Can Dogs Eat Water Chestnuts?

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Hi, I’m hoping to get information on “can dogs eat water chestnuts. How healthy and safe is it for dogs to consume?  Thank you!


Water chestnuts are safe for dogs to eat and can be a healthy and tasty treat, particularly when temperatures rise. Water chestnuts have a high water content and contain potassium, an important electrolyte. Water chestnuts are also a good source of energy, fiber, and iron. It’s fine to feed sliced water chestnuts straight out of the can but choose products that are low in sodium. If you purchase whole water chestnuts, cut them into bite-sized pieces to reduce the risk of choking.
Any new food can lead to gastroenteritis, which may cause vomiting, diarrhea, poor appetite, and dehydration. Make sure to feed dogs only a small number of water chestnuts to begin with to see how they react.

Keep treats of all sorts, including water chestnuts, to 10% or less of a dog’s total caloric intake. Feeding too many water chestnuts, or any human food, can lead to nutritional imbalances.

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If you have any specific health concerns related to your pet, please be sure to take the pet to your vet or an emergency vet, or if you have concerns related to something your pet may have eaten another option is to call a pet poison control line. Be aware that there is a fee to use these services. Two that we can recommend are the ASPCA Animal Poison Control at (888) 426-4435 and the Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661.

Dr. Jennifer Coates
Dr. Jennifer Coates was valedictorian of her graduating class at the VA-MD Regional College of Veterinary Medicine and has practiced in Virginia, Wyoming, and Colorado. She is also the author of numerous articles and books including the Dictionary of Veterinary Terms: Vet-Speak Deciphered for the Non-Veterinarian.