Can Dogs Eat Pecans? Are There Health Risks? Find Out Here!

can dog eat pecans

Can dogs eat pecans? This question often comes up in our heads whenever we have the legumes on our table. Pecans have been increasingly popular today due to the popularity of the dish containing this nut as well. From muesli breakfast to a delicacy like pecan pie, everything seems delicious and healthy.

Yes, pecans are considered as healthy snack for us. It contains important nutrients that will contribute a lot in our health. We often think, then, that these pecans should be safe for our dogs too, right? Unfortunately, it isn’t that simple. Just as other human food, it can be a little more complicated when it comes to our canine friends.

dogs eat pecans

There are factors to learn, from the nutrition value of the nuts to what happens if our dogs eat pecans. Are pecans bad for dogs then? Not necessarily. Keep reading here to get better insight on this matter.

Can Dogs Eat Pecans?

dog ate pecans

Can dogs eat pecans even if they still have the shells? They possibly can crack the shell and find the nut, but this isn’t really safe as well. While dogs and pecans is a more of a delicate relation, human and pecans seem to be too close to separate. This nut is known worldwide and is enjoyed by many people across countries.

Pecan is named pecan by the Native American. If we translate it freely, the word ‘pecan’ means nuts that need the help of stone if you want to crack it. Well, this nut deserves the name, right? It grows on a tree and it is covered with hard shells and you need to break the shell before you can actually enjoy the nuts.

can dogs eat pecan

We can enjoy this nut from various dishes like butter pecan ice cream or the famous pecan pie as mentioned above. Unfortunately, pecan isn’t a totally safe kind of nut we can share with our dogs. When you ask, ‘Can dogs eat pecans?’, the answer will be a lot longer and more detailed.

You need to know the exact fact on its nutrition value, the benefits and risks if you feed dogs pecans, and other factors you need to concern about. Is it possible to feed dogs with pecans and no problem happen? Or, is it always a dangerous option?

Nutrition Value of Pecans

pecans nutrition health benefits

When you ask, ‘Can dogs eat pecans?’, you must think about its great nutrition value so you want your dogs to get it too. Yes, pecans are healthy if you know how to prepare and serve it. In fact, it contains many nutrients that are needed by our body to stay healthy.

In an ounce of pecan halves, we should gain the following nutrients:

  • 6 gram of protein
  • 1 gram of sugar
  • 7 gram of fiber
  • 4 gram of carbs
  • 0 miligram of sodium
  • 20 gram of fat, and
  • 196 calories

Based on the data provided by USDA, pecan is healthy. It is free of gluten, sodium, and cholesterol, and it makes a great source for fiber. If so, can dogs eat pecans and gain the benefits too? That’s the case.

When your dogs eat pecans, it will be likely for your canine friends to get the nutritional benefits. However, it takes more than an ounce for our dogs to really gain the benefits. This is the dangerous part because our dogs can only it so much to stay healthy.

So, are pecans poisonous to dogs? Not necessarily. Pecan isn’t always dangerous, but it isn’t risk free as well.

Benefits of Feeding Pecans to Dogs

giving dogs food

Before we are going very pessimistic about this particular nut, we should check if pecans can actually bring any benefit to our dogs. As we know now, pecans contain a lot of healthy compounds. Being free of cholesterol, it is a perfect snack to lower the cholesterol level including in dogs. Can dogs eat pecans when they need to lower their cholesterol level? Yes, and no.

Pecans are also known to be a good source of fiber which will help in empowering the digestive system. Pecans and dogs look like a match in this case, but it is actually not.

In order to get the entire benefits the vitamins, mineral, and fiber the pecans bring, our canine friends need to eat a lot of them. Can dogs eat pecans a lot or regularly? That is the problem. Our dogs can have serious health issues if they eat too much pecans. So the benefits actually come along with the risks too.

So, are pecans safe for dogs at all? It is safe if your dog eats only one or two halves of the pecans. More than that, it is likely that your dogs will get a few health issues that need the care of a vet.

Why Pecans are Dangerous for Dogs

are pecans good for dogs

You can insist pecans safe for dogs just because it is safe for us so far. However, you still need to learn more on what makes pecans dangerous for our canine friends. There are at least three reasons why pecan should be avoided when it comes to your pooch.

  1. Juglone

When you ask, ‘Can dogs eat pecans?’, the concerns will be about juglone. Pecan has this toxin inside, and it affects nothing in human. Unfortunately, it becomes toxic as it is exposed with oxygen. So are pecans good for dogs? They can be dangerous due to this reason.

  1. High Fat

Okay, the first reason may not settle you down yet. Unfortunately, you need to accept the fact that pecan is also high in fat. As we may as well know, all foods with high fat aren’t advised for dogs. So, can my dog eat pecans? It is preferred that they don’t eat it.

fat dog

  1. Mycotoxins

If those two reasons aren’t enough yet, this is the last reason you can’t ignore. Mycotoxins appear when pecans already grow mold. Can dogs eat pecans with mold on it? It will be extremely dangerous, so we should avoid it.

