What is pistachio and are they safe for dogs to eat?
What we know today as the “modern pistachio,” Pistacia vera, was introduced into the US in the mid-1850s as an ornamental garden tree. The nuts were originally dyed red before they were put on display in most American grocery stores in order to make the nuts more attractive to consumers.
This practice has largely fallen by the wayside due to the incredible amount of people allergic to the chemicals in red food dyes.
Today the US grows and exports up to 76% of the world’s pistachio nuts, second only to Iran. They are also major export crops in China and Turkey. It goes without saying, then, that with all the dog owners in the world eventually a dog is going to eat pistachios, either through accident or by being fed the nuts directly by their owner.
Can my dog eat pistachios too?
Yes, your dog could probably eat one or two nuts without any harm but there are risks involved that should not be taken lightly.
Are there any benefits to feeding dogs pistachios?
The pistachio nut is considered to be a nutritional snack filled with Omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, potassium and Vitamin C.
Unlike many other snacks people like to eat, pistachios have less than 6% of the recommended daily allowance of saturated fat in them (per serving.) They contain the recommended daily allowance of B vitamins.
There are not many scientific experiments showing whether dogs would benefit from pistachios as a supplement to their diet.
Are there dangers present for dogs eating pistachios?
If you are considering giving your dog pistachios as a treat, you should consider both the physical and chemical hazards that these nuts present to your pet.
The pistachio itself is not toxic to dogs though there is a high risk that some of the chemicals in the nuts may cause problems with the canine digestive system. As will all treats not made precisely for dogs, there is always a choking hazard present.
A dog that ingests unshelled pistachios may be in danger of the shells tearing its delicate digestive tissue. The shells are also very difficult to pass during elimination, again causing damage to soft tissues and incredible discomfort for the animal.
Pistachio nuts naturally contain an oily liquid called urushiol. Urushiol is known to cause allergic reactions in humans, especially respiratory problems and skin rashes. The rash is known as contact dermatitis.
Dogs may have this same reaction after ingesting pistachios, especially on their faces and around their mouths. Another natural chemical, phosphorus, is found in high amounts in pistachios. High levels of phosphorus are thought to be a cause of canine bladder stones.
Aflatoxin may also be present in some pistachios, especially those that have been improperly harvested, handled, and stored.
Aflatoxin is a carcinogenic chemical that is released from two varieties of aspergillis mold that grow on nuts in general that are stored improperly, such as when they are kept in an environment that is too damp.
The shell of a pistachio nut generally protects it from mold invasion but sometimes the shells split too soon and they can become infected. Entire crops have had to be destroyed when people have become sick and died from the mold infestation.
Signs of Pistachio Poisoning in dogs
Dogs that have ingested pistachios may present with the following symptoms: dehydration, diarrhea, orange urine, greasy stools, or vomiting.
Any dog with a swollen abdomen, overall weakness, weight loss, dermatitis, or jaundice should be taken to the vet immediately. Pistachio poisoning can lead to liver failure, bladder stones, and pancreatitis.
Dog Treats… Pistachios Are a Poor Choice
With the hundreds of varieties of man-made and, natural dog treats available, pistachios (and other nuts in general) should perhaps be at the bottom of the list.
As part of the canine species, dogs prefer either real meat or snacks that are produced with meat flavors and look like meat. If your dog accidentally eats a pistachio or two it probably won’t hurt him, however, with all the risks involved it may be better to keep the little green nuts for yourself.
Can dogs eat pistachios? 6 Dangerous Side Effects!
Yes, dogs can eat pistachios. You should not give too many pistachios to your dogs. Generally, nuts are not deemed good for dogs, especially Macadamia nuts.
Well, it might be confusing for some people, but pistachios are not toxic for your doggy. If you have a chewy little friend at home, you may know that your four-legged friends can eat anything lying on the kitchen floor.
In that case, you might be relieved to know that pistachios are not toxic to your four-legged buddies. Sharing your green nuts with your canine friends might be too tempting. Pistachios contain a high fiber content.
Dogs cannot digest every human food. You might ask yourself, ‘Are pistachios ok for dogs?’
Some say that pistachios originated in Central Asia, while others think that they originated in the Middle East. Needless to mention that pistachio is a widely popular human food.
Read the article below to know detailed information about ‘Can dogs eat pistachios?’
Can dogs eat pistachios?
