Can Dogs Eat Pistachios?

Dried fruits are known to carry several health benefits but have you asked yourself can dogs eat pistachios? The answer is, it depends. While some dried fruits will hardly have any side effects but others might be toxic to your dog. This might also be the case if you offer pistachios in a large quantity to your dog.

Therefore, experts believe that dogs can eat pistachios but in moderation. In addition to that, if your dog is already suffering from underlying health conditions, you will need to consult your vet. Otherwise, your furry friend will ingest as many as you offer.

So, let’s take a look into the potential health benefits and risks of feeding pistachios to your dog so that you are always on the safe side. Let’s begin.

Why shouldn’t dogs eat pistachios?

Pistachio nuts contain several essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B6, which helps with protein absorption and synthesis. Plus, it also contains thiamine, which is important for growth in dogs and brain function. And even though they are also a good source of zinc, iron, calcium, what makes pistachios potentially risky for dogs are fats, salt, and pistachio poisoning, etc.

Now, fat is not necessarily a bad thing but if consumed in excessive amounts can lead to pancreatitis in dogs. If you observe that your dog is vomiting, dehydrated, has a fever, and experiencing difficulty in breathing, chances are that it is suffering from pancreatitis.

In addition to that, pistachios also contain salt and several other seasonings. Too much salt for dogs can lead to lethargy, vomiting, and tremors. Plus, salt can cause fluid retention in your dog’s body that can cause damage to the kidneys.

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What is pistachio poisoning?

Perhaps the most toxic component found in pistachios is aflatoxin, which is basically a compound produced by the Aspergillus mold. These toxins are produced by certain fungi that are mostly found on peanuts, cottonseed, and tree nuts. With that said, if your dog displays signs such as lethargy, loss of appetite, etc. it most probably means that your dog has been pistachio poisoned.

In addition to that, pistachios also contain urushiol, which is a chemical found in poison ivy. This chemical can lead to allergic reactions in dogs around their faces and mouth.

What to do if my dog eats pistachios?

If your dog has eaten some pistachios while you were away, you could provide medication or take it to the vet. However, that depends on how old the nuts were, the amount consumed, and whether they were shelled. For instance, if your dog happens to be a small breed, pistachios can easily lead to intestine blockage.

Whereas, if the dog belongs to a bigger breed, you should closely monitor it and watch out for aflatoxin poisoning. In the case of the symptoms mentioned earlier, you should immediately consult your vet. The vet will perform several tests to confirm the presence of toxins like aflatoxin.

Moreover, if your canine friend displays some additional symptoms, the vet might need to perform an x-ray or ultrasound of the throat and chest area. Depending on the condition of your dog as well as the symptoms displayed, the vet may prescribe antibiotics, and liver and stomach protectants. Additionally, IV fluids may also be provided to help eliminate dehydration.

In addition to that, if the condition is severe, the dog might be treated for pancreatitis. This is a life-threatening situation and you will need to monitor your dog 24/7 to reduce the pancreas swelling.

Are there any other dangerous nuts to avoid?

Yes, apart from pistachios, nuts such as macadamia nuts are known to be harmful to dogs. They can cause fever, lethargy, joint stiffness, muscle tremors, etc. Plus, pecans and black walnuts are also on the list of potentially harmful nuts. These nuts are known to contain a toxin called juglone that can cause gastric distress in dogs.

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How many pistachios can I offer my dog at a time?

The number of pistachios you should offer to your dog or your dog can eat depends on its size. However, experts are of the view that pistachios should not be made a regular part of your dog’s diet due to their high concentration of fat, salt, etc. And as mentioned earlier, regularly exposing your dog to pistachios can also lead to pistachio poisoning.

How to safely feed pistachios to your dog?

If your dog likes eating pistachios, there are several ways of offering them safely. To begin with, make sure that the nuts are unsalted and plain. Secondly, the shells should be removed as they can pose a choking hazard for your dog. And finally, avoid offering pistachio ice cream even as a treat. The reason is that even though pistachios are not that toxic to dogs but dairy products can lead to allergies.

FAQs related to dogs and pistachios!

Can a dog pass pistachio shell?

No, dogs are not able to pass pistachio shells properly, which might lead to a choking hazard. Even if they manage to swallow it, the shells are going to be hard to digest. This is why pistachio nuts should always be offered unshelled.

Can my dog have pistachio gelato?

Although you should avoid offering dairy products to your dog but a scoop won’t bring any harm. However, you should watch out for an artificial sweetener called “xylitol” that is harmful to dogs.

Why are pistachios salty?

Pistachios are salty due to the fact that they are stored, packed, and transported using a drying process. Plus, it also helps reduce the overall volume and weight of the product. The salty flavor of pistachios is the primary reason they are amongst the most popular dried fruits in humans.


Feeding pistachios to your dog on an occasional basis and in moderation is not harmful at all. However, an excessive amount can lead to several health concerns. Therefore, if your dog displays some symptoms right after ingesting some pistachios, you will need to provide it with some antibiotics on an immediate basis or seek veterinary help if the dog is vomiting severely.

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Immad Amir

Immad has a black Labrador who is his first child. With no prior experience of how to take care of his pooch, Immad started researching about what dogs love to eat. This blog is a journal of all the research Immad has done regarding a pet's diet.
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