Can Dogs Eat Acorns? Are Acorns Poisonous to Dogs?

are acorns toxic to dogs

When you are dog walking in the autumn months, you may find many acorn nuts on the ground, and your curious dog might want to eat them. But, of course, it would have freaked you out as you might have heard many horrible stories about nuts being choking hazards.

So first, let’s talk about what are Acorns? Acorns are the nuts of mighty oak trees. These seeds are responsible for self plantation and creating some of the most extended living trees on Earth. When across falls on the ground, it means autumn is just around the corner, and soon everything will turn into a beautiful shade of gold and orange.

Acorns are the favorite nuts of many squirrels and chipmunks. Unfortunately, they usually leave half of them lying around your backyard, house front, or streets, making these choking hazards readily available to your pets.

Before I answer your question, can dogs eat acorns? But, first, let us talk in detail about these oak tree nuts being an absolute choking hazard.

are acorns bad for dogs

Some Acorn Facts

  • Acorns are also called oak nuts.
  • They are long and wide and have a more rigid outer layer.
  • They contain an acid called Tannin.
  • These birds and animals like jays, pigeons, mice, squirrels, pigs, bears and deer love them and have specialized digestive enzymes to be able to eat them— but not dogs, cats, or horses.
  • They are highly toxic to dogs if eaten in large quantities.
  • It can cause intestinal obstruction and permanent damage to a dog’s muscles.

How Many Acorns Are Toxic to Dogs?

According to the ASPCA, “Kidney damage has been reported in grazing animals such as cows and horses, but it’s rare for dogs and cats because they generally don’t eat enough acorns to cause long-term damage.”

And a licensed veterinarian states that “It has been estimated that if an animal eats enough acorns to be equivalent to 6% of body weight, toxic effects will occur.”

The biggest concern about dogs eating acorns is that it can cause a GI upset and even cause kidney failure.

So if you see your dogs eat acorns, keep them in check for any symptoms of acorn poisoning.

what to Do If Your Dog Eats Oak Leaves?

The leaves can be harmful to dogs because of acorn toxins, called Quercus poisoning, caused by eating the oak leaves. The buds and immature green acorns contain the highest concentration of tannins, so they are the most dangerous when ingested by dogs.

So if a dog eats acorns leaves, call your vet immediately because, for dogs, acorns are highly toxic. We have seen several severe cases where small dogs have not survived after having these giant seeds.

What You Wish You Knew about Acorn Poisoning in Dogs: Signs, Prevention & Treatment

If you see your dog eating acorns or oak leaves, keep a strict check on them because many dogs have shown internal damage by acorns after a few hours, so always prepare for such an emergency situation.

Let’s see how you can prevent any harm to your dog in detail.

How to Stop a Dog from Eating Acorns and Oak Leaves?

are acorns poisonous to dogs

You might have to train your pets to ignore acorns on the ground and leave them alone. Your pet might show some weakness at the start, but if you make them follow your orders strictly, which is for their own health and safety, they will be happier.

Use a positive reinforcement training method, or you can use training collars for your pet. Here is a list of some of the best training no-pull collars for your dogs.

Signs of Acorn Poisoning

If you see your dog eats an acorn, look for these poisoning signs

  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dehydration
  • Stomach cramping

Treatment of Acorn Poisoning

If you see your dog showing any signs of poisoning, take him to the vet immediately. He might give some medication to your pup to control vomiting, diarrhea, and pain. The vet may also collect blood samples to evaluate the dog’s kidney and liver function.

treatment for dog who ate acorns

Other Tree Nuts to Avoid

With acorns and oak tree leaves, here is a list of some other popular nuts to avoid in your dog’s diet.

  • Almonds
  • Hazelnuts
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Pecans
my dog ate an acorn

What to Do If My Dog Has Eaten Acorns or Other Nuts?

If you see your dog eating acorns or other nuts in a considerable quantity, look for any sign of trouble, such as stomach upset or blockage. The hard shell of these acorns can also cause damage to a dog’s throat. So it’s better if you take them to your vet.

In a Nutshell

So, are acorns toxic to dogs? Yes, they are very toxic for dogs. Can dogs eat acorns or oak leaves? Yes, of course, they will try to eat anything in front of them, but the real question is, should they be eating acorns? No, never prevent your beloved dog from eating acorns in any way possible, or they might end up in a hospital with all those toxins.

Your dog might be an intelligent champion in your eyes, but many can not resist acorns just laying around, make sure you train them hard to avoid any kind of consequences in the future. I hope this article has helped you will all the information about dogs eating acorns and how toxic can be an oak tree for them. If you have any more questions, let us know in the comment box.

Here is a list of suggested articles for further reading

Can Dogs Eat Chestnuts?

Can Dogs Eat Brussel Sprouts?

Can Dogs Eat Papaya?

Can Dogs Eat Beets?

Noah Tess
Noah Tess is a mother to a baby girl, two adorable huskies, and a toy poodle. When she's not busy taking care of her family, she's blogging about the newest pet trends and products. She's a member of the team here at dog cafe, a blog devoted to giving pet parents the best information on keeping their fur babies happy and healthy. When Noah's daughter was born, her world became infinitely more precious. Her baby was saved by the rescue huskies, she knew she owed them everything. That's why she does so much research into finding the best diets for her toy poodle "toffee" and her huskies, Jack and Snowball. Noah has a unique perspective on life that comes from being a mom - it's amazing!

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