Yes, you can feed pistachios to your dogs. Pistachios, in moderation, do not harm dogs. We advise against feeding a large amount of pistachios to your dog. You do not want your dog to have an upset stomach or intestinal blockage after eating large amounts of pistachios.
A small number of pistachios can provide a range of beneficial vitamins and minerals to your dogs. But a large number of pistachios can pose several health risks to dogs. So, you have to be careful while feeding pistachios to your dogs.
Are pistachios good for dogs?
Can dogs eat pistachios? It is a tricky question. Pistachios, in moderation, are really good for dogs. So you can share a small number of pistachios with your Fido. But it is not a good idea to feed a whole bowl of pistachios to your dog.
One or two pieces of plain unshelled pistachios can be a healthy dog treat if your dog is suffering from a heart issue, weak nervous system, and poor muscle health.
Dogs have sensitive stomachs, and they cannot tolerate every type of nut. Some forms of nuts can be milder than other dangerous forms of nuts. These types of nuts do not tend to be toxic to dogs, but feeding a large number of these nuts can create a range of problems for dogs.
In other words, pistachios can be good for dogs if you remain careful about how much and how you are feeding them to your dogs. A few pieces of plain, unshelled pistachios are not likely to harm your Fido. But a large number of salty, shelled pistachios can pose several dog health risks.
Are pistachios bad for dogs?
Pistachios, in moderation, are not bad for dogs. Large quantities of pistachios pose a range of dog health risks. A few pieces of plain, unshelled pistachios are not likely to harm your dog. Pistachios, in excess, pose a choking hazard to dogs.
Your pupper may try to have pistachios in his chomper. Large amounts of pistachios can cause gastrointestinal blockage in dogs. Pistachios, in excess, can adversely affect your dog’s digestion.
Some pistachios may contain aflatoxin due to the aspergillus mold. Aflatoxin is not good for dogs. It is risky to feed green nuts (pistachios) to your dogs because they may contain urushiol.
Pistachios contain a high-fat content that can lead to obesity in dogs. Canine obesity is a serious issue as it can lead to heart and blood sugar problems in dogs. It is probably not a good idea to feed a large number of pistachios to your obese dog.
High-fat content in pistachio can lead to pancreatitis in dogs. Pancreatitis means inflammation of the pancreas in dogs. Pancreatitis can be very difficult and painful for your four-legged friends.
Pistachios contain a high sodium content. Too much Sodium can lead to dehydration and Hypernatremia in dogs. You do not want to hurt your dogs by feeding them salty human food.
Some pistachios contain Tremorgenic Mycotoxins. It is mold that develops over pistachios when they sit for a long time. Tremorgenic Mycotoxin can lead to neurological damage in dogs.
You should be careful while feeding pistachios to your dogs because pistachios contain a high phosphorous content. Too much phosphorous can adversely affect your dog’s kidney and bladder.
It is not uncommon for dogs to have vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy after eating salty pistachios. Feeding salty pistachios can lead to excessive thirst and increased urination in dogs.
How many pistachios can a dog eat?
Your veterinary nutritionist may suggest a suitable portion of pistachio nuts for your dog. However, veterinary nutritionists, while being aware of the dog health risks posed by pistachio nuts, take into account your dog’s breed, weight, and size before suggesting a suitable portion size of pistachios for dogs.
Fellow smart dog owners, you have to be careful while trying to feed any human food to your dogs. Green nuts (pistachios) are considered safe when they are plain, unshelled, and do not carry any form of salt.
Still, you should not try to feed a large quantity of pistachios to your dogs. It is best to consult your veterinary nutritionist before introducing pistachios to your dogs.
Are dogs allergic to pistachios?
Dogs can be allergic to nuts. Pistachios can lead to allergic reactions in dogs. Urushiol in pistachios can lead to an allergic reaction in dogs.
It is interesting to know that poison ivy also contains urushiol. So, your dog can exhibit the following symptoms after eating a whole bowl of pistachios:
While urushiol is not the only allergen in pistachios, pistachios can contain aflatoxin for dogs. Fellow smart dog owners, you should avoid aflatoxin in pistachios for dogs. Aflatoxin can lead to the following dog health problems:
In short, feeding large quantities of pistachios with aspergillus mold can lead to liver failure in dogs. Fellow smart dog owners, you should check your pistachios before feeding them to your dogs.
You should immediately contact your vet in case your dog exhibits the above-mentioned mentioned symptoms. Vets may try to treat symptoms of allergy in dogs.
