Can Dogs Eat Macadamia Nuts? Are Macadamia Nuts Safe For Dogs?

A small snack-size bowl of macadamia nuts (or ingredient size bowl) sits on a black reflective surface.

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Can dogs eat macadamia nuts? You might have had this thought if your dog begs for a taste while you’re adding some macadamia nuts to a batch of cookies. If humans can eat macadamia nuts, can dogs safely eat them too?

The short answer is no, dogs can’t safely eat macadamia nuts. In fact, they’re regularly cited as being one of the most toxic foods for dogs, so make sure that you avoid any situations where your dog might be able to sneak in some macadamia nuts.

Here’s what you need to know about macadamia nuts and dogs.

Why Are Macadamia Nuts Bad For Dogs?

While we know that macadamia nuts can be very toxic and harmful for dogs to eat, we don’t seem to know precisely why this is. Although humans can eat macadamia nuts without any issues, this isn’t the case for canines.

The American Kennel Club sums up the situation this way: “As with grapes and raisins, we just do not know the specific toxin or mechanism of biological action that causes the signs of poisoning.”

What we do know though is that it can only take a very small amount of macadamia nuts to cause a dog to fall ill. As an estimated guide, it’s claimed that only a tenth of an ounce can bring on symptoms if the dog is on the very small side.

What Should I Do If My Dog Eats Macadamia Nuts?

Little white maltese dog and food ingredients toxic to him

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First of all, if you suspect that your dog has managed to eat some macadamia nuts, keep a very close look out for some of the symptoms that might indicate your dog has become sick.

Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • The back legs becoming weak
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Running a fever
  • Seeming lethargic

In severe cases, dogs might start to visibly shake and run a high fever.

Contact your veterinarian as soon as you possibly can if you see your dog eating macadamia nuts and showing symptoms. You can also call the 24-hour ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center on the number 888-426-4435 for advice and help.

When it comes to dealing with a case of a dog who has fallen ill, your vet might suggest the use of activated charcoal to help quicken the rate at which the macadamia nuts work their way through the dog’s digestive system. In severe cases, you might be advised to bring your dog into a vet hospital for more serious treatment and observation.

Has your dog ever eaten macadamia nuts? Did they feel sick afterward? Let us know in the comments below!