Can Dogs Eat Pistachios?

bowls of pistachios

Nuts are high in protein and good fats, and they constitute an essential element of our diet. They’re also a terrific snack because they’re cheap and easy to store and pack while you’re on the move. However, you can’t give this snack to your dog. Most nuts are bad for dogs, and some can even be lethal.

As a dog owner, this question often comes to mind if your beloved dog can consume a particular food. It is important to know what foods are consumable for dogs and what foods are not, as many items that are completely safe for human consumption can be toxic for dogs.

Can Dogs Have Nuts? Are They Safe?

If you consider nuts as a snack choice for your dog, keep in mind that not all nuts are hazardous to dogs. Nearly all nuts have a high-fat content. High nut consumption may lead to health issues such as obesity, allergic reactions, and pancreatitis in dogs. In addition, feeding your dog salted nuts can cause water retention and other problems. Moreover, certain nuts such as almonds can cause choking. Furthermore, specific nuts, such as macadamia nuts, are also hazardous to dogs.

Although most of the nuts in our pantry are theoretically fine for dogs, there are a few varieties of nuts that may be harmful to dogs, as well as any nuts that have become moldy.

What Nuts Can Dogs Eat?

Peanuts are okay for consumption by dogs in small amounts. However, it’s important to remember that the nuts given to dogs must be unsalted and unseasoned. In small doses, cashews are also considered to be safe. According to the ASPCA, chestnuts are healthy for dogs, although they may not be the best snack for dogs who eat too rapidly or swallow their food whole. In addition, chestnuts have the potential to become trapped in a dog’s throat.

Nuts in the form of peanut butter, pistachio ice creams, cookies, and almond butter are mostly safe to be consumed by your dog if used in a controlled manner. However, it is essential to note that not all dogs can digest almonds, so it’s important to do specific research according to your dog’s breed if you are concerned.

Nuts are too heavy in fat to be used as frequent snacks. This implies that while your dog will probably be all right if they pick up a few peanuts or cashew nuts from the floor, feeding your dog nuts every day is not a brilliant idea. If your dog consumes a large jar of nuts, contact your veterinarian right away since it might cause pancreatic issues, specifically pancreatitis.

a pile of pistachios

Nuts That Dogs Can Consume

Cashews, peanuts, chestnuts, pecans, and pistachios are some nuts that are safe for dog consumption.

Are Pistachios Safe to Consume?

Pistachios are loved by everyone since they’re tasty and healthy. As a dog owner, have you found yourself asking, Can dogs eat pistachios? Are these delectable human goodies as beneficial for humans as they are for our canine companions? Should we be rushing to mop up any spilled pistachios before our dogs can see and try to eat them? The results are inconclusive, with some vets expressing little concern and others taking a firm stand against it.

Pistachios are high in healthy fats, fiber, protein, antioxidants, and various vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B6 and thiamine. By consuming good pistachios, one can attain balanced blood sugar levels, decreased cholesterol, improved gut health, and eye health. Additionally, they also aid in healthy weight loss.

Pistachios can be right for dogs when dogs consume them without shells. However, their consumption is not recommended. Pistachios are not toxic to dogs but have a high fat content which can be harmful to dogs if consumed in high quantity. Dogs are susceptible to pistachio poisoning, as well. Do not give dogs pistachios that are still inside the shell, which, like other nuts in the shell, can cause digestive blockages that can be dangerous.

Why Can the Consumption of Pistachios Be Hazardous for Dogs?

Following are some reasons why consuming pistachios can be harmful to dogs.

smiling dog

The High Content of Fats in Pistachios Is Dangerous for Dogs

Humans can benefit from the healthy, natural fats found in nuts like walnuts, macadamia nuts, and pistachio nuts, but such high fat content in a dog’s diet is not good. Even human food products that dogs may consume, such as peanut butter, have a significant fat level and should only be given as a treat in small amounts. Too much fat in your dog’s diet can cause severe problems like diarrhea, vomiting, and even pancreatitis, so while a few pistachios won’t negatively impact most dogs, it’s not a good idea for them to consume them excessively.

