Can dogs eat pecans? Dogs should never have pecans and eating too many can be fatal for dogs.
Pecans contain a toxin called juglone. If they get moldy, pecans can cause seizures and neurological symptoms due to their production of tremorgenic mycotoxins. And more dangerous still, pecans are tree nuts that contain a natural poison called aflatoxin. Aflatoxin is produced from a mold that grows on pecans known as aspergillus.
These nuts can cause obstruction in your dog’s digestive system. Dogs that eat too many pecans will experience vomiting, diarrhea, and yellowing eyes or gums. This potential for a toxic reaction includes recipes that feature pecans as an ingredient.
Some dogs may be allergic to pecans too, adding extra issues on top! Always keep pecans locked away in your kitchen, somewhere that your dog cannot reach or get into. Call your local veterarianian straight away if your dog has just eaten some pecans or a pecan containing food product.
Can Dogs Eat Pecans?
Pecans grow from nut trees in shells that are so hard people usually need some sort of tool to break them open. In fact, the word pecan is actually a Native American word that translates roughly to ‘nuts requiring a stone to crack’. Indigenous to North America and Mexico, pecans are a popular nut worldwide and are included in a number of family-favorite recipes, such as pecan pie and butter pecan ice cream.
Pecans are full of nutrients—for humans. A source of healthy, unsaturated fats, pecans contain over 19 vitamins and minerals and have even been said to lower cholesterol. But, just because it’s good for us doesn’t mean it’s good for our dogs.
Our beloved dogs’ sensitive systems are not built to handle the toxins and poisons that come with pecans. While one or two pecans here and there won’t kill your dog, a handful of pecans might, so we would really rather you stay away from them all together.
When are Pecans Bad For Dogs?
Dogs should always steer clear of pecans. These nuts can cause gastric intestinal upset or obstruction in your dog’s digestive system. Both of these issues are serious and painful and, in some severe cases, may cause death.
One of two pecans may not harm your dog, but even this amount may be dangerous for small breeds. And, just one pecan nut is all that’s needed to cause an internal obstruction.
Symptoms of Aflatoxin Poisoning in Dogs
Aflatoxin poisoning results when your dog has eaten too many pecans or other tree nuts that contain this toxin. It can be fatal to your dog if not addressed immediately. Here is a quick list of symptoms to watch out for:
- Severe vomiting
- Severe diarrhea
- Loss of appetite
- Yellowing eyes or gums
- Brown or reddish urine
- Blood in vomit or stool (Stool will be very black)
- Difficulty urinating
Call your veterinarian immediately if you see any of these symptoms after your dog eats pecans.
Are Pecans Good For Dogs?
Pecans have lots of nutritional benefits for humans, but NOT for dogs. Pecans and dogs do not mix. These nuts can affect your dog’s liver, can cause bladder stones, and gastrointestinal upset. Any potential benefits for dogs are outweighed by the huge risk of toxicity. So, you should never give your dog pecans.
The answer to ‘can dogs have pecans?’ is always no.
Can Dogs Eat Pecan Pie?
This popular recipe mixes pecans with butter, eggs, and sugar in a pastry pie case.
Dogs should never eat pecan pie. On top of the toxicity from pecan nuts, the high levels of sugar can be really bad for our dogs. Eating large amounts of sugar and rich foods like this in one sitting can cause stomach upsets.
Can Dogs Eat Pecans from the Tree?
Even pecans from the tree can pose problems for our dogs. On top of the health issues that they can cause, there’s a severe risk of internal blockages. Particularly those tough shells.
Can Dogs Have Candied Pecans?
Recipes for candied pecans vary. But, the majority will center around sugar and cinnamon. Candied pecans pose all of the same problems as regular pecans, but with the added issue of lots of sugar. Sugary treats can cause issues like obesity and tooth decay. But, candied pecans are still toxic.
Can Dogs Have Pecans in Ice Cream?
Most people buy pecan ice cream from the store, but some may enjoy making it at home. Either way, never share this treat with your dog. This ice cream will contain real pecans, so will be just as toxic for dogs as plain pecans.
My Dog Ate a Pecan!
If your dog has eaten this food, watch out for all of the symptoms above. Contact your vet before anything else, as they may guide you on immediate action you can take. Most often they will ask you to bring your dog in for them to help. If the vet is closed, take your dog to the emergency vet, to be on the safe side.
The Labrador Site Founder
Pippa Mattinson is the best selling author of The Happy Puppy Handbook, the Labrador Handbook, Choosing The Perfect Puppy, and Total Recall.
She is also the founder of the Gundog Trust and the Dogsnet Online Training Program
Pippa's online training courses were launched in 2019 and you can find the latest course dates on the Dogsnet website