Can Dogs Eat Pistachios? A Complete Guide to Pistachios For Dogs

Oh, the classic old Pistachios, We love these little nutty fellows, and there is no alternative to their rich, salty taste. There is, after all, a good reason for Pistachios being considered the “King of Nuts” Pistachios tend to be quite popular in winters as they are the perfect snack to munch on while sitting close to the fireplace. But Pistachios are also high in demand in summers due to the large number of recipes that include pistachios as their prime ingredient, looking at you, Pistachio Ice cream. This shows how popular pistachios are.

But here, the question arises: Can dogs eat pistachios as having pistachios in the home can easily cause dogs to try a few of them? Is it safe for dogs, or should you try to hide every single pistachio nut from your dogs? We are here to reply to these very questions. 

Can dogs eat Pistachios?

It’s more of a question of should they rather than can they as; technically speaking, pistachios are safe for dogs as they don’t cause any toxicity in dogs. Therefore there is no need for you to get worried if your pooch ends up eating a couple of pistachio nuts while you are making a delicious batch of pistachio ice cream or eating pistachios while being cuddled up in blankets and watching your fav episode of Friends. 

But none of this means that you should make pistachios a permanent part of your dog’s diet as that might not be a good idea due to several reasons. So we advise our readers to be strong against those adorable puppy eyes and gazes and keep pistachios far away from their four-legged best friends. You will be able to appreciate this advice in a better fashion after reading the following reasons why we think that the answer to the question “Can my dog eat pistachios?” is a No.

Too much fat

For starters, Just like all other nuts, Pistachios have a very high fat to weight ratio making them essentially small, tasty pills of fats. That’s why consuming large amounts of nuts, including pistachios, is not a good idea for us humans, but the situation becomes even direr when it comes to dogs. Dogs are carnivorous animals, and therefore they require high amounts of protein for their sustenance. Dogs benefit from having a diet that is high in proteins and low in carbohydrates and fats. And pistachios are exactly the opposite of that as they are loaded with fats. This makes pistachios a very healthy snack for dogs, as eating just a few pistachios on regular terms can expose our canine friends to extreme obesity. And obesity is never a good thing, especially for dogs. Dogs need to stay active and playful, but obesity caused by too many pistachios can become a hurdle in ensuring that your dog gets enough exercise. This acts as a feedback loop as a reduced amount of exercise exposes dogs to even more obesity. Obesity acts as a precursor of many diseases, such as 

  • Pancreatitis
  • Diabetes
  • Heart diseases
  • Kidney related diseases
  • High blood pressure

All this shows how pistachios can be dangerous for dogs, and therefore we think that the answer to the frequently asked question “can my dog eat pistachios?” is definitely a No.

Too much salt

Another major reason we think that pistachios are not suitable for dogs and why the answer to the question Can my dogs eat Pistachios is a no is that most pistachios are pre-roasted and salted before they end up in our hands, and this makes them highly salty. Now we humans can tolerate all that salt, but the same can’t be said about our four-legged best friends. Dogs are not capable of handling all that salt, and therefore they stand to get affected by that saltiness terribly. All that salt can cause life-threatening diseases such as high blood pressure, kidney stones, kidney failure, and heart complications. That’s why we suggest our valued readers keep their dogs far away from pistachio no matter what happens.  

Those shells are a tough nut to crack.

Another fundamental question regarding the prospects of feeding pistachios to dogs that is often asked is can dogs eat pistachio shells? Like any other nut, pistachios come with very tough shells to protect the seed inside them. This is perfect for pistachio trees, but the same can’t be said about humans or dogs. These shells are extremely hard to crack, making it very hard to fetch out the delicious seed. We often have to employ the skills of a nutcracker to get the job done. Some folks might try to break the shell by their teeth or engulf the pistachio seed along with the shell, but we don’t recommend doing that. The same goes for dogs, as even dogs cannot break the shells without hurting teeth, which can cause long-term dental problems in your pooch. The problem doesn’t end just there, as these shells can also cause many problems in the gut. Digestive enzymes present in your dog’s stomach cannot digest these hard shells, and therefore these shells end up causing a lot of problems by causing blockages in the digestive tract. 

Some of these diseases are listed below

  • Gastritis
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Celiac Diseases
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Gallstones
  • Fecal incontinence
  • Lactose intolerance 
  • Hirschsprung disease
  • Abdominal adhesions
  • Barrett’s esophagus
  • Appendicitis
  • Indigestion (dyspepsia)
  • Intestinal pseudo-obstruction
  • Pancreatitis
  • Short bowel syndrome
  • Whipple’s disease
  • Zollinger-Ellison syndrome
  • malabsorption syndromes 
  • Hepatitis

In light of the diseases mentioned above, we think that it’s better if dog owners keep their dogs away from pistachios. This also answers the questions of Can dogs eat pistachio shells as a big no. So, in a nutshell, keep your dogs away from pistachios if you want them to be healthy. 