Obesity or acute pancreatitis might occur if your dog’s food is too heavy in fat. When fat turns rancid, it damages vitamin A and vitamin E, as well as linoleic acid, resulting in nutritional deficiencies. A weakened immune system, heart disease, and diabetes are possible health issues that may result from an excessive intake of pistachios.

Salted Pistachios Can Cause Various Problems in Dogs

Although raw pistachios are low in sodium (approximately 1 mg per cup), roasted pistachios, which are frequently salted, are not. The sodium content of a cup of dry roasted pistachios with salt is 526 mg. High blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke can all be caused by too much salt.

Hypernatremia refers to blood salt levels that are greater than usual. Excessive water loss through the gastrointestinal system and increased salt consumption with poor water intake are significant causes of such high levels.

Vomiting and excessive water consumption may be the first signs that your dog has consumed too much salt. They may appear exhausted and have a bloated stomach. If your dog has consumed a high quantity of salt, you’ll notice that their muscles have grown quite stiff as a result of the loss of moisture in their muscles. Salt poisoning may be fatal if left untreated. The following clinical symptoms may appear: diarrhea, swelling, excessive urination, fluid buildup, seizures, tremors, and incoordination.

Providing access to clean and fresh water can assist healthy dogs that inadvertently swallow excessive quantities of salt in the form of roasted pistachios from becoming poisoned.

Increased Consumption of Pistachios Can Cause Gastrointestinal Distress

Pistachio proteins are difficult for dogs to digest. Due to the high amounts of fats present in pistachios, your little friend is likely to get gastrointestinal distress by its consumption. It’s pretty simple for dogs to devour too many pistachios at once since they gulp or gobble them down. The high fat and calorie content of pistachios is too much for their digestive system to handle. In such situations, make sure to consult your vet and ask them for guidance.

a bowl of pistachios

Pistachio Consumption Can Cause Pancreatitis in Dogs

Pancreatitis is a disorder that occurs when your dog’s food contains too many fats, causing inflammation of the pancreas. The high fat and calorie content of pistachios can induce pancreatitis in dogs. Acute pancreatitis is a severe condition that needs the assistance of a veterinarian.

Nausea, vomiting, fever, fatigue, stomach discomfort, diarrhea, and a loss of appetite are the most prevalent symptoms. In addition, dogs may adopt a “prayer pose,” with their back legs up in the air and their front legs and head dropped to the ground.

Acute pancreatitis can be treated through therapy. However, your dog’s discomfort must be controlled, and early action is critical to avoid subsequent issues. The most prevalent treatment and management options include intravenous (IV) fluid treatment, freshwater intake, and resting of the pancreas by withholding food and water for 24 hours. Long-term management entails monitoring fat intake by giving low-fat, low-calorie diets and more regular meals of small quantities.

Moldy Pistachios Cause Aflatoxin Poisoning

Aspergillus mold is one item that shouldn’t make its way into your dog’s diet. Unfortunately, this ubiquitous mold may be discovered on spoiled foods, as well as in longer-lasting pantry staples like pistachios and almonds. Although it is not harmful to people, it can cause liver problems in dogs.

Sluggishness, loss of appetite, vomiting, jaundice (yellowish tint to the eyes, gums, or skin owing to liver damage), unexplained bruising or bleeding, and diarrhea are all symptoms of aflatoxin poisoning in dogs.

Aflatoxin can disrupt blood coagulation and cause long-term liver issues and even death in particular dogs. In the early stages of aflatoxin poisoning, some dogs may suffer liver damage without displaying any symptoms, and if they continue to eat contaminated food, they may die abruptly.

The primary therapy is to eliminate the source of aflatoxins, which is usually your current pet food, and to attempt to avoid additional exposure. Your veterinarian may also use medications that treat blood or metabolic imbalances to help control some of your pet’s symptoms and limit harm.

dog laying behind an empty bowl

Can Dogs Eat Pistachio Shells? Brutal Side Effects

Pistachio shells are not digestible by dogs and thus are not suitable for consumption by dogs. Pistachio shells aren’t poisonous to dogs, but they’re also not designed for them to consume. Therefore, pistachio shells do not pose a serious threat on their own, but the number of shells consumed by your dog will determine the severity of the problem.

