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Can Dogs Eat Water Chestnuts?


Dogs often drool at the sight of many human food items that can generally be harmful to them. In this post, we will discuss – Can Dogs Eat Water Chestnuts?

It is a common confusion whether to let your dog eat water chestnuts or not because there are various fruits and vegetables that don’t sit well with your dog’s stomach.

After reading this post, you can decide for yourself if your dog can eat water chestnuts or not.

Can Dogs Eat Water Chestnuts?


Fresh water chestnut is rich in potassium and pyridoxine which makes it a healthy vegetable for your dog. So to answer your question, yes, your dog can eat water chestnuts but in moderation to avoid getting your dog’s stomach upset.

Water Chestnuts have high amounts of freshwater that help your dog stay hydrated. The proteins and potassium in water chestnuts help keep your dog’s skin and kidneys healthy respectively.

Make sure that you buy freshwater chestnuts instead of store-bought canned ones.

Can Dogs Eat Frozen Water Chestnuts?

Dogs prefer to eat freshwater chestnuts but they won’t mind the frozen ones either. Get the crunchy fresh water chestnuts and store them in a plastic bag in your refrigerator for up to a week.

Make sure that you completely thaw the frozen water chestnuts before you feed them to your dog.

Can Puppies Eat Water Chestnuts?

A young puppy is no different than an adult dog. You need to take care in feeding them. Water chestnuts are not harmful to puppies but you can start by giving them small quantities at first and then observe if they react adversely to the water chestnuts.

An adult dog can eat 2-3 water chestnuts without developing any digestive issues. For a pup, it is recommended that you give only one water chestnut as an occasional treat.

Also Read: Can Dogs Eat Guavas?

Should I Give Water Chestnuts To My Dog?

Water chestnuts have many health benefits for dogs and can be given to your dog. But make sure that you only serve raw water chestnuts, as they do not contain sodium, unlike tinned ones that have high levels of sodium. Too much sodium can cause sodium ion poisoning in your dog.

If you see any signs of vomiting, diarrhea, or dehydration, then rush it to the vet. If your dog gets sodium ion poisoning, it can kill your dog sometimes.

While freshwater chestnuts do not contain sodium, but they are also rich in starch. Starch can cause digestive distress in dogs. So remember, moderation is the key. You can feed your dog water chestnuts but not on a regular basis.

Are Water Chestnuts Healthy For Dogs?


Water chestnuts have many health benefits for dogs. Here are some of the nutrients in water chestnuts and their health benefits for your dog.

1.    Water Content

Water chestnuts help keep your dog hydrated for an entire day because they consist of 75% water. The water also helps digest your dog’s food easily.

2.    Low Fat

Water chestnuts are low in fat which makes them suitable for your dog’s consumption. Water chestnuts only contain 0.1 gram of fat for every 100 grams.

High levels of fat content can lead to lethargy and obesity in dogs.

3.    Protein

Water chestnuts are rich in protein content which means that your dog will have ready amino acids to maintain its cells and skin tissues. The protein in water chestnuts also plays an important role in producing hormones that keep the immune system healthy.

Dogs require 1g of protein per lbs of their body weight. So if your dog weighs 30lbs, then it will need 30g of protein. 100 grams of water chestnuts contain 2 grams of protein.

4.    Potassium

Potassium aids the proper functioning of nerve impulses that keep their heart and nervous system healthy. It also ensures that the kidney of your dog remains healthy.

Dogs generally require only 0.5 to 1 gram of potassium per day which is 0.6% of their diet requirement. Half cup of water chestnuts has 9 grams of potassium.

How To Feed Water Chestnuts To Dogs?

1.    Raw Water Chestnuts

Dogs like to eat raw water chestnuts because they have a crunchy texture. It is safe to feed them raw water chestnuts but make sure that you remove the skin first. However, cooked water chestnuts are the safest for your pet dog.

2.    As A Food Topping

If your four-legged friend likes water chestnuts, then you can add them to regular dog food as toppings. Ensure that the other dishes do not have any ingredient that is toxic to dogs.

3.    Boiled Water Chestnuts

If you intend to boil and serve water chestnuts to your four-legged friend, make sure that you only boil them without the addition of any spices or taste enhancers.

The best way to feed cooked water chestnuts to your dog is to boil them and then smash them.

4.    Only Select Crunchy Water Chestnuts

If your dog likes raw water chestnuts, then look for the firm and unwrinkled water chestnuts because your dog won’t like them mushy.

You can store unpeeled water chestnuts in your fridge for almost a week. Make sure that you store them in a plastic bag.

Can Water Chestnuts Hurt Dogs?

Water chestnuts cause no harm to dogs as long as they are fresh. Store-bought canned water chestnuts on the other end, are high in salt content which can be harmful to dogs.

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Too much salt can lead to poisoning in dogs. If you see any signs of vomiting, diarrhea, or excessive thirst, it can be because your dog ate too much salt.

Give your dog lots of water in such cases so that it does not dehydrate. If things get too serious, take it to the vet.

