Can Dogs Eat Hickory Nuts?

Can dogs eat hickory nuts and what kind of nuts is good and bad for your pet – this is the topic of our today’s blog.

In this blog, you are going to find a lot of useful information and nutrition for your furry pet, so just keep reading.

Who doesn’t like to nibble on nuts? They are full of healthy fats and much-needed protein, and they are also delicious.

Do you know a dog owner who can resist his pet and his pleading look that says – “I want the thing that you are eating”?

Before you reach for food that is potentially dangerous for your dog, think twice and listen to the advice of experts.

Even food that is healthy and safe for us does not have to be for your dog. One such example is giving your dog hickory nuts.

Can Dogs Eat Hickory Nuts and What Are They Actually?

Hickory is a species of tree that has a total of about 18 species of which five are native to India, China, and Indochina, and twelve are native to the USA.

This type of nut is edible, but not all types are delicious. As the name suggests, its core is small compared to its shell.

Shagbark hickory is the tastiest of all types, pignut hickory is less popular although it does not taste bad, and you can guess from the name what bitternut hickory tastes like.

Pecan is used in large quantities and is very popular.

The hickory nut is edible, but its shells have a chemical juglone in them. Juglone can be poisonous to dogs.

So Can Dogs Eat Hickory Nuts? What is So Dangerous About It?


Hickory nuts are not toxic to your dog but are not recommended because the canine system cannot easily process nuts.

Hickory nuts can cause obesity, gastrointestinal distress, or even pancreatitis.


The hickory nuts we eat usually contain salt and too much salt in a dog can cause water retention and even damage the kidneys.

Not to mention how dangerous salt is for dogs that have heart problems.

Juglone (1)

Juglone is toxic to dogs – the hickory tree produces this chemical that is dangerous to your pet.


The problem with dogs is that they eat fast and usually don’t chew the food properly. That is why hickory nuts can be very dangerous to dogs, they might start choking.


Too much fat in hickory nuts can cause debilitating disorders and pancreatitis.

Tremorgenic mycotoxins (2)

Tremorgenic mycotoxins can be found in certain food like hickory nuts. They cause neurological symptoms or seizures and will put your dog in the hospital.

Can dogs eat hickory nuts is not a question anymore, it is best to avoid it

If hickory nuts are not safe for your dog then what nuts can a dog eat?

No matter how healthy they are in the human diet, the impact of eating nuts on the health of dogs is a largely unexplored area.

Nuts are too high in calories, so they should not be often present in your pet’s diet.

On the other hand, experts agree that it is not bad for your pet to eat a few nuts from time to time, it is only important what kind of nuts it is.

We will first talk about what nuts can a dog eat.


Remember that peanut allergy is one of the most common in both adults and children.

Dogs today are increasingly sensitive to ingredients in food, especially the hidden peanuts in many human food products.

Peanuts are a rich source of protein, minerals, zinc, vitamins E and K. fiber, and iron, they do not contain cholesterol.

Peanuts are safe for dogs provided you give them in very small amounts, without salt and spices.

Nuts to Avoid


Pine nuts

You will not find pine nuts on the list of nuts that are not given to dogs, but it is not a good idea to feed a dog with them.

Too much fat and phosphorus from pine nuts have a bad effect on your pet’s stomach.

Pine nuts contain calcium, iron, and magnesium – although they sound like a perfect source of various minerals, they are extremely high in calories.

There is 600 kcal in 100 g of pine nuts, so a couple of these nuts are more than enough.


Are almonds dangerous for your dog? They are not, but dogs find it difficult to digest them, so almonds may cause stomach cramps, which you certainly do not want.

Not to mention that salted almonds are out of the question.

Almonds on sale today can be found not only salted and roasted but also with the addition of various flavors.

Too much salt and sugar are at the top of the list of forbidden things in a dog’s diet. Some manufacturers sweeten their almonds with xylitol. Xylitol (3) is, remember well, toxic to dogs.

Although small amounts of sodium are expected in a dog’s diet, excessive amounts can lead to dehydration or, in the worst case, sodium ion poisoning.

Let’s talk about what nuts can a dog not eat.


Your dog will have no problem if he eats a few unsalted, hazelnuts, but there is another problem.

Hazelnuts are about the diameter of the trachea and can cause choking, especially in a small dog.

It also happens that hazelnuts, when swallowed by a dog, immediately cause intestinal obstruction.


Unlike other walnuts, cashews must not be given raw to the dog but must be roasted or fried. Raw cashews contain a dangerous toxin and high levels of potassium.

Too much potassium is by no means good for dogs with urinary problems.

Macadamia nut

Macadamia, whether fried or raw, is poisonous to your dog. There is a substance present in these nuts and raisins that causes toxicity in canines.

It happened that the dogs that ate these nuts had weakness in their legs, shivered, had a fever, and vomited.

Brazilian walnuts

Brazil nuts are too fat and although they are not toxic to a pet they are not good for it either. They can upset a dog’s stomach and cause various digestive problems.

Hickory nuts

Raw pecans are full of healthy fats, fiber, and protein. They are also a good source of potassium, magnesium, and calcium, but that doesn’t mean much to your canine.

Talking about can dogs eat hickory nuts once again we are reminding you that dogs’ digestive system is not designed for it.

Pancreatitis, gaining weight, problems with the stomach – those are all symptoms that can occur and you don’t want that.

Symptoms of Nut Allergies in Dogs


In 1967 food allergy was described in dogs for the first time (4), and studies have identified a lot of food allergens.

How to recognize symptoms of nut allergies in dogs?

In the case of nut allergies in dogs, the first thing you will notice is itchy skin and a problem in the digestive system.

The skin becomes red, small pimples appear around the ears, and the paws begin to itch.

The dog easily scratches the place that itches, so it becomes an excellent basis for the development of bacteria.

If the allergic reaction is not transient, it means that the dog is hypersensitive to some of the food he eats regularly.

It will most likely not be nuts, but be sure to pay attention if any of the following symptoms appear after eating walnuts.

  • Head shaking
  • Chronic ear infections
  • Coughing
  • Diarrhea
  • Face rubbing
  • Chronic gas
  • Bald patches
  • Chronically inflamed feet

There is a difference between food allergy and food intolerance.

An allergic reaction occurs when a dog tastes food to which he is sensitive for the first time after he is exposed to the allergen again.

Food intolerance differs from a real allergy in that it excludes the immune system.

In case the dog is intolerant to a certain type of food, you will notice it by stomach cramps, a different color of the stool.

Intolerance is an important indicator because it is an introduction to the development of a real allergy.

What are the Symptoms of Hickory Nut Poisoning in Dogs?


Signs your dog overindulged

  • Vomiting
  • Dehydration
  • Diarrhea

Signs of pancreatitis

  • Dehydration
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Lack of appetite
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Weakness
  • Weight loss
  • Fever
  • Heart arrhythmias
  • Diarrhea
  • Orange urine
  • Swollen abdomen

Read Also:  Can Dogs Eat Canned Chicken

Bottom Line

Many owners could be worried after all these information thinking can nuts kill dogs, but it is not a common case.

Although you should be very careful about giving your pet nut “meat” don’t forget to watch your dog while taking a nut treat.

The shell can be much more dangerous, and cause a blockage if it gets stuck in the dog’s intestines. In that case, hurry up and call your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Many nuts are not poisonous to dogs, but it is easier and better to choose a treat that is safe and healthy for your pet. Save the nuts for yourself and give the dog some of the treats approved by the vet.

However, as you could see from the text, the answer to the question can dogs eat hickory nuts is No, better not.

It is important to be careful and consult your veterinarian about adding such treats to your standard diet.

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