If you want to share a treat with your pup, stick to his doggy treats, or give him a cube of apple.

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    It's great to have a generous supply of walnuts right off your own tree, especially during baking season. However, you'll have to monitor your pup in the yard. Walnuts that fall to the ground risk getting moldy, a potentially dangerous proposition for Buddy if he nibbles a nut.

    Generally, none of the three common walnuts -- English, black and Japanese -- are toxic to Buddy, provided they don't have mold. The Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. cautions, however, that the nuts may cause an upset tummy or gastrointestinal obstruction.
    The possible danger of walnuts is their potential to grow mold. Some moldy walnuts turn a furry black color while others look just fine, so it's not as simple as taking a quick look to make sure it's safe. If Buddy eats a moldy nut, he could become seriously ill, having seizures or tremors. If you caught your pooch foraging around under the walnut tree, look for panting, drooling and restlessness. He may develop muscle tremors or a stumbling gait a couple of hours after his snack. A trip to the vet is in order, as enough mold can cause liver damage or even death. The vet will likely induce vomiting and use activated charcoal, as well as other medication as necessary.

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    About the Author

    Betty Lewis is a writer and editor specializing in pet care, animals, careers and emergency management. She previously ran an animal shelter, where she also served as a kennel attendant and dog trainer. Lewis holds a bachelor's degree in journalism, an M.B.A. and a master's degree in professional studies.

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