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Health & Wellness

Can dogs eat pistachios?

Pistachios aren’t recommended for pets, as they can cause some health issues.

Even though your pup's begging is difficult to ignore while you’re cracking open pistachios, this is one snack that warrants a little cold shoulder. 

Although pistachios aren’t incredibly toxic to dogs, they aren’t the best treats for them as they can cause health issues. Here’s what to do if your dog ingests too many pistachios and some dog-friendly, human-food alternatives.

Are pistachios bad for dogs?

According to Dr. Christine Klippen, DVM, DABVP, a veterinarian at Friendship Hospital for Animals, it’s an internet myth that the pistachio nut is toxic to dogs. 

“Although the nut of the pistachio isn’t considered toxic, many dogs don’t typically ingest these types of nuts,” Dr. Klippen says.

A couple of rogue pistachio nuts likely won't cause your pup any significant issues, Dr. Klippen adds. However, if your unsupervised dog gets their paws on a bag of pistachios, they can cause gastrointestinal problems, like vomiting or diarrhea. Pistachio shells pose a risk for gastrointestinal obstruction, too.

What to do if your dog eats pistachios 

If your sneaky pup steals a pistachio nut from the little bowl you set on the coffee table, they’ll likely be OK. However, monitoring them for signs of an upset stomach is always a good idea. Contact your veterinarian or the Pet Poison Control Helpline at 855-764-7661 if your dog starts vomiting, having diarrhea or showing other sickness symptoms. 

RELATED: Can dogs eat raisins?

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Recommended by vet Dr. Evan Antin.

What to feed your dog instead of pistachios

Don’t fret about not being able to feed your pup pistachios. There are several other options to let your furry friend snack on, like small amounts of certain fruits and vegetables.  

Dr. Klippen recommends apples, bananas, blueberries, baby carrots and green beans as some of the best snacks for your pet. Always clear foods with your regular veterinarian before serving them to your dog to ensure the foods aren’t toxic and don’t interfere with any special feeding plans. 

What foods are off-limits for dogs?

Steer clear of macadamia nuts and bitter almonds, Dr. Klippen urges. These nuts can cause specific problems, such as weakness, tremors and temporary paralysis in their back legs especially if they eat a large amount. 

Nuts also have increased fat content, which can put your dog at risk for pancreatitis and cause vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain, Dr. Klippen explains. 

Dr. Klippen also advises never feeding your dog grapes, raisins, onions, garlic or cherries (because of the pits).

Responsible snacking

While our furry friends are family and we want to share all our favorite things with them, some snacks are better left uneaten. Keep the pistachios for yourself and treat your pup to something they'll love instead.

We're confident that pistachios aren't the only human food your dog would love to sink their teeth into (cue the drool). Check out our series "Can dogs eat … ?" to learn more about which human foods are off-limits and what's fair game.'

The Dig, Fetch by The Dodo’s expert-backed editorial, answers all of the questions you forget to ask your vet or are too embarrassed to ask at the dog park. We help make sure you and your best friend have more good days, but we’re there on bad days, too. Fetch provides the most comprehensive pet insurance and is the only provider recommended by the #1 animal brand in the world, The Dodo.

The Dig is the expert-backed editorial from Fetch Pet Insurance. We're here to answer all of the questions you forget to ask your vet or are too embarrassed to ask at the dog park.

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