Can Dogs Have Pistachios? Know the Risks – 10 things you should know

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While pistachios go well with almonds and the like in a bag of trail mix, pistachios and dogs do not mix.

Summary: Can Dogs Eat Pistachios?

So, we’ve answered the question of can dogs eat pistachios. And the answer is yes, but in moderation.

Just be aware of a few things. Firstly, pistachio shells can be harmful. Secondly, salted pistachios are unhealthy. And lastly, pistachios are high in fat and calories.

If your dog is overweight or has pancreatitis, pistachios should be avoided. And it’s best to check with your vet if your dog has any other medical condition.

As long as you remember these things, and feed them in moderation to your dog, pistachios are safe for dogs!

One thing to know about pistachios is that they are very high in fat. While pistachios have certain health benefits and are ultimately not toxic to dogs, their high fat content could make them pretty sick if they have them in large amounts.

According to the ASPCA, the high fat content in nuts like pistachios, pecans, and macadamia nuts can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs.

So can dogs eat pistachios? What other health risks are associated with feeding dogs pistachios? Are pistachios safe for dogs? Pistachios are a tasty snack— for humans.

Ultimately, feeding your dog pistachios is not recommended. Read on to learn why it might be safer to stick with other treats for your pup instead.

Don’t Go Nuts

two tan dogs looking ahead

Pistachio nuts should not be given to any animal in large quantities. At any rate, if you decide to let your dog eat pistachios, do not go overboard. Dogs that eat pistachio nuts in large quantities will get pistachio poisoning. Pistachio poisoning brings about an upset stomach, vomiting, and diarrhea, among other symptoms. writes that foods high in fat like pistachios and hazelnuts are known to cause pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) in dogs. In addition to that, pistachios, particularly pistachio shells, present a choking hazard as well as intestinal obstruction.

Safer nuts for dogs to eat, according to PetMD, include peanuts, almonds, and cashews. If you feed your dog any of these kinds of nuts, however, they should be unsalted and unseasoned. If he or she ingests too much sodium from salted nuts, your dog could develop a dangerous case of sodium ion poisoning.

Too much salt is dangerous and can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, tremors, and excessive thirst, according to WedMD. Ingesting too much salt also affects water retention in dogs, which increases the likelihood of kidney failure.

There are more risks than benefits to feeding your dog pistachios. Read on as we unpack more of the risks to your dog’s health that fatty nuts present.

You might be interested in : Can dog eat nuts ?

Pistachio Poisoning

Did you know that the pistachio is a member of the cashew family? The pistachio is actually a tree nut that come from the Pistacia vera tree found in hot climates like Central Asia and Middle Eastern countries.

In the United States the majority of pistachios come from California. Pistachios have many health benefits and are a great source of nutrients, are high in antioxidants, and high in protein.

You have read about the health benefits one can get from pistachios, but there are dangerous components to this tasty shelled green nut that wreak havoc on a dog’s digestive system. The most detrimental component from nuts to your dog’s health is Aspergillus mold. Dogs are especially susceptible to the aflatoxin produced by the mold. also lists the following symptoms of pistachio poisoning from Aspergillus mold:

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

Aspergillus mold causes aflatoxinsthat negatively affect the liver in dogs. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), aflatoxins are a family of toxins produced by certain fungi that are found on agricultural crops such as corn, peanuts, cottonseed, and tree nuts (this includes pistachios, of course).

Aflatoxins are a type of mycotoxins, which are “secondary metabolites produced by microfungi that are capable of causing disease and death in humans and other animals,” according to NIH. In other words, they mean bad news.

Another danger of pistachios is two natural chemicals called phosphorous and urushiol. An abundant amount of phosphorus is thought to be a cause of bladder stones in dogs.

The other chemical, urushiol, is fast-acting and quickly absorbs into the skin once contact has been made. Urushiol is what causes allergic reactions to poison ivy as well. warns that dogs who eat pistachios can get this same reaction, especially on their faces and around their mouths.

Other Dangerous Nuts to Avoid

As mentioned above, there are other kinds of nuts you should avoid feeding your dog. For example, never let your dog have macadamia nuts. The Pet Poison Helpline warns that macadamia nuts cause nerve and muscle damage in addition to severe lethargy, increased body temperature, vomiting, muscle tremors, joint stiffness, and inability to walk.

Pecans and black walnuts are also no-nos. Pecans and black walnuts contain a toxin called juglone, which causes gastrointestinal distress in dogs.

If you suspect your dog has eaten too many nuts and displays the aforementioned symptoms, contact your veterinarian right away or call the Pet Poison Helpline at 855-764-7661. The helpline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Bottom Line on Pistachios

Can dogs have pistachios? Since they are not toxic in small quantities, it is safe for dogs to have a nut or two, just don’t incorporate it into your dog’s diet all the time. And if you do share a pistachio nut with your furry friend, make sure it’s without the shells in order to avoid choking or intestinal obstruction.

Ultimately there are safer and healthier treats out there your dog can eat. At the end of the day it is better to play it safe and to keep this particular human food to yourself rather than sharing it with your pooch.