Nutritional Facts About Pistachios for dogs
Pistachios can provide the following nutrients to your dogs:
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), one hundred grams of pistachios carry 562 calories. Pistachios provide saturated fat to dogs. One hundred grams of pistachios carry six grams of saturated fat.
One hundred grams of plain pistachios only carry one milligram of Sodium. However, salted pistachios can carry more Sodium than plain pistachios.
One hundred grams of pistachios provide 1,025 milligrams of Potassium to dogs. Both dietary fiber and sugar make up 28 grams of the total carbohydrate in 100 grams of plain pistachios.
One hundred grams of plain pistachios carry twenty grams of Protein for dogs. Plain pistachios carry more vitamin B6 than many other foods. Fellow smart dog owners, you should appreciate the high magnesium and iron content in plain pistachios for dogs.
Health Benefits of feeding Pistachios to dogs
Plain pistachios are an excellent source of vitamin B6 for dogs. Vitamin B6 in pistachios can help maintain sodium-potassium balance in your dog’s body. In other words, plain unshelled pistachios can help regulate water in your dog’s body.
Vitamin B6 in pistachios is useful for red blood cell production in dogs. Red blood cells play a key role in blood oxygen transport in dogs. Simply put, pistachios can help improve blood oxygen transport in dogs.
Your dog’s brain requires nutrients like vitamin B6 to function properly. Plain pistachios can help improve your dog’s mood. Plain pistachios are good for your dog’s heart health because they contain vitamin B6.
Pistachios can help build DNA or RNA in your dog’s body. That’s because vitamin B6 improves the DNA or RNA synthesis in dogs.
Vitamin B6 in plain pistachios leads to homocysteine regulation in dogs. Homocysteine regulation is important to prevent the risk of heart failure in dogs. In simple terms, plain pistachios can help reduce the risk of heart failure in dogs.
Magnesium deficiency can be a serious dog health issue. A dog needs 150 milligrams of magnesium in dog’s diet daily.[i] Dogs need magnesium for mineral absorption and metabolism.[ii]
Your dog is suffering from magnesium deficiency if you observe the following symptoms in dogs:
Feeding foods such as plain pistachios can help reduce the risk of magnesium deficiency in dogs. In other words, plain unshelled pistachios can help prevent muscle weakness, hyperactivity, muscle pain, heart arrhythmia, and lethargy in dogs.
Magnesium deficiency is a common issue for diabetic dogs. Even though plain pistachios contain a high-fat content, feeding one or two plain unshelled pistachios can be good for diabetic dogs.
Plain unshelled pistachios are good for stimulating wound healing in dogs. That’s because they contain Calcium for dogs. Calcium in plain unshelled pistachios can help release hormones and improve digestion in dogs.
Plain unshelled pistachios contain iron that aids in blood oxygen transport. Iron in plain unshelled pistachios also improves enzymatic functions in dogs.
Fellow smart dog owners, you should know that plain unshelled pistachios carry electrolytes for dogs. Potassium provided by plain unshelled pistachios helps maintain heart, nerve, and muscle health in dogs.
Apart from walnuts and pecans, pistachios carry a large amount of antioxidants for dogs. Antioxidants provided by pistachios help eradicate free radicals in your dog’s body.
What are the side effects of feeding Pistachios to dogs?
Pistachios can pose several dog health issues. That’s because they are usually shelled, salty, and contain high amounts of fat, Sodium, phosphorous, urushiol, tremorgenic mycotoxins, and aflatoxins.
1. High fat content
High-fat content can be dangerous for dogs. High-fat content leads to different dog health issues, such as blood sugar problems and obesity. Fellow smart dog owners, fatty foods are not good for your dog’s blood pressure.
2. High sodium content
High sodium content in pistachios can adversely affect your dog’s blood pressure. If your dog is having blood pressure issues, your vet may advise against feeding sodium-rich foods to your dogs.
Fellow smart dog owners, high sodium content in pistachios can potentially lead to dehydration and Hypernatremia in dogs. You do not want your dogs to experience excessive thirst. That’s why avoid feeding sodium-rich foods to your dogs.
3. High phosphorus content
Too much phosphorous in pistachios is not suitable for your dog’s health. The high phosphorous content in pistachios is associated with the development of bladder stones in your dog’s body.
