3 Reasons Dogs Can’t Eat Pecans Safely

Written by Marisa Wilson
Updated: October 3, 2022
Image Credit Chendongshan/Shutterstock.com
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Pecans are in many popular dishes people go nuts over, like pecan pies. Your mouth is probably watering just thinking about it. They can be healthy if you’re a fan of just snacking on plain pecans. Nutrient-rich pecans are great for humans. Pecans offer over 19 vitamins and minerals, are a good source of unsaturated fats, and may even help decrease cholesterol. 

But just because something is excellent for us doesn’t automatically make it suitable for our dogs. Sometimes pets eat something terrible. 95–98% of all animal cases reported as possible poisonings are because pets eat something they shouldn’t. There are great food options for your pup to! Your dog should never eat pecans, here are a few reasons they’re dangerous. Let’s get into everything you should know about your dog eating pecans and what to do if they get a hold of some. 

best dog food for sensitive stomach
Your dog should never eat pecans, here are a few reasons they’re dangerous.

Jaromir Chalabala/Shutterstock.com

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Juglone 

The poison in pecans is called juglone. Pecans and walnuts contain the toxin juglone, which is one of the main reasons you should keep them away from your dog. A 2016 study found that the canines exposed to this toxin had severe bodily suffering. 

Since Pecans contain this toxin, your dog will likely have identical symptoms if they eat them, even though the study was done with walnuts. If pecans get moldy, they can cause seizures and other neurological problems. Pecans can develop mold despite being challenging to perceive with the naked eye. This is because pecans belong to the tremorgenic family of mycotoxins. 

A veterinarian checks a golden retriever's heartbeat
A 2016 study found that the canines exposed to juglone had severe bodily suffering. 

Tatyana Vyc/Shutterstock.com

Aflatoxin Is Found in Pecans

Dogs with neurotoxicosis are affected by tremorgenic mycotoxins, which are generated by fungi

Additionally, mycotoxins have the potential to be harmful and carcinogenic. A natural poison called aflatoxin is also found in pecans, which makes them even more dangerous. 

Aspergillus is a type of mold that grows on pecans and produces aflatoxin. And while pecans are safe for people who don’t have nut allergies and can even be good for them, our dogs’ delicate systems aren’t made to deal with the toxins and poisons that come with pecans. When your dog tries to urinate, you should also pay attention to them. 

Are they struggling? Eating too many pecans can develop aflatoxin poisoning, which frequently manifests as bladder stones. Your dog may have bladder stones if unable or unwilling to urinate. Don’t ignore this symptom and send your dog to the clinic immediately because bladder stones can be painful and need surgery.

Pecan
A natural poison called aflatoxin is also found in pecans, which makes them even more dangerous.

iStock.com/Skapie777

Pecans Can Cause Intestinal Blockage

These nuts may irritate your dog’s stomach or digestive system, causing a blockage. Both of these problems are painful and significant, and in certain extreme circumstances, they may be fatal. A prevalent issue in dogs is bowel obstruction, commonly referred to as gastrointestinal blockage. A bowel obstruction is a full or partial blockage in the stomach that stops solids or liquids from moving through the gastrointestinal tract. 

This obstruction may also result in a reduction in blood flow, the deterioration of some intestinal tissues, and the absorption of toxic materials. Doggies are naturally curious; many like chewing or eating virtually anything. This is why keeping pecans inside your home put away is essential. If you have trees outside, keep the pecans picked up for your pups safe.

dog having heartbeat measured
Pecans may irritate your dog’s stomach or digestive system, causing a blockage.

fukume/Shutterstock.com

Symptoms of Eating Too Many Pecans

Your dog will vomit and have diarrhea if they’ve eaten too many pecans. However, there are additional, more severe signs to be aware of for your pup. Yellowing of the eyes, gums and red or brown urine are symptoms of liver disease

This indicates that your dog has developed jaundice and is probably anemic. A dog would get an upset stomach, intestinal obstruction, or both if it consumed pecans in any significant amount. Eating too many pecans could make them quite ill. A dog may experience seizures or other neurological signs in extreme circumstances. Among the symptoms of canine poisoning are:

  • reduced appetite
  • Vomiting/Lethargy
  • urine with an orange hue
  • Urine with blood in it
  • Bloody or blackened stools
pecans
A dog would get an upset stomach, intestinal obstruction, or both if it consumed pecans in any significant amount.

iStock.com/Say-Cheese

What to Do if Your Dog Eats a Bunch

Nuts are high in fat, which can hurt a dog’s stomach if they have a sensitive one. The high-fat content can also damage the pancreas by making it inflamed, leading to pancreatitis. So, what should you do if you think your dog accidentally got into a bag of pecans? How can you tell if he ate a lot? 

What signs should you look for? If you know your dog ate pecans, you should always call the vet immediately. They might get sick and throw up. In some cases, this is the worst that will happen. They should be back to normal in a few hours. But to be safe, it’s best to call your vet anyway. 

Even if your dog only ate two of these nuts. If your dog is throwing up, peeing, or going to the bathroom at an alarming rate, he may need treatment, such as IV fluids, medicine, blood work, and close watch. If your dog throws up or poops blood, you should immediately take them to the vet. This could signal liver issues.

dog coughing, sick
If you know your dog ate pecans, you should always call the vet immediately. They might get sick and throw up.

Anake Seenadee/Shutterstock.com

Conclusion 

Even in modest quantities, pecan nuts should never be fed to your dog. They may be a pleasant treat for humans. However, there is typically no need to freak out if your dog finds a few pecans on the floor. Monitor them and look for any symptoms, such as nausea or vomiting. 

Activated charcoal might help if these symptoms are present but moderate; nevertheless, a trip to the vet might be required if they continue. However, it is uncommon for a pup to eat enough pecans to produce a lethal response; therefore, your dog will be alright most of the time! 

Do your best to keep bad food out of your dog’s reach, and they’ll appreciate the effort. Don’t forget to share this post with a dog owner who has a pecan tree or loves baking with pecans! You may also like the articles down below about what else your pup shouldn’t eat.

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About the Author

Creepy-crawly creatures enthrall Marisa. Aside from raising caterpillars, she has a collection of spiders as pets. The brown recluse is her favorite spider of all time. They're just misunderstood. You don't have to worry about squishing the creatures as her catching, and relocating abilities can safely move stray centipedes or snakes to a new location that's not your living room.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Can dogs eat pecans?

Even in modest quantities, pecan nuts should never be fed to your dog. They may be a pleasant treat for humans. However, there is typically no need to freak out if your dog finds a few pecans on the floor. Monitor them and look for any symptoms, such as nausea or vomiting.

What is in pecans that make the toxic for dogs?

Juglone and aflaxine are both in pecans and these toxins can be very bad for your dog.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.

Sources
  1. Daily Paws / Chad Taylor, Available here: https://www.dailypaws.com/dogs-puppies/dog-nutrition/what-can-dogs-eat/can-dogs-eat-pecans
  2. The Dog People / Tracy Vicory-Rosenquest, Available here: https://www.rover.com/blog/can-my-dog-eat-pecans/
  3. Pet News Daily / Dr. Melody Aitchison-Steed, Available here: https://petnewsdaily.com/can-dogs-eat-pecans/
  4. fi / fi team, Available here: https://blog.tryfi.com/can-dogs-eat-pecans/