Can My Dog Eat Pistachios?

  • Not a substitute for professional veterinary help.

Imagine: you’re sitting on your porch, enjoying a bowl of pistachios. You accidentally knock the whole thing onto the ground, and your dog hoovers up some nuts before you can stop them. Pistachios are a healthy and tasty treat for humans, but can dogs eat pistachios?

Can Dogs Eat Pistachios?

Maybe not. Pistachios aren’t inherently toxic to dogs, but nuts aren’t a recommended treat for our furry friends. They’re high in fat and can contain a mold that puts your dog at risk for liver damage. Nuts can also give your dog an upset stomach or cause an intestinal obstruction leading to more serious digestive issues. In addition, pistachio shells are a choking hazard.

Can dogs eat pistachios? Pistachios like those pictured with shells here, can pose a danger.

Are Pistachios Dangerous for Dogs?

They can be. While pistachios aren’t toxic by themselves, they can be a dangerous food for your dog. The shells can get caught in the throat or caught up in your dog’s digestive tract, causing a host of issues that would need emergency intervention.

In addition, pistachios that have sat out for a while can develop a mold that contains tremorgenic mycotoxins, which in turn can cause neurological issues.

Pistachios also contain 56 grams of fat per cup, which is four times the 14 grams of fat recommended per day for a 33-pound dog. An excess of fat, over time, can result in everything from obesity to pancreatitis, a serious condition in dogs.

My Dog Ate Pistachios: What Do I Do?

If your dog has eaten pistachios, it’s important to take stock of the situation. Were the nuts old? Were they already shelled? How many did your dog eat, and how big is your dog compared to the nuts?

For instance, if your dog is a toy breed, and ate an entire pistachio, you’ll want to watch for a possible bowel obstruction. If your dog is larger and ate an entire bag of shelled pistachios you forgot behind the couch, you’ll want to watch them for signs of mycotoxin poisoning.

On the other hand, if your large dog ate a few nuts on the ground, taking a wait and see approach could be the best course of action.

Symptoms to Watch For

If your dog has eaten a significant amount of pistachios, watch for these symptoms:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Tremors
  • Agitation
  • Dehydration
  • Greasy stools
  • Anorexia (a refusal to eat)
  • General weakness/lethargy

Can Dogs Eat Pistachios – Are Pistachio Nuts Bad For Dogs?

By Austin Meadows – August 27, 2019 0

can dogs eat pistachios

Can dogs eat pistachios? Yes, they can safely eat these tasty green nuts in small quantities. Pistachio nuts contain a number of important vitamins and minerals, like Vitamin K, Thiamin, Iron, Magnesium, and Phosphorus.

However, they also contain a high proportion of fat and often come salted. Neither is ideal for your dog. Too much fat can lead to weight management problems and other related health issues.

Additionally, any pistachio snacks shared with your pup should be shelled, unsalted, and in limited quantities.

Interesting Facts About Pistachios

Pistachios come from one of the oldest flowering nut trees in the world and have a long and storied history. It is thought that humans have consumed pistachios for upwards of 9,000 years.

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The pistachio is also one of only two nuts ever mentioned in the Bible (Genesis 43:11). And in the modern age, they even have their own holiday (February 26th is National Pistachio Day in the United States)!

The pistachio tree grows well in hot climates. Iran is the largest exporter of pistachios, but in the United States, the majority of pistachios come from California.

Pistachios make for a popular snack in many areas of the world. They are often roasted and salted to enhance their flavor.

They are a nutritious treat for humans. But do dogs derive the same benefits as humans Are pistachios bad for dogs?

Before we answer the question, “Can dogs eat pistachios?” let’s take a look at some of its nutrients.

Pistachio Nutrients

Pistachios are packed with vitamins and minerals. They also contain protein, fat, and fiber.

Most notably, these nuts contain a hefty dose of Thiamin, Vitamin B6, Vitamin K, Copper, Phosphorus, and Manganese. They are also a good source of Iron, Calcium, Zinc, Selenium, Folate, and Vitamin E.

It sounds like pistachios contain a powerhouse of nutrients, so why wouldn’t you feed your furry friend pistachios? We know the answer to “can dogs eat pistachios”, but are pistachios bad for dogs in some way?

Well, we must understand a few things. Firstly, nuts, including pistachios, are generally very high in calories and fat.

Although fat has been demonized in the past, it is not necessarily a bad thing. But there is the theory that a high-fat diet in dogs can contribute to pancreatitis. And some studies have started to look at this correlation and what types of fats are most ideal for dogs.

Is Fat Bad For Dogs?

Fat is not intrinsically bad for dogs. And some experts say that a significant portion of daily calories should come from fat sources.

However, too much fat can contribute to unhealthy weight gain in dogs. Similar to humans, carrying extra weight can cause health problems, like heart disease, in dogs.

The topic needs more research, but it’s important for us to understand that, in moderation, fat is healthy for dogs. With that said, the high-caloric content of nuts and other high-fat foods is important to keep an eye on. This is particularly true if your dog is overweight.

