Can dogs eat pistachio nuts?

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Can Dogs Eat Pistachio Nuts

Most people enjoy eating pistachios as they’re a classic snack. Pistachios have something that seems to entice dogs, and your pet will probably choose to eat any remaining nuts. 

Many experts advise people not to offer any nuts to their dogs. However, in practical terms, some nuts are not suitable for dogs, though some can be given to dogs with particular measures. With that, can dogs eat pistachio nuts? 

Pistachios are not toxic to dogs. But they can do more damage than good. It is okay to offer your dog a few nuts. They have high-fat content, so you mustn’t serve them to your pet in large servings.

With this in mind, pistachios are often not recommended as a treat due to their potential risks. And, just like other nuts, you must separate them from the shells before feeding them to your pet. 

Are Pistachios Good For Dogs?

Surprisingly, pistachios do hold some health benefits for your dog. But only when the nut is cracked, unsalted, and fed to them on rare occasions. 

The pistachio nut is a healthy treat rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin C, potassium, and calcium. These nuts have the daily recommended allowance of B vitamins. Pistachios likewise hold the following micronutrients that will help your dog:

  • Beta-carotene
  • Vitamin E
  • Dietary Fiber 
  • Magnesium
  • Iron
  • Copper
  • Zinc
  • Manganese
  • Phosphorus

Therefore, yes, there are healthy nutrients in pistachios. But they can also obtain these nourishments from well-balanced kibbles and other foods.

Pistachio Nuts for Dogs

Why Your Dog Shouldn’t Eat Too Many Pistachios?

So even though pistachios are not specifically toxic for dogs, they are not advisable as a daily treat. One pistachio may not hurt your dogs, but too many can lead to some pretty unfortunate consequences. 

High-Fat Content

While Pistachios are packed with nutrients that have anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant, and immune-boosting properties, these nuts also have a high amount of fat, and therein lies the problem. 

This fat content could cause severe digestive upset and diarrhea if consumed excessively. Healthy fatty acids, such as Omega-3, are beneficial for dogs. However, too much fat can cause your dog to gain weight, and we all know an obese dog faces a greater RISK of getting hurt or getting sick. 

High Amount of Fiber

As we already discussed, pistachios are rich in dietary fiber. This comes with a host of health benefits for your dog. However, too much fiber can result in negative consequences for your dog’s digestive system.

Symptoms of an upset stomach include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Greasy stools
  • Dehydration
  • Vomiting
  • Orange urine 

Pistachio Shell

Along with the risks of high-fat and fiber content, the shell of pistachios presents another danger, as well. So, while dogs can consume pistachio nuts, it comes with risks. If the shells are not completely removed, they can be an actual choking hazard to your pet.

Even if they do succeed in swallowing it, this tough covering is highly challenging to digest. The shell might break in the dog’s stomach and induce complications like intestinal blockages, and this is particularly true in smaller breeds.

drawbacks of pistachio nuts to dog

Mold / Pistachio Poisoning

A lot of pistachio nuts carry a jeopardizing kind of mold, Aspergillus. This appears when nuts are improperly harvested or preserved. Aspergillus mold, after a while, produces aflatoxins that are toxic and can be damaging to your dog’s health. 

When ample pistachios are consumed and infected with this mold, it can lead to acute poisoning (aflatoxicosis). Pistachio poisoning can cause a list of uncomfortable and possibly fatal symptoms, including:

  • Vomiting
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Orange-colored urine
  • Jaundice
  • Liver failure
  • Pancreatitis 

Pistachio poisoning only occurs when these nuts are consumed in massive amounts. This problem is rare, but it is something to watch. 

Urushiol and Phosphorus

Pistachios contain two natural compounds that may trigger risk to dogs. These are urushiol and phosphorus. Too much phosphorus can cause a progression of kidney disease and contribute to the development of bladder stones. 

On the other hand, urushiol is known to trigger allergies called contact dermatitis. Symptoms to be wary of include a skin redness that pops up on your pet’s face and around his mouth.

What to Do if Your Dog Eats Pistachios

If your dog (small to medium breed) eats a whole plate of pistachios, you must bring them to a pet clinic as soon as possible. However, if your dog is a mature Great Dane and swallowed a few nuts, you merely have to wait and observe them throughout the day. 

But if your pet has had unshelled pistachios, regardless of their size, you’ll need to keep a close eye on them. You have to ensure they don’t manifest symptoms of throat or bowel obstruction. 

When your dog catches problems related to gastrointestinal discomfort due to consuming pistachios, be sure to visit the vet.

How to Safely Give Pistachios to Your Dog

After you get the signal from the vet to feed pistachios to your dog, then you can feed them moderately. When purchasing pistachios, make sure to get the plain, unsalted variety. You can buy unshelled pistachios, or you can remove the exterior yourself. Remember to throw away those shells properly, as dogs might still grab any fallen shells off the ground. 

As has already been mentioned, pistachios are not ideal for a nutritious diet for your dog. But you can still include these nuts in their dog food, given that it’s only a tiny amount and it’s not a regular addition. Pistachios can be a good topping if chopped, looking after the choking risk. As another option, if you’re nibbling some pistachio nuts, you can give a few to your dog when they’re begging for some.

How To Safely Give Pistachios to Dog

Conclusion

Dogs can eat pistachios. However, it is NOT recommended as a part of your dog’s daily diet. It can pose serious risks when eaten in large portions. These include causing obesity, digestive discomfort, and pancreatitis.

Though a piece of pistachio without the shell will not harm your dog if given on rare occasions. Additionally, you have to ensure that the pistachio is unsalted. 

Remember to understand the risk, and make sure to add supplements to what your dogs eat appropriately. 

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