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Can dogs eat pistachios?

Dog getting a treat
(Image credit: Getty)

Is it surprising that people ask us the question, 'Can dogs eat pistachios?' After all, pistachio nuts are a delicious (and healthy) treat for adults, and it’s pretty tempting to toss a few to your dog when he or she is giving you 'those' eyes.

Some nuts, like macadamia nuts, are highly toxic to dogs, but this isn’t the case for pistachios. However, just because they’re not toxic, doesn’t mean your dog should eat pistachio nuts. Here’s a few reasons why feeding your dog pistachio nuts is a bad idea…

1. The shells can be dangerous

You probably wouldn’t eat a pistachio nut with the shell still on, but dogs are a little less picky with their snacks. Pistachio shells that aren’t fully removed can be a real choking hazard for your dog, and even if they do manage to swallow it, this hard exterior is very difficult to digest. Swallowing a pistachio shell can cause digestive issues, which could even require medical intervention.

2. They have a very high fat content 

Humans can benefit from the healthy natural fats that come from nuts such as walnuts, macadamia nuts, and pistachio nuts, but such high proportions of fat are not a necessary (or healthy) part of a canine diet. Even human foods that dogs can eat such as peanut butter have a very high content, and should only be eaten as a treat in very small amounts. Too much fat in your dog’s diet can lead to major issues such as diarrhea, vomiting, and even pancreatitis, so while one or two nuts won’t kill most dogs, it’s not safe for them to eat more than this. Our guide to the best dog treats may give you some alternatives if you want to give your dog a healthy treat without the high fat content. 

3. Pistachio nuts are prone to mold

If there’s one thing that shouldn’t make its way into your dog’s diet, it’s aspergillus mold. This common mold can be found on groceries when they’re past their best, and it’s also common in longer-lasting storecupboard essentials such as nuts. Although it’s not so dangerous for humans, this can lead to liver issues in dogs.

So, can dogs eat pistachio nuts? The answer is no. Although they’re not toxic, and a small dose won’t pose a threat, it’s always better to stick to the best dog food for your pet with a healthy dose of dog-friendly treats on the side.