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Can Dogs Eat Hazelnuts? – Everything You Need To Know

No, dogs cannot eat hazelnuts. Neither hazelnuts are toxic to dogs nor healthy. Dogs find it difficult to chew hazelnuts which can cause choking hazards. However, if you see your dog chewing on a hazelnut near the tree, there is no need to panic but immediately take him to his veterinarian. Hazelnuts or any other nuts can cause intestinal blockage, problems in the digestive system, obesity, loss of appetite, choking, vomiting, and upset stomach. 

What is a Hazelnut?

Hazelnuts are the nuts from the hazel tree and belong to the species Corylus. They primarily come from the temperate climates of the northern hemisphere. Hazelnuts have a history of being consumed for about 8000 years now. Also called Cobnuts or Filberts, this nut is oval with a fibrous husk in the outer layer that covers a smooth shell. The kernel of the seed can be either consumed raw or roasted and can also be ground into a paste. The skin of the nut is dark brown and tastes bitter. Hazelnuts are known to be used with chocolate for making chocolate ruffles and in Nutella. Hazelnut oils are edible and have a strong flavor used in cooking.

Nutritional Value

Hazelnuts contain high amounts of protein, fiber, and vitamins and provide extensive food energy. In addition, they are a rich source of numerous essential nutrients. A 3.5 oz of hazelnuts contain

Energy628 Kcal
Carbohydrates16.70 g
Sugars4.34 g
Dietary Fiber9.7 g
Fat60.75 g
Protein14.95 g
Thiamine (B1)0.643 mg
Riboflavin (B2)0.113 mg
Niacin (B3)1.8 mg
Pantothenic acid (B5)0.918 mg
Vitamin B60.563 mg
Folate (B9)113 μg 
Vitamin C6.3 mg
Vitamin E15.03 mg
Vitamin k14.2 ug
Calcium114 mg
Iron4.7 mg
Magnesium163 mg
Manganese 6.175
Phosphorus290 mg
Potassium680 mg
Selenium2.4ug
Sodium0 mg
Zinc2.45 mg

Other constituents

Water 5.31 g

Ideally, raw hazelnuts contain 5% water, 61 %fat, 17% carbs, and 15% protein.

Is Hazelnut Safe for Dogs?

Hazelnuts are not toxic to dogs but also not safe for dogs when consumed. The intricate texture of the nuts causes abdominal discomforts, including vomiting, stomach upset, and also choking hazards. However, chewing a few hazelnuts does not harm the dog and is out of concern. Hazelnuts are packed with proteins and vitamins but pose more negative impacts for the dogs. Therefore, it is best to keep the bowl of hazelnuts away from your dog’s reach to avoid any adverse effects for the dog. Certain types of hazelnuts should never be fed to dogs:

  • Chocolate coated hazelnuts
  • Hazelnut ice cream
  • Raw hazelnuts
  • Roasted hazelnuts

Why is Hazelnut Bad for Dogs?

There are several reasons why hazelnuts should not be fed to dogs. First, hazelnuts can cause choking in dogs due to their hard texture. They may also result in obesity, bladder stones, sodium ion poisoning, and pancreatic problems. Look out for the below common symptoms, such as

  • Vomiting
  • Difficulty in bowel movement
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal pain

Hard Texture: Hazelnuts are oval, hard, small, and capable of getting stuck in a dog’s esophagus and causing choking.

Salted Hazelnuts: Commercial and store-bought hazelnuts are full of salt content. Large amounts of salt do not suit a dog’s anatomy and cause seizures and kidney failures. In addition, the salt content in the hazelnuts bought from the stores can irritate the digestive system.

Nut Allergies: Some dogs are intolerant to nuts. This can cause nut allergies in them. Some symptoms like swelling, itching and gastrointestinal issues.  

Fats: High-fat content in hazelnuts can cause obesity and pancreatitis, which may lead to fatal conditions.

Mycotoxins: Mycotoxins are a kind of fungi that causes seizures in dogs. Hazelnuts have a high moisture content that aids the presence of fungi. Also, when the nuts are stored in dark, moist areas, there are more chances for the fungi to grow. Mycotoxins cause vomiting, indigestion, and diarrhea in dogs.

Juglone: Juglone is an allopathic toxin in nuts like hazelnut, walnut, etc.; causing problems in the digestive system and also leads to anaphylaxis.

Obesity: Like any other nuts, hazelnuts are also rich in fats. The fat content in the nut leads to weight gain and obesity. As a result, the extra fat affects the dog’s energy levels and leads to issues like diabetes and joint pain.

Pancreatic Problems: The fat content in hazelnuts also affects the pancreas. High-fat content in the long term can cause pancreatitis or inflammation of the pancreas. It may also affect the other organs along with tissues. The symptoms include

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach pain
  • Dehydration
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever
  • Lethargy

Intestinal Obstruction: The hard texture of the nut doesn’t get broken by the acids in the digestive system. This leads to intestinal blockage and other complications in the digestive tract. Small dogs and puppies are prone to this health risk due to their small-sized intestines. The symptoms include

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Drooling
  • Burping
  • Strained bowel movement
  • Stomach pain
  • Bloating of the abdomen
  • Loss of appetite

What if My Dog Eats Hazelnuts?

If your dog has consumed too many hazelnuts, there are chances for the dog to undergo health risks. Visit the nearby veterinarian at the earliest to prevent any complications.

  • Throat injury
  • Diarrhea
  • Internal organ injury
  • Tongue and gum injury
  • Vomiting
  • Puncture of the intestinal tract
  • Strained bowel movement
  • Stomach pain
  • Bloating of the abdomen
  • Loss of appetite
  • Death

Always remember to keep the store bought hazelnuts away from the dog’s reach. Also, ensure that other family members, friends, or colleagues know that dogs should not be fed with hazelnuts.

Alternatives To Hazelnuts

The healthy alternatives to hazelnut that can be fed to your dog as a treat include 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can puppies eat hazelnuts?

Puppies cannot eat hazelnuts as they are a choking hazard to both dogs and puppies.

What happens if dogs eat hazelnuts?

Hazelnuts make the dog sick. The effects of eating hazelnuts include choking and intestinal obstruction. However, chewing one or two hazelnuts does not cause any harm.

How many hazelnuts can a dog have?

Dogs can have one or two unsalted, uncoated hazelnuts. However, consuming too many hazelnuts leads to health problems.

Are raw hazelnuts toxic to dogs?

Raw hazelnuts are not harmful to dogs, but it is best to keep them away from eating hazelnuts.

Final Thoughts

After knowing the cons of hazelnuts on dogs, we can understand that they are toxic and should be offered to dogs. Further, there are other foods that can be safely fed to dogs. Therefore, consider feeding only those that are healthy and cause no harm. Further, it is always best to consult your dog’s veterinarian before offering any food for the first time.

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