Forbidden Food: Why Pecans Are Not Good for your Dog?
Can dogs eat Pecans? As the benefits of nuts to humans become more widely known, many people may think that they would be just as beneficial to animals.
However, not all foods that are good for people are good for our animals, so in this post we will explain why nuts are not good for dogs, in fact, they are very dangerous.
Why Are Pecans Not Good For Dogs?
There are very common foods or ingredients in our kitchen that are harmless to us but could damage your dog’s digestive system very quickly. This is because their food needs are very different from ours, this happens with pecans.
Pecans grown from walnuts are characterized by their shells, so hard that people usually need some tool to open them, they are tree seeds and are quite different from other types of nuts, not only because of their shell but because they are longer and thinner.
These nuts are good for people, have a source of healthy and unsaturated fats, contain vitamins, minerals and even many people claim that they are good for lowering cholesterol.
But pecans are not safe for dogs. In fact, nuts and dried fruit are high in phosphorus and high in fat, plus many of them can have harmful toxins, which could cause the dog neurological problems or seizures.
In general, different kinds of nuts and dried fruit are not advisable for dogs, it is quite the opposite. In some cases, they can be highly toxic and even cause death.
Dog Nutrition? One size does NOT fit all!
Common Problems of Pecans for Dogs.
Pecans are bad for dogs mainly in large portions, dogs have a hard time digesting their fat, for example, just 100 grams of nuts contain about 650 calories. This excess fat can lead to weight gain and various diseases.
Pecans contain a toxin called juglone, which can be harmful to dogs, this toxin is found in other nuts such as black nuts and walnuts.
In addition, when pecans are old or have a high moisture content, they can start growing mold called mycotoxins tremorogenic and a poison called aflatoxin, if your dog is exposed to it, it is prone to seizures, liver problems, convulsions, and other dangerous neurological complications.
Difficult to digest.
Another problem that prevents dogs from eating pecans is due to their digestive system, which does not process nuts well.
This is because of their texture and size, some are too big for dogs to chew properly and digest; especially small breed dogs, they can not defecate completely or can cause stomach discomfort, also obstructions in the intestinal tract.
Remember that dogs are carnivores, and although over time they have become accustomed to a more omnivorous diet, there are foods for their organisms simply have not prepared to digest. Among other things, because the length of their digestive system is much shorter than ours, a characteristic of carnivorous animals.
Other common problems in nuts.
Even those nuts that don’t have a harmful component for dogs, their excess fat can cause various stomach problems, for example, these fats can cause canine pancreatitis mostly in some breeds of dogs that are more prone to this disease.
Another detail that we usually don’t take into account is that nowadays nuts come mostly with other ingredients such as chocolates, raisins, salt, sugars or are sweetened with xylitol, and these extra ingredients are also dangerous for dogs, so, they are forbidden for them.
What if my dog has eaten pecans?
If it is too late and you have offered your dog pecans in the past but there was never anything unusual, you can relax assured that the effects of eating small amounts will disappear after a few days.
The problem as we mentioned, is in the excess because it can be a difficult food to digest for them, so it could develop digestive issues.
The symptoms that the dogs will have immediately would be:
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite
- Yellow eyes or gums
- Brown urine
- Difficulty in urinating
In more severe cases, such as contact with moldy nuts, the dog can suffer from seizures, tremors, and severe neurological problems. If your dog has eaten pecans, it is best to try to find out how much it ate and call the vet immediately.
How to Prevent Your Dog from Eating Nuts.
Don’t leave nuts within your dog’s reach. Therefore, if there are nuts in your house, make sure they are stored and out of your dog’s reach.
Check product labels. Since nuts are common ingredients in candy and cookies, it’s best to check product labels to make sure they don’t have any dangerous additives.
The Most Dangerous Nuts.
Pecans are quite harmful to dogs, yes, but there are nuts that are more toxic and harmful than others, and these are the most dangerous nuts your dog should never eat.
In this case, the nut that is considered most dangerous is the Macadamia nut, either raw or roasted. Problems occur when consumption has exceeded 2.2 grams of nuts per kilogram of body weight. In consumption of 6 to 7 grams.
The intoxication caused by the ingestion of this type of seeds will depend on the size, weight, and physical condition of the dog. In that case, these nuts can cause severe problems in dogs such as:
- Excessive salivation.
- Hypothermia (low body temperature).
- Neurological problems.
- Increased heart rate.
In the event that your dog has ingested Macadamia, it is also advisable to call the vet and keep it under observation for the next 24 hours to try to detect any unusual symptoms and try to find out how much it has ingested.
These symptoms usually appear 12 hours after your dog has digested it and usually disappear after 24 or 48 hours.
Other quite dangerous nut that your dog should not consume for any reason is nutmeg. This ingredient is used in various dishes due to its aroma of sweet nuances and a somewhat spicy flavor.
