Can dogs eat pecans? Well, dogs can eat nuts, and pecans are nuts; so, doesn’t that mean that dogs can eat pecans? Well, we could only hope that things work as easily as that, but we know that’s not always the case.
Dogs can go nuts for nuts sometimes. And that’s fine because there are also varieties that they can safely eat. However, as pet parents, we are also cognizant that not all nuts are safe for dogs. So, do pecan nuts belong to the former or the latter group? Can dogs eat pecans?
Well, enough with the hullabaloo. Let’s dive into the details.
Can Dogs Eat Pecans? Is It Safe To Give?
The pecan nut is a species of hickory nuts that are indigenous to the southern United States and northern Mexico in the region of the Mississippi River.
These tasty nuts are popular worldwide and are often found in several family recipes like pecan pie, butter pecan ice cream, and other scrumptious treats together with other nuts.
Pecans are also healthy human foods that could make a great snack on their own because they are rich in healthy fats or unsaturated fats, proteins, and fiber.
And they are also a great source of at least 19 vitamins and minerals including Vitamin C, vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
But, can our dogs also benefit from these nutrients? Or do the nutritional benefits that pecan nuts offer outweigh the health issues that they can potentially cause?
Well, aside from the risk of choking, there’s nothing to worry about if your dog accidentally snatched a piece of pecan that fell on the floor.
So, if you see him active without signs of choking or respiratory distress, then, you can just let this slip away. However, you should avoid pecans next time, or at least, put these nuts in a place not accessible by your pooch.
Are pecans bad for dogs? Unfortunately, yes. Pecans contain a toxin called juglone, which can be toxic to them (and even more toxic to horses).
Also, just like walnuts – English walnuts, Black walnuts – pecans are also susceptible to mold, and when it happens moldy walnuts and pecans can contain tremorgenic mycotoxins. The presence of these toxins in a dog’s body can cause tremors, seizures, and even neurological damage.
Moreover, pecans are also types of nut trees that contain another natural poison called aflatoxin. This type of toxin is produced from mold that grows on pecans called aspergillus.
And sad to say, if your dog has eaten moldy pecans, he can experience severe diarrhea, severe vomiting, and neurological symptoms such as seizures.
If you notice any of these symptoms, you should take him to the vet immediately because if not addressed instantaneously this condition can even be fatal.
Are Pecans Poisonous To Dogs?
Yes, Pecans are toxic to dogs. In fact, there are many nuts your dogs should avoid and pecan is one of them. It can contain aflatoxin and juglone that can both cause serious health issues to them.
In particular, aflatoxin poisoning can occur when your dog has eaten too much moldy pecans that contain aflatoxins. The symptoms that you should watch out for are the following:
- Severe vomiting and diarrhea
- Loss of appetite
- Body weakness
- Yellowing of eyes or gums
- Brownish or reddish urine
- Blood in stool or vomit (stool will be very black)
- Difficulty urinating
Aflatoxin poisoning is an emergency situation that requires immediate medical attention. As such, if you suspect that your pup is experiencing such by manifesting the above symptoms, take him to the vet immediately.
What Happens If Your Dog Eats Pecans?
As mentioned earlier, if your dog accidentally ate one or two pecans, you should not worry. But of course, you must still observe him for any adverse reactions.
While he might not experience aflatoxin poisoning, your dog can still be allergic to pecans as with many nuts. So, you have to watch out for allergic reactions such as itchiness, redness, bald patches, and even difficulty of breathing.
However, if your dog has eaten a moldy pecan, then, that’s another story. That’s why it’s just appropriate to watch out for your dog’s reactions no matter what.
Your pup may experience digestive issues if he ingests a lot of pecans, whether moldy or not. Hence, to be on the safe side and knowing that pecans can be poisonous to our dogs, it would just be better to take your dog to the vet right away.
Also, most nuts like pecans are high in fat, and we know that foods with high-fat content can irritate a dog’s stomach, and lead to gastrointestinal upset.
Eating too many pecans, as well as other nuts won’t just cause unhealthy weight gain and issues with your dog’s digestive system, but it can also put him at greater risk for pancreatitis.
Moreover, pecans are also high in sodium, and as pet owners, we know that too much sodium in a dog’s diet can cause a lot of problems.
Feeding your pup with pre-packed pecans also increases his chances of consuming too much sodium since most of these products contain salt and other seasonings.
