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It’s coming up to sweet chestnut season again and the woods where I walk my dog are abundant with them. My dog loves eating chestnuts and enjoys foraging for them and eating them. I’ve never noticed any ill effects but last year a fellow dog walker was actively discouraging her dog from eating them, as she said they were bad for dogs. Should I be keeping my dog away from them?

John Burns advises…

I would try to deter a dog from foraging, as there are many items that can be found in woodlands that can be toxic to a dog, and a dog could easily eat something of this nature without you realising. If your dog likes foraging, then you can encourage this at home using feeding aids, such as a snuffle mat. Using your dog’s own food, a snuffle mat will provide your dog with hours of fun and give mental stimulation. You could also feed a food higher in fibre, as this will keep your dog feeling more satisfied. Not all nuts are safe; some are toxic to dogs, so it’s best to stay clear of all.

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