Are Pecans Bad For Dogs?

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Dogs don't have the same diet as humans do. He's also not as choosy and will gobble down plenty of things if given the chance, whether they're good for him or not. A bag of pecans might seem like his new best friend, but it may not prove to be one after all.

Are Pecans Poisonous To Dogs?

If your dog eats one pecan nut, it's not going to kill him. As long as he doesn't eat the whole shell or an entire bag of nuts, and as long as they're not salted or moldy, he should be all right. However, it can be dangerous, cause health issues and possibly be fatal if your dog eats large quantities of pecans, especially salty nuts, if they've gone bad or if he gobbles down the shell.

Fat Content

Just like other nuts, pecans contain a high level of fat. A dog diet full of high-fat foods can cause health concerns for a pooch. Not only does the extra fat show on his doggie waistline and put an extra burden on his joints, large quantities of nuts can cause gastrointestinal upset, including diarrhea and vomiting. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals states that eating highly fatty foods, like nuts, runs the risk of developing the inflammatory condition of the pancreas, known as pancreatitis.


Dogs shouldn't eat large amounts of salty foods. If your dog has gotten into of bag of salty nuts, this may cause some problems. ASPCA states that eating salty foods may cause him to experience excessive thirst or urination, vomit, diarrhea, tremors, depression, elevated temperature or seizures. It can even lead to sodium ion poisoning or possibly death.

Pecans in the Shell - A Choking Hazard

If you pooch gets a hold of pecans still in the shell, it can pose a choking hazard or an intestinal blockage. If your dog is choking, time is of the essence -- have someone call your vet or emergency veterinarian clinic while you work with the dog. ASPCA recommends you put your fingers in his mouth to see if you can remove the shell. If you can't get it out, you'll have to give a modified Heimlich maneuver on your dog. They recommend you give a sharp rap to the dog's chest to dislodge the object. If that doesn't work and he becomes unconscious, you may even have to perform doggie CPR. Just like with humans, dogs need air to survive. If he is choking and the blockage is not removed, it could kill him.

In the case of an intestinal blockage, your pooch may start to act a bit off, such as vomiting, lethargy or appetite loss. If you notice anything unusual, contact your vet or emergency veterinarian clinic for advice.


Mold doesn't just grow in the shower -- it can also get into the shell of a pecan and grow on the nut inside. If mold has started to grow on the pecan, it can cause your doggie to become ill. It can even lead to tremors and seizures. Call your vet if you notice changes in his behavior or demeanor.

Other Option

If for some reason you can't get contact of your local vet or emergency veterinarian clinic, you can call ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435. They do, however, charge a consultation fee.

By Susan Revermann

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: Emergency Care
American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets
American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: Vomiting
American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: Bitter Pecan
Louisiana State University: Sweet Pecans

About the Author
Susan Revermann is a professional writer with educational and professional experience in psychology, research and teaching. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Washington in psychology, focused on research, motivational behavior and statistics. Revermann also has a background in art, crafts, green living, outdoor activities and overall fitness, balance and well-being.