Can My Dog Eat Raw Water Chestnuts?


Dogs can safely eat raw water chestnuts in small amounts. They actually prefer eating raw water chestnuts because of their crunchiness.

Just keep an eye on the number of water chestnuts that your pet friend has and look for any signs of distress in case of high intake. You should only serve 2-3 water chestnuts to your adult dog, and just a single water chestnut to your puppy.

Should Dogs Have Cooked Water Chestnuts?

Dogs generally prefer eating water chestnuts raw but they won’t mind if you give it to them cooked.

Although, you must take care of a few things while feeding cooked water chestnuts for your dog. There must be no spices or herbs because they can be toxic for your pet dog. It is best to just boil the water chestnuts and feed them to your dog by mashing them into a smooth paste.

Should Dogs Have Water Chestnut’s Skin?

It is safe that you don’t give your dog water chestnuts with skin. The skin does not contain any harmful substances but it might be possible that your dog chokes on the skin.

You can peel off the raw water chestnut’s skin using a knife and the cooked water chestnut’s skin can be easily peeled off using your hands.

What Happens If Your Dog Eats Too Many Water Chestnuts?


Water chestnuts are high in starch which may cause a problem in your dog’s digestive system like gastrointestinal issues. There are 2 grams of starch in every 65 grams of water chestnuts. 

Canned water chestnuts are high in sodium. Hence, when the canned water chestnuts are taken in a large amount, they can also cause sodium-ion poisoning which has killed dogs in some cases.

If you are feeding your pet friend canned water chestnuts, then be careful with the number of water chestnuts that it eats because regular intake of such food can cause obesity in dogs and lead to cardiovascular problems.

This does not only apply to water chestnuts but every human food item. You never know what can be harmful to your dog, so feed your dog everything in moderation.

Difference Between Chestnuts And Water Chestnuts?


Chestnuts are seeds produced by the chestnut trees found in Europe, Asia, and America. They have a spiky capsule-like appearance. Raw chestnuts don’t taste good and that is why dogs don’t like to eat them raw.

You can roast or boil the chestnuts so that your dog likes them. Cooked chestnuts are a delicious treat for your dog.

Water chestnuts are vegetables that are found in Australia, Asia, and Africa. They have an apple-like texture with black skin. They taste delicious when eaten raw as well as cooked. The crunchiness of the raw water chestnut is what dogs love.

Can Dogs Eat Chestnuts?

Dogs can absolutely eat chestnuts as well. They are full of nutrients like fiber, protein, vitamins and omega 3 fatty acids. Like the water chestnuts, these store bought chestnuts also need to be given in a moderate amount.

You need to take care of a few things before giving chestnuts to your dog. They should not have any added salt since it can be harmful to your pet. Chestnuts are also rich in starch which can be difficult for dogs to digest.

Do not forget to remove the shell to avoid any choking hazards.

Can Dogs Eat Horse Chestnuts?

It is best not to feed your dog any horse chestnuts because their seeds contain a toxic element known as aesculin that can be harmful to your dog and can cause aesculin toxicity.

If your dog eats any horse chestnuts, then look for these common symptoms in your dog like vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, and loss of appetite. Aesculin toxicity can only result after eating too many chestnuts, so do not worry if your dog ate one or two.

However, observe for any signs of distress in your pet.

Small amounts of horse chestnuts can cause gastric problems in dogs, so it is advised not to feed even very little amounts of horse chestnuts to your dog.

What Nuts Are Dogs Allergic To?

Nuts are rich in many different types of nutrients but not all nuts are healthy for dogs to consume. Some nuts contain added salt which can cause harm to your dog’s digestive system and also lead to salt poisoning in some cases.

Nuts with hard shells can also be a choking hazard for your dog.

Even though nuts contain many nutrients, all of them are rich in fat that can cause obesity in dogs. Therefore, they can be used as occasional treats for your dog.

Here is a list of nuts that you can feed your dog:

  • Cashews
  • Water chestnuts
  • Chestnuts
  • Peanuts
  • Pistachios
  • Pecans
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Here is a list of nuts that are not advised to feed to your dog:

  • Hazelnuts
  • Almonds
  • Brazil nuts
  • Walnuts
  • Macadamia Nuts

Also Read: 30 Worst Foods You Should Never Serve Your Dog

Conclusion: Can Dogs Eat Water Chestnuts?

To answer your question, yes dogs can eat water chestnuts but in a small amount. Dogs tend to like freshwater chestnuts instead of canned ones. Make sure that you remove the skin first if you are feeding raw water chestnuts to your dog.

Keep in mind the few things that can cause your dog to get sick like added salt, starch, and overeating of the water chestnuts. Do not forget – Moderation is the key.

If you can’t find water chestnuts and you’re looking for some nutty treat for your fur buddies, try Nutro Crunchy Natural Biscuit Dog Treats which has authentic peanut butter taste.

NUTRO Small Crunchy Natural Dog Treats with Real Peanut Butter, 16 oz. Bag

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