As we were walking Andy through a local park the other day a black walnut hit the ground a couple feet away from me with a loud thud. It fell at a pretty high velocity and had I been walking any slower it might have hit me square in the noggin - whack! Ouch! Thankfully I made it out of the park unscathed. Black walnuts are sold commercially in the U.S. but also grow in the wild. Squirrels would bring them into our backyard when we lived in Indiana and I see them all over the place here in Pennsylvania as well.
When black walnuts fall fresh from the tree they're covered with a tough husk. The husk is acid green in color and has a nice lemony scent. As the husk ages it turns black. These are the nuts you typically see on the ground in the fall. Dog owners need to be aware that these black walnuts can turn moldy. If your dog ingests a moldy black walnut he can get seriously ill. The moldy nuts are toxic and can cause tremors and seizures according to the ASPCA. Thankfully Andy pays no heed to the nuts we pass on the ground but their round shape may prove tempting to your pup. Keep them away!