Are Pistachio and Its Shells Bad for Dogs?

Feeding dog with Pistachio.

As dog owners, we must be cautious about the foods we provide to our dog companions. We always keep our pets secure, comfortable, healthy, and free of danger at all times. Whenever it comes to their food, we tend to offer them our food as a treat.  

It seems we have always had the instinct to share the goods that bring us joy, mainly food. With a range of resources at our fingertips, it only makes sense to know about the safety of human foods for dogs before offering them to your companions. Can dogs eat pistachios? Are Pistachio bad for the dogs? If your dog has eaten pistachios and you’re not sure what to do. Keep reading the following details and let’s find out in this article about this matter!

Are Pistachios Dangerous for Dogs?

Pistachios are not toxic, but they may be risky as a food treat for your dog, especially when consumed in large quantities. For instance, pistachios contain 56 grams of fat per cup, four times the 14 grams of fat advised per day for a 33-pound canine. Over time, excessive fat in a dog’s body may lead to a severe condition.

It is not recommended to feed Pistachio to any animals in enormous amounts. In any case, if you decided to allow your dog to consume pistachios, be sure not to overdo it. Dogs that consume excessive amounts of pistachio nuts will suffer from pistachio poisoning. 

Here are several reasons why the dog should not eat pistachios:

Shells Can Be Dangerous

Dogs are more carefree with their food since they do not bother about choking on nuts with the shells still on. Even if your dog manages to swallow the unpeeled pistachio shell, there is a possibility it could be lodged in the throat and cause severe tissue damage or even death. Not only that, but unpeeled pistachio shells pose a potential danger, such as choking, which it is crucial to remove the shell if you plan to share your food with your pet. Pistachio shell ingestion may result in digestive problems requiring medical attention.

High-Fat Content

Nuts like cashews, macadamias, and Pistachio are rich in good natural fats and may benefit humans, but such high amounts of fat are not essential or healthful in dog diets. Even human foods that dogs may consume, such as peanut butter, contain significant fat levels and should only be consumed as a treat in minimal amounts. The accumulation of too much fat in your dog’s diet may result in serious complications such as diarrhea, vomiting, and even pancreatitis. So please take note, one or two pistachios would not harm your dogs. It is not healthy to consume more than this amount. If you want to surprise your dog with a nutritious treat, we recommend that you must search for some treats with low-fat content and applicable for your dog.

Prone to Mold 

Aspergillus mold is among the things that it is should not include in your dog’s food at any cost. You may detect this common mold in long-lasting pantry staples such as nuts and dried fruits regarding being prevalent in expiration date. Even though it is not harmful to humans, this may cause liver problems in canines.

Phosphorus and Urushiol 

Some other risk associated with pistachios is the presence of two natural compounds: phosphorous and urushiol. It may induce bladder stones in dogs and also create a poison ivy-like response in their faces and mouths if once they eat it. However, not all dogs have the same reaction as this, and it is advisable to watch your dog when you are trying to feed them with pistachios and see if there are reactions upon observation.

Salt Content

Humans consume pistachios as a snack are usually seasoned with salt and other spices to enhance their flavor. A high salt intake in dogs may result in increased water retention and an increased risk of your dog’s kidney. It may be hazardous for dogs that already have cardiovascular problems. It may cause tiredness, tremors, and an excessive amount of dehydration to your pet.

Choking Hazard

Since pistachios are typically marketed in their shells, which may crack into sharp pieces, it is feasible for dogs to choke on this nut, especially when the shell is still attached. Then, the situation is very threatening, and there is a greater risk of pricking the esophagus or other areas of the digestive system. In some instances, dogs cannot munch their food as quickly as humans. Due to its hardness, size, and shape, dogs will become more vulnerable to choking.


It is a minor disease that may produce gastrointestinal issues, but it is not life-threatening. However, it may cause discomfort in your dog. If this symptom occurs to your pet, bring it to the veterinarian immediately and seek further check-up and treatment to ensure that it does not become fatal.


