Can Dogs Have Pecans?

Whether they should or not, dogs eat all sorts of things. They just can’t stop themselves from sometimes. With that in mind, can dogs eat pecans?

Pecan Basics

Pecans are a type of tree nut that is commonly found in the southern United States. They are often used in pies, desserts, and other baked goods. They are tasty, sort of like a sweeter version of an almond.

Pecans can be sold raw or roasted, and well as shelled or in their shells. Pecans have a tough, smooth shell that would be easy for a larger dog to swallow and possibly choke on, or have problems with post-digestion. The shells, once cracks, tend to become small, very sharp pieces so the shells themselves have to be handled with care and properly disposed of.

Eating Pecans

Pecans contain high levels of fat and calories, which can be harmful to dogs if eaten in large quantities and just aren’t necessary for the diet of a well-fed dog.

Additionally, the shells of pecans can be choking hazards for dogs. If your dog does eat pecans, watch for signs of gastrointestinal distress such as vomiting or diarrhea. If you notice any of these signs, contact your veterinarian right away.

Interestingly pecan trees output a compound known as “juglone” which is harmful to other plants and is somewhat poisonous, so this is something to keep in mind if you are nearby pecan leaves, trees, branches, or wood. This isn’t a concern for the nuts given the quantity you’d typical eat (or even have access to).

So, in summary, pecans aren’t good for dogs. One or two pecans shouldn’t cause any problems, but if your dog breaks open a pound-sized bag watch out for stomach issues and give your vet a call. Small quantities should prevent no problems but they aren’t going to give your dog any nutritional advantages or vitamins they can’t get from better sources.

Dogs And Tree Nuts

As a general rule of thumb, it’s best to avoid feeding your dog nuts of any kind. However, if your dog does eat a pecan, monitor them closely for signs of distress and contact your vet right away if you notice anything out of the ordinary. The number one thing to worry about, at first is the shell, so if the nuts were shelled you’ll likely want to adopt a wait and see approach, not going into immediate action, which you’d want to do if your dog crunches down a bunch of shells pecans.