Pistachio Nuts Are Bad For Dogs!
The most common question asked by pet owners is “Are Pistachio Nuts Bad For My Dog?”
There are several reasons why it is very dangerous for your dog to consume these nuts. If your dog eats them, then they will get sick and die. These nuts contain high amounts of arsenic, cadmium, lead and other toxic substances. They can cause cancer and other diseases.
How Do Pistachio Nuts Cause Cancer?
These nuts contain high levels of arsenic, which causes cancer. According to the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), there is no safe level of exposure to arsenic. Arsenic poisoning affects the liver, lungs, bones and skin. The poison accumulates in body tissues over time causing damage to organs like kidneys, brain and heart.
Arsenic poisoning can affect any animal including humans. Animals exposed to high levels of arsenic may develop symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness or even death. Some animals may experience only mild signs while others suffer from fatal effects. The toxin is found naturally in soil and water but it is especially concentrated in contaminated groundwater near mines where arsenic is mined for its valuable ore form.
In the United States, there are currently no federal laws that require testing of groundwater near mining operations.
How Many Pistachios Are Toxic?
If you own a dog or cat then it is best to keep them away from all types of nuts. One pistachio nut may be enough to kill your small dog or cat. Large dogs would need to eat more than a handful of nuts to suffer from acute toxicity. Typically, larger dogs can eat more than their smaller cousins. The signs of pistachio poisoning in dogs includes diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pains. In severe cases your pet may require hospitalization for dehydration if they are not peeing or pooping. They may suffer from tremors, seizures and may even go into a coma at times.
Treatment Is Initial Is Aimed At Treating The Symptoms
The good news is that most dogs do survive a pistachio induced poisoning. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has treated several dogs for pistachio toxicity at its Animal Poison Control Center. Each case was resolved with hospitalization and supportive care. The average hospital stay is around 3-5 days.
Hospitalization is necessary to monitor vital signs and provide fluids and nutrients intravenously.
Once your pet has been treated, they will need to be supervised while eating for the next few days. This allows close observation to prevent the ingestion of additional toxic foods.
Dangerous Foods For Dogs
Foods are not the only things that can make your dog sick. Your pet can also suffer from toxic poisoning from common household items. These may include air fresheners, shampoos, waxes, oils, antifreeze, car battery acid and flea and tick treatments.
If you suspect your dog has ingested any of these toxins, call the Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) immediately at their 24-hour hotline:
The APCC database includes information on over-the-counter and prescription drugs, plants and molds, chemicals and more. This provides veterinary on-call physicians the information they need to give your pet the immediate care it needs.
The Animal Poison Control Center offers confidential advice and treatment options. It is available 24-hours a day, 365 days a year. Treatment cost is based on your contract with the APCC.
A Note About Walnuts
While all nuts should be kept away from your pets, walnuts in particular must be treated with care. The exact type of toxin found within the walnut hull is unknown. It is likely a combination of different chemicals that cause illness and death in animals. Clinical signs of walnut poisoning are salivation, weakness, depression, vomiting, diarrhea, trouble walking, tremors, seizures and death.
In 2006 the Animal Poison Control Center received 7,061 calls concerning animal poisonings.
While most pets survive their brush with death, it is always best to keep all nuts and foods that are not specifically designed for pets away from them.
Keeping these potentially dangerous food items away from your pets will not only keep them safe but also save you a trip to the emergency room.
› Pistachios Bad For Dogs
Sources & references used in this article:
- Mediterranean nuts: origins, ancient medicinal benefits and symbolism (P Casas-Agustench, A Salas-Huetos… – Public health …, 2011 – cambridge.org)
- Application of drying technology to control aflatoxins in foods and feeds: a review (P Danziger – 2006 – Penguin)
- Food incidents: lessons from the past and anticipating the future (N Chiewchan, AS Mujumdar, S Devahastin – Drying Technology, 2015 – Taylor & Francis)
- … , Corn Flakes, and Dry-Roasted, Shelled Pistachios at 4ºC and 23ºCSurvival and virulence of Listeria monocytogenes on chocolate liquor, corn flakes and pistachios (JA Hudson, M Thomas, P Brereton – New Food, 2016 – core.ac.uk)
- Nuts and grains: microbiology and preharvest contamination risks (V Ly, V Parreira… – Journal of Food …, 2020 – meridian.allenpress.com)