Can dogs eat pecans? No, never feed a pecan. Pecans are powerhouses of vitamins and minerals such as folate, niacin, and thiamine, making them a healthy snack for us. However, they are deadly nuts to dogs because of their dangerous toxins.
Let us delve deeper into how pecans can seriously jeopardize your canine companion’s health.
Are pecans OK for dogs if fed moderately?
Pecans are jam-packed with vital nutrients and antioxidants. High levels of fiber, protein and healthy fats are also found in these nuts. We can gain health benefits from pecans. Unfortunately for dogs, these nuts may put them in several dangers.
Here are the answers to the question, “Why are pecans bad for dogs to eat?”:
Contain Poisonous Compounds
Pecan nuts are toxic to dogs. These nuts naturally produce a toxin called juglone. This poisonous compound is also present in other members of the walnut family, including black walnuts and hickory nuts.
Note that higher concentrations of juglone are found in pecan hulls.
Juglone is not the only toxin found in pecans. The nuts also have other naturally occurring noxious substances, such as tremorgenic mycotoxins and aflatoxins. These are produced by molds that grow and spread on tree nuts, including pecans.
If a dog accidentally eats moldy pecans, he may suffer from neurological problems and seizures. That is why you should avoid feeding pecans to your dog.
Should he ingest these nuts without you knowing it, here are the symptoms that you need to watch out for that would indicate pecan toxicity:
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Involuntary eye movements
- A sudden drop in body temperature
- Muscle tremors
Bring your dog to the vet immediately for treatment if he exhibits any of these signs. In general, he will be given fluids to prevent dehydration caused by vomiting and diarrhea.
The vet will also perform blood work to observe any complications in his condition. Medications will be administered as well to help him recover quickly.
High in Fat and Salt
Another thing that makes pecans dangerous for dogs is their high-fat content. These are healthy fats, but they can be very harmful to them in large amounts. Too much fat intake can cause digestive upset, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Over time, a high-fat diet can lead to serious health issues. These include pancreatitis and gastroenteritis, which can cause inflammation in your dog’s pancreas and digestive system.
Note that some dogs are predisposed to these diseases. Therefore, allowing them to eat pecans will hasten the development of these health conditions.
Some pecans are prepacked and contain a lot of salt. This is also bad for dogs since it is linked to the formation of kidney stones and other renal issues.
Choking Hazard and Intestinal Obstruction
Pecans and their hulls are choking hazards. They are hard to chew and can easily get stuck on a dog’s air pipe, especially small breeds as their esophagus is narrower compared to their larger counterparts.
Aside from that, the nut’s toughness makes it difficult to digest. This may lead to upset stomachs in dogs if ingested and intestinal blockage as well.
If you are shelling pecans, dispose of their husks properly to keep your dog from accidentally consuming them.
Take your dog to the vet if he is showing signs of impaction, such as:
- Breathing difficulties
- Appetite loss
- Shortness of breath
- Stomach pain
Can dogs have pecans occasionally?
With all the health risks listed above, it is clear that it is better to keep pecans all to yourself. If he managed to sneakily eat a few pecans once in a while, in most cases, it would be less likely to cause any severe problems.
However, always keep a close eye on your dog for any changes in his condition. On the other hand, if a dog ate pecans in large quantities, he should get checked by the vet immediately. Never delay, or it may result in fatal consequences.
Can dogs eat pecans from a tree?
No, they are not safe for dogs, even more when directly eaten from the tree. Pecan trees may contain molds that produce harmful toxins. If you have a pecan tree in your garden, keep it properly fenced to keep your dog out.
Regularly pick up fallen pecans too, so he cannot get his paws on them. Most importantly, always supervise your furry friend while he is out in the garden.
Can dogs eat pecan pie?
There are a handful of human foods that dogs can safely eat. Sadly, pecan pie is not one of them. Loads of sugar, oil, butter, and other ingredients are used to create this dessert, which is bad for our furry companions.
Allowing dogs to eat pecan pie puts them at risk of suffering from obesity, diabetes, pancreatitis, and digestive issues.
What nuts are poisonous to dogs? Can dogs eat peanuts?
Generally, vets advise avoiding feeding your dogs nuts completely. That is because most have high-fat content, which is not good for dogs.
However, there are other nuts that should be flat-out excluded from your dog’s diet as they are poisonous, such as:
Never let your dog eat walnuts. Similar to pecans, these nuts are prone to molds. Thus, they may also contain destructive tremorgenic mycotoxins.
Pistachios are potential carriers of the Aspergillus mold. It produces aflatoxins that can damage your dog’s liver.
Macadamia nuts produce an unknown compound that causes toxicity in dogs. Pooches that consume macadamia nuts end up having diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and tremors.
Peanuts are safe for dogs to eat. However, they are high in fat, so make sure to serve peanuts in small amounts. Dog owners may wonder if peanut butter is okay for their furry friends. It depends on what type of peanut butter you buy.
Many are high in sweeteners, sodium, and preservatives—stay away from these types. Instead, opt for unsweetened and unsalted ones, which are safer choices for your dog.