Can Dogs Eat Macadamia Nuts?

One of the more popular nuts available in the market is macadamia nuts. Friends or family visiting Hawaii would definitely have some box of these buttery nuts to bring back home. But is it safe to share it with our dogs? Is it OK as an occasional treat?

No, dogs must not eat or be fed macadamia nuts. These nuts contain high-fat content and are highly toxic to our dogs for reasons that are, unfortunately, still unknown to date. They are thus considered one of the foods to avoid feeding to your pooches.

Macadamia nuts are not actually nuts but a seed that belongs to an evergreen tree native to Australia and the South Pacific. They are popularly eaten as a chocolate-covered treat or part of a trail mix, and their oil is sometimes used as a salad oil or for frying.

This article will discuss the possible effects of macadamia nut consumption on dogs, how much is considered too toxic, and the treatments administered to combat its effects on our dogโ€™s bodies.

Can Dogs Eat Macadamia Nuts?

Image from Instagram:@safaridutyfree

No, macadamia nuts are toxic to dogs. Though it is not clearly known why macadamia nuts are toxic to dogs, researchers have not pinpointed exactly the mechanism why a dogโ€™s body rejects the popular nut.

Monounsaturated fats constitute 75% of macadamiaโ€™s weight through its chemical composition, while the remainder consists of proteins, carbohydrates, fiber, and minerals. It contains vitamins A1, B1, B2, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium.

Macadamia nuts are found to be not as toxic to cats or other animals as dogs, and of course, humans can easily digest the nut, but there are some cases of an allergic reaction to it.

What Are The Signs Of Macadamia Nut Toxicity In Dogs?

Dogs who have consumed this nut may start to develop symptoms within 3 to 12 hours, depending on the amount taken, and might last from 2 to 3 days.

Hereโ€™s how macadamia nuts can hurt dogs, and the common symptoms may include:

Another problem that could arise is pancreatitis due to the nutโ€™s large fat content. Symptoms also include vomiting, diarrhea, bloated stomach, hunched back, and fever.

If you observe multiple signs all at once, take your dog to the veterinarian immediately. Pancreatitis can be fatal to your dogs if not promptly treated.

How Much Macadamia Nut Is Considered Toxic To Our Dogs?

A small amount of macadamia is enough to cause adverse effects on our dogs.

Researchers found that a dose of 0.1 oz of macadamia nut for every 2 lbs of your dogโ€™s body weight can already reduce muscle strength.

A kernel of macadamia nut weighs around 0.1 oz. So, a medium-sized dog of around 20 lbs would need to consume around ten pieces of the nut to have an adverse effect.

What Should I Do If My Dog Ate Macadamia Nuts?

Image from Instagram:@castannuts

To be safe, take your dog to the veterinarian for some observation. If a tiny amount was consumed, most likely, a symptom like occasional vomiting would resolve itself within 24 hours without any medication.

If, however, more serious symptoms like muscle weakness, constant vomiting, and high fever are observed, the veterinarian might administer some drugs to induce vomiting. 

A dose of activated charcoal can also be given to lessen the impact of macadamia nuts on their system.

Additional supportive care might also be recommended, like IV fluid therapy and pain and anti-nausea medication, if the triglyceride and enzyme levels are found to be high. 

It is also advisable to inform the veterinarian if other toxic foods or ingredients were ingested together with the macadamia, like chocolates, raisins, or xylitol, to better understand their condition.

Generally, macadamia poisoning is not considered fatal to dogs if treated immediately. Always ensuring that they are adequately hydrated during an episode of poisoning is key.

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Pete Decker