Pistachio For Dogs – Good Or Bad For Your Pet?

Dog FoodPistachio For Dogs - Good Or Bad For Your Pet?
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In the sizeable nutty family, pistachio is the delicate, rich one. It is popular among humans for its deliciously nutty flavour. Have you ever thought, “are pistachios good for dogs”? So that you could offer your pupper some of this tasty treat! 

Well, no matter how healthy food could be for us, it is not necessarily the same for our doggy friends. Hence the answer to “can dogs eat pistachio nuts?” is not binary. Let us dive deeper into this!

Are pistachios safe for dogs?

Pistachio itself is not toxic to dogs. If your puppy accidentally eats a couple of shelled pistachios from the floor, it would not harm them, and they would be absolutely fine. 

So if you ask, “are pistachios bad for dogs?” I would suggest reading the entire article to understand better why you should not add pistachio to your pup’s diet. Here are some reasons why pistachio is not a good option for your doggo.

  • Pistachios are very high in fat, while the ideal nutritional cycle for a healthy dog is high protein – low fat – low carbohydrates. For this reason, having a couple of pistachios even once in a while might lead your dog to obesity and pancreatitis. Plus, pistachios as human food are primarily available in salt-roasted flavour. Giving your pup the salted pistachios will not do any pity to your pup’s blood pressure.
  • Secondly, the shell is problematic. Have you ever tasted pistachio without cracking its shell? Even for us, swallowing pistachio shells is not safe, nor for the dogs. If a dog swallows a shelled pistachio, it could cause blockage in the digestive system since the surface is hard enough to be cracked in the way. And the worst, if your pup’s strong jaws could break the shell eventually, the chances of swallowing the sharp pieces of the body will always be the pain in your arse.

Hence, keeping pistachios away from your dog’s reach would be a clever move. 

Risk factors with pistachios

One of the frequently asked questions from dog-owners is: Can dogs eat pistachio nuts?  Most of the members of the nutty family fall in the pistachio category – not toxic for dogs, but not healthy for them either. On the other paw, some of them are nuts; they are heavily poisonous and should not be given to dogs in any condition, such as Brazil and macadamia nuts.

The mysterious element that made pistachio the queen of the controversy is aspergillusmould. Aspergillus is a typical mould that might be lingering on your refrigerator door right now. Aspergillus pops up if you do not cook your veggies at their highest freshness state. 

The mould is prevalent but too weak to harm humans, so nobody is concerned. However, the same mould has been traced on pistachios. And unfortunately, aspergillusmould is potentially harmful to dogs. 

Have you ever thought about how smoothly pistachios come to us as pre-cracked? It is because of the unique harvesting process. Pistachio shells open naturally before harvest; once the peasants notice the crack on the shell wall, they jump to start harvesting. The harvesting procedure is fast since the pistachios are open to all the bacteria, fungus and moulds. 

What is pistachio poisoning in dogs?

Before reaching pistachio poisoning, the fundamental question is, “are pistachio nuts bad for dogs?” Somehow it is, although pistachio itself is not toxic to dogs. The canine digestive system can not digest pistachio’s high range of protein. 

Hence, consuming pistachio once in a reasonable amount or moderately might cause your pup distress, obesity, pancreatitis and gastrointestinal issues.

Signs of pistachio toxicity in dogs

If your puppy has recently over consumed a hell of a lot of pistachios, look closely for the following symptoms:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dehydration
  • Constipation or blackish stool

Symptoms of pancreatitis:

  • Fever
  • Diarrhoea
  • Lack of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Dehydration
  • Weakness
  • Abdominal pain
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Depression
  • Heart arrhythmias
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Orange urine
  • Losing weight at an abnormal rate

Symptoms of poisoning from aspergillusmould are:

  • Liver failure
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Lack of appetite
  • Jaundice

What are the agents behind pistachio toxicity!

Now is the time we find the imposters. Are pistachios bad for dogs? If not, then what makes it a red flag for dogs? 

It is because giving your pupper a couple of pistachios brings some secondary risk factors along with it. Such as:

  • Salt

Pistachios are more widely popular among humans than dogs, so it is primarily available in the salt-roasted form according to the human taste buds. And as a mature dog parent, you already know salt is not recommended for dogs. Excessive salt might cause high blood pressure and severe kidney-related issues with increasing heart diseases.

  • Aflatoxin

Aflatoxin is present in most of the nuts, including pistachios. However, the toxicity level of aflatoxin is mild in the human body, but dogs can not handle that toxicity. Most of the nuts, such as – pistachios, brazil nuts, walnuts and almonds, are seen to get affected with this mould, named aflatoxin. 

  • High in phosphorus

Pistachios are high in phosphorus. The significant phosphorus content most likely increases the chances of gallbladder stones.

  • Pancreatitis

Foods that contain high fat is never recommended for dogs. It contributes to developing pancreatitis, which might shorten your pup’s lifespan. Pistachios are enriched with fat, so it is better to avoid giving your dog some.

  • Choking

Another risk factor is that your dog might get choked on pistachio. Dogs do not usually chew their food as much as humans; they just make it swallowable. 

If your dog gets pistachio and you are at peace because it is not cracked, unfortunately, that peace of state will not last long. Whether cracked or not, your pup will try to swallow it, and if he does, the shell will be broken. And chances are there that the sharp pieces of the solid body may puncture the oesophagal tract or other parts of the gastrointestinal channel.

Final Words

So can dogs eat pistachio nuts? They should not. Are pistachios bad for dogs? Not suitable for them either. If you do not want to have an unwanted visit to the vet, it is better to avoid pistachios. All of the other food sources offer a wide range of health benefits to dogs. Alternatively, add them to a regular diet, or give your pup treats occasionally. After all, good food, healthy life!

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