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.
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:
- Greasy stools
- Anorexia (a refusal to eat)
- General weakness/lethargy
For More Information
We have a variety of articles about which foods are safe or dangerous for your dog, from common snacks to fruits.