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Can Dogs Eat Macadamia Nuts? Vet-Verified Facts & FAQ

Written by: Brooke Billingsley

Last Updated on April 12, 2024 by Dogster Team

Macadamia Nuts served on a spoon

Can Dogs Eat Macadamia Nuts? Vet-Verified Facts & FAQ


Dr. Chyrle Bonk Photo


Dr. Chyrle Bonk

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Macadamia nuts are a common ingredient in nut mixes and desserts. They’re a tasty, creamy nut that is a source of multiple vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber and antioxidants. So, you might be tempted to share your macadamia nut snack with your pup, but you should know that macadamia nuts are considered toxic to dogs.

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Can Dogs Eat Macadamia Nuts?

Consumption of macadamia nuts can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal discomfort, depression and lethargy, weakness in the back legs, fever, muscle tremors, and loss of coordination.
For some dogs, consuming macadamia nuts may only lead to mild signs for a day or two that resolve on their own. However, some dogs may require intensive hospitalization and veterinary care when suffering from macadamia toxicity.

Macadamia Nuts on a white background
Image Credit: Tony Wu, Pexels

What to Do if Your Dog Eats Macadamia Nuts

Since there’s no way for you to know how your dog will respond to eating macadamia nuts, it’s advised to contact your vet or a pet poison helpline immediately if they consume any amount of macadamia nuts. It can be hard to tell how your dog specifically will react, so immediate intervention is the best course of action. You will likely be told to bring your pet to an emergency clinic so treatment can be started.

Macadamia Nut Poisoning and How It’s Treated

The first signs of macadamia nut poisoning are usually kind of nondescript issues such as lethargy and vomiting. Dogs may also have a fever. The next things you’ll often see are weakness in the hind legs, incoordination, and potentially muscle tremors. More serious cases could involve high fever, shaking, or an inability to walk.

As already discussed, the first thing you need to do if your dog eats even a single macadamia nut is to call a pet poison helpline and your vet. If it is caught early enough, your vet may be able to induce vomiting. Depending on how many nuts were consumed, your vet could potentially advise you to observe them at home for any negative signs, but more serious care could be needed, in which case supportive therapies are used. These include intravenous fluids, muscle relaxants, pain relievers, and anti-nausea medications.

Keep in mind that it is possible that some dogs will be kept overnight for close monitoring of the dog’s vital signs, gastrointestinal motility, and pain levels.

Female vet examining sick and sad Rhodesian ridgeback dog
Image Credit; Zontica, Shutterstock

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Safe Nut Alternatives for Dogs

If your dog has a hankering for nuts, there are far better alternatives. Some safe nut options (all of which should be plain, unsalted, and shelled) that can be offered in moderation include:

Frequently Asked Questions

How Many Macadamia Nuts Can Dogs Eat Before It Becomes Dangerous?

Technically, dogs should never eat any macadamia nuts. However, accidents happen. A rough estimate of the toxicity level is 2 grams (0.10 ounce), or about one whole macadamia nut, per 2 pounds body weight. This means a 10-pound dog would likely have to eat five nuts to experience issues. Keep in mind that lower doses can still cause some of the toxicity signs listed above, but they may not be as severe.

Since the severity of toxicity can vary depending on your dog’s size and the number of nuts consumed, you should never give them to your dog, even if it’s just a small bite. If your dog consumes macadamia nuts, you should contact a pet poison helpline or your vet, regardless of how few they consumed. Some dogs may develop serious problems from a very small amount of macadamia nuts, while others may only have mild signs for a day or two.

Imge Credit: Roger costa morera, Shutterstock

What Other Nuts Are Unsafe for Dogs?

Besides macadamia nuts, there are others that you need to avoid feeding your dog as well. Steer clear of black walnuts, old or moldy walnuts, raw cashews, hickory nuts, and Brazil nuts. You also need to avoid any salted or flavored nuts, as the coatings are potentially dangerous.

Why Are Nuts Unsafe for Dogs?

The biggest concern with offering nuts to dogs is their high fat content. Eating too many can lead to pancreatitis issues and obesity. They can also be choking hazards, and offering seasoned nuts can be outright toxic to pets.

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In Conclusion

Macadamia nuts are considered toxic to dogs. It seems that different dogs react differently to varying amounts of macadamia nuts, so there’s no way to know how your dog’s body will respond unless they eat some. Due to the risks associated with this, it’s best to assume that any amount of macadamia nuts can cause toxicity signs in your dog and should be avoided at all costs.

Anytime your dog consumes any macadamia nuts, contact a pet poison helpline or veterinarian to get further guidance. Some dogs may only experience mild problems, but due to the risk of serious problems and even death, macadamia nut consumption should be taken very seriously, even if your dog only eats one or two nuts.

Featured Image Credit: Tony Wu, Shutterstock

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