A popular and healthy human snack, nuts are bursting with nutrients. These small but mighty superfoods are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, fibre and protein.
In fact, human studies have shown that nuts offer a wide range of health benefits, such as:
- Reducing the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, colon cancer, gallstones and diverticulitis
- Assisting with weight management
- Lowering cholesterol levels, oxidative stress, inflammation and insulin resistance
They have even been proven to reduce the risk of death.
People who ate a daily handful of nuts were 20 percent less likely to die from any cause over a 30-year period, according to Harvard-affiliated scientists. Impressive!
The good news is dogs can enjoy the health benefits of nuts too.
Read on to learn more about our favourite canine-friendly nuts, why they are so nutritious and how you can serve them safely for optimal dog health.
The benefits of almonds for dogs
Rich in nutrients and tasty too, almonds can be a great addition to a holistic dog’s diet when given in moderation.
They are packed with vitamins and minerals - including manganese, vitamin E, magnesium, vitamin B2, phosphorus, iron and potassium - plus a calming, feel-good amino acid called tryptophan.
Tryptophan (which is especially high in turkey meat) is used by the body to produce serotonin and melatonin, thus reducing the symptoms of anxiety and helping to induce sleep. This can be especially helpful for dogs with separation anxiety.
Not only that, but almonds are rich in monounsaturated fat too, which is considered a healthy fat.
Due to this vast mix of nutrients, almonds can help with a variety of dog diseases and symptoms, including:
- The prevention of cataracts
- Heart health
- Bone growth
- Blood vessel function
- Muscle development
- Prevention of oxidative stress
The benefits of brazil nuts for dogs
A great source of protein for dogs, brazil nuts are full of fibre which helps with the digestive process.
And the goodness doesn’t stop there!
Brazil nuts also boast a significant amount of:
- Vitamin E and phenols to protect against oxidative damage. This can reduce the risk of cancer
- Selenium to regulate immunity, hormones and cell growth
- Omega fatty acids which nourish the brain, reduce inflammation, protect the heart and encourage a shiny coat
- Support thyroid function
- Boost energy levels
- Improve mood
All in all, brazil nuts are one of the most impressive nuts around when it comes to boosting dog health.
Why you should avoid feeding your dog macadamia nuts
The only nut to avoid in your dog’s diet is macadamia. These native Australian nuts are toxic to dogs and can cause severe symptoms when ingested.
While the specific toxic component within the nut is unknown, it only takes a small quantity for illness to occur.
Symptoms to look out for include:
Which can progress to:
- Reluctance to use rear limbs
- Inability to stand
- Joint stiffness
- Muscle tremors
If you believe your dog has consumed macadamia nuts, it’s important to seek immediate help from a veterinarian. Prompt treatment means full recovery is expected within 24-48 hours.
Feeding tips: How to serve nuts to your dog
The good news is both brazil nuts and almonds are key ingredients in Wellbeing Essentials Complete 22, alongside the likes of sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and pepitas (pumpkin seeds).
So you can rest assured that your canine companion is receiving a multitude of health benefits in one easy to serve formula.
However, if you’re keen to add nuts when preparing natural dog food, there are a few important points to consider.
Firstly, nuts need to be ground for a dog to be able to digest them properly. If they are fed whole, they tend to pass straight through the digestive system.
This means your dog will miss out on all of those wonderful nutrients. Whole nuts can also pose a choking hazard, so it’s important to keep them out of your dog’s reach.
Most notably, never allow your dog to consume the shell of any nut. Shells can’t be digested properly by dogs, leading to the risk of punctures or obstructions in the bowel.
When fed with care and attention, nuts are an excellent addition to your dog’s real food diet.
Nuts are a superfood for canines, containing a vast mix of nutrients that nourish almost every part of the body and protect against dog diseases.
Our favourites include brazil nuts and almonds, but all nuts are safe for dogs except macadamia.
Do you want to include nuts in your dog’s real food diet? Download our free eBook for all the real food tips and information you need to get started.