Two of the most common serious health problems associated with excess sodium in the diet are bladder stones and liver failure.
Painful urination is one of the signs of bladder issues in dogs, while blood in your dog’s stool and yellowing of the eyes and gums are some of the hallmark symptoms that can signify that your dog’s liver has been compromised.
So, do you think these are all too much already just for consuming pecans? Well, we’re not done yet. Like many nuts, pecans can also be hard to digest, especially with their shells on.
And with their size, texture, and shape, these nuts can pose a choking hazard for dogs, and they can also cause intestinal blockage, especially for smaller breeds. In some cases, intestinal obstruction even needs surgical intervention.
What to Do If Your Dog Ate Pecans?
If your dog has accidentally eaten pecans, or you suspect that he did, carefully watch out for symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea.
In most cases, these symptoms will just resolve in a few hours. Nonetheless, persistent vomiting and diarrhea should not be taken lightly. As such, if you notice these symptoms, it’s best to take your dog to the vet immediately.
Chances are your vet may manage your dog’s symptoms with fluid replacement. Your vet may have to put an IV line for the intravenous fluids, and medications.
And he may also do some blood works and monitoring for a few hours to even a day depending on your dog’s condition.
Don’t wait until your dog starts defecating black stool. As mentioned earlier, this is a sign that your dog’s liver has been compromised already.
Can Your Dog Get Any Health Benefits from Pecans?
Are pecans good for dogs? Or of all these health concerns, can your dog still benefit from eating pecans?
Nuts like pecans are rich in healthy fats, dietary fiber, proteins, and they are also jam-packed with vitamins, and minerals.
However, for your pup to enjoy all of these nutrients, he needs to consume a lot of pecans, which can’t just be bad for dogs, but can even be lethal.
Hence, instead of eating these nuts, it’s best to offer your pup other safe and healthier treats. And besides, by simply giving your dog a well-balanced diet with his favorite high-quality dog foods, he can already get all of these essential nutrients.
With all these health issues, it’s clear that the risks from eating pecans far outweigh the benefits that your dog can get from these nuts.
Can Dogs Eat Pecan Pie?
Plain pecans are already problematic for dogs, so why combine these nuts with ingredients that can just increase your pup’s chances to be harmed?
In particular, this human food contains a high amount of sugar that can be bad for dogs. It won’t just give your dog an upset stomach, but it can also lead to weight gain and eventually to obesity.
Even if the pecan pie is sugarless, you should also not be tempted of giving it to your dog. As we know, sugarless human foods contain artificial sweeteners called xylitol which can also be toxic to dogs.
Hence, it will just add fuel to the fire. This time your dog’s health is in danger from the toxins found in pecans and from xylitol.
Can Dogs Eat Nuts?
Are other nuts safe for dogs? Well, if you will seek the expert advice of your vet, he will most probably tell you to stay away from nuts.
While he may not recommend, there are still nuts that are safe for dogs in moderation such as peanuts, cashews, and almonds.
However, despite not having toxins like pecans, these nuts can still be a choking hazard for your dog, and they can also contain seasonings and other additives that can be toxic to dogs.
These fatty nuts can also cause gastrointestinal upset to your pup, and like other small or large nuts, they still carry the risk for intestinal obstruction.
Will pecans hurt my dog?
While a few pecans won't hurt your dog, you should refrain from giving them in any amount. It's better to play it safe than to take a gamble with your dog's liver function. If you happen to have a pecan tree in your yard, do what you can to keep your dog away from the fallen pecans.
Why are pecans bad for dogs?
Much like walnuts, pecans can be prone to molding, which can create both juglone and aflatoxin. The former is highly toxic to horses and in dogs can cause seizures and nerve damage.
What happens if a dog eats a pecan?
Dogs should never have pecans. Eating too many can be fatal for dogs. These nuts can cause obstruction in your dog's digestive system, but can also be toxic. Dogs that eat too many pecans may experience vomiting, diarrhea, yellowing eyes or gums, and more.
Can one nut kill a dog?
While some nuts, like almonds, aren't toxic to dogs, they are very high in fat. In large amounts, just about any type of nut could be fatal, either by causing pancreatitis (due to high consumption of fat) or salt toxicity. A severe reaction could cause the throat and nose to swell rapidly, choking your dog to death.