Can Dogs Eat Pecans? | Detailed Review

Do dogs eat pecans? One of the top searches on Google is whether dogs can eat pecan. He may be dying to share our snacks with our little friends. But the right information always saves lives.

While pecans are nutrient-rich and a good snack for humans, protein-packed nuts aren't necessarily the safest food for dogs.

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Can Dogs Safely Eat Pecans?

If your dog steals a nut that fell off your kitchen counter, it probably won't hurt him. But the reason pecans shouldn't be given to your dog is because they are susceptible to a certain type of black mold that can be extremely toxic to dogs.

While it's unlikely to occur in high-quality pecans you can find in the grocery store, pecans harvested from trees outdoors are definitely not safe for pets.

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However, pecans have a high moisture content and therefore can begin to develop fungi at any stage of their growth process (whether in shell or not) from harvest to the store shelf.

Some fungi that can grow on pecans produce metabolites called mycotoxins, which are thought to be carcinogenic, while others produce tremorgenic mycotoxins that can cause tremors and seizures. While it's possible to boil pecans and dry them thoroughly to remove any possible mold, it may not be worth the effort for dogs.

The most toxic type of pecans for dogs is black pecan. These nuts are native to the Northeastern United States and Canada and are poisonous to both dogs and horses (but interestingly not cats). 

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What Happens If The Dog Eats Pecans?

If your dog accidentally ingests moldy pecans or black pecans, symptoms such as vomiting, tremors and seizures should be noted and the veterinarian should be contacted immediately as this condition can be fatal if left untreated.

Generally speaking, human foods high in fat like pecans can upset your dog's stomach and lead to the usual symptoms of tummy troubles like vomiting and diarrhea. In more advanced cases, it can lead to the development of more serious conditions such as pancreatitis or gastroenteritis.

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Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas that can be acute or chronic, while gastroenteritis occurs when the gastrointestinal tract (especially stomach and intestines) becomes inflamed. In addition to their high fat content, prepackaged pecans may also contain additives such as salt or other seasonings that can be harmful to our pets.

Assuming they do not contain any black mold, plain, store-bought pecans themselves will not be toxic to your dog when consumed in small quantities. Despite this, they are one of the larger varieties of peanuts, which means that they will not only be difficult to digest, but can also cause serious intestinal blockages in small breeds. These blockages require surgery and the consequences can be fatal if not treated promptly. Additionally, if your dog eats a shelled nut, the shell is more likely to cause a blockage.

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Do Pecans Have Health Benefits for Dogs?

Nuts like pecans are packed with healthy fats, protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals that help lower blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar in humans. Fresh pecans, in particular, are packed with protein, antioxidants, and omega oils.

But can our four-legged friends reap the same benefits? Experts say that our canine friends, unfortunately, are not able to fully enjoy the health benefits of nuts.

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Are Other Nuts Safe for Dogs?

Generally speaking, veterinarians do not recommend any nuts for dogs, but only peanuts, cashews, and almonds that are considered less harmful.

All of these nuts contain nutrients like fiber and protein, but they still run the risk of causing stomach upset or intestinal blockages, and you should be especially careful with nuts that contain sweeteners like salt.

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You should never give your dog macadamia nuts as they are considered particularly toxic to dogs. As always, it is always recommended to consult your veterinarian before giving any food to your dog.

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