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Can Dogs Eat Pistachio Nuts? Everything You Need To Know

Yes, dogs can eat pistachio nuts in moderation. Pistachios aren’t toxic to dogs by themselves, but it is vital to check the quality and the serving methods before feeding them to your canines. Additionally, pistachio nuts may be difficult for dogs to digest and assimilate the nutrients completely. Hence, avoid feeding these nuts to dogs with sensitive stomachs.

What are Pistachio Nuts? 

Pistachio is a crunchy oblong-shaped nut belonging to the cashew nut family. They are the oldest flowering nut trees in the world, which produce seeds enclosed within a rigid exterior shell. These shells must be broken open to access the nuts for consumption. They are native to Central Asia and the Middle East. Their history of consumption can be traced back to Bronze age Central Asia and was referred to in the inscriptions from the Roman and Byzantine empires. Also, it’s believed that pistachios were cultivated in the “Hanging gardens of Babylon,” which is one of the world’s seven wonders.

Pistachio nuts are expensive as they are cultivated only in a few countries worldwide. However, they can live up to 300 years and are well-known for their high proteins, almost equivalent to an egg. Alternatively, these nuts are known as ‘happy nuts’ in China and ‘Smiling nuts’ in Iran.  

Nutritional Value of Pistachio Nuts

Pistachios are highly nutritious nuts as they contain the below-mentioned nutrients in a serving of 100g. 

Calories560 KCal
Carbohydrates27g
Dietary Fiber10.6g
Sugar7.66g
Total Fat45g
Protein20g
Folate51 mcg
Vitamin A516 IU
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.870 mg
Vitamin B2(Riboflavin)0.160 mg
Vitamin B31.300 mg
Vitamin B61.700 mg
Vitamin C5.6 mg
Vitamin E2.86 mg
Calcium105 mg
Copper1.300 mg
Iron3.92 mg
Magnesium 121 mg
Manganese1.200 mg
Phosphorus490 mg
Potassium1025 mg
Selenium7 mcg
Zinc2.20 mg

Are Pistachio Nuts Safe for Dogs?

Pistachios are highly nutritious nuts as they contain the below-mentioned nutrients in a serving of 100g. 

Pistachio nuts are safe for your dog’s consumption in occasional small quantities. However, there are certain precautions to consider while feeding these nuts. These nuts are often inside a hard shell, potentially posing a choking hazard and causing gastrointestinal blockage to your canine. Hence, they must be deshelled and unsalted to be fed safely to your dog.  

Why are Pistachio Nuts Good for Dogs? 

Pistachios are rich in proteins, dietary fiber, and unsaturated fat. Hence, they offer moderate health benefits for dogs. However, they are not the only source of these nutrients and can be derived from other well-balanced dog foods. The nutrients present in pistachios help your dog achieve optimum health. Here is a list of nutrients and the bodily functions they support:

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)It improves brain function and heart function and promotes proper growth.  
ManganeseAids in the extraction and digestion of proteins and carbohydrates
Vitamin KAids in blood clots.
Vitamin B6Helps synthesize proteins and promotes the absorption of both proteins and fats. 
PotassiumPotassium helps in the proper functioning of your dog’s kidneys.Aids in maintaining cardiac and digestive health.It strengthens your pet’s bones.It regulates fluid levels and promotes muscle development.
Dietary FiberEnhances digestion and promotes regular bowel movements.Relieves mild cases of constipation or diarrhea.Aids in weight management, filling your dog’s stomach for a long time.  

Why are Pistachio Nuts Bad for Dogs? 

Pistachios are detrimental to your dog’s health if consumed in larger quantities for the following reasons. They include: 

1.High-Fat Content

Pistachios are known for their high-fat content. Fats should make up about 25%-30% of your dog’s total caloric intake. Anything more than this could mean a higher-fat diet. A higher fat diet can tax your dog’s liver as they work hard to digest the fatty contents. Therefore, sustained high-fat levels cause obesity and lead to pancreatitis. 

Pancreatitis

Inflammation of the pancreas disturbs the secretion of digestive enzymes and insulin production. This disturbance causes fluctuation in the blood sugar levels, which may lead to a life-threatening condition in your canine. 

