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Can Dogs Eat Pistachios? Vet-Approved Facts & FAQ

Written by: Hanh Duong

Last Updated on May 24, 2024 by Dogster Team

Can Dogs Eat Pistachios

Can Dogs Eat Pistachios? Vet-Approved Facts & FAQ


Dr. Lauren Demos  Photo


Dr. Lauren Demos

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Pistachios are a favorite food among humans that are rich in protein, fiber, and vitamin B6. They are popular in salads, desserts, and just on their own as a snack. Wondering whether dogs can eat pistachio nuts may be a question you have if you enjoy eating or using them in your recipes. Are they harmful to dogs?

Pistachios are not toxic to dogs, so your pooch can eat them occasionally in moderation. However, how many and how you serve them to your dog is important. Read on below to find out more.


Risks Associated with Giving Your Dog Pistachios

  • Choking Hazard – These nuts or their shells could become choking hazards and get stuck in your dog’s throat if they try to eat them. If you eat nuts, always put the shells in a garbage or compost container to ensure your furry friend can’t get to them.
  • Pancreatitis Risk – Pistachios are unhealthy for dogs for some reasons. Due to the nut’s high fat and salt content, certain dogs may experience digestive problems. In extreme cases, pancreatitis may develop as a result of consuming fatty foods in high amounts. Loss of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea are signs to look out for. Consult a vet immediately if your dog appears lethargic or has tummy issues after eating pistachios in high amounts.
  • Salt – The pistachios we eat as snacks frequently have salt or other seasoning added. Lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, and tremors can all result from ingesting too much salt. Puppies may be particularly at risk from this.
  • Toxic Components – Even though they aren’t specifically poisonous, pistachios have components that are bad for dogs. They can become ill and experience an allergic reaction to urushiol, which is also present in poison ivy. Furthermore, mold that develops on nut shells naturally produces aflatoxin. Aflatoxin consumption may leave dogs weak and lethargic, upset their stomachs, and possibly result in seizures.


How Many Pistachios Can a Dog Have?

Because these nuts contain vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber, pistachios can be beneficial to a dog’s health in small amounts. Additionally, their “healthy fats” may, in theory, help to maintain healthy skin and reduce inflammation.

However, our canines should only consume pistachio nuts in moderation. Small dogs shouldn’t eat more than one pistachio a day, whereas giant breeds could be able to enjoy a few more. In essence, it is determined by the size of your pet.

It would probably be best for you to eat the pistachios to yourself and give your dog an alternative treat due to the potential risks involved. Before giving them these nuts, make sure to consult your veterinarian.

pistachio on plate
Image Credit: MrGajowy3, Pixabay

What Happens if My Dog Eats Pistachios?

Taking stock of the situation is crucial if your dog ate pistachios. Were they expired? Had they been shelled already? How many nuts did your furry friend consume, and what size dog is it in relation to the nuts?

For instance, if your toy-sized pet ate the entire pistachio, you should keep an eye out for indicators of bowel obstruction. Or watch your large dog for symptoms of mycotoxin poisoning if they consume a bunch of shelled pistachios you left behind on the sofa!

For the most part, if your dog ate a few shelled pistachios, they should be fine. To confirm this, always contact your veterinarian to get their final say in the matter.


Healthy Snacks for Dogs

Pistachios have a few nutritional benefits and are technically okay for dogs to consume, but there are far better options out there. Fortunately, you can get your favorite companion some other “human” snacks that are tasty and healthy.

The following vegetables make great treats for your pup:
  • Broccoli
  • Pumpkin
  • Squash
  • Green beans
  • Carrot
  • Cucumbers

Talk with your vet to determine which vegetables might be ideal for your dog’s diet. If they enjoy a specific type, cut it into smaller pieces and eliminate any parts that might be uncomfortable for them to consume. This will ensure a completely safe feeding and eating experience.

woman giving broccoli to her dog
Image By: Budimir Jevtic, Shutterstock

divider-dogFinal Thoughts

Giving large amounts of pistachio nuts can cause weight gain, abdominal pain, and other serious health problems. So, it’s best to give your furry friend a moderate number of pistachios—if at all.

Before feeding pistachios, ensure they are shelled and unsalted. You can add pistachios to your dog’s regular food or give them as treats, but they shouldn’t make up a large amount of their diet.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: Alexas_Fotos, Pixabay

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