can dogs eat acorns?

Can Dogs Eat Acorns? Are Acorns Poisonous To Dogs?

Can Dogs Eat Acorns? Are Acorns Poisonous To Dogs?

Acorns, which are the oak tree's nuts, are frequently seen on the ground in the fall and winter. While sniffing the grass, curious dogs may become intrigued by these strange items. Many dog owners do not give much thought about their dog picking up and eating acorns because they assume that they pose no danger to dogs. But can dogs eat acorns? Are acorns dangerous for dogs to eat?

Acorns are not safe for dogs to eat since they contain the toxin gallotannin and because of the risk of choking or intestinal obstruction they represent due to their small size. Oak leaves also contain this toxic, and as such your dog should not eat any oak leaves. This toxin may disturb your dog's stomach or make them sick. If enough tannins are consumed, more harmful consequences including kidney or liver damage may result.

acorns on a tree

Acorn Facts & Information

Acorns contain the oak tree's seeds inside a hard, leathery shell. Acorns can be anywhere between 1/2 and 2 1/2 inches in length and 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches wide, depending on the species of oak tree from which they fall. Several animals have developed digestive enzymes that can break down acorns - dogs, cats, and horses have not.

Older tribes in North America, and Asia used the acorn as a staple diet because it is high in proteins, carbs, and lipids. To make them suitable for human consumption, they must be processed using specific techniques, such as grinding and boiling. Acorns contain gallotanins, a combination of gallic acid and tannic acid which can be harmful to dogs causing stomach upset and even kidney disease.

How Many Acorns Can Cause Poisoning In Dogs?

The number of acorns your dog needs to eat to become poisoned depends on its size and weight. If a dog consumes at least 5% of its body weight in acorns, severe acorn poisoning happens. Small dogs may only need to eat a small amount of acorns. Within 48 hours of your dog eating an acorn, get medical attention if any symptoms appear. Acorns can be toxic, and if your dog eats one, they run the risk of choking or intestinal blockage.

dog looking for acorns

Symptoms To Look For If Your Dog Eats Acorns

Even a small amount of acorns or oak leaves can have a severe negative impact on your dog's digestive tract, causing extreme discomfort. If your dog's condition seems to be growing worse, keep a close eye on them and call your veterinarian right away.


If your dog ate an acorn, keep an eye out for any choking symptoms. Keep an eye out for symptoms of distress including whining, having trouble breathing, coughing, pawing at the mouth, gagging, and wiping their face on the ground. If your dog exhibits any of these signs, look inside his throat for any obstructions.

Acorn Toxicity

Dog acