Can Dogs Have Water Chestnuts? Get Your Answer Here!

Many of us are fond of having water chestnuts rich in lots of nutrients. But can dogs have water chestnuts? Are these safe for your dogs? Well, water chestnuts are rich in potassium and pyridoxine that make them a highly healthy snack. So, dogs can eat water chestnuts only at a moderate rate. Wondering why? Keep reading this article till the very end, and you will soon get your answer. 

Since time immemorial, dogs have stayed as the most faithful friends of human beings. You can keep searching for eons but won’t find any creature as adorable as a dog. Their loyalty to us, humans, is of the superlative degree. The furry buddies can change you and fill your entire life with immense happiness. 

We all know how strong a bond of love and affection we share with our cute dogs, right? The dog owners share everything- starting from their home, time to their entire personal world with these lovely creatures. 

A dog eating food

As much as sharing our belongings with the dogs fill us with pleasure, what we all should refrain from doing is sharing our food with them. No, we are not saying it just to let you all have the total share of the food! But, because some foods that we enjoy eating can actually be toxic to dogs. 

C’mon, let’s dive into the topic!

What Are Water Chestnuts?

Water Chestnuts

Do you know that water chestnuts are not any form of “nuts”? Quite surprising, right? Water chestnuts are a kind of marsh grass that has been named so owing to its striking resemblance in shape and size to that of the “chestnuts”. 

Highly popular as an integral food ingredient in Southeast Asian countries, foods are hardly prepared without the water chestnuts in China. Yes, it is a crucial food ingredient and is often included in almost all the grand recipes!

Water chestnuts have a dark brown exterior with a white, crunchy interior. While eating it raw or adding it in the preparation of any food recipes, its top and bottom parts must be chopped off, and its brown peel is removed completely. 

You can get this item from the market in either form- as canned or packed water chestnuts and also in the fresh form. 

Water chestnuts have a mixed taste of coconut and apple. Yes, you have got that right! The taste you get from both these fruits equals the taste of water chestnuts. It has a light sweet taste with a nutty-fruity flavor. 

The fact that the water chestnuts remain crunchy even after mixing them in the food gravy makes it highly popular. If you are preparing hot and spicy soups, creamy dips, egg rolls, or bacon recipes, water chestnut is a fantastic ingredient that you can add. 

Have you ever considered giving a portion of your share of the water chestnuts to your dogs? If yes, put a halt! Dogs eat water chestnuts but are these poisonous to dogs? Wait up; we will be answering that in the very next section. 

Can Dogs have water Chestnuts?

Your dogs can obviously eat both fresh and canned forms of water chestnuts. These are the storehouse of proteins, vitamins, and fiber and therefore are highly nutritious. 

While the canned water chestnuts are rich in salt and some preservatives, the fresh ones are more nutritious as these contain the raw nutrients of fiber, vitamins, proteins, and minerals such as potassium and manganese. 

can dogs have water chestnut

Water chestnuts have quite several health benefits. But these are starchy and can not be digested by the dogs if you feed them in large quantities. 

Since water chestnuts are human food, always remember not to give them to your dog daily. Just for a change in the diet, you can feed your pet dog water chestnuts once or twice a week. 

Your pet will likely love munching on the crunchy water chestnut. But you need to be a little strict by not providing them with these for the sake of their health. 

Are Water Chestnuts Related to Chestnuts?

Water Chestnut

It might seem a bit weird, but chestnuts and water chestnuts are not, by any means, related to each other. It’s just that both of these have the same name and have a similar appearance. That’s the end of the similarities between the two!

Water chestnuts and chestnuts alone are different types of plant produce. While “chestnut” is a kind of edible nut or fruit, the “water chestnut” is a type of marsh grass, a sort of aquatic vegetable native to the parts of Africa, Asia, and Australia. 

The green leaves of the water chestnut are often grown underground to obtain corms. Do you know that these are the very corms that are known as water chestnuts? Yes, water chestnuts and chestnuts are entirely different except for their appearance. So, that is all about the inter-relation (in terms of only “names”) between the two!

Nutrients In Water Chestnuts

Water chestnuts are loaded with nutrients and make for a portion of healthy food. But, wait! Are these beneficial for the dogs? To know that, let’s have a look at the nutritional content of the water chestnuts. 

Water chestnuts are rich in the following nutrients. 

  • Water: 75%
  • Pyridoxine or Vitamin B6: 0.33 mg 
  • Copper: 0.33 mg 
  • Carbohydrates: 4.7 g 
  • Fat: 0.1 g 
  • Potassium: 583 mg 
  • Manganese: 0.34 mg 
  • Fibers: 1.4 g 
  • Total Energy: 98 kcal 

Now that we know about the actual nutritional value of the water chestnuts, let’s see if these are, in any way, beneficial to the dogs and if they can eat these. 

High Water Content 

The high water content of the water chestnuts implies that if the dogs are fed these, they will stay hydrated throughout the day. Hydration is vital to ensure the proper functioning of all bodily activities. 

Low-Fat Content 

Since water chestnuts have a low percentage of fats in them, dogs can eat these without getting obese or becoming lethargic. This is undoubtedly a healthy food item for your dogs. 


