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For people, pistachios are a popular snack that’s high in fiber, protein, and vitamin B6. These nuts are also common ingredients in a variety of dishes from salads to desserts. If you’re snacking on pistachios or cooking with them, you might be asking yourself: Can dogs eat pistachio nuts? Are pistachios bad for dogs?

Dogs and Pistachios

“Though pistachios are not in themselves toxic to dogs, there are concerns with dogs eating large amounts of pistachios,” advises Dr. Jerry Klein, Chief Veterinary Officer for the AKC. For your dog’s safety, it’s best to avoid feeding them pistachios. Pistachios can upset your dog’s stomach; when consumed in large quantities, pistachios can make them sick.

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Are Pistachios Bad for Dogs?: Risks of Feeding Them to Your Dog

Choking Hazard

If your dog tries to swallow these nuts or their shells, they could become choking hazards and get lodged in your pet’s throat. If you’re eating nuts, be sure to properly dispose of the shells in a trashcan or compost bin that your dog can’t access.

Pancreatitis Risk

Pistachios’ high fat content makes them dangerous for dogs. “The nut is high in fat, salt, and could cause gastrointestinal issues in some dogs,” explains Dr. Klein. Consumption of fatty, salty snacks can lead to the development of pancreatitis.

Symptoms to watch for include diarrhea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. Pancreatitis is a serious condition and can progress quickly. If your dog seems lethargic or has any gastrointestinal upset after eating pistachios, consult a veterinarian immediately.

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Toxic Components

Although pistachios are not explicitly toxic, they do contain substances dangerous to dogs. Urushiol, which is also found in poison ivy, makes dogs sick with an allergy-like response. Aflatoxin is naturally produced from mold that grows on the shells of nuts. Consuming aflatoxin can make dogs weak and lethargic, cause gastrointestinal upset, and even lead to seizures.

What to Do If Your Dog Eats Pistachios

In large quantities, pistachios can make your dog very sick. As a result, it’s best to keep all pistachios away from your dog. If your dog does get into your pistachios or your discarded pistachio shells, it’s best to consult with your dog’s veterinarian or your closest emergency veterinary clinic right away.

Related article: Can Dogs Eat Walnuts?
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