What are Pistachios?
Pistachios are one of the oldest known nuts and have been used in everyday foods for centuries, and its grounded powder is used in various creams. Pistachios are usually grown in Middle Eastern countries such as Iraq, Iran, and Syria, but exported to the Roman Empire and the United States. They grow in high altitude countries and require the utmost care.
Pistachios are very healthy nuts when used correctly. In humans, they provide various benefits. They are suitable for maintaining a healthy heart, minimize weight problems, maintain blood pressure or improve digestion, and benefit the skin and eyes. Pistachios are rich in fiber, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, copper, potassium, zinc, or manganese. They also contain various vitamins, including vitamin C, E, A, K, and B9 (folic acid).
Also, pistachios are high in protein like other nuts, such as cashews, hazelnuts, walnuts, or macadamia nuts. They are rich in natural antioxidants and monounsaturated fatty acids, but they also have the lowest fat content of all nuts. So, let’s get to answering the question, “Are pistachios bad for dogs?”
Are pistachios bad for dogs?
Pistachios are generally safe for dogs only when given without their shells and given in low quantity as a rare treat. So, pistachios are usually safe for dogs when given with care. Dogs can eat pistachios, but with conditions. Otherwise, pistachios are terrible for dogs in many instances or if given in large quantities.
Consider the following points to understand it better:
- If your dog already has severe pancreatitis, high-fat foods such as pistachios should never be given.
- Feeding pistachios to dogs occasionally is not a threat. However, feeding a dog large amounts of pistachios or other nuts can lead to stomach upset, weight gain, and severe health problems.
- If your dog is overweight, pistachios are not suitable for their health. They are rich in calories and lead to heart failure in severe conditions (Just one ounce of pistachios has over 160 calories!)
- Pistachios should not be an essential part of a dog’s diet. They should be used rarely.
- Never feed your dog Pistachios with their shells present. Always give them without the shell to your furry friend.
- Canines are obligate carnivores. So, changing their natural diet can lead to severe consequences.
Related Article: Can Dogs Eat Pecans?
When are Pistachios bad for dogs?
Pistachios are bad for your canine companion if they are moldy or infected with any pathogen.
Suppose pistachios become moldy or infected due to weather changes or storage issues. In that case, they often develop low levels of Aflatoxin in them, a toxic substance that can lead to your canine companion’s death.
If you see your canine companion showing any of the following symptoms, call your Veterinarian or Pet Poison helpline immediately:
- Discoloration of gums
- Hypersalivation or massive drooling
- Excessive thirst or increase in water intake
- Cough or bloody vomit
- Malena or Black tarry stool
Can dogs eat pistachio shells?
No, they are not safe in any condition. It is another drawback of pistachios that their shells are dangerous for puppies or adults if swallowed. These hard, tough-to-open shells can block (emergency condition) or destroy your dog’s gastrointestinal system. Their sharp shells may cause laceration and sloughing of GIT of dog and may lead to inflammation and other medical conditions. Also, certain shells are poisonous, so you should never let your dog eat pistachio shells. Remove shells and offer to your dog in a very minute quantity, if compulsory.
My dog ate a pistachio shell, what should I do?
Intestinal obstruction frequently occurs in dogs because they like to eat anything and everything, but it is essential to catch it quickly. If you notice any of the following symptoms that occur due to excessive eating of pistachios shells, take your lovely furry friend to your veterinarian for further treatment:
- Swelling or pain in the abdomen
- Difficulty in defecation
- Straining during bowel movements
- Loss of appetite
- Refuse to lie down
- Diarrhea or vomiting
Pistachios can be as delicious as human food, but for dogs, they are dangerous in many senses, as we discussed above. So, do not take the risk of giving a high amount of Pistachios to your canine partner.
Fact: Instead of providing some Pistachio nuts to your dog, give them an excellent scratch behind the ears. They’ll be happier with that!
Related Article: Are Cashew Nuts Safe for Dogs?
Are pistachio nuts good for dogs?
Alongside the degenerating bad outcomes, pistachios contain some of the nutrients that dogs may need.