4. Choking hazard
Shelled pistachios pose a choking hazard to your small aggressive four-legged friends. Your pupper may choke over pistachio shells. Pistachio shells lead to gastrointestinal obstruction in dogs.
5. Intestinal obstruction
Dogs can have gastrointestinal obstruction after eating shelled pistachios. Intestinal obstruction can be a really painful experience for your dogs. Your Fido can have bloody stool due to gastrointestinal obstruction.
Pistachios can be responsible for gastrointestinal distress in dogs. Vets may recommend an X-ray examination to treat intestinal obstruction in dogs.
6. Harmful compounds
Pistachios may contain urushiol and aflatoxins for dogs. Urushiol can cause an allergic reaction in dogs.
Things to be careful about while feeding pistachios to dogs!
You should not feed shelled pistachios to your dogs. Pistachio shells may get stuck in your dog’s esophagus. Salted pistachios can contain a high sodium content. You should remove pistachio shells before feeding pistachios to your dogs.
Why Dogs Should Avoid Pistachios?
Pistachios can contain harmful substances for dogs. Pistachio shells can pose a choking hazard to dogs. Pistachio nut contains too much fat, Sodium, and phosphorous for dogs. Pistachios that sit over a long period of time can have harmful substances that can make your dog sick.
Pistachios can seriously harm your dog’s digestion, and they can aggravate existing problems in dogs. For instance, pistachios can lead to obesity in dogs which exacerbates problems like arthritis, blood sugar, blood pressure, and heart issues in dogs.
What is Pistachio Poisoning?
Pistachio poisoning is a serious issue because it contains ‘Protein.’ Dogs cannot easily digest pistachio protein. Protein in pistachios can lead to upset stomachs and pancreatitis in dogs. Pistachio poisoning is also associated with the formation of bladder stones in dogs.
Symptoms of pistachio poisoning
Your dogs can exhibit the following symptoms of pistachio poisoning:
What happens if a dog eats pistachios?
Dogs can have upset stomachs, diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and pancreatitis after eating pistachios. Pistachios with aflatoxins can be particularly harmful to your dog’s stomach. You should check your dog for symptoms of pistachio poisoning if you caught your dog eating pistachio without your permission.
How to Feed Your Dog Pistachio Nuts Safely?
Fellow smart dog owners, pistachio shells pose several dog health risks. Remove pistachio shells before trying to feed pistachios to your dogs. Also, pistachios contain a high-sodium content. Avoid feeding salted pistachios to your dogs.
You can throw one or two plain unshelled pistachio pieces to your dogs. So, it is not wise to feed a handful of pistachios to your dogs.
What nuts are poisonous to dogs?
Macadamia nuts and walnuts are not safe for dogs. Macadamia nut is infamous for causing nerve and muscle damage in dogs. Nuts, in general, are not considered safe for dogs. Black walnuts can potentially lead to neurological damage in dogs.
Moldy walnuts can be more harmful than plain walnuts for dogs. Fellow smart dog owners, pecans can be dangerous for your dogs. Pecans contain Juglone, a form of toxin that causes gastrointestinal problems in dogs. Avoid feeding pecans to your dogs.
It is best to store macadamia nuts, black walnuts, and pecans away from your dog’s reach. You should immediately consult your vet in case your Fido eats any of these nuts without you’re your permission.
Healthy Alternatives of Pistachios
Fellow smart dog owners, you can replace pistachios with healthy dog treats. It is a good idea to feed fruity treats to your dogs. You can feed your dog a watermelon or a banana.
If you really want to feed nuts to your dogs, you may choose hickory nuts, peanuts, or brazil nuts. However, a small amount of these nuts can contain too much fat for your dogs. So, it is best to avoid nuts for dogs altogether.
Conclusion | Can Dogs Eat Pistachios?
Can dogs eat pistachios? Pistachios are not really the best choice for your dog. Fellow smart dog owners, do not worry if your dog eats one or two plain pistachio pieces right off the kitchen floor.
Make sure that you do not feed pistachio shells and salty pistachios to your dogs. Dogs can suffer from an allergic reaction or pistachio poisoning. It is always a good idea to consult your veterinary nutritionist before introducing any human food to your dog.
Veterinary nutritionists take into account your dog’s breed, body weight, and size before recommending a suitable portion size for your dog.
Sometimes, vets stop you from feeding pistachios to your pupper. You should immediately consult your vet if your dog exhibits symptoms of pistachio poisoning.