Hazelnuts, Corylus avellana, are commonly known as filberts in the United States and Canada. They grow on a shrub or small tree that can reach a maximum height of 20 feet tall. The nuts have a sweet taste and come from the same family as the American blueberry and cranberry plants. Hazelnuts are often eaten raw, but they may also be cooked or roasted before eating.
Hazelnuts contain several nutrients which provide benefits to dogs if consumed in moderation. According to the National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, hazelnuts contain 8 percent protein, 13 percent fat, and 65 percent carbohydrates by weight. Hazelnuts also supply vitamins such as folate (12 mcg), niacin (3.2mg), pantothenic acid (1.8mg), and Vitamin B-6 (0.4mg). They also contain minerals, including calcium (74mg), copper (0.4mg), manganese (3.7mg), and magnesium (88 mg).
Hazelnuts are not recommended for dogs because they may contain a small amount of hydrogen cyanide, which is poisonous to animals and people when consumed in large quantities. This means no more than a few hazelnuts should be given to a dog as a treat every so often. Do not try to create homemade treats with hazelnuts or allow your dog to eat whole nuts because these can potentially cause choking intestinal obstruction or sharp shards from the nutshell.
Dogs are not alone in being unable to eat hazelnuts, as they may be harmful to other animals if consumed. The kernels of raw nuts should never be given to birds or small rodents because these species lack the ability to digest large amounts of carbohydrates in one sitting, which could lead to bloating and death.
Do not feed your dog any foods that contain the following ingredients:
• Sugar or sweeteners, including honey and chocolate
• Fatty foods, such as avocados, olives, and animal organs
• Onions, garlic, and chives
• Grapes and raisins
• Yeast dough from bread and rolls • Xylitol, a common artificial sweetener in many sugarless products, including gum and candy • Macadamia nuts
What happens if my dog eats hazelnuts?
If your dog ate a small number of hazelnuts, he will likely be fine. Many people eat raw or roasted nuts without any ill effects.
Contact your veterinarian if you think your dog has eaten too many hazelnuts and may be suffering from poisoning, as the veterinarian may recommend inducing vomiting to remove them from the digestive tract or provide activated charcoal to help absorb them.
Hydrogen cyanide poisoning in dogs may result in vomiting, seizures, difficulty breathing, and shock. Dogs who have eaten large amounts of hazelnuts may also experience hyperthermia (elevated body temperature) or hypothermia (low body temperature).
Will hazelnuts hurt my dog?
Yes, if your dog eats enough hazelnuts. Symptoms of hazelnut poisoning include vomiting, seizures, and shock.
Which nuts are toxic to dogs?
According to VCA Animal Hospitals, there are several kinds of nuts that are poisonous to dogs. These include macadamia nuts, walnuts, and peanuts.
I have a dog who just had surgery. Can he eat hazelnuts?
No. Hazelnuts are not recommended for dogs with respiratory tract or sinus issues because they can cause respiratory complications.
What nuts are not toxic to dogs?
Pistachio nuts are generally safe for dogs, even if they eat an entire can of them. Pistachio nuts provide protein and vitamins A, B6, and C.