What? You thought that only humans could be allergic to nuts? Well, my friend, you can’t be further from the truth. Canines can be allergic to a wide range of things, and nuts are on top of that list. These allergies can cause all sorts of medical complications, and this can make your dog very ill. Therefore, keeping dogs far away from any nuts is recommended unless you are completely sure that they are not allergic to them. The best way to figure out whether your pooch is allergic to dogs or not is by asking your vet about it. After all, your vet is the one who knows the most about what’s good for your dog and what’s not. He will definitely be able to tell you about your dog’s allergies and will be able to advise you on how to plan your dog’s diet safely. 

Owners must take their vet’s advice seriously because allergies are not something to take lightly. These allergies can make dogs seriously ill, and therefore dog owners must protect their allergic dogs from pistachios at any cost. This also solves the question of Can dogs eat Pistachios?

Pistachios can also be a bit moldy.

Pistachios can also act as carriers of several molds as they are exposed to a lot of external factors. Pistachios are generally free from any highly dangerous molds, but still, there is one specific mold that is often present on pistachios. That mold goes by the name of Aspergillus mold. Aspergillus mold is very common, and that’s why we humans tend to be almost oblivious to them as we are hardly affected by Aspergillus mold. This mold is commonly found on old vegetables and fruits present in fridges and chicken coops.

Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about dogs, as Aspergillus mold can cause serious medical complications in dogs. It can cause a wide range of gastrointestinal diseases in dogs and can also compromise their immunity. This is why canines must not be allowed to consume any pistachios, especially the old ones. This also solves the question of Can dogs eat Pistachios as it shows that it is not a good idea to feed pistachios to dogs. 

Now you might be wondering how pistachios are affected by the mold in the first place, given their tough outer shells. Well, the answer to that is straightforward, but you will have to learn a bit about pistachio farming to know that. Opposite to the common understanding, pistachios are not opened in some factories; instead, nature does that for us. Pistachios tend to open up on their own once they are fully ripe. Now, this exposes the inner seed to many environmental factors, including Aspergillus mold, which is how pistachios are affected by Aspergillus mold. 

So, in a nutshell, Pistachios are highly prone to be affected by Aspergillus mold. This mold can make dogs highly sick, and therefore dog owners should avoid feeding pistachios to dogs. 

Are there any pros of feeding pistachios to dogs?

We know that we have been quite pessimistic about feeding pistachios to dogs, and there are good reasons for that, but still, it doesn’t mean that there is nothing for dogs to gain from pistachios as these nuts have a lot to offer in the nutritional department. 

Some of the prominent nutrients found in pistachios that are beneficial to dogs are as below. 

Omega-3 Fatty acids

 Fats are incredibly vital for the well-being of our four-legged best friends as they act as an instant source of energy and can also act as a source of various nutrients essential for the optimal growth of our canine puppies. Therefore, we highly recommend our readers provide their dogs with a good source of fatty acids. There are two different types of fatty acids, namely omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids. Omega Fatty acids are considered essential as animal bodies cannot synthesize them on their own. 

Vitamin B6

Belonging to the Vitamin B complex, Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin that dogs cannot produce independently. Therefore, they rely on their meals to obtain the required amounts of Vitamin B6. This makes Vitamin B6 an essential vitamin, and that, along with all the essential functions associated with Vitamin B6, makes the importance of Vitamin B6 clear. Therefore, this vitamin should not be taken slowly, and dog parents should try their best to supplement their dog’s meal with Vitamin B6 supplements. Fortunately, Vitamin B6 is also quite common in nuts like pistachios, and therefore you can also give pistachios to your pooch to boost his health. 

Vitamin B3

As clear from its name, Vitamin B3 is a part of the Vitamin B complex and is considered among the essential vitamins present in the Vitamin B complex. Just like all the other members of the Vitamin B complex, Vitamin B3 is also a water-soluble vitamin which translates to the fact that it can’t be stored in the body for long periods and is used up immediately. This, added with the fact that Vitamin B3 is an essential vitamin, shows how important it is for dog owners to make sure that their canine’s diet is rich in Vitamin B3 as dogs can’t produce this vitamin on their own. Vitamin B3 deficiency can lead to several severe medical complications as Vitamin B3 is involved in many vital functions essential for the well-being of our lovely furry friends.

Vitamin B3 is directly required for the normal functioning of around 50 different enzymes. These enzymes are required in almost all the biochemical reactions taking place in your dog’s body, and therefore it’s crucial to have these enzymes working at their optimal level. Niacin is an essential part of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate. These two enzymes are utilized to transfer hydrogen ions to cytochromes to provide energy throughout the body. 

Ending Note

As you can see, there is great merit to feeding pistachios to dogs as pistachios are loaded with nutrients. But we still think that the cons of feeding pistachios to dogs far outweigh its pons, and therefore dog owners should not feed pistachios to dogs. That’s why we think that the question “can dogs eat pistachios?” can only be answered as a Huge No.

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