The fact that water chestnuts contain a good amount of protein implies a greater production of amino acids inside the body. Amino acids are essential for dogs and all other living beings in general. Are you not understanding the reason for it? Well, amino acids help in the maintenance and repairment of the body cells, muscles, hair, and skin tissue of your lovely dogs. 

Mineral Content 

Water chestnuts are rich in vital minerals such as manganese and potassium that ensure proper cardiovascular coordination and the healthy functioning of the kidneys.

So, from this, we can draw an inference that only freshwater chestnuts are healthy foods for your puppy, but you need not let them have these in significant amounts.  Avoid feeding them packaged or canned water chestnuts as the high concentration of salts in this variety make them victims to sodium ion poisoning, diarrhea, vomiting, and indigestion problems. Let’s see what exactly is “sodium-ion poisoning” in dogs. 

Sodium-ion Poisoning In Dogs

The high percentage of salt present in the canned water chestnuts is highly toxic to dogs. When the sodium ions get concentrated in your dog’s blood, severe poisoning occurs. But, how will you understand if your dog is suffering from sodium-ion poisoning? Mainly, the common symptoms of this kind of poisoning include a higher rate of urination, diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, and reduced appetite.

If not treated immediately, they may even go into a coma, and death may also occur. Such horrific effects of sodium-ion poisoning! Never delay in consulting the veterinarian as he can treat your favorite pet by conducting proper IV fluid therapy and supplying adequate amounts of oxygen to curb dehydration

Are Freshwater Chestnuts Ideal For Feeding Dogs? 

Freshwater Chestnuts

Since dogs eat water chestnuts, you need to take care that you are feeding only freshwater chestnuts to your canine buddies. After all, every fruit or vegetable is in a highly nutritious state only in its raw form. Moreover, the freshwater chestnuts won’t contain a high percentage of sodium, so you can stay assured that there will be no chances of sodium ion poisoning in your doggo. 

How To Feed Water Chestnuts To Dogs?

A dog sniffing on vegetables

Now that you know well that dogs eat water chestnuts, it’s time to tell you how to feed your dog. Do note that your dog will love this crunchy nut in its raw form. But, you should practice the safest method while feeding your dogs the water chestnuts. 

  • First, remove the peel or the outer skin of the water chestnut. Then, cook them a bit so that it turns softer and forms a paste-like item. 
  • Always pick those water chestnuts for your dog that have a firm, sturdy appearance and are not wrinkled much. 
  • If you have brought water chestnuts that are not peeled, you can keep those in a plastic bag and then store those in a refrigerator for a week. After seven days, you can feed it to your pet dogs but only in moderate amounts. 

Horse Chestnuts makes your dog sick and unhappy

Horse Chestnuts

There are several varieties of chestnuts that are grown all over the world. While water chestnuts contain some health benefits and can be given to dogs in moderation, horse chestnuts are not relatively safe for consumption.

The fact that horse chestnuts contain a toxic neurotoxic glycosidic saponin called aesculin is what makes it harmful to your pet dog. Aesculin is primarily present in the leaves and nuts of the horse chestnut tree. If you feed these to your pet even in moderate amounts, it might lead to gastrointestinal diseases in them.

Apart from the toxicity of the horse chestnut, its large size also presents a choking hazard to the dog. It may get stuck in their throat, and the choking hazard may turn out to be deadly. It is better to not include the horse chestnuts in your dog’s diet as it might lead to coma, tremors, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, drooling, seizures, etc. 

4 Other Veggies You Can Feed Your Dog

Let’s have a look at the veggies that you can feed your dog, apart from the much-discussed water chestnuts. 


Pumpkins are rich in fiber and ensure the proper functioning of the digestive system of dogs. If your dog is suffering from diarrhea or severe constipation, feeding them pumpkins may solve the problem to some extent. 


Parsley is rich in potassium that aids in the maintenance of a healthy eye and proper functioning of the kidneys. 


Broccoli is a must for your dog’s food. It is healthy as it helps your dog fight the deadly disease of cancer and arthritis as well as bone inflammation. 


Carrot is going to be a healthy vegetable choice for your dog as it boosts its immunity and gives it good eyesight. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can Dogs Eat Both Cooked And Raw Water Chestnuts?

Dogs can eat water chestnuts in cooked form too. Just be careful not to put extra spices as you would have done while preparing it for yourself. Always present these to your furry friend as dog food should be. Dogs will love to have raw water chestnuts because of their crunchiness. But, you can also cook these and feed your dog the softer water chestnut. 

Can You Feed Water Chestnuts To Puppies?

You can feed water chestnuts to puppies but only in strict moderation and in small amounts. Provide the puppies with half the ratio of the water chestnuts you would have given to a fully grown dog. Though dogs eat water chestnuts, it won’t be right to let them eat these in huge amounts, leading to gastrointestinal diseases.

Can Dogs Eat Chestnuts?

Since chestnuts are not at all toxic to dogs, you can let them eat these. Always feed them the fresh chestnut and not the processed or canned chestnuts. A lot of spices, salt, or preservatives may prove harmful to your pet’s health. 

About the author

I'm Gulshan, a passionate pet enthusiast. Dive into my world where I share tips, stories, and snapshots of my animal adventures. Here, pets are more than just animals; they're heartbeats that enrich our lives. Join our journey!thing.