Pistachios, like other nuts, contain much fat, and they are no different. The fat included in pistachios is not intended to be digested by a dog’s digestive system and leads to liver and pancreatic issues. Since it has a high quantity of salt, it may induce kidney stones in dogs when consumed.

What is Pistachio Poisoning?

Pistachios that have been appropriately processed are not harmful to your dog. However, the canine digestive system is incapable of adequately digesting the proteins found in nuts. In excessive amounts, pistachios may induce digestive discomfort, weight gain, and pancreatitis, and among other things.

When pistachios consume in large quantities at one time or in smaller but more regular amounts, this may manifest in dogs. The nuts themselves and the mold Aspergillus are potentially hazardous to eat because of the potential contamination. As a result of the aflatoxin generated by this mold, dogs are susceptible to it, and exposure to it may have severe repercussions for your pet.

Pistachios are not advisable for dogs, even though they are not directly harmful to them. Inevitably, nuts trigger gastrointestinal discomfort, overweight, and pancreatitis in dogs and since their digestive system cannot digest it.

What to Look Out for:

Symptoms of Overindulgence

  • Diarrhea
  • Greasy looking stool
  • Puking

Symptoms of Pancreatitis

  • Weight loss
  • Lack of appetite
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Dehydration

Symptoms of Aflatoxin from Aspergillus mold

  • Jaundice
  • Lethargy
  • Liver failure
  • Loss of appetite

Dogs’ Pistachio Poisoning and How to Deal with It?

The medication for your dog will be determined by how the pistachios have impacted it. You will address any urgent problems with supportive care, which may include IV fluids to alleviate dehydration. You may alleviate several indications and symptoms with the use of medicines. 

Antibiotics, anti-nausea medicines, and pain control pharmaceuticals are examples of medications administered intravenously or intramuscularly, depending on the circumstances. 

Toxic exposure to aflatoxin increases the risk of liver damage. Thus, hepatoprotectants and vitamin K medicines are often prescribed. Since there is no antidote for aflatoxin, it is critical to get supportive treatment to recover. If your pet vomits repeatedly, your veterinarian may suggest that you restrict food from it for a period of time, which may last up to several days. Pancreatitis may manifest itself in the form of these symptoms. 

Such medication aims to give the pancreas ample time to recover for the swelling to subside completely. As long as the dog is capable and willing to feed itself, multiple low-protein, low-fat, high-fiber meals per day are usually advised to help it recover more quickly. It is possible to take pancreatic enzyme supplements to alleviate stomach discomfort, although this generally has little effect on the illness itself. Maintaining a peaceful and quiet atmosphere for recuperating your pet and ensuring that it receives the entire course of medicine will aid in the dog’s speedy recovery.

When is Pistachio Ingestion Potentially Hazardous for Dogs?


The infrequent and modest amounts of pistachios that you give your dog are not harmful to health. The consumption of excessive quantities of pistachios or other nuts by dogs, on the other hand, may result in weight gain, and indigestion, and possibly more severe health issues.

Health Issues

If your dog has already been diagnosed with pancreatitis, you should stop giving your pet high-fat foods such as pistachios at all costs. If your dog is obese, pistachios are also not a suitable reward to with your pet provide because of their high-calorie content. Pistachios contain more than 150 calories in only one ounce of nuts!


Nuts should not make up a significant part of a dog’s daily nutrition plan. They should be eaten more as a special treat occasionally.

Final Thought

There are much healthier foods available that pose no dangers to your dog, so go for them rather than pistachios. While it is beneficial to humans, it also poses risks to your dog and should be avoided if possible. There are several reasons mentioned in this article why dogs should not be given pistachios as a treat. As you may be aware, they will consume anything, consumable or not. Dogs may, without a doubt, consume these nuts, but doing so is not recommended. 

Dog owners should pay careful attention to everything going on around their beloved pets at all times. Pistachios have an enticing aroma, so be sure to store these nuts in a location where your dogs will not be likely to get them. Feeding the food you wanted to try for your dog should only be done after extensive research and consultation with your veterinarian, and your dog has been evaluated for possible adverse effects related to his size, breed, and behavior.

Leave a Comment