Pistachios are well-liked nuts among humans that are rich in protein, fiber, and vitamin B6. Along with salads and desserts, these nuts are frequently used in many other dishes – or feature as a delicious snack on their own. You may wonder, “Can dogs eat pistachio nuts?” and “Are they bad for dogs?”
Although pistachios that have been properly processed are not hazardous to dogs, it is not recommended to give pistachio nuts to your dog for several reasons. Like most tree nuts, Pistachios can have aflatoxin, a substance produced by the aspergillus mold. Aflatoxin can cause serious damage to your dog’s digestive tract if consumed in high numbers.
Let’s assess this in further detail!
What Are the Health Benefits of Pistachios?
Pistachios have anti-oxidants, vitamins, and minerals that are advantageous to humans and dogs. They are an excellent source of calcium, iron, and potassium. Vitamins K, E, and B6 are also abundant in them. They are high-fiber nuts that also include proteins and fatty acids. The risks of giving pistachios to your dog exceed any potential benefits, even if all of these items are good for their health.
What Are the Health Risks of Pistachios?
A few shelled pistachios may be acceptable for your dog to eat, but eating a lot of them can be dangerous for their health. The following is a list of potential dangers associated with giving your dog pistachios:
#1 High-fat content
Pistachios have a high-fat content, similar to macadamia nuts and cashews. If your dog eats too much fat it may induce pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas.) The signs and symptoms of pancreatitis include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, and lethargic behavior. Pancreatitis is an acute, life-threatening disease with a steep mortality rate. Consult a vet immediately if your dog exhibits drowsiness or gastrointestinal distress after eating pistachios. Furthermore, ingesting too much fat may exacerbate obesity.
#2 High salt composition
Salted and flavored pistachios typically have significant concentrations of sodium and other flavors. Your dog may experience nausea, diarrhea, and lethargy if its diet contains excessive salt. Excessive thirst is another side effect of consuming too much salt, which in turn can lead to a significant increase in the urine that your dog passes.
#3 Choking Hazards
Your dog’s esophagus may become blocked up due to eating pistachio shells. Suppose your dog has eaten pistachios and is having trouble breathing or swallowing. In that case, an X-ray may be necessary so the veterinarian can evaluate the extent of the damage to the esophagus.
#4 Phosphorus content
A diet that contains an excessive amount of phosphorus can cause the development of bladder stones in your dog. These are painful and complicated to remove, and their effects may also lead to distressing long-term complications.
#5 Obstruction of Intestines
In addition to posing a choking threat, the nuts’ pistachio shells can clog your dog’s digestive tract, resulting in abdominal pain and discomfort. Even for this, a trip to the veterinarian for an X-ray and a full physical checkup could be necessary.
#6 Harmful contents
Urushiol is a chemical found in poison ivy. Along with mangoes and cashews, pistachios are cousins of poison ivy and may also contain this chemical. It is responsible for allergic reactions in dogs over their mouth and face. Pistachios also contain aflatoxins, which is a substance that is produced by aspergillus mold. Aspergillus mold is a form of mold that is prevalent in many agricultural goods. Pistachio poisoning can be caused by eating too many pistachios.
Can Dogs Feed on Pistachio Shells?
Like all other nuts, Pistachios can present a choking hazard, particularly due to their shells. After your dog has consumed pistachios, be on the lookout for any symptoms of choking, which may include the following:
If you notice that your dog is having difficulty breathing, check their mouth and throat for any foreign items, and then get in touch with your vet as soon as possible. Your veterinarian will be able to instruct you on how to conduct the Heimlich maneuver on your dog.
Pistachios, whether they are in the shell or not, have the potential to obstruct the intestines in addition to being a choking hazard. The following are some symptoms of this condition:
- Weight loss
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite
Suppose you observe any of these symptoms or have any reason to believe that your dog may have ingested something that could obstruct the intestines. In that case, you should contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Can Dogs Eat Pistachio Ice Cream?
Pistachios are not poisonous to dogs, but pistachio ice cream is really terrible for them to consume.
Even a tiny bit of ice cream that melts on the ground contains too much sugar and fat for them to ingest. Moreover, ice cream frequently contains other ingredients that are harmful to dogs, such as xylitol or chocolate. Also, just like people, not all canines can digest lactose properly, which will lead to an upset stomach and severe digestive issues.
What Can You Do If Your Dog Eats Pistachios?
What, then, if your dog ate a handful of pistachios? Do you think it’s necessary to bring them to the vet? The age of the nuts, whether or not they were shelled, the size of your dog, and the amount eaten are all factors that affect the severity of the situation.
A single pistachio, for instance, could cause intestinal blockage in a tiny breed dog. You should keep an eye out for symptoms of aflatoxin poisoning if your larger canine companion consumed a whole bag of shelled pistachios.
Immediately consult a veterinarian if your dog displays any of the aforementioned signs.
The doctor will ask about any symptoms your dog has been experiencing recently and want to know what kinds of meals they have had access to. After that, they will probably do a full physical exam and some lab tests. Additionally, the patient’s vomit, urine, and feces will be examined to confirm the presence of toxins such as aflatoxin or another underlying illness.
An ultrasound of the chest and neck area or an x-ray may be advised if your furry friend has other symptoms, such as exhibiting signs of dehydration or injury to the esophagus. Collection of fluid in the belly or the enlargement of the pancreas can be detected using ultrasound.
Your puppy’s prognosis will determine the course of treatment. Antibiotics, medicines to protect the stomach and liver, and painkillers may all be recommended to help with the symptoms. Immediate symptoms, such as dehydration, can also be treated with supportive care, such as intravenous fluids. Due to the high risk of liver damage associated with aflatoxin poisoning, vitamin K and hepatoprotectives are routinely prescribed as therapies.
What Are the Safe Ways to Feed Your Dog Pistachio?
Make sure to do the following when giving your dog pistachios:
- Get unsalted, fully plain pistachios.
- Discard the shells
- To reduce the risk of suffocation, you should crush or shatter the nuts before adding them to your dog’s meal.
Pancreatitis is a major health risk when consuming fatty foods like pistachios. When giving your dog pistachios, you should follow the aforementioned precautions and only give them very small amounts. However, if you are looking to supplement your dog’s diet with more fat, then there are many other options that are safer – such as cheese. Ingesting even a small amount of these nuts could harm your dog if they are allergic to its lipids.
Pistachios are safe in moderation, so you can give them to your dog occasionally. However, if you give your dog a lot of pistachios or other nuts, they can get sick, gain weight, or have other health issues.
If your pet is overweight or suffering from pancreatitis, a high-fat diet consisting of items like pistachios is not recommended. It’s important to give your dog just unsalted, shelled pistachios.
Thank you for reading this article! Keeping your puppy happy and healthy is a huge responsibility and it’s essential that you stay informed about what they can eat and not. If you enjoyed this post you will definitely also want to read about whether Dogs Can Eat Cherries or Can Dogs Eat Cheese.