Can my pet eat Pecans?

August 3, 2023
This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding your pet’s care, treatment, or medical conditions.

Can dogs eat pecans?

Even if you're an avid muncher of pecans, you should never share them with your dog. Pecans are considered toxic to dogs. That's because they contain a compound called juglone (also present in walnuts!) which is harmful to pups.

Pecans also contain a high amount of oil and fat, which means they can cause gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea and vomiting. Regularly eating tree nuts like pecans can even result in pancreatitis, a life-threatening condition which occurs when your dog's pancreas becomes inflamed due to excessive amounts of fat in their diet.

On top of all this, eating hard nuts can cause choking or digestive blockages.

If your dog manages to get their chompers around one or two pecans, it may not be much to worry about (though you'd be wise to consult your vet just in case). But feeding them pecans as a regular treat is a very a bad idea. Here's the good news: It means more pecan pie for you.

Again, if your dog eats pecans, you should reach out to your vet, especially if you're observing lethargy, diarrhea, vomiting, behavioral changes, or other signs of illness. And if your pup ever requires veterinary care due to eating an unsafe food, pet insurance can help cover the cost of treatment.

Can cats eat pecans?

Even if you love munching on pecans, you shouldn't share them with your feline friend. Cats lack the digestive enzymes that are needed to process pecans, and eating them can lead to gastrointestinal distress and potential long-term health issues.

One major issue is that tree nuts like pecans have a very high fat content. A diet too rich in fats can cause your cat to develop pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas that interrupts the organ's regular functions. Pancreatitis often results in lethargy, loss of appetite, and stomach pain. In severe cases, it can necessitate hospitalization and intensive veterinary care.

On top of these concerns, the bacteria that's sometimes present in raw nuts (such as Salmonella or E.Coli) can make your cat very sick.

Plus, pecans contain a compound called juglone, which is toxic to cats (dogs, too). And pecans can also contain molds that grow on the nut's shell. Moldy pecans often contain aflatoxin, a harmful substance that can cause liver damage when eaten over time.

Finally, hard tree nuts like pecans can cause choking or intestinal blockages, especially in smaller animals like cats.

The bottom line: You should never feed pecans to your cat.

If your cat does eat pecans, you should reach out to your vet, especially if you're observing lethargy, diarrhea, or vomiting. And if your kitty ever requires veterinary care due to eating an unsafe food, pet insurance can help cover the cost of treatment.

Information Purposes Only

The suggestions offered here are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for pet-specific advice from your veterinarian. Never disregard your vet’s recommendations, or delay in acting on them, based on something you have read on this site. Regardless of how a food is rated here, any food that you give your pet can pose potential health risks, including allergic reactions, choking, or other health conditions such as bloat. Always monitor your pet while they’re eating, and never introduce a new food into your pet’s diet without first consulting your veterinarian. 

Pet Poison Emergency Protocol

If your pet is acting sick, call your regular veterinarian immediately. If your regular veterinarian is closed, call a nearby on-call veterinarian, animal urgent care, or veterinary emergency hospital. If your pet is not acting sick but you think they may have been exposed to a poison, call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (888-426-4435) or Pet Poison Helpline (855-764-7661).

Food Safety Statuses


Could be given almost daily without harm

Safe in moderation

Not toxic, but should not be given regularly


Toxic or simply too risky to give to your pet