Can dogs eat pistachios whole, crushed or in other foods as a part of their meal or treats? Pistachios are high in protein and fibre, and contain manganese, as well as Vitamins K and B6. Dogs don’t need to get these dietary and nutritional gems from pistachios, but giving them a small handful of raw green nuts once a week probably isn’t going to hurt. Most dogs aren’t allergic to pistachios, and in occasional small quanitites they are usually safe. However, there are ways of preparing pistachios that can be a problem, and they can definitely be over fed. Pistachio shells can be harmful, whole nuts are a small choking risk to toy breeds or puppies, and salted pistachios are unhealthy for dogs. Pistachios are also high in fat and calories.
Can Dogs Eat Pistachios?
Dogs can safely eat pistachios in small quantities. And these tasty green nuts include some useful vitamins and minerals. But they are also high in fat, and are often prepared with added salt, which is bad for your dog. And pistachio shells can even cause bowel obstructions. It’s important to know how many nuts to give, and how best to prepare pistachios for dogs, so they can have this treat safely.
The Nutrients in Pistachios
There are some nutrients in pistachios that dogs do require:
- Thiamine is important for brain function and proper growth in dogs.
- Manganese helps to extract and digest protein and carbohydrates.
- Vitamin K helps the blood to clot.
- Vitamin B6 helps the synthesis of protein and the absorption of protein and fat.
Pistachios are protein-rich and offer a good portion of dietary fiber. They are high in fat, but the bulk of the fat content is unsaturated fat, which can have some health benefits in moderation. So, yes, there are potentially useful nutrients for dogs in pistachios. However, they can also acquire these nutrients from well-balanced dog foods and other foods!
Are Pistachios Safe For Dogs?
Pistachios are a nutritious treat for humans as they are rich in fat, carbohydrates, and protein. But do dogs derive the same benefits as humans? Can dogs have pistachios? Are pistachios bad for dogs or are pistachios safe for dogs? It depends. In small quantities, unsalted, and unshelled, your dog could safely have one pistachio once in a long while.
Are Pistachios Poisonous to Dogs?
Unshelled pistachios are not toxic to dogs. And dogs do not typically have allergies to pistachios. With that said, there are some things to keep in mind: Never feed your dog unshelled pistachios (or any unshelled nut). The tough shells can cause digestive issues, and some nutshells are toxic. And to reiterate, be aware of the high-fat and high-caloric content of pistachios. Nuts should be eaten in moderation.
When pistachios and poorly harvested or processed, they can harbor a toxic mold called Aspergillus.
Aspergillus and some other fungi produce cancer-causing toxins called aflatoxins, which are dangerous to dogs and humans. When you see this mold as a gray or black covering on your pistachios, chuck them straight out.
When Are Pistachios Bad For Dogs?
We know that pistachios are generally safe for dogs. We’ve answered “can dogs eat pistachios” or “can dogs eat pistachio nuts.” But are pistachios bad for dogs in any instances or quantities?
Are Pistachios A Choking Hazard To Dog?
Many pet owners do not feed their dogs large nuts like pistachios and we don’t blame them. Certain vets even discourage feeding dogs pistachios just for the size. For many smaller dogs, pistachios would definitely be a choking hazard. So, if you’re able to choose a different treat, your pup might just be safer — especially if she’s a literal puppy!
How Can I Feed My Dog Pistachios?
While you can give your dog pistachios there is really no need. Any nutrients that your dog can derive from this nut they can get from more appropriate food sources, like their dog food
If you want to share a tasty human treat with your canine pal every now and then, a few pistachios won’t harm them. But there are also other lower calorie and lower fat human foods that are safe for dogs that might make a better healthy treat.
How to Prepare Pistachios for Dogs
If you do decide to feed your dog pistachios, there are a few things to keep in mind. Remember, you should always shell pistachios prior to giving them to your dog for a treat. You can either buy shelled pistachios or remove the shells yourself. And be sure to get the unsalted variety. Pistachios can be given as occasional treats or mixed into your dog’s normal food. However, these nuts should not make up a significant portion of your dog’s diet.
How Do I Know If My Dog Has Eaten Too Many Pistachios?
Besides finding the empty jar of pistachios, you might notice long-term symptoms of pistachio over consumption. If your dog already has pancreatitis, his symptoms may get worse. Or he may develop new symptoms of pancreatitis, which include:
- Belly pain
- Fatty/Greasy stools
- Assuming the praying position (hind legs/rear in the air and forelimbs on the floor) because of the belly pain
Note though that these are all signs of pancreatitis, which may or not be caused by eating too many pistachios. Either way, be sure to see a vet if your pup shows any of these signs or symptoms.
Can Dogs Eat Pistachio Ice Cream?
Dogs’ guts cannot process milk after weaning. They cannot process the lactose in the milk. Plus, the sugar levels make obesity a risk for dogs. For these reasons, we strongly discourage feeding your dog ice cream of any sort.
Can Dogs Eat Salted Pistachios?
Pistachio nuts often come salted. And while this makes them even tastier, it also makes them more unhealthy. Just as too much salt is not good for people, it is also bad for dogs.
The Labrador Site Founder
Pippa Mattinson is the best selling author of The Happy Puppy Handbook, the Labrador Handbook, Choosing The Perfect Puppy, and Total Recall.
She is also the founder of the Gundog Trust and the Dogsnet Online Training Program
Pippa’s online training courses were launched in 2019 and you can find the latest course dates on the Dogsnet website