Skip to content

Can the German Shepherd Eat Nuts?

german shepherd eating nuts

I remember seeing my colleague feeding his German Shepherd nuts. That got me thinking about nuts and whether they are safe for dogs to eat. I decided to do some research and this is what I found …

The German Shepherd can eat some nuts however some are toxic and most should be avoided completely as they can cause an upset stomach due to their high fat content. Walnuts can also be a choking hazard or even cause digestive blockages. For these reasons, I do not recommend feeding your dog nuts.

Toxic nuts 

Macadamia and black walnuts are at the top of the list of the most toxic to German Shepherds . Take a look at the table below to see which other types of nuts are also toxic to dogs and which ones should be avoided due to their high fat content:

[table id=5 /]Now let’s see these types of nuts that I have classified into groups according to their dangerousness:

Macadamia and black walnuts

Macadamia nuts (also known as Australian nuts due to their origin) are very dangerous for German Shepherds. Black walnuts (native to the northeastern US and Canada) certainly have a dark side as these walnuts are also very dangerous!

The reason is unknown, but the toxins in these nuts can cause neurological problems, including tremors, lameness, high temperatures, vomiting, and seizures.

Some dogs can also develop pancreatitis due to the high fat content, especially in macadamia nuts.

Just a handful of raw or roasted macadamia nuts can make your German Shepherd sick, and signs and symptoms usually appear within 12 hours of ingestion.

Other types of walnuts (such as English and Japanese) can cause an upset stomach or intestinal obstruction, especially if eaten whole.

According to Nationwide Pet Insurance , walnut poisoning is one of the most common claims for toxic ingestion.

Pistachios and pine nuts 

The natural high fat content of pistachios and pine nuts can cause an upset stomach for your German Shepherd.

Since pistachios and pine nuts are often sold in their shell, this becomes an extra risk as the shells can break into sharp pieces and can cause injury to your mouth, throat, or even further down your digestive system.

You also have to be careful if any of these nuts have become moldy, as eating them in large quantities can cause liver failure in dogs.

Why are nuts bad for dogs?

Does your dog go “nuts”? I know yes! There are many varieties of nuts that are a good source of protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals for humans.

Its blend of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and fiber certainly helps suppress my appetite and makes me feel full, which is why I find a small handful of walnuts to be a quick and healthy snack.

So why are walnuts bad for dogs?

  • Most nuts are bad for dogs and can be very harmful. You and I have already learned that macadamia and black walnuts can be highly toxic. Also, all types of nuts contain high amounts of fats and oils that can cause an upset stomach (including vomiting and diarrhea) as your German Shepherd has a hard time digesting the fat.
  • Some dogs can also develop pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) due to the high fat and oil content. This is a very painful condition and although your dog can be treated for pancreatitis, severe forms can prove fatal.
  • If your German Shepherd must eat walnuts once they have become moldy on the ground, then this becomes an additional hazard as foods like moldy walnuts contain mycotoxins that can cause weakness or lethargy.
  • Some walnuts can also clog your dog’s intestinal tract, especially if your dog swallows large whole nuts like walnuts or pecans. This can make life-saving surgery necessary.

If you wonder like me, what is the meaning of the ” intestinal tract “? Here’s your biology lesson: A dog’s intestinal tract includes the mouth, esophagus, stomach, intestines, liver, pancreas, and even the rectum and anus.

What quantity is bad?

Just a small handful of toxic macadamia nuts or black walnuts can be enough to cause serious problems for your German Shepherd.

Dogs of different sizes may react differently or some dogs may be able to tolerate a higher dose of the venom:

Dogs have shown signs after ingesting 2.4 g of walnuts / kg of body weight.

What happens if my dog ​​eats them?

If you think your dog has eaten a large number of nuts or is showing signs and symptoms of nut poisoning, you should call your vet for immediate advice. Here are the signs and symptoms to look out for:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Weakness, especially in the hind legs
  • Lethargy
  • Stomach ache
  • Joint pain
  • Loss of coordination
  • Fever
  • Tremors

What nuts are safe for dogs to eat?

Peanuts, cashews, chestnuts, hazelnuts, and almonds are technically safe for your German Shepherd. That is, they are not toxic.

However, if you decide you want to try one or two of these nuts on your dog, keep in mind that almonds and hazelnuts may be more difficult for your dog to digest. Chestnuts are probably the best option, especially if you mash them.