So, can dogs eat pistachios? Sure, but like all good things, keep it in moderation.

can dogs eat pistachios

Pistachios and Dogs

We know dogs can eat pistachios. Pistachios are not toxic to dogs. And dogs do not typically have allergies to pistachios. So, if you are worried — “My dog ate a pistachio!” — you can be assured that in small quantities pistachios are safe for dogs.

With that said, there are some things to keep in mind.

Never feed your dog unshelled pistachios (or any unshelled nut). The tough shells can cause digestive issues, and some nutshells are toxic.
And to reiterate, be aware of the high-fat and high-caloric content of pistachios. Nuts should be eaten in moderation.

Lastly, allergic reactions in specific dogs are always possible. Like humans, dogs can develop allergies to nearly any food.

Pistachios are not often an allergen for dogs, but it’s always possible. So, if you choose to feed your dog pistachios, start with just a few. And then wait a few days to monitor for any adverse reaction.

When Are Pistachios Bad For Dogs?

We know that pistachios are generally safe for dogs. We’ve answered “can dogs eat pistachios”. But are pistachios bad for dogs in any instances or quantities?

Feeding dogs pistachios occasionally and in small quantities is not harmful. However, feeding a dog a large number of pistachios or other nuts can lead to weight gain, upset stomach, and potentially more serious health problems.

If your dog already has pancreatitis, high-fat foods, like pistachios should be avoided.
Pistachios are also not a good treat due to their high caloric value if your dog is overweight. Just one ounce of pistachios contains more than 150 calories!

Finally, nuts should not constitute a significant portion of a dog’s diet. They should be used more as an occasional treat.

Are Pistachios Good For Dogs?

There are some nutrients in pistachios that dogs do require:

  • Thiamine is important for brain function and proper growth in dogs.
  • Manganese helps to extract and digest protein and carbohydrates.
  • Vitamin K helps the blood to clot.
  • Vitamin B6 helps the synthesis of protein and the absorption of protein and fat.

Pistachios are protein-rich and offer a good portion of dietary fiber. They are high in fat, but the bulk of the fat content is unsaturated fat, which can have some health benefits in moderation. Does the dog in your life have a cat in theirs? Don’t miss out on the perfect companion to life with a purrfect friend.

So, yes, there are potentially useful nutrients for dogs in pistachios. However, they can also acquire these nutrients from well-balanced dog foods and other foods.

In short, a few shelled pistachios are an okay snack for otherwise healthy dogs. But there are better, lower fat sources of these nutrients for your pet.

can dogs eat pistachios

Can Dogs Eat Salted Pistachios?

Pistachio nuts often come salted. And while this makes them even tastier, it also makes them more unhealthy.

Just as too much salt is not good for people, it is also bad for dogs. Avoid feeding your dog any salted treats, including salted pistachios.

Can Dogs Eat Pistachio Shells?

We know that the pistachio nut is okay for dogs, but what about the shell? Can dogs eat pistachios in the shell?

As we discussed earlier, in general, nutshells are dangerous for dogs. And this includes pistachio shells.

The shells can cause intestinal obstructions and other damage to the digestive tract. Certain nutshells are also poisonous, so you should never allow your dog to have the nutshells.

Shell the pistachio before feeding it to your pup.

Can Pistachios Treat Health Problems In Dogs?

There is no evidence that pistachios have any specific health benefits to dogs or that they can help with any health issues.

They won’t hurt your dog if they eat a few. But they are also not recommended as part of a dog’s daily diet either.

Should I Give My Dog Pistachios

While you can give your dog pistachios there is really no need. Any nutrients that your dog can derive from this nut they can get from more appropriate food sources, like their dog food

If you want to share a tasty human treat with your canine pal every now and then, a few pistachios won’t harm them. But there are also other lower calorie and lower fat human foods that are safe for dogs that might make a better healthy treat.

So, can dogs have pistachios? Yes. Is it an ideal food for them? No.

can dogs eat pistachios

How to Prepare Pistachios for Dogs

Remember, you should always shell pistachios prior to giving them to your dog for a treat.

You can either buy shelled pistachios or remove the shells yourself. And be sure to get the unsalted variety.

Pistachios can be given as occasional treats or mixed into your dog’s normal food.
However, these nuts should not make up a significant portion of your dog’s diet.

Alternatives to Pistachios for Dogs

If you are looking to share a snack with your furry friend, you can consider one of these healthy and delicious treats:

Remember to avoid toxic foods like chocolate. 

Summary: Can Dogs Eat Pistachios?

So, we’ve answered the question of can dogs eat pistachios. And the answer is yes, but in moderation.

Just be aware of a few things. Firstly, pistachio shells can be harmful. Secondly, salted pistachios are unhealthy. And lastly, pistachios are high in fat and calories.

If your dog is overweight or has pancreatitis, pistachios should be avoided. And it’s best to check with your vet if your dog has any other medical condition.

As long as you remember these things, and feed them in moderation to your dog, pistachios are safe for dogs!

References And Further Reading