September 17, 2020

Is this nut really dangerous for pets?

Is this nut really dangerous for pets?
Dr. Chris Brown

They’re the definition of the hard nut to crack. But what’s the story with macadamia nuts and pets? Here’s your answer...

While chocolate and onions have their name up in lights as potentially dangerous foods, there’s still some confusion around this Aussie nut.

But here’s the score. Eating macadamias does seem to make some (but not all) dogs sick. While the actual cause is unknown, the classic signs are vomiting, weakness, unsteady walking, muscle tremors and a fever. But even without a specific poison, that amount of fat is an issue.

So how many nuts are dangerous? Well, anything more than one nut per 2kg of bodyweight is considered a risk. So for a 10kg Cavoodle, 5 nuts may cause problems. Obviously it’s not worth the risk.

But here’s an interesting one. What if you have a macadamia tree and a dog? Well, macadamias are quite literally the hardest of all nuts to crack, requiring 300 pounds per square inch (psi) to access the nut. And for most dogs, their jaw pressure only generates between 150 and 250 psi. It’s really only the mastiffs, leonbergers, bulldogs and rottweilers that can actually crack open a macadamia shell and eat the nut. Interesting huh.

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