Can Dogs Eat Pecans?

April Saylor
By April Saylor. Reviewed by Sandra C. Mitchell, DVM, DABVP on Jun. 13, 2023
australian shepherd dog looking up at food on a table

NOTE: Always check with your veterinarian first before giving your dog any new foods, especially “people foods.” What might be OK for one dog might not be good for your dog, depending on multiple factors, such as their age, health history, health conditions, and diet. Dogs on prescription diets should not be fed any food or treats outside the diet.

Pecans are a popular nut that many of us enjoy snacking on. And as a pet parent, you may be wondering if it's safe for your dog to eat pecans.

While pecans are not toxic to dogs, they can be difficult for your pup to digest and may cause health issues if dogs have too many. If you suspect that your dog has ingested a large amount of pecans or is experiencing symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, or lethargy, seek veterinary care immediately. 

Keep reading to find out what to do if your dog eats pecans, and when you may need to call the vet.

Are Pecans Bad for Dogs?

Generally speaking, a small amount of pecan that falls to the floor won’t harm your pet. But there are a few reasons you should not let your dog have pecans and opt for another healthy treat option instead.

High Fat Content

Pecans are high in fat and can lead to gastrointestinal upset, including vomiting and diarrhea, if your dog eats too many. Pecans can also trigger pancreatitis in dogs, a painful and potentially fatal condition.

Mycotoxins

Another reason to keep your pecans away from your dog is the risk of mycotoxins that can be ingested while eating moldy pecans. While rare, this is a serious issue that can cause your dog to experience severe tremors and seizures.

Choking

If you live near a pecan orchard or tree, make sure your dog doesn’t gobble up any nuts from the ground. Not only can they be toxic if moldy, but pecans still in their shells can be a choking hazard if eaten whole and may cause an obstruction in your dog's digestive system.

Can Dogs Eat Pecan Pie?

Pecan pie is not safe for dogs to eat. Not only are the pecans themselves high in fat, but pecan pie contains other ingredients such as sugar, corn syrup, and butter that your dog should not eat.

What To Do if Your Dog Eats Pecans

If your dog ate a pecan that fell on the floor as you were baking or snacking, you shouldn’t need to worry too much—unless they experience signs of illness, that is. Your dog will most likely be OK.

But if the pecans were moldy or your dog shows symptoms of illness, seek veterinary care right away. In some cases, prompt treatment may be necessary to prevent serious complications. Be alert for symptoms including: 

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Loss of appetite

  • Lethargy

  • Stumbling or lack of coordination  

  • Tremors or seizures  

Any time you’re concerned about something your dog has eaten, call the vet or the Pet Poison Helpline (855) 764-7661. They can help you determine next steps based on your pet’s health and the amount eaten in relation to their size.

Dogs who’ve eaten several pecans or have health issues may need to go to the vet for further treatment. 

Can a Dog Die From Eating Pecans?

While it's not likely that your dog will die from eating pecans, it's still something to be concerned about. Ingesting a large amount of pecans can cause pancreatitis, which is quite serious and even life-threatening.

What Other Nuts Can Dogs Safely Eat?

While pecans aren’t a good option for dogs to eat, there are several other nuts that are OK for your pooch to have instead. Here are a few kinds of nuts that are safe for dogs to enjoy (in moderation, of course):

Peanuts

Peanuts are safe for dogs to eat as long as they are unsalted and unflavored. They are a good source of protein and healthy fats. It’s also fine to share peanut butter with your dog; just be careful that the ingredient list doesn’t contain any xylitol, which is highly toxic to dogs. 

Cashews

Cashews are safe for dogs to eat as an occasional treat. They are a good source of protein and healthy fats, but they are also high in calories and should be given sparingly.

Almonds

Slivered or sliced almonds are safe for dogs to eat in moderation, but they should be unsalted and unflavored. Whole almonds can cause a choking hazard, but smaller pieces (or almond butter) can be a good source of protein and healthy fats. 

Hazelnuts

Hazelnuts are not toxic for dogs. They are a source of protein and healthy fats, but they are also high in calories—so no more than a few at a time!

As always, it's best to consult with your veterinarian before introducing any new foods to your dog's diet. They’ll be able to give personalized recommendations for your pet that take into account their size, age, weight, and dietary concerns.

Featured Image: Adobe/annaav


April Saylor

WRITTEN BY

April Saylor

Freelance Writer


Help us make PetMD better

Was this article helpful?


Get Instant Vet Help Via Chat or Video. Connect with a Vet. Chewy Health