Who doesn’t love a slice of pecan pie? Or a scoop of pecan ice cream? These are treats we humans just love – as long as we don’t suffer from a nut allergy of course!
On rare occasions a small bit of pecan pie has dropped from the table and been eaten by my dog. He has never seemed the worse for it, but what would happen if he ate a bigger piece of pie or a handful of pecan nuts?
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Can dogs eat pecans?
There is a very short answer to this question – NO – dogs must not eat pecans. They are toxic to dogs and even a few can lead to serious health problems or even death. Pecans are great for people but not for dogs.
There is a toxin in pecans called juglone that is really harmful to dogs. They also have a poison in them called aflatoxin. These are magnified if pecans go moldy. Sometimes it is hard to spot a tiny bit of mold on a pecan nut, and while humans won’t suffer any harmful effects, our dogs are not so lucky. Dogs’ digestive systems are not designed to handle these toxins and it is best to avoid giving your dog pecan nuts or even the smallest piece of pecan pie.
Pecan nuts can cause an obstruction in your pet’s intestines which is painful, as is the gastric upset that might occur as a result of eating the nuts.
When a dog eats pecan nuts or any pecan-based product, the risk of poisoning is very high. If you think your dog has eaten pecans, look out for these symptoms:
– Vomiting which shows your dog has an upset stomach
– Diarrhea which is serious as it leads to dehydration
– No appetite
– Blood in either diarrhea or vomit or both
– Urine is reddish in color which is a sign that your dog’s liver has been affected.
– Eyes and gums turn yellow or yellow-brown. This is a sign that your dog has become jaundiced. There is a risk of anemia.
– Listlessness and lethargy set in. Your dog will lose interest in you and its surroundings.
– The dog has difficulty in passing urine. Often aflatoxin poisoning results in the creation of bladder stones. These lodge in the urinary tract and are extremely painful. Most often they have to be surgically removed.
Any of these symptoms are a sign that you must consult your veterinarian. They will advise on the best course of action. If your usual vet is closed don’t hesitate to take your dog to an emergency vet. Pecan poisoning is a very serious condition and needs to be treated as soon as possible.
What about pecan pie?
Not only does pecan pie contain pecan nuts, it also contains butter, sugar, and eggs. Dogs should not have butter or sugar as neither is good for them. The pecan nuts are toxic and the butter and sugar will make them fat. Eat the pie yourself and give your dog a different treat!
Pecan Ice Cream?
Again, don’t give your dog pecan ice cream. Pecan ice cream is usually made with real pecans and also has cream and sugar. None of these ingredients are good for dogs.
Candied pecans are produced using sugar and probably cinnamon too. Just as with pecan pie and pecan ice cream, avoid giving your dog any product that includes pecans.
Are there any benefits from pecans for dogs?
Not really. Humans can benefit from eating nuts, including pecans, as they are high in protein, vitamins and trace minerals. They’re also a great source of fiber. A dog would only benefit from any of these if it ate a large quantity and the risks just aren’t worth it.
Nuts generally are not recommended for dogs so don’t be tempted to give nuts to your pet as a treat.
Pecans are so toxic to dogs that you should make sure your pet doesn’t get the chance to eat any. Also avoid any pecan products as they can be just as harmful.