Risks of Feeding Pecans to Our Dogs

dog is sick

Can dogs eat pecans at all, and are there serious risks that possibly happen? Yes, with several compounds that appear bad for dogs, there are also serious health risks come in the way. Among many risks, the followings are the ones you should notice right away.

  1. Poisoning

Even the leaves of the pecan tree are poisonous to dog while it is completely safe to human. The culprit will be the juglone in it. If your dog eat like a handful of pecans, it is likely that your pooch will get poisoning issue. Can dog eat pecans just a little and free of this risk? Possibly.

However, the risks are too severe. When your dog gets poisoned, it will show symptoms like fatigue, irregular urinating, diarrhea, and vomiting. How many pecans are toxic to dogs and cause these health issues? More than one or two halves will do it.

  1. GI Issue

As mentioned before, pecans contain a high level of fat. It becomes the major problem. All high fat foods tend to cause gastrointestinal issues in dog, including the pecans. The immediate effects include diarrhea and gassing excessively. Can dogs eat pecans, then? They shouldn’t.

If this continues, it will be likely that our canine friends get more serious diseases like gastroenteritis and pancreatitis. It will be too late by then. It will need further medication and treatment and we don’t want to go through this path at all.

  1. Choking and Blocking

dog is choking

Choking and blocking are included as the risks too. These nuts are already hard to digest by our canine friends due to tannins and phytates in it. Even further, pecans bad for dogs to the shape and size. Especially on smaller breeds, the nuts can cause choking as well as serious blockage in the intestine.

The more frightening effect is that when this blockage happens, our pooches tend to experience seizure as well. In a severe case, this is enough reason to cause death on our dogs. Surely, this is frightening and we shouldn’t even experience something like this.

  1. Neurotoxicosis

This health issue happens due to the mycotoxins in the mold covering the pecans. This mold is often hard to recognize. That is why, mycotoxins poisoning will likely happen to our pooches. Can dogs eat pecan nuts that are free of mold? If it is just one or two halves, yes, they can.

However, eating more than suggested will be very dangerous. The mycotoxins is tremorgenic and carcinogenic, and it potentially causes neurotoxicosis in dogs. The best way to prevent this problem is by not feeding our dogs any pecan at all.

Other Concerns of Feeding Pecans to Dogs

dog is in unhealthy condition

We understand now, that when a dog ate pecans, we need to stay alert. There are at least four serious health risks that can happen, as mentioned above. Unfortunately, there are still more concerns that we need to know too. If you still questioning, are pecans toxic to dogs, the following points will open your eyes widely:

  • Kidney and Liver Problems

Can dogs eat pecans that are processed and pre-packaged? These pecans are the cause of serious kidney and liver problems. In processed and pre-packaged pecans, the nuts are often high in sodium and other harmful seasonings for dogs. Can dogs eat pecans safely this way? Absolutely not.

  • Muscle Weakness

This problem often happens when our canine friends eat too much pecans. Can dogs eat pecans and not experiencing this? Yes, they can if it isn’t too much. In a few cases, our pooches will have problem in its daily activities, and it often involves muscle weakness. It can be a really bad condition to dogs in all age.

dog playing on the grass

  • Tremor

As mentioned before the fungi on the nut can cause mold, and this mold has mycotoxin. Mycotoxin can cause serious tremor in our dogs. Can dogs eat pecans that are free of mold and free of this risk? Yes, they can.

However, this mold is often invisible. In addition to it, RASFF data mentions that the level of exceeded mycotoxin in pecans has been increased up to 65% these days. It is too risky. So if you ask, ‘Can a dog eat pecans?’, the answer will be it can but it is suggested not to.

How Do You Know If Your Dog Just Ate Pecans?

sick puppy

Understanding the risks and concerns, it will be wise that we don’t feed our pooches with pecans. The next question will be, ‘How do we know if our canine friends just ate too much pecans?’ Other than several symptoms mentioned above, pecans dogs toxicity can also show the following signs you can notice:

  • Yellowing Gums and Eyes

Yellowing is a common sign of liver problem, including in human. Can dogs eat pecans just a little and show this sign? They will probably not. This sign happens when your dogs eat too much or maybe in a regular way. When you see this sign, stop giving pecans for dogs and immediately see your vet.

  • Brown or Red Urine

This sign shows that your dog is probably already anemic due to the excessive pecan eating. Can dogs eat pecan too much and not showing this sign? Yes, it is possible. Each dog reacts differently, but this sign often happens in a dog that already eat pecans in a large portion again and again.

dog peeing in the park

  • Bladder Stones

This is also another sign, and it is totally painful for both the owner and the dog. Bladder stone in dog can be triggered by eating pecans and after our canine friends are intoxicated by Aflatoxin. Our dogs will have problem in urinating. It is either hard and painful or the urine doesn’t come out at all. So, can dogs eat pecans? They better not.

  • Uncoordinated Movement

Can dogs eat pecans and stay healthy? They can when the amount of pecans isn’t much. However, when your dogs eat more than two halves, they may show this sign. Uncoordinated movement and rather passive attitude is an alarm. When it happens, you may need to call your vet.

What to Do If Your Dogs Eat Pecans

sick dog

From the explanation above, it seems like eating too much pecans can cause quite a disaster to our pooches. The next question in our mind is probably, ‘My dog ate pecans what should I do?’ Alright, this is a good question, and when in need, you can always refer to these steps:

  1. Home Remedies

Can dogs eat pecans and get healed with home remedies? Yes, they can. If you find out that your dog just ate pecans, give him a bowl of fresh water. If the symptoms include a prolong diarrhea or vomiting, you can consider giving your dog activate charcoal as a home remedy.

  1. Look for Worse Signs

Can dogs eat pecans and show only mild side effects? Yes, they can. Mild side effects will go away naturally in the end as well. However for safety measure, it will be necessary for you to watch over your dog for the next 48 hours in case it shows worse side effects that need further treatment.

husky dog with doctor

  1. Call Your Vet Immediately!

This last step is your last resort when the side effects are severe and it won’t stop immediately. This is when you need to stop asking questions like, ‘Are pecans ok for dogs?’ and start to call your vet. Your dog may need further medication or even a surgery.

Other FAQs about Feeding Pecans to Dogs

So, we have the answer for question like ‘Can dogs eat pecans?’ The answer is and will be ‘no’ for the rest of our lives. However, there are so many other questions as well out there. We may have the fundamental answer, but it won’t hurt to answer the other pecan dogs questions too.

dog with FAQ sign

  • Can My Dog Eat Pecan Pie?

This question always comes up in our head when we are having one. Can dogs eat pecans pie? Pecan pie has other ingredients like sugar, eggs, and butter. It makes the case even worse. Our dogs can never eat pie due to the high level of fat from the nuts and butter, and sugar.

There is a possibility of obesity problem and poisoning due to the other seasonings too. It is best to enjoy the pie by yourselves.

  • Can Dogs Eat Pecans from the Tree?

Can dogs eat pecans right from the tree? Other than those health risks mentioned above coming from the nuts and leaves, eating pecans from the tree still bring another risk to our canine friends. Pecan is covered with hard shell, and it potentially causes internal blockage.

As explained above, blockage and choking can lead to death when we catch it late. So, it is highly suggested to keep your dogs away from the pecan tree.

cute puppy eating small bamboo plants

  • Are Candied Pecans Allowed?

Can dogs eat pecans that are candied? People use many variations of candied pecan recipes. However, there are two ingredients that always present. They are cinnamon and sugar. As we all know, these ingredients will cause a lot of trouble.

Our canine friends can have tooth decay issue, not to mention the obesity problem too. Make sure you never drop candied pecans on the floor.

  • Can Dogs Have Pecan Ice Cream?

Can dog eat pecan ice cream? This treat will be a nightmare for our dog. It may taste really nice, sweet and all. However, it is also the reason why tooth decay and obesity is just around the corner for our canine friends.

two puppies eat ice cream

It is just as dangerous as the nuts alone plus it is often enriched with milk, cream, and sugar. Let’s keep our pooches away from this ice cream for best. Are pecans dangerous for dogs, you ask? It totally is in a large amount and with added ingredients like this.

Best Alternatives for Pecans

feeding hungry dog

Can dogs eat pecans alternatives then if pecans are too dangerous? Yes, it will be better for our dogs to have safe alternatives when it comes to snacks or treats. The problem is most nuts are dangerous for dogs for similar reasons.

  • Nuts Alternatives

Are pecans okay for dogs or are there alternative nuts for it? If you look for nuts, you can opt for almonds, pistachios, peanuts, and cashews. Especially peanuts and cashew, these nuts contain no toxin to our dogs, but moderation feeding is still needed. So, is pecans bad for dogs? Yes, it is but peanut and cashew are your friends.

  • Peanut Butter and Cashew Butter

Can dogs eat pecans? No, they can’t, but they can have peanut butter and cashew butter as an alternative. As long as it is low on sugar and contain no toxic ingredients and you feed your dogs in moderation, it is a great alternative.


puppies are eating

  • After the entire explanation above, let’s sum up everything. Can dogs eat pecans? Generally, eating one or two halves in a day every once in a while should be fine for any dog. Of course, it refers to a condition when your dog eats it accidentally.
  • However, can dogs eat pecans more than that? Eating more than it should can cause various health issues to our canine friends. The risks include mild side effects like choking, vomiting, and diarrhea. Unfortunately, the risk also includes severe issues like liver failure, seizure, and death.

can dogs eat pecan

  • Are dogs allergic to pecans? Dogs aren’t naturally allergic to pecans. The problem is the compounds pecans have. These compounds appear to be toxic for dogs, and they tend to cause health problems. It is the main reason why pecans shouldn’t be added in our pooches’ diet.
  • However, if there is a handful or more pecans dogs eat, we don’t have to panic. Get ready with fresh water and active charcoal. Should you find severe side effects, immediately call your vet for medical assistance. For best, keep the pecans away from your dogs at all times.

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