Can Dogs Eat Pistachios - What Are The Risks

Written by Ivy

Jan 30 2023

Can Dogs Eat Pistachios - What Are The Risks

It goes without saying that our animal companions enjoy sniffing our food. They might even try to sneak a taste, to be honest! (And often succeed.)

If you enjoy nuts, pistachios in particular, you probably already know that they make for generally healthy snacks for people. But can dogs eat pistachios too?

Pistachios are safe for dogs to eat, so whether your canine companion has discovered your stash or you're hoping to share a pack, we have some good news. However, how much you feed and how you feed them will determine whether or not your dog should consume pistachios.

Are Pistachios Good Or Bad for Dogs?


Like other nuts, pistachios can be a healthy and delectable snack for your dog, with the exception of macadamia nuts, which are toxic to canines. But before you begin adding the tiny green nuts to Fido's bowl, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Let's start with pistachios' advantages. Aside from being absolutely delicious, pistachios are packed with nutrients your dog is sure to benefit from, such as:

  • Protein (for building muscle)
  • Antioxidants (for eye health)
  • Unsaturated fats (the good kind, for heart health)
  • Fiber (for digestive health)
  • Potassium (for bone and cardiovascular health)

Sharing pistachios with your canine companion has these and other benefits, but there are a few reasons why they're not the ideal treat.

The calories (and consequently, fat) are the main reasons why these green cashews are so delicious. One pistachio has four calories, which the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports can quickly add up and have an adverse effect on your dog's health if given frequently.

Diseases like gastrointestinal distress and pancreatitis can result from feeding your dog a diet high in fat. Dogs with pancreatitis may experience:

  • Diarrhea
  • Weakness
  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Dehydration
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite

Aflatoxin poisoning is another thing to watch out for. In accordance with the U.S., aflatoxins are naturally occurring poisons created by specific molds that can develop on foods like nuts, corn, and other grains. Health and Drug Administration Signs of aflatoxin poisoning include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Sluggishness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Jaundice
  • Unexplained bruising or bleeding

Pistachios aren't poisonous in and of themselves, but the storage conditions can be dangerous for your pet.

Benefits to Giving Pistachios as Treats to Your Dog

Pistachios and other nuts are excellent high-protein snacks because they contain a lot of important minerals and vitamins and can satisfy an appetite. The antioxidants, which are frequently absent from commercial dog treats, can also play a significant role in long-term health. Pistachios are a good source of iron, magnesium, potassium, fiber, vitamins A, C, and B6, all of which your dog needs in his or her diet.

1. Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6, which has many advantages for your dog's overall health, is abundant in pistachios. One of the necessary vitamins, vitamin B6 supports healthy heart and brain function in dogs as well as growth and development.

2. Potassium

Potassium, an essential mineral involved in numerous bodily processes in your dog, can be found in abundance in pistachios. Potassium is necessary for the healthy operation of your dog's cells and supports regular electrical charges in the heart, nerves, and muscles.

3. Fiber

Dietary fiber, which is necessary for healthy digestion and regular bowel movements, is found in abundance in pistachios. Eating fiber-rich foods can help your dog feel fuller longer
and relieve mild cases of constipation or diarrhea.

Dogs thrive on a high-protein, meat-based diet that is balanced to meet their individual needs, so it is unlikely that you should be feeding your dog pistachios as its main food source. However, feel free to do so in moderation as an occasional snack. The best choice is to select an unsalted variety or to limit servings to 2-3 per week.


How to Feed Your Dog Pistachio Nuts Safely

Have a dog that loves pistachios? Thankfully, there are a few safe ways you can give them this protein-rich snack without endangering them.

Pistachio Nuts

It's crucial that they are unsalted and as unadorned as possible if you want to give Fido a few pistachio nuts. The same as with humans, our dogs may experience salt toxicity if they consume too much salt.

Pistachio Shells

Remove the shells from pistachios before feeding them, or buy no-shell varieties to completely avoid them. The shells of pistachios can obstruct your dog's digestive tract in addition to being a choking hazard for them.

Pistachio Ice Cream

Even if your dog gives you those endearing puppy eyes, it would be best for him to pass on sharing a scoop of pistachio ice cream if he enjoys sweet treats.

"Pistachios are not toxic to dogs, but ice cream contains dairy, which is one of the most common sources of allergies we see in dogs and can easily cause gastrointestinal issues, such as diarrhea and vomiting," says Association of Asian Veterinary Medical Professionals' educational director is Dr. Yui Shapard. "In light of this, we generally oppose giving dairy products—including ice cream—to dogs."

Read More to Learn Pistachios:

How Many Pistachios Can Dogs Eat at a Time?

"How many pistachios they can eat largely depends on the size of the dog, but I wouldn't recommend more than a few per day since they are fairly heavy in calorie density," Shapard says. "The consumption of non-dog food by dogs can cause obesity and aversion to balanced commercial diets. I don't see anything wrong with it if it's used as a training aid instead of a typical high-value treat."


Other Healthy Snacks for Dogs

Pistachios do have some nutritional value and are technically safe for dogs to eat, but they can quickly turn into junk food. When it comes to snacks, experts generally recommend the "10 percent rule," where no more than 10 percent of your dog's snacks come from treats. Fortunately, there are treats out there that are both healthy and yummy for your beloved pal to enjoy!

Below are a few veggies that make pawsome treats for your pup:

  • Pumpkin (cooked or canned and unseasoned)
  • Green beans
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Squash
  • Cucumbers

In order to determine which vegetables to include in your dog's diet, speak with your veterinarian. Assuming your dog enjoys the particular vegetable and is a good match for it, of course!—cut each veggie into small pieces and remove any part that may be hard on the stomach for a totally safe feeding/eating experience.

Final Verdict on Dogs Eating Pistachios

Do dogs allow pistachios? It is safe for dogs to eat a few unsalted nuts because they are not toxic in small amounts; just don't include them frequently in your dog's diet. To prevent choking or intestinal obstruction, remove the shells from the pistachio nuts before giving them to your pet.

Ultimately, your dog can eat treats that are safer and healthier. In the end, it is safer to play it safe and consume this specific human food alone as opposed to giving it to your dog.