My Dog Ate A Pistachio Shell: What Should I Do?


My Dog Ate A Pistachio Shell? Worried about what to do next?

Quite a lot of foods that are considered to be safe for us human beings are toxic for our dogs. For instance, chocolates, grapes, and pistachios they’re extremely delicious but can turn out to be lethal for dogs.

Nuts and seeds are purely healthy and a big source of protein. Undoubtedly, they can activate some allergies as well. What about pistachios and dogs? Are these delicious nuts safe to consume for our little furry friends?

You will know further….

What Should You Do If Your Dog Ate A Pistachio Shell?

Talking about pistachios being toxic for dogs, it is not 100 percent toxic for dogs. Various dogs have various reactions to ingesting them. There are some dogs that show just some discomfort which lasts for a day or two days maximum. Whereas there are dogs that react to this situation horribly. They go through obesity, pancreatitis, etc.


We bet the first solution that must have come to your mind to deal with this situation is to induce vomiting. And yes, it makes sense why you thought of this solution because when it comes to our dogs swallowing non-edible foods inducing vomiting is a common solution. In animal clinics, this solution is used every day.

But sadly, inducing vomiting in the case of pistachio shells being ingested by your dog is not the right solution. Why? Pistachio shells have sharp edges, which may tend to produce new wounds in your dog’s oesophagus while coming back up along with the vomit. So, abstain from inducing vomiting in your dog.

When should you call your veterinarian?

  • Your dog shows signs of discomfort or any other unusual symptoms
  • Your dog consumed a heavy amount of pistachio shells or pistachios.
  • Your dog ate a pistachio shell and puked.

If your dog has consumed just one pistachio shell, then most probably, they will turn out to be fine. If your dog is on the big side and has eaten just one pistachio shell, then they will mostly turn out to be fine too. If, in any case, your dog has consumed a pistachio shell and is not showing any signs of discomfort, then it is best to observe them for the rest of the day and see if they show any unusual signs, if they eat and pass stools like before.

Are Pistachio Shells Safe To Consume For Dogs?


Pistachio shells are not safe for dogs to consume, no doubt. But if your dog has eaten some amount of pistachios without its shells, and as long as it is a one-time thing which is not going to be turned into an everyday snack, you do not have much to worry about. But, when it comes to pistachio shells, it is a different matter altogether. 

You must be aware of how people use pistachio shells to make ornaments or for art and craft workers because of their solidity. And that’s why it is pretty simple to understand that your little furry companion will not be able to digest them at any cost, which will eventually bring problems to your dog’s organism.

If in any case, your dog comes across pistachio shells that appear to be broken from your food leftovers or even just fallen on the floor, your dog and so are you in big trouble. These small pieces are good enough to be stuck anywhere in your furry friend’s body. Let us put this for you straight and simple: THE MORE AMOUNT OF PISTACHIO SHELLS THEY CONSUME, THE MORE THE DAMAGE WILL BE.

Choking Hazard

The first thing you want to make certain is upon the consumption of pistachio shells is if your dog has any trouble breathing or having unusual behaviour. A large number of shells can manage to be an obstruction in the airways.

A dog that is hugely suffering will make it prominent enough for you to know by gasping for air, constantly touching its muzzle with its paw. You might also come across their gums turning blue or pale.

Dog choking hazard

You should be aware that in such times, your dog can be aggressive, so make sure you do not let them attack you. Understand they are panicking at the moment and act accordingly. Remove any type of collar from around their neck. 

Choking is very common in some the cases, like rib bones, since they are really harmful to the internal organs of your dog.

Later, you can either try the heimlich maneuver or remove it with your hand to make sure the airways are clear. You must also make sure not to let the object get to the back of your dog’s throat.

To avoid this, you can stretch their neck and pull their tongue ahead so the object does not reach the back of the throat. If your dog is fine or not after this, either way, you take your dog to the vet for a check-up.

Dental Issues

Pistachio shells, especially broken pistachio shells, can turn out to be really dangerous for your dog’s mouth. The shell pieces can get stuck anywhere between the teeth or underneath the gums. This will be uncomfortable as well as really painful for your dog. Your dog will not be able to eat.

Dog dental check

If your four-legged friend does not have proper oral care, then these dangerous shards will slowly destroy the tooth and bring about dental issues that will cost you a lot to get fixed.

There are dog chew toys that are designed especially for oral care. These toys can be used to get the shells out of their teeth if you cannot remove them manually.

Is Pistachio Toxic To Dogs?

Pistachios are definitely a good source of protein as well as have a high-fat content. If consumed in large amounts, the high-fat content in pistachios can lead to greater damage. Since there is no proof that says pistachios benefit dogs the way they benefit us humans, there is no need to feed your dog pistachios.

Pistachios have contents that are made just for human beings, and there are certain additives that are not good for the health of your dog. Again, if your dog ate pistachio, just watch them…if they ate many, then call the vet first.


This is a disease that is confusing and can also cause great harm to your dog. Due to bad dietary choices, inflammation of the pancreas happens. Basically, when your dog consumes something out of the ordinary. Other causes can be infections or obesity.

Check for pancreatitis

Foods that have high fat content can provoke pancreatitis. Nuts like pistachios have high-fat content and should not be fed to your dogs. If your dog consumes pistachios on a daily basis or in large quantities it will lead to pancreatitis in your dog.

Symptoms of pancreatitis:

  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Poor appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Abdominal pain

Until the disease is widely spread, some dogs do not show any of these symptoms. Get in contact with your veterinarian if your dog tends to show a combination of at least two or more symptoms together.


When you store nuts like pistachios, almonds or walnuts in places that are too damp for way too long, aflatoxin comes into the picture. It is a cancerogenic chemical that is produced by Aspergillus mould.

Normally, the pistachio shell protects the pistachio from being contaminated by this chemical. But there are times when the shell cracks open unknowingly, way before time and get the nut contaminated.

It can cause diseases like anemia, gastrointestinal symptoms, diseases of the liver and various other problems.

Symptoms of intoxication by aflatoxin include:

  • Blood in the stools passed or vomit
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Jaundice
  • Lethargy
  • Discoloured urine

Your dog will need to be taken to the vet for immediate medical action if it shows any of the symptoms above.


As a pet parent, it is wholly your responsibility to make sure your dog does not consume such dangerous foods as pistachio shells. Pistachios, as well as pistachio shells, should be kept away from your pets due to the harm they can cause.

If your dog happened to eat pistachio shells once, make sure that was the first and last time it happened. They are not aware of what is good or bad for them; that’s where our responsibility to keep them safe comes in.

Remember to instantly throw away the pistachio shells after you’re done eating. Store them in tight containers and lock them away in your kitchen. Do not be careless and put your little furry friend’s life in danger next time.

Lydia is Pearl Lemon's Head of Internal Growth. Outside of Pearl Lemon, you can find her running, lifting, and hiking.

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