It’s always important to consider the food you are giving to your dog. Whether you’ve made some tasty human food that you would like to share with your dog, or if your dog has accidentally eaten something that contains an ingredient you are unsure about, you need to know what foods a dog can and can’t eat.
Almond flour is one of those gray areas when it comes to the list of food to not feed your dog. Some people will say to avoid feeding your dog foods that contain almond flour, but experts and vets have proven that almond flour isn’t actually dangerous for dogs.
If you’re curious about whether your pooch is safe to eat almond flour or anything that contains almond flour, keep on reading!
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What is almond flour?
Almond flour is made from sweet, ground almonds. Almond flour is often confused with almond meal, but the main difference is that almond flour is made from blanched almonds (with no skin), while almond meal is made from either whole or blanched almonds.
Almond flour is predominantly used in pastries and confectionery due to its unique sweet flavoring. It is commonly found in macarons, cake fillings (like marzipan), and pie.
People will often cook with almond flour when they are on a low-carbohydrate diet. It is also used to add a moistness and nutty flavor that regular flour sometimes cannot achieve.
Almonds have great nutritional value for humans (and dogs too, but in small amounts). However, when the almonds are ground, the protective skin is broken so the antioxidants technically have a shorter shelf life, which leads to oxidation.
In short, almond flour is not as nutritious as almonds. Although, this doesn’t mean almond flour has no nutritional value for dogs! Almond flour still contains protein, fiber, phosphorus, vitamin E, and copper among other minerals.
Is it safe for dogs to eat almond flour?
Technically, yes – it is safe for dogs to eat almond flour. However, just because it is safe for them to eat almond flour, doesn’t mean they should.
If you have been baking some food that contains almond flour and you’ve given your dog a small amount of the food, the almond flour won’t be the problem. Baked goods have a high sugar content that dogs cannot tolerate.
Dogs have a lower tolerance to sugar than humans, even though we process sugar in similar ways. Too much sugar can lead to hyperactivity and then lethargy, weight gain, dental problems, and a heightened heart rate. This is why you should only allow your dog a bite or two of a sweet treat infrequently.
There isn’t really a reason to feed your dog raw almond flour. If almond flour has been knocked over and your dog has licked some of it up, you shouldn’t have to worry too much. Dogs can eat small amounts of almond flour with no repercussions.
However, if you notice something is wrong with your dog after it has consumed almond flour, it’s probably wise to call a professional. Dogs can come with an array of random allergies, including to almonds or almond flour.
In most cases, however, the problem is with the ingredients that accompany the almond flour. Sugar and fats from baked goods can be difficult for a dog to digest properly, which leads to a lot of gastrointestinal upsets.
Can I use almond flour in dog treats?
If you like to make your own dog treats, you can definitely use almond flour! Homemade dog treats are great because you can control the ingredients you use.
This means that you don’t have to include artificial flavorings or preservatives like commercial dog treats. Homemade dog treats are a healthy and tasty option for dogs, even with almond flour.
It’s worth noting that dog treats should only be used infrequently and when necessary. Dogs can become expectant to treats after they complete even the most basic commands, so try to limit their treat intake to one or two a day.
Too many treats can lead to weight gain, dental problems, and behavioral issues – even if the treats are homemade!
However, almond flour is gluten free! Some dogs struggle with gluten intolerances and bloating issues, which is why almond flour is often a key ingredient in homemade dog treats.
What type of flour is safe for dogs?
If you’re wanting to make dog treats with a flour that is entirely safe and beneficial for dogs, you have to consider coconut flour. Like almond flour, coconut flour is free of gluten and filled with proteins and fiber.
In fact, coconut flour is probably the safest and healthiest type of flour for dogs because of the vitamins and minerals it contains – including potassium, calcium, vitamin C, and vitamin B6.
Like coconut flour, oat flour is a brilliant type of flour for dogs. Oat flour consists of ground oats, which is a naturally gluten-free whole grain that is low in sugar and high in fibers and vitamins.
Whole wheat flour, likewise, is a good option for dogs. Whole grains are very beneficial for dogs, from the antioxidants to the great fiber source. All purpose flour does not contain whole grains, which is why it’s not recommended feeding your dog too much all purpose flour. Likewise, white flour offers no nutritional or health benefits for your dog.
So…can dogs eat almond flour?
To conclude: yes, dogs can eat almond flour, but only in moderation.
Almond flour carries a lessened amount of nutritional benefits to almonds, which is why it is not unsafe for dogs to eat. The main problem with almond flour is that it is usually an ingredient in baked goods, which also include a lot of sugar.
While your dog can tolerate the almond flour, it won’t be able to process the sugar and fat levels.
Almond flour in dog treats is a good option for dogs to eat, but don’t make a habit of feeding your dog too many treats! Dogs require a somewhat consistent diet, so anything that exceeds their maximum requirements of sugar, salt, fat, and carbs can be potentially harmful to their health.