Did you know that peanuts are not actually nuts? No, me neither! Technically speaking, peanuts are considered legumes, like peas and lentils, as they grow in pods that ripen underground. However, since most people consider them nuts, we will discuss them here, especially since they are nutritionally similar to other nuts.

Peanuts are not considered toxic to German Shepherds. One or two unsalted peanuts may be suitable for your dog to taste, however, you should not forget about their high fat content which can cause your dog to have an upset stomach.


The cashews are generally safe for your dog as an occasional snack, as long as the above general guidelines are followed. Their high protein and fat content makes them ideal for young and active dogs on a long walk.

Make sure they are salt free and do not feed the chocolate coated cashews as both chocolate and salt are highly toxic to dogs, especially if eaten in large quantities.

Almonds and hazelnuts

Almonds and hazelnuts are not toxic to German Shepherds and can be fed in moderation if they wish, however they are more difficult for dogs to digest. Its high fat content and can cause a hint of pancreatitis in some dogs. Make sure the almonds do not contain salt or any other seasoning.

Almonds are often sold coated in sugar or chocolate and should be strictly avoided, especially chocolate ones, as they contain a chemical compound called theobromine that is toxic to dogs. I adore hazelnut chocolate, but don’t even think about giving your German Shepherd a dollop of this.


Edible chestnuts are tasty and nutritious. They are dense in fiber and contain omega fatty acids and vitamin C. They are also much lower in fat and calories than other nuts.

They are not poisonous to German Shepherds as long as they are fed in moderation to avoid the risk of possible stomach upset due to their high fiber content. You can test your dog with boiled or baked chestnuts as long as they are unprocessed and unsalted.

Try mashing the chestnuts or turning them into a paste to add to your dog’s food. I think it is the safest way to give them to your dog. You must also remember to remove the peel!

Can they eat peanut butter?

Most German Shepherds love peanut butter and it is a joy to watch them eat it. But should we give our dogs peanut butter?

Dogs can eat peanut butter in moderation as long as it is organic (with nothing added) and does not contain sweeteners like xylitol as it is toxic to pets.

These artificial sweeteners can lower your dog’s blood sugar level and can also cause acute liver failure. The first symptoms to look out for are vomiting, lethargy, coordination problems, or seizures.

Many dog ​​owners like to give them peanut butter to help them administer the medicine by camouflaging the dose. I think it’s a very good idea if your dog is having a hard time taking medication, however don’t forget that peanut butter is loaded with calories and should only be given small amounts occasionally.

Remember, dogs should get the majority of their daily calories from food, not treats. A rough guideline is that they should not get more than 10% of their total calorie intake from candy.

Can Dogs Eat Seeds?

Nuts are often sold with seeds as a healthy alternative to candy or chocolate.

You can give dogs unsalted sunflower seeds as long as the husk is removed. Sunflower seeds can be a healthy alternative to walnuts due to their nutty and slightly sweet taste.

Other seeds, like flax, chia, and pumpkin, are also safe and can be healthy options for dogs. All seeds can be a good source of protein and fiber and contain omega-3 fatty acids that can fight inflammation. They are loaded with many vitamins and minerals and can increase energy and are good for maintaining your dog’s skin and coat.

Larger seeds, like sunflower and pumpkin, can make a tasty training treat for your German Shepherd. The smaller varieties are ideal to add to your dog’s food bowl as a topping or to mix into home meals if you are a home eater.

As with any new addition to your German Shepherd diet, you need to start small and always keep an eye on your dog in case he begins to show signs of an upset stomach. This is always the key to feeding your dogs any type of human food.


You and I now know which are the safest nuts to feed our German Shepherds if we want to try them with one or two of these nutrient-rich treats.

We are also aware that there are many factors to consider in making this decision, but at least we now have all the basic guidelines.

I don’t feed my German Shepherds nuts because I don’t think it’s worth the risk of them getting sick or worse yet, starting to choke. Instead, I’ll give you an occasional scoop of this organic peanut butter. I also like to give my dog ​​a fruit or vegetable every now and then as a healthy alternative.

 | Website

I love the animals. Reading and writing about them, their customs, their peculiarities or the attention they require is exciting, and I also believe that it makes us better people. I share articles that solve the questions that dog caregivers face on a daily basis.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *