Can dogs eat chestnuts: What should you know?

Being a dog parent is not quite easy, even though it may sound easy to have a dog at your house, the reality is quite different. There are things that you should know especially about what dogs should eat and what they should not. Even though dogs are not directly allergic to nuts, the question – can dogs eat chestnuts remains unanswered. So, here we will look into all the things that you should know about dogs eating chestnuts.

Can dogs eat chestnuts: What do Studies and Doctors have to say?

When it comes to dogs eating chestnuts, veterinarians always recommend dog parents have a consultation with them first. During this consultation, they examine their dog and provide them with the best solution.

person holding brown and white round fruit

Moreover, as per American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), only some types of chestnuts are safe for dogs such as Castanea dentata and American chestnut. However, they are to be given in small quantities only and there is one type of chestnut namely horse chestnuts which dogs should not consume because it contains aesculin, which is toxic for dogs. 

Is it good for dogs to consume chestnuts?

Raw forms of chestnuts are good for dogs due to the presence of nutrients and vitamins in them. So if you are giving plain chestnuts to your dogs then it is good. One of the most common types is American chestnut as they are rich in protein, fiber, amino acids, omega-3 fatty acids, and more. These nutrients are beneficial for dogs. As a result, you can easily include these types of chestnuts into your dog’s diet as they also help in avoiding unhealthy weight gain and prevent them from chronic heart diseases.

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How to feed chestnuts to dogs?

Now that you know a basic answer for can dogs eat chestnuts. So, let’s discuss how to feed them chestnuts.

You can give your dogs raw chestnuts, because they have a crunchy texture, which dogs love and have a starchy flavor as well. However, you should remove the outer brown shell-like covering from the chestnut before you give it to your dog. This will ensure that they are eating what they are supposed to. You can even cut them in pieces for their convenience. 

Some other ways of feeding your dog chestnut are discussed below:

Boiled Chestnuts

Image Credit- Shelovebiscotti

You can feed your dog chestnuts by boiling them first. To boil them, you can directly put them in water and give them a boil until the outer layer of chestnuts loosens. Later on, simmer the boiling pot and let them cook for 30 minutes. Wait to let them cool and once they are fine, you can remove the outer layering and offer the rest to your dog. This way, they will get high fiber in their diet as well. 

Roasted Chestnuts

Image Credit: Serious seats

To roast chestnuts, you need to first remove or score the outer layer of the chestnuts via a knife. This step is important or else chestnuts can explode once you start roasting them. So, when this is done, you can roast them on an open fire or keep them in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes at 425 °F. Once they are perfectly roasted, you can peel the chestnuts and give them to your dogs. 

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Can Dogs Eat Chestnuts of different variety?

In this section, we’ll cover all the other questions that you might have related to your dog eating different types of chestnuts.

red round fruits on brown woven basket

Cooked Chestnuts

Can dogs eat chestnuts that are cooked? Well, yes they can, but you need to ensure that they contain ingredients that are safe for dogs. So, cook chestnuts with something that your dog loves and which is safe as well. 

Sweet Chestnuts

You can certainly give your dogs sweet chestnut. However, these sweet chestnuts are not the ones that are covered with sugar, as sugar is not safe for dogs. So, here the sweet chestnuts are the natural ones. 

Chinese Chestnuts

Just like American chestnuts, you can give your dogs Chinese chestnuts as well. This chestnut grows during September and October, so it can be hard for you to find them at other times. 

Italian Chestnuts

You can give plain Italian chestnuts to dogs that do not have excess salt. 

Japanese Chestnuts

Japanese chestnuts are also safe and edible for dogs. So, you can give your dogs Japanese chestnuts as well. 

Horse Chestnuts

To simply answer can dogs eat horse chestnuts, then it’s a big No. This is so because this type of chestnut is toxic for dogs and sometimes even for humans as well. Even if you try to give horse chestnuts to dogs, they smell and taste very unpleasant, so they’ll not want it. Consuming this type of chestnut can be dangerous for dogs as it has a neurotoxin. 

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Water Chestnuts

Water chestnuts are in reality an aquatic root vegetable and are considered safe for dogs. So, you can give water chestnuts to dogs without any second thoughts.

Final Words

Can dogs eat chestnuts? Well, dogs certainly can eat many types of chestnuts besides horse chestnuts, as we discussed. However, it is better to make sure that you give chestnuts to dogs in a limited quantity and not daily. It’s safe to keep them on a diet they are habitual to and not add on a lot of new things.

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