However, nutmeg is toxic for pets because it has a compound called Miristicin, which gives it that characteristic flavor. This component in large quantities can cause seizures, disorientation, increased heart rate, vomiting, tremors, abdominal pain, and problems in the central nervous system of your dog.
It can be a traumatic experience for it since the nutmeg can be so dangerous for dogs, that it can cause hallucinations when consumed in excess.
In case your pet has eaten nutmeg, the symptoms will depend on its size, weight, age, and general health in relation to the amount it has eaten.
Even so, it’s important to take care that your dog doesn’t take anything prepared with this ingredient to its mouth because a cake or any baked dessert that has nutmeg in its preparation could still cause mild or moderate symptoms.
As pecans, English nuts, Japanese nuts, and black nuts are not good for dogs, they are also very toxic, can cause intestinal obstruction and stomach problems.
These nuts are more likely to contain the tremorogenic mycotoxin mold, which as mentioned above can cause dogs to have severe seizures and neurological problems.
Find out more on the subject of walnuts for dogs by reading this previous article! Are walnuts Bad for Dogs?
Other nuts and dry fruits that are prohibited are:
- English nuts.
- Japanese nuts.
- Black nuts.
- Brazilian nuts.
- Pine Nuts.
Can Dogs Be Allergic to Pecans?
It is not common for dogs to be allergic to pecans or any other nuts, especially if they have not tasted them or only in small amounts. However, there are dogs that suffer from food allergies, and among them are nuts.
In any case, the food allergy is a negative reaction of the immune system to a protein that it sees as a threat, in this case, the nuts by its components like the excess of fat and its form and texture.
Food allergy shows symptoms such as skin problems, swelling, itching, etc. In case your dog suffers from a food allergy to nuts, these are the symptoms he may suffer from:
- Choking sensation.
- Inflammation of the mouth, eyelids and paws.
- Chronic ear infections.
- Respiratory disorders.
On the other hand, there is also food intolerance, which is a normal physiological response, referring to all adverse reactions that occur after the ingestion of food.
This can be compared to a heavy digestive process, with symptoms such as gas, abdominal discomfort and diarrhea, due to incorrect assimilation of the nutrients provided by the food.
Nuts That Are Safe For Dogs!
Just as there are nuts that your dog can’t eat, there are several that it can. In fact, nuts like peanuts or hazelnuts are foods that your dog can eat as a casual treat.
These foods have a high level of omega fatty acids like 3 and 6 and other good fatty acids like linoleic acid, in addition to minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants.
You can offer them to your dog as long as they are in adequate amounts, on a few occasions, without salt, chocolate, or sugar, and without the shell!
Peanuts are an excellent source of vitamin H and B7 for dogs. You should always give them with certain precautions and measures, even just as a complement to their usual diet.
Although it is advisable to add them in homemade foods occasionally and only on few occasions as long as you know that your dog does not present/display allergies.
They can’t be salty or caramelized, it must be natural but without the shell! Offering your dog unpeeled nuts could cause a bowel obstruction, wherein the worst-case scenario it could need surgery.
Almonds also contain a number of valuable nutrients such as fatty acids, minerals, vitamins, etc. However, it also has a substance that is harmful to dogs. The oxalic acid.
Oxalic acid is a component that can affect your furry friend’s renal system, however, this will only happen if it ingests a significant number of almonds.
As with peanuts, in case you want to offer your dog almonds, you can do it occasionally, in small quantities, raw and without shell, it is best to avoid them being accompanied by salt or sugar.
Sweet almonds are not toxic for dogs, but if the dog eats some almonds the best thing is to chop or grind them so they are easy to digest.
If you give your dog the whole almond, it might defecate the whole one, so it wouldn’t have gotten any nutrients from them.
Dogs can eat hazelnuts, but as you probably guessed, under the same conditions as almonds and peanuts.
Hazelnuts are not toxic to dogs, so your dog will have no problem eating a couple of seedless hazelnuts, even though it can’t be accompanied by another ingredient like salt or sugar.
The important thing to keep in mind in the case of hazelnuts is their size. Since hazelnuts are big enough to cause a small breed dog to choke or have an intestinal obstruction, for this reason when offering your dog hazelnuts, make sure they are chopped or ground.
In case you’re wondering, What about peanut butter? It is not dangerous for dogs, in fact; they love it! This is why many dog owners use it to give as medication to them.
However, you should also be cautious with peanut butter because some that are “sugar-free” contain the artificial sweetener Xylitol, which causes liver failure in dogs.
Also, peanut butter with trans fats or partially hydrogenated oils are not good. They can cause diabetes or heart disease. It’s best if it’s 100% natural, but that doesn’t mean you should give it to your dog every day. A couple of treats a week will be good for it.
In Conclusion, Can dogs eat pecans?
Pecans are not good for dogs. It is better to protect the health of your pet with a healthy diet avoiding the consumption of any type of nuts and substituting it with other foods with similar nutritional values since, in the case of dogs, nuts have more risks than benefits.