You may love eating pecans, and as a pup owner, you might be tempted to give some to your dog. However, can dogs eat pecans?
The entertainment dog owners feel when watching their dogs lick peanut butter is unparalleled. However, most nuts are not safe for dogs and can be dangerous.
Many dogs and their owners end up at the vet because a dog ate some pecans when its owner was not looking. Juglone is a compound found in pecans and walnuts and is harmful to dogs, so no, dogs should not eat pecans.
This compound is known to cause digestive issues in dogs and vomiting. Moreover, pecans can develop a mold containing aflatoxin known as Aspergillus. If your dog happens to eat a moldy pecan, it can experience tremors and seizures.
As experienced vets, we've unfortunately seen our fair share of poor pups eating pecans and then suffering from the consequences. To save you from seeing your dog in this state, we're going to tell you about why dogs shouldn't eat pecans.
Can Dogs Eat Pecan?
Originating from Mexico and North America, pecans are used in muffins, cakes, pies, and other treats. They are also a great snack to eat on their own as they are loaded with minerals and vitamins and contain healthy, unsaturated fats.
If your dog eats a pecan that has fallen on the floor (maybe you dropped it), don't worry. One or two pecans won't do any harm. However, you should definitely not be giving your dog pecans every day as a treat. The juglone present in this nut is toxic to dogs and can permanently damage the neurological system of a dog.
If you find that your dog has swallowed a moldy pecan (mold can develop easily on the shells of the nut), it may experience seizures or other neurological problems. Even though pecans are a protein-rich snack for humans who do not struggle with nut allergies, the gastrointestinal tract of dogs is not strong enough to deal with the toxins that may be found in these nuts.
What to Do If Your Dog Accidentally Eats Pecans
If your dog has managed to get its paws on a moldy pecan or has eaten lots of pecans when you weren't looking, you must pay close attention to immediate symptoms like diarrhea and vomiting. Usually, these symptoms only last for a couple of hours.
However, in more serious circumstances, diarrhea and vomiting will start getting worse, and your dog will have to be taken to the vet immediately. If untreated, this could be fatal for your dog.
If you find that your dog is defecating, vomiting, or urinating at a rate that is faster than usual, the veterinarian will have to give it some fluids and medication and maybe even perform some blood tests. Pecans that are prepackaged contain additives like salt that can be toxic to your dog.
These pecans can further damage the kidneys and liver. If you find that your dog is acting weird or feeling any sort of discomfort after ingesting pecans, make sure you get in touch with your vet as soon as possible.
Since pecans have a high-fat content, they can cause an upset tummy and also lead to GI symptoms, such as diarrhea. Regular consumption of pecans and other nuts can cause serious conditions to develop in your dog's body, such as pancreatitis (when the pancreas gets inflamed) and gastroenteritis (when the intestines or stomach is inflamed).
Dogs have a hard time digesting pecans as their texture and size can lead to fatal blockages in the intestine, especially in smaller dog breeds. If this happens, your dog will require surgery.
Do Pecans have Any Health Benefits for Dogs?
Nuts, especially pecans, are loaded with protein and good fats, as well minerals, vitamins, and fiber. Studies also show that pecans can reduce bad cholesterol in the body. Since they are jam-packed with antioxidants and have a naturally sweet taste, dogs thoroughly enjoy nut treats.
Sadly, to get these benefits, your dog would have to consume a large number of pecans, which will only lead to severe health conditions. While pecans are great for human beings, our furry friends cannot deal with the different components present in these nuts.
Can Dogs Eat Other Nuts?
According to veterinarians, dogs should not have any kind of nuts. While some nuts are less harmful, such as almonds, cashews, and peanuts, the fact is that all nuts contain protein and fiber, along with other nutrients that are great for humans but bad for our canine companions.
Because of this, dogs can choke on nuts, and they can also cause stomach problems or blockages in the intestine. Moreover, nuts that are packaged contain other seasonings that could be harmful to dogs.
No matter how much you want to, you should not offer your dog hickory nuts or macadamia nuts. These two nuts are toxic and can be fatal for your canine counterpart. Moreover, pistachio nuts and black walnuts are also harmful to dogs.
If you find that your dog has stolen some nuts from your side drawer, make sure to get in touch with your vet immediately.
Why Nuts Should Not Be Used as Snacks for Your Pup
While some dog owners may think that giving their dogs nuts as treats is no big deal, the truth is that nuts are not always good for dogs. Here's why:
High in Fat
Nuts are loaded with fat which can cause gastrointestinal indigestion issues, especially if your dog has a sensitive tummy. Moreover, the fat in nuts can inflame and aggravate the pancreas, leading to pancreatitis. Here are some symptoms of pancreatitis:
- Loss of appetite
If you find your dog experiencing any of these, get in touch with a vet as soon as possible.
High in Calories
Since nuts contain a lot of calories, dogs that are overweight should not be given any kind of nuts. If you really want to treat your dog for being a good girl, make sure that the treats only form 10 percent of their everyday calories.
In fact, this is why vets recommend that a dog should not be given too many nut spreads and nuts on a daily basis. While you can cover a medicine with some peanut butter to ensure that your dog takes it, make sure that this doesn't become a habit and that you don't overdo it.
If you choose to give your dog nuts, you must pay special attention to the coating. Some nuts are coated with ingredients that could be toxic for dogs. These include:
- High salt
Before you give your dog a nut, make sure that you read the label and check for any toxic ingredient. Don't be mistaken- if the coating on the nut is extremely thin, it should not be given to your dog. Moreover, you should not buy nuts that are roasted in salt as these can cause urinary stones and a spike in blood pressure in dogs.
Unfortunately, dogs will eat whatever is given to them, so you must be aware of what is good for your dog and what isn't. Rather than feeding it nuts that will only cause an increase in weight and cause pancreatitis, you must opt for healthier snack options that will help your dog remain healthy.
About THE AUTHOR
I have had dogs my whole life and have always trained my own dogs with patience and positive reinforcement. My dogs are my life. My family always had dogs growing up. I've trained dogs for clients while working at a local dog daycare. I hope that my research and experiences are helpful to you as I share them here.Read More About Russell Wright