Many dogs enjoy the taste of almonds but they make a poor choice as food for your dog. Due to the size of almonds and the possibility of your dog not chewing them sufficiently, there’s a high chance the almonds can become stuck in their esophagus or intestines. This type of obstruction can be fatal and if it isn’t it has a high chance of requiring medical intervention. Another challenge with almonds is that they’re high in fat and because the pancreas is responsible for processing most of the fat that’s eaten prolong and sustained consumption of a high-fat diet can lead to pancreatitis. Beyond the first two challenges that almonds present there’s the possibility that almond consumption by your dog will lead to gastric distress. The bottom line is that you should avoid feeding your dogs almonds.
If almonds should be avoided, can dogs have almond milk?
In short, yes, dogs technically can have almond milk. Almonds contain a variety of important vitamins and minerals that would aid in your dog’s overall health but they are not part of a dog’s natural diet. Given the potential for gastric issues associated with almonds and the high-fat content, almond milk is best avoided. If you do choose to provide almond milk to your dog, do it in moderation. Homemade almond milk is the best and safest option as there will be no doubt with respect to the ingredients. For commercially sourced almond milk be sure to check the ingredients for the possible inclusion of those that are harmful to dogs.
Health benefits of almond milk for dogs
As stated above, almonds contain a slew of benefits that can help your dog’s overall health. They aid in brain, bone, and eye health, is a great source for vitamin E, helps combat stress, is an antioxidant. It provides your pet with necessary minerals like calcium, potassium, selenium, zinc, iron, copper, magnesium, and phosphorus, as well as vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and K. To just what extent of health benefits that your dog gets will depend on several factors, ranging from whether it is homemade, to what brand of store-bought almond milk you are offering to your furry one.
Sunflower seeds contain many healthy nutrients, including:
|Almond milk, unsweetened|
|Vitamin E||2.81 mg|
Homemade almond milk is best for dogs
You may find that many dog owners opt to make almond milk from scratch. This is because of several factors, one of which being that almond milk is generally an expensive product. Most importantly, however, is that homemade almond milk completely avoids any chance of introducing your dog to any lethal or harmful additives. By making it homemade you will also ensure that your dog gets the most benefits they can get from it as some store-bought almond milk products may only contain as little as 2% almond. By making it at home and removing the added processing steps that subtract from its nutritional value, you increase the amount of amount present and the benefits that come along with it.
Risk of store-bought almond milk for dogs
Many companies include additives to their almond milk to improve flavoring, stability, and texture. There are a number of harmful ingredients to look out for as some companies may add carrageenan, chocolate, or raisins to improve the taste. All of these additives can harm your dog’s health.
Carrageenan is a common additive in both human and pet food that’s used for a variety of reasons including as a filler, to aid emulsification, and to thicken. Food grade carrageenan in some studies has been shown to be safe, while other in-vitro studies have identified carrageenan as having the potential to induce inflammation. The science at this point appears to be somewhat inconclusive so at this point it’s likely best avoided.
Can almond milk kill dogs?
Almond milk can kill dogs but it’s generally a result of additives. An additive that can be found in store-bought almond milk is the sugar substitute xylitol. It’s a sugar alcohol that has a similar sweetness to sucrose but has been shown to reduce the risk of cavities in children. Despite the fact that xylitol is not known to be toxic to humans, it is very poisonous to dogs and should be avoided at all costs. A relatively small amount of xylitol can induce a spike of insulin in dogs that can lead to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) that can be life-threatening. High doses of xylitol in dogs can lead to liver failure.
With as little as 2% almond present in store-bought almond milk and the risk of companies having added harmful additives to the product, you may want to forego store-bought milk altogether.
Almond milk and allergic reactions in dogs
If this is the first time you are giving your dog almond milk you will want to give them a very small amount at first. Even though almond milk, without harmful additives, is not harmful to dogs that does not mean it is completely safe as any dog can run the risk of being allergic to it. Once you allow him to try it you will want to keep an eye out for any signs of an allergic reaction. This can range from having hives to experiencing diarrhea.
If your dog does not experience an allergic reaction it is still recommended to give almond milk in moderation. To everyone’s dismay, it is possible to have too much of a good thing, with an excessive amount of almond milk able to lead your pet to obesity or pancreatitis due to the high-fat content.
Providing almond milk as an infrequent treat is likely the approach you’d want to take. This amount per serving will depend on your dog’s breed and size. To better serve your pet, it is recommended to consult your dog’s veterinary physician to see what would be an appropriate serving amount for your canine companion.