Can Dogs Eat Pecans?

Pecans, just like most other nuts, have a lot of health benefits for us humans. Pecans have proven to lower bad cholesterol and they can provide us with many important vitamins and minerals. If you like pecans, you might wonder can you give pecans to your dog as well. Can dogs eat pecans?

The quick answer would be no, dogs cannot eat pecans. The main problem with pecans is that they contain a compound called juglone, which is toxic to dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Pecans? Pecans Are Dangerous to Dog

Unfortunately, the answer to the above question is no, pecans are not safe for dogs. There are many health risks involved in feeding your dog pecans and that’s why it’s definitely for the best not to feed your dog pecans.

Pecan are toxic to horses. Consumption of pecans can cause laminitis in horses, which is a highly dangerous and potentially fatal condition. The toxic compound in pecans is juglone. Thankfully, juglone is not as dangerous for dogs as it is for horses, but it’s dangerous never the less. Pecans can cause mild stomach upset and gastrointestinal obstruction in dogs.

Although good for us humans, pecans are dangerous to dogs.

Although good for us humans, pecans are dangerous to dogs.

Maybe you’ve already given your dog some pecans, but didn’t notice any ill effects. So, now you might be thinking that it’s okay for your pooch to have some pecans, but it’s not.

If a large-sized dog would consume a few pecans, then it might not upset her stomach, but gastrointestinal obstruction can happen from ingesting a single nut.  And gastrointestinal obstruction in dogs is a serious condition, which, if not treated properly, can even cause the death of you beloved pet.

In the case of gastrointestinal obstruction, the flow of nutrients from the stomach through the intestines is partially or entirely blocked. The common symptoms to look for are diarrhea, loss of appetite, weakness and weight loss[1]. If you suspect that your dog might be suffering from gastrointestinal obstruction due to eating pecans or anything else she shouldn’t have eaten, then contact a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Can Dogs Eat Salt-Roasted Pecans?

Absolutely not! Salt-roasted pecans are the most dangerous type of pecans for dogs. Salt-roasted pecans have all of the health risks of regular, plain pecans, plus it contains an excessive amount of sodium. Excessive amount of sodium, however, is dangerous to dogs[2]. Dogs can only tolerate a small amount of sodium, eating excessively salty food such as salted nuts is likely to cause sodium ion poisoning in dogs.

What to Do If My Dog Already Ate Pecans?

Accidentally eating one or two pecans hopefully won’t hurt your dog. However, there’s a risk of gastrointestinal obstruction, so check your dog for the symptoms listed above.

If your dog ate a good amount of pecans or the pecans contained a lot of salt, then it’s best to contact a veterinarian right away. Also contact a veterinarian if you notice symptoms of gastrointestinal obstruction.

What About Other Nuts? Are All Nuts Dangerous to Dogs?

Safe Nuts for Dogs

can-dogs-eat-pecans-2Thankfully, no, there are a few types of nuts that are okay for dogs to eat too. Most dogs can eat peanuts, cashews, hazelnuts and almonds. However, feeding your dog a whole nut is still something that is best avoided. While these nuts are not toxic to dogs, they can still cause gastrointestinal obstruction, and, if you have a small-sized dog, then bigger nuts also pose a choking hazard.

What you can do, though, is use unsalted peanut or almond butter in home-made dog treats or simply stuff a little bit in your dog’s KONG toy. Just make sure the nut butter is made out of nuts that are okay for dogs to eat and doesn’t contain any added salt. Also, because nut butters are very high in fat, it’s best not to feed your dog a lot of nut butter at once.

Dangerous Nuts for Dogs

Besides pecans, dogs also cannot eat walnuts, Macadamia nuts, pistachios and hickory nuts[3]. And, of course, all types of salted nuts are off the table for dogs.

Keep in mind that a dog would eat just about anything, using the trial and error method to find out whether something is okay or not, so it’s up to you as a dog owner to make sure that your dog doesn’t eat dangerous nuts or anything else that might harm her.

Conclusion on Can Dogs Eat Pecans?

In conclusion, pecans, just like most other nuts, are dangerous to dogs. Feeding your dog pecans would set her health at risk and that’s why it’s for the best not to give your dog pecans. If you like to eat pecans yourself, make sure to always keep them in a place unreachable by your dog.

In the case your dog has already eaten some pecans or other nuts that are dangerous to dogs, contact a veterinarian to avoid any serious consequences.

References:

  1. Intestinal Obstruction in Dogs.” Vetary. Web. 25 May 2016.
  2. Salt and Dogs, Salt and Cats.” Pet Poison Helpline. Web. 25 May 2016.
  3. Nuts Dangerous to Dogs.” Veterinary Pet Insurance. Web. 25 May 2016.

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