Can Dogs Eat Acorns? Are They Poisonous?

Can dogs eat it

Written By: Angela Jakeson

Can Dogs Eat Acorns? Are They Poisonous?
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Acorns become a common sight during the fall and winter seasons. Most dogs are curious about their surroundings and might want to get a taste of these nuts. However, can dogs eat acorns?

The answer is a big NO! Acorns are very dangerous to your canine companion. Eating acorns can cause dogs to have troubling tummy problems; the result could be fatal in severe cases.

The Danger of Acorns to Dogs

An acorn on top of dried leaves.The straightforward answer to the question “Can dogs eat acorns?” is no. Dogs should never eat acorns because they are health hazards.

Why are acorns bad for dogs? Let us look at the risk this nuts pose to your pet. Acorns have a tough shell that can get lodged between his paws. If this happens, he might end up limping in pain.

Fortunately, this is not a severe injury in most cases, and your dog will recover within a few days.

The Most Deadly Hazards of Acorns to Your Pooch

Acorns lined up in a circle.Foot injuries are not the only accident that may happen if you let your dog near acorns. Something way worse can even occur. We have covered the top 2 risks that acorns can do to dogs:

1. Fatal Throat or Bowel Obstruction

The exterior of acorns is smooth and glossy but hard to chew. If dogs munch on this nut, they might accidentally gulp the entire thing down.

The acorn can get stuck on their airway, leading to choking and breathing difficulties. In addition, without immediate help, their internal organs and brain may sustain severe damage due to the lack of oxygen.

Another life-threatening danger if dogs ingest acorns is an internal blockage. This is extremely dangerous, especially if your canine companion has eaten an acorn whole.

Stomach obstruction prevents solids and liquids from passing through his digestive system. The pointed parts of the acorn can cause abrasions on his intestines, resulting in internal bleeding.

Most dogs with intestinal blockage need emergency surgery, which is quite expensive. If treatment is delayed, there is a high chance that the affected dog will not survive.

2. Acorn Toxicity

Are acorns poisonous to dogs? Yes, acorns are toxic to dogs. This is because acorns contain tannins, chemical compounds with a bitter and astringent taste.

Most canines will find the taste of acorns off-putting because of tannins. However, it is not enough to deter some dogs from eating these nuts.

Some pet owners wonder: “Are live oak acorns poisonous to dogs?” Yes, live oak acorns are toxic to dogs. Not only that, all parts of the live oak tree contain tannins.

These parts include the barks, leaves, roots, and stems. Other types of oak trees, such as the red, white, and water oak trees, also produce these toxic compounds.

Dogs eating acorns in small amounts may end up experiencing stomach upset, vomiting, and diarrhea. In worst cases, kidney failure and liver damage may occur.

How Many Acorns Will It Take to Induce Poisoning?

Five acorns lined up.

Generally, acorn toxicity may occur if a dog consumes 6% of his body weight’s worth of acorn.

For instance, a dog that weighs 22.6 kilos (50 pounds) would need to ingest 3 acorns for poisoning to take place.

Can one acorn kill a dog? If you have a medium-sized or large breed, eating one acorn will not harm him. However, the result might be severe if you own a toy or small dog.

So remember that size and amount of acorns are relative in this context. While it takes a lot of acorns to cause poisoning in big pooches, only tiny amounts of these nuts are needed for smaller dogs to exhibit toxic side effects.

What Are the Signs of Acorn Poisoning in Dogs?

Here are the most common symptoms of acorn poisoning that pet owners should look out for:

Early Signs of Acorn Poisoning

  • Abdominal pain
  • Stomach upset
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lack of energy

Severe Signs of Acorn Poisoning

  • Dehydration
  • Seizures
  • Collapse
  • Kidney damage
  • Liver problems

Can acorns give dogs a rash? Yes, acorns can trigger allergies in some dogs, which cause rashes. Swelling on the face and ears may also occur in affected dogs. However, these symptoms are quite rare.

It is common for some dogs, especially large breeds, to show signs of toxicity a few days after ingesting acorns. Be sure to contact your vet for advice immediately if your dog starts to manifest the symptoms enumerated above.

If you suspect that your dog has eaten acorns or oak leaves but shows no sign of poisoning, it is still a good idea to call your vet. In some cases, they might recommend inducing vomiting in your dog.

Treating Acorn Poisoning in Dogs

A closeup look at acorns.How the vet will treat the dog will depend on the severity of his condition. In general, they will induce vomiting on him to get rid of the nut and its toxins. Then, activated charcoal is likely to be administered to help flush out the remaining toxins.

The vet will then proceed to manage the symptomatic symptoms of your dog, including vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. In this case, they will prescribe medications for him. He will also be given IV fluids for rehydration.

A couple of blood tests will be performed to check if his kidney and liver functions are normal.

X-rays might also be carried out if the vet suspects that your dog has a stomach obstruction. If their hunch is right, they will need surgery to extract the acorn.

How Likely Will Your Dog Recover from Acorn Poisoning?

Around 75% of dogs will show symptoms of poisoning. However, most of these signs are mild. Severe symptoms can be easily managed with prompt medical attention.

But if your dog ate large amounts of acorns, it can be challenging to stabilize his condition. As a result, he will more likely develop significant and long-term organ damage.

Puppies, small breeds, and senior dogs that eat a lot of acorns also share the same grave prognosis. In addition, they are more vulnerable to complications and take longer to recover.

4 Tips to Keep Your Dog Away from Acorns on Your Walk

A handful of young acorns.If your dog eats acorn time and time again, time to put a stop to it. Many dog owners are also asking: “How do I get my puppy to stop eating acorns?” We have compiled some tips to help you solve this dilemma.

  • Avoid acorns during fall and winter by choosing routes that do not have a lot of oak trees. Always keep a close eye on your dog to ensure that he does not sneakily eat oak leaves or acorns.
  • Do not let your dog drink from puddles close to oak trees since acorns and oak leaves might have soaked in the water. In addition, the tannins might have seeped into the water, making it toxic to your furry pal.
  • Bring high-value treats with you whenever you bring your dog outdoors. Every time he tries to go near an acorn, steer him away. Use the verbal cue “sit” or “lie down.” Give him a treat if he follows your verbal cue.
  • If you grow oak trees in your back garden, blockade them with a secure fence to keep your dog out. Make sure to check the area regularly and pick up all acorns that have fallen to the ground.