A serious issue associated with shelled pistachio intake is the risk of choking. Pistachios and other nuts are dry fruits that can induce gagging in humans if not handled properly. Choking is more likely in dogs since they don’t grasp what’s going on and get agitated much more quickly.

If you notice your dog choking, act quick. If first aid doesn’t work within one to two minutes, get to your veterinarian as soon as possible; waiting might mean the difference between your dog’s life and death.

Choking can be indicated by a dog coughing violently, drooling, gagging, holding his mouth open, or pawing at his mouth. If you put your fingers in his mouth, you risk being bitten or pushing the thing deeper into his mouth. Instead, thump the dog between the shoulder blades or make multiple fast, squeezing compressions on both sides of his rib cage to remove the item.

A form of mold known as Aspergillus can be found in pistachio shells. This mold creates a poison that can be extremely harmful to dogs. Aspergillosis is the name for the illness caused by mold.

My Dog Ate a Pistachio: What Should I Do Now?

If your dog consumes something that it shouldn’t, you should first remain calm. Make sure to keep track of how much of the product your dog consumed. Keep an eye on your dog’s behavior and get advice from your veterinarian if you see anything unusual. Dogs frequently present with diarrhea or vomiting. These symptoms should only last a couple of days at most.

It’s critical to assess the situation if your dog has consumed pistachios. The first thing to address is the freshness of the pistachio. Next, inquire if the pistachio were old or moldy. Were they shelled already? How many pistachios did your dog consume?

For example, if your dog ate the whole pistachio, you should be on the lookout for a gastrointestinal blockage. If your dog was more extensive and ate a full bag of shelled pistachios that you forgot under the sofa, keep an eye out for mycotoxin poisoning symptoms.

pistachio in a wood bowl

Consumption of Pistachios Without the Shells

If you think your dog has consumed pistachios, look for these symptoms: diarrhea, vomiting, anorexia (loss of appetite), lethargy, dehydration, agitation, and weakness.

Overconsumption of pistachios can cause pistachio poisoning in dogs. The symptoms of pistachio poisoning in dogs can be divided into two types: pancreatitis signs and symptoms of Aflatoxin poisoning from Aspergillus mold.


The signs of pistachio poisoning leading to pancreatitis include weight loss, weakness, severe abdominal pain, fever, lack of appetite, diarrhea, orange urine, and vomiting.

Early diagnosis and medical treatment are essential for effective pancreatitis management. The therapy for mild, edematous pancreatitis is supportive, enabling the body of your dog to recover itself by resting the pancreas. Vomiting dogs should be starved until the vomiting stops. The dog’s food might be withheld for a few days if necessary. During healing, dogs that are not vomiting can be fed a low-fat, highly digestible diet.

Aflatoxin Poisoning From Aspergillus Mold

If the pistachios that your dog has consumed had mold on them, your dog is susceptible to Aflatoxin poisoning. The symptoms include loss of appetite, vomiting, liver failure, jaundice, and lethargy.

Because there is no antidote for aflatoxins, the goal of therapy is to eliminate the source of aflatoxins to avoid further exposure. This can be achieved by ceasing the consumption of contaminated pet food.

puppy with its face in a dog bowl

Consumption of Pistachios With the Shells

The situation is much different if your dog has consumed a whole pistachio with its shell. Pistachio shells aren’t poisonous to dogs, but dogs can not digest them. So pistachio shells don’t pose a serious threat, but the number of shells consumed by your dog will determine the severity of the problem.

Because your dog’s stomach can’t digest or metabolize excessive amounts of nuts, it may cause various health concerns. If your dog eats pistachio shells, further difficulties may arise. However, you should not be concerned if your dog consumes pistachio shells and appears normal, with the same activity level and hunger. Just don’t let the dog eat any more pistachios or nuts.

However, if your dog begins to act oddly or has low energy after eating the shells, take them to the veterinarian at once. Wait a couple of hours and keep a lookout for any significant signs since most dogs will vomit foods they shouldn’t have eaten.

The bottom line is that dogs can consume pistachios. However, ensure that they are not shelled, non-flavored, unsalted, and eaten in small quantities. If your puppy accidentally consumes shelled or flavored pistachios, then look out for symptoms and act quickly.

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