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Can Dogs Eat Water Chestnuts? Vet-Verified Facts

Written by: Jordyn Alger

Last Updated on May 17, 2024 by Dogster Team

Can Dogs Eat_water chestnuts

Can Dogs Eat Water Chestnuts? Vet-Verified Facts

VET APPROVED

Dr. Lorna Whittemore  Photo

REVIEWED & FACT-CHECKED BY

Dr. Lorna Whittemore

MRCVS (Veterinarian)

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

Learn more »

It can be hard to tell which foods are good for your dog and which are dangerous. Before feeding your dog any new food, it is best to consult your vet to ensure that you are making a good decision for your pet’s diet. Sometimes, however, your dog makes the decision for you by snapping dropped food from the floor before you can pick it up.

If your dog has eaten some water chestnuts, don’t worry; water chestnuts are not dangerous for canines to eat. If you are considering adding water chestnuts to your dog’s meals or offering them as treats, you will want to know more about the risks and rewards involved.

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What Is a Water Chestnut?

The water chestnut also referred to as the Chinese water chestnut,1 is an aquatic vegetable that grows underwater in marshy locations. Despite its name, the water chestnut is not a nut. Rather, it is more like a grassy plant. The part that most people consume is the corm or the bulb-like plant stem that grows underground.

It has a semi-sweet flavor and is often used in stir-fries or as a topping on other dishes. It can be served raw, boiled, grilled, pickled, or in other forms. Ground-up water chestnuts can be used as a thickening agent akin to flour. Overall, it’s a versatile ingredient that can be used in many interesting ways.

The water chestnut has plenty of health benefits for humans. It improves blood pressure, slows the spread of certain cancers, and promotes weight loss. It is also a good source of fiber, making it beneficial to your digestive health. But does it have any benefits for dogs?

Chinese peeled water chestnuts
Image Credit: neil langan, Shutterstock

Health Benefits of Water Chestnuts for Your Dog

Yes, water chestnuts could have health benefits for your dog. Since the water chestnut is high in fiber, it could boost the health of your dog’s gastrointestinal system.

Likewise, water chestnuts have a high water content that provides additional hydration for your dog. This also means they are low in fat and calories, making them a good treat. However, water chestnuts are high in carbs, so feeding them to your dog in excess can lead to weight gain. Providing a water chestnut to your dog occasionally is better than feeding them every day.

Water chestnuts are loaded with healthy vitamins and minerals. They provide great nutrients such as calcium, potassium, and manganese. Vitamin B6, C, and omega-3 fatty acids are also in water chestnuts.

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What to Know Before Feeding Water Chestnuts to Your Dog

Water chestnuts are a healthy treat for your dog—in moderation. You must be cautious when feeding water chestnuts to your dog and consider the following points.

Avoid Canned Water Chestnuts

Not all water chestnuts are healthy for your dog. Canned water chestnuts contain high amounts of sodium. Instead, only feed fresh water chestnuts to your dog.


Chop Up the Water Chestnuts

Water chestnuts, especially when uncooked, are firm and crunchy. Whole, raw water chestnuts can be a choking hazard to your dog. Instead, chop the water chestnuts into smaller chunks before offering them as treats.


Talk to Your Vet

Dogs can have allergies to foods just like humans can. There may be a chance that your dog is allergic to water chestnuts, so before making them a part of your dog’s regular treat rotation, consult your vet.

Corgi eating dog food
Image Credit: Paul’s Lady. Shutterstock

How to Prepare Water Chestnuts for Your Dog

As mentioned previously, it is vital to chop water chestnuts into smaller chunks before feeding them to your dog. In addition to chopping them, there are other steps you will need to take to make water chestnuts edible for your dog.

First, cut off the top and bottom of the water chestnut, then strip away the outer skin. Water chestnuts can be served to your dog raw or gently steamed, but you shouldn’t add any seasonings or additional ingredients. Seasonings can be toxic to your dog. This may sound like a bland meal to you, but it is a delectable treat for your dog.

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Summary

Water chestnuts can be a healthy option if you want to add some new flavors to your dog’s treats. Since they are best fed in moderation, water chestnuts can be excellent treats for training or other good behavior. Of course, you should speak to your vet beforehand and ensure that your dog has no allergies to water chestnuts, but once you get the all-clear, you’ll have a special new treat to offer your dog.

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