While pecans are nutritional powerhouses containing a bunch of healthy vitamins, minerals and proteins, and other nutrients, these nuts are considered unsafe and can be toxic for dogs.
So, if you are asking can dogs eat pecans, then the short answer is – no!
Pecans can be harmful and even toxic to dogs due to their proneness to mold growth which can cause gastrointestinal problems and can lead to the blockage of the intestines, seizures, and other mild to severe side effects in dogs. They contain substances that are toxic to dogs as well.
Can dogs eat pecans safely?
While some of us love a slice or two of delicious pecan pie, and some prefer to eat pecans as protein-rich and healthy treats, they should not be fed to dogs.
The pecan, which is a nut native to Northern Mexico and Southern US, contains more than 19 vitamins and offers a high protein and unsaturated punch for humans.
The problem is that pecans contain juglone which is highly toxic to horses and could be toxic to dogs when ingested in large quantities.
Plus, just like walnuts, pecans are prone to the development and growth of mold, which contains the so-called tremorgenic mycotoxins, which can cause seizures, tremors, and permanent damage to the nervous system of the dog.
Pecans also contain a natural toxin and carcinogen known as aflatoxin, common among other tree nuts and again caused by mold.
So, in case your dog accidentally eats a moldy pecan, it can experience tremors, seizures, and other neurological issues.
While these delicious nuts are harmless and quite healthy for humans, who don’t have nut allergies, they can cause mild to severe adverse reactions in dogs, which is why you should never give your pup any pecans under any form.
What to do if your dog ate pecans?
If your dog has accidentally eaten a large and moldy pecan or has gobbled up a large quantity of these nuts, you should monitor it closely for the possible side effects. The first noticeable symptoms are usually diarrhea and vomiting. In mild cases, these GI issues will pass after a few hours, but they can continue and intensify in more severe cases. In case of severe adverse effects, you should take your dog to your veterinarian immediately to avoid worsening and even death.
In case your pup is continuously vomiting, has diarrhea, and increased urination, the veterinarian will most likely administer fluids and medication via an IV and will perform blood tests to check for abnormalities and signs that the toxicity and the high sodium content have affected the liver or bladder.
If you notice blood in your dog’s stools, this can be a sign that the liver has been affected by the ingested pecans. This condition requires immediate veterinary care.
Due to their high-fat content, pecans can lead to diarrhea and other stomach upsets in dogs as well. The consumption of too many pecans can cause the development of pancreatitis or gastroenteritis due to the inflammation of the pancreas or intestines.
Keep any pre-packaged pecans away from your dog, as they also contain added salt and seasoning, which too can be harmful and even toxic for your pup.
Due to their texture and hardness, pecans are difficult for digestion for dogs and can cause life-threatening intestinal blockages, especially in a toy, miniature, or small-sized dogs.
Obstruction of the intestines can require emergency surgery or can be fatal in some severe cases.
Can pecans be beneficial for dogs?
While pecans have multiple health benefits for humans, which makes them a preferred snack by many, they pose more risks and dangers to dogs than benefits.
To have a beneficial effect on the health of the dog, it should ingest a large quantity of these nuts, which, as we mentioned above, can be harmful and even dangerous for the pup.
So, you shouldn’t give your dog pecans and should make sure that any pecans in your home are stored safely away from the reach of the pup because dogs will naturally be attracted to the sweetness of these nuts.
Are there nuts that are safe for dogs?
While veterinarians and canine nutritionists advise against feeding the dog with any kind of nuts, there are some types of nuts that are less harmful than pecans.
On the other hand, there are nuts that are even more dangerous for dogs, including macadamia, pistachio, black walnuts, and hickory nuts, as they contain substances that are highly toxic for dogs.
Some of the nuts like peanuts, almonds, or cashews are safer for pups, but when given in tiny quantities, and only occasionally. It would be best if you never gave your dog salted nuts and nuts with other added spices, which can be harmful and even poisonous to dogs.