Symptoms of pancreatitis in dogs

  • Fever 
  • Vomiting 
  • Abdominal pain 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Lethargy
  • Dehydration
  • Depression
  • Respiratory issues
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Weakness
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Fever
  • Heart arrhythmia

Symptoms of Obesity in dogs:

  • Lethargy
  • Inactive 
  • Incapable of movement    

2.  Salted Pistachios

Unlike plain roasted pistachios, salted nuts are harmful to dogs. Excessive salt intake can disturb your dog’s kidney function and elevate his blood pressure. Additionally, this can also lead to sodium ion poisoning in dogs.

Symptoms of sodium ion poisoning include: 

  • Lethargy 
  • Vomiting 
  • Excessive thirst 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Fluid accumulation 

If left untreated, sodium poisoning can lead to tremors, seizures, and kidney damage. 

3. Pistachio Poisoning 

Although uncommon, pistachio poisoning occurs in dogs when they consume improperly sealed pistachios, leading to the growth of Aspergillus mold. These molds secrete a toxin called Aflatoxin, leading to dogs’ pistachio poisoning. 

Symptoms of Pistachio Poisoning in dogs

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

4. High Phosphorus and Urushiol 

When your dog consumes pistachios in abundance, their higher phosphorus contents can cause bladder stones in dogs. 

Symptoms of bladder stones in dogs:

  • Blood in the urine
  • Straining to urinate
  • Abdominal pain
  • Frequent urination, but only urinating a small amount each time
  • Urinating in odd places and inside the house 
  • Licking the urinary opening
  • Inability to urinate 

Similarly, when dogs consume urushiol in large amounts, it leads to allergic reactions, similar to the symptoms of poison ivy. 

Symptoms of Poison Ivy in Dogs

  • Red, swollen skin
  • Itching
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Blisters
  • Allergic reactions on face and around mouth

5. Choking Hazard 

If your dog consumes pistachios and the shells, it can lead to choking hazards. 

Symptoms of choking hazards in dogs: 

  • High-pitched squeaks or whistling noises
  • Cough
  • Gag
  • Have discolored gums or tongue
  • Panic
  • Paw at his mouth
  • Pant
  • Pace
  • Struggle to breathe

Can Dogs Eat Pistachios?

How Many Pistachios to Feed Your Dog? 

You can share one or two pistachios with your buddy occasionally, provided it is deshelled and unsalted. However, limit the serving frequency to once a week. 

Alternatives To Pistachio Nuts

Though deshelled and unsalted pistachios are good and safe for dogs, there are better foods and treats you can feed your dogs. You should provide your dog with healthy food for a happy lifestyle. Here are a few healthy alternatives for your dog:

What if My Dog Ate Pistachios? 

If your dogs ate pistachios accidentally, you must first consider the size of your canine. For example, if you have a toy breed that consumes the entire pistachio, expect a bowel obstruction and act immediately. You must do the same for a large breed if he eats a whole bag of pistachios. However, if your large breed picked up a few pistachios from the ground, you could wait and observe his symptoms. 

Symptoms to watch for include: 

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Tremors
  • Agitation
  • Dehydration
  • Greasy stools
  • Refuses to eat
  • Lethargy

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can pistachio kill my dog?

Pistachio nuts aren’t harmful to dogs, but they contain compounds that can make it challenging for dogs to digest. Further, some improperly sealed nuts can carry aspergillus mold, which is toxic to dogs.  

Can my dogs eat salted pistachios?

No. Salted pistachios are not recommended for your dog’s consumption as overeating can lead to sodium ion poisoning in dogs.

What kind of nuts are bad for my dogs?

Here are some of the nuts that are harmful to dogs:

What Nuts Can Dogs Eat?

The following nuts are safe for dog’s consumption:

Which Nuts Can Dogs Eat?

Can Dogs Eat Almonds, Peanuts, Pistachios and Other Nuts?

Can Dogs Eat Pistachios If They Have Pancreatitis?

No, dogs should not eat pistachios if they have pancreatitis. Due to their inflamed pancreas, dogs can find it challenging to digest the nuts, especially when they suffer from pancreatitis. 

Can Dogs Eat Pistachio Ice Cream?

No. Dogs should not eat pistachio ice cream as they contain dairy products harmful to your pet’s health.

Can Dogs Eat Pistachio Ice cream?

Can Dogs Eat Pistachio Shells?

No. Dogs should not eat pistachio shells as they are hard and can cause choking hazards or intestinal blockage.

Conclusion 

Pistachios are healthy nuts, but dogs cannot process them well. As a result, the nutrient-richness of pistachio nuts’ doesn’t contribute much to your canine’s health. Further, they come with the risk of your canine swallowing shells. Hence, it is good to prevent your dogs from consuming too much. 

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