Close up picture of pistachios
Category_Dog Knowledge
The Vet's Corner

Can Dogs Have Pistachios? Know the Risks

by Jeff Bloom

Written By: Tiffany Ruiz Dasilva, VMD, cVMA | Professional Services Veterinarian, Wild Earth

No, your dog should not eat pistachios as they are unsafe. Pistachios are not toxic for dogs, but the high fat and salt content can make them dangerous. For this reason, it is typically not recommended to give them to your dog, and to instead give them a healthy dog treat.

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

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Are pistachios safe for dogs? What other health risks are associated with feeding dogs pistachios? Let's find out!

Why Dogs Should Avoid Pistachios writes that foods high in fat like pistachios and hazelnuts are known to cause pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) in dogs.

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 your dog ingests too much sodium from salted nuts, they 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.

two tan dogs looking ahead

What Is Pistachio Poisoning?

It is possible for dangerous mold, namely Aspergillus, to grow on low-quality pistachios or pistachios which aren’t contained and sealed properly. This mold can then produce aflatoxin, which is toxic to dogs, affecting the liver. Ingestion of affected pistachios is often referred to as “pistachio poisoning”.

Symptoms of Pistachio Poisoning In Dogs

The following are symptoms of pistachio poisoning in dogs from Aspergillus mold:

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

Other Dangerous Nuts Dogs Should 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.

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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.

Final Verdict On Dogs Eating Pistachios

Can dogs have pistachios? Since they are not toxic in small quantities, it is safe for dogs to have an unsalted 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.

Nutrition For Your Dog Is Key

The number 1 thing we can do for our dogs is giving them food that supports their health and wellbeing.

Much like us, the healthier your dog’s lifestyle, the more likely they’ll be able to fight off any disease or infection. Often the food we feed our dogs is not doing them justice. It’s filled with low-quality ingredients and often does not contain enough fiber.

Wild Earth is a Vet-developed dog food that is a high protein, high fiber source of complete and balanced nutrition. Our food is full of beta-glucans, a powerful digestive fiber that helps to fight off disease and increase immunity. It also contains superfood ingredients like chickpeas, sweet potato, oats, and blueberries to help your dog thrive!

Recommended Vitamins & Supplements for Dogs

Why do dogs need supplements? Age, environment, pollutants, and the stressors of daily life can all lead to less than optimal health for your dog. We’ve created a family of supplements to provide support in the areas your dog needs it most. Learn about Wild Earth’s dog supplements.

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Tiffany Ruiz Dasilva, VMD, cVMA

Dr. Tiffany Ruiz Dasilva is the Professional Services Veterinarian here at Wild Earth. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Brown University, and attended veterinary school at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. Since graduation, she has worked in general practice, on telehealth platforms, and in animal rehabilitation. She has worked tirelessly to gain expertise in the field of canine nutrition through numerous certifications and coursework, and plans to pursue her Masters in Animal Nutrition.

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