Are Pistachios Good for Dogs?
No, pistachios, while they have some health benefits, will likely do more harm than good for your furry friend. Good nutrition is as important for dogs as it is for humans. What you feed your dog will determine how healthy he or she will be, both in body and mind. Pistachios have a high-fat content, and when consumed in large quantities, can put your dog’s health at risk.
Dangers of giving your dog pistachios
Pistachios are generally not toxic to dogs. So, if your dog accidentally consumes them in small quantities, there is no reason to panic. However, if the quantity consumed is high, you should be concerned. The fat in pistachios can cause vomiting and diarrhoea in dogs. Since you cannot tell how much pistachio is too much for your dog, it is best not to include it in your dog’s diet.
Pistachios can also lead to more serious conditions if your dog keeps consuming them. Pistachios that have been on the shelf for a long time develop a mold containing mycotoxins. This mold can cause liver damage and long term neurological issues in dogs.
Additionally, pistachios can cause intestinal obstruction, which will ultimately affect your dog’s feeding and digestion. So, instead of having a healthy, happy dog, you will be stuck with a miserable dog that can barely eat due to discomfort.
The fat content should also be a concern because it will eventually result in unhealthy weight gain. A 33-pound dog, for example, should have at least 44 grams of fat per day. Pistachios contain about 56 grams of fat per cup. This is four times the recommended fat intake. In the long run, you will not just be dealing with an obese dog, but one with health conditions, such as pancreatitis.
If your dog eats unshelled pistachios, the shells may not move beyond the throat or digestive tract. When this happens, your dog may need emergency intervention before one starts developing health issues, such as poor feeding and indigestion. The shells are also a choking hazard and should be kept away from dogs.
What should you do if your dog consumes pistachios?
If you leave a bag of pistachios on the couch and discover that your dog has consumed them, the first thing you need to do is to analyze the nuts. Were they old? Had you shelled them? This will help you identify the possible effects the pistachios will have on your dog. You also need to assess the quantity consumed.
Your dog’s size will also influence the impact of the pistachios on his or her health. For example, a small dog will likely experience bowel obstruction, while a larger dog may not struggle with digestion. However, a large dog that has consumed a bag of old pistachios may be exposed to mycotoxin poisoning.
You should also observe your dog and look out for diarrhoea, tremors, vomiting, agitation, greasy stool, dehydration, general weakness, and low appetite. These symptoms will tell you the impact of the pistachios on your dog, and if you need to see a vet for treatment.
Dogs love nuts, and you can include them in their diet. However, there are safer alternatives to pistachios, including peanuts, cashew nuts, and almonds. However, you should make sure they are unseasoned and unsalted because sodium is also dangerous for your dog’s health.