- Manganese, which is a micro-mineral, helps in the extraction and digestion of proteins and carbohydrates.
- Thiamine is essential for proper development and growth in dogs, along with their proper brain functioning.
- Vitamin B6 helps in the synthesis of various complex proteins and the absorption of proteins and fats.
- Vitamin K is present in a very high amount in Pistachios, which helps in blood clotting.
- Vitamin A may lead to a clear vision and necessary for the eyes’ proper functioning.
- Vitamin C maintains regular homeostasis and helps in lowering body temperature in a harsh hot environment.
- Vitamin B9, also known as folic acid, contains iron, which is an essential component of Hemoglobin and help in the proper formation and functioning of RBC’s
Pistachios are rich in protein and provide a good source of dietary fiber. They are rich in fat, but most of the fat content is unsaturated fats, which can benefit if used rarely. So, yes, pistachios contain potentially useful nutrients for dogs. However, they can also get these nutrients from well-balanced commercial or homemade dog food.
In short, very little shelled pistachios are a good snack for healthy dogs. But there are better and lower fat sources of these nutrients for your pet available in the market.
Are salted pistachios bad for dogs?
Pistachio nuts are often salty. And while it does make them even tastier, it also makes them unhealthier for dogs. So, yes, salted pistachios may be considered bad for your canines. It may lead to high blood pressure, which results in panting and hypersalivation and may sometimes lead to dehydration.
Just as too much salt is not suitable for people, it is also terrible for dogs. Avoid feeding your canine friend any salty treats, including salted pistachios.
Can Pistachios Cure Health Issues In Dogs?
There is no proof that pistachios have any significant health benefits to dogs or that they can help with any health problem or ailment. Pistachios are also not recommended as part of a dog’s routine diet.
Should I give my dog pistachios?
Well, that’s entirely up to you. We have discussed Pistachios’ pros and cons with you now it’s your choice, but according to our expert opinions, there is no need to give Pistachios to your dogs. Any nutrients your dog can get from this nut can be obtained from more suitable food sources, such as commercially formulated balanced dog food.
If you still want to have tasty human treats with your furry friends all the time, some pistachios won’t hurt them. But there are other low-fat and low-calorie human foods that are safe for dogs that make an excellent dog treat.
How to prepare Pistachios for dogs?
- Always remove the shells of pistachios before you invite your dog.
- You can buy shelled pistachios or remove the pistachios shells by yourself. And make sure you get the unsalted pistachios.
- Experts suggest that you must wash pistachio nuts and then air dry them before offering them to your dog. It has two advantages: it removes any salt on them, the other is that they become safe from consumption, and all the dust or bacteria is removed from them.
- Pistachios can occasionally be given as a treat or added to your dog’s regular diet.
Pistachio substitutes for dogs:
If you want to share breakfast with your canine friend, you can consider one of these healthy and delicious treats:
Avoid toxic foods such as chocolate.
Other similar Nuts to avoid in Dogs:
There are many other kinds of nuts that you should avoid feeding your dog. For example, you should never let your dog eat macadamia nuts. Pet Poison Helpline has warned that macadamia nuts lead to elevated body temperature in addition to muscle and nerve tremors, joint stiffness, and instability.
Read more about Macadamia nuts in this article: Can Dogs Eat Macadamia Nuts?
Black walnuts and Pecans should also be avoided. They contain a toxin/poison called juglone, which causes stomach upset in dogs.
Read more about Walnuts & Almond nuts in these articles:
Summary: Can dogs eat pistachios?
So, we have answered the question that dogs can eat pistachios. And although the answer is yes, only let them eat them in moderation.
Just be aware of a few things:
- First: Pistachio shells can be harmful.
- Second: Salted pistachios are unhealthy.
- And last but not least: pistachios are high in fat and calories.
Pistachios should certainly be avoided if your dog has pancreatitis or is overweight. And it is always best to check with your own veterinarian before giving your dog pistachios, especially if your dog has any other medical condition.
As long as you remember these things and feed your dog in moderation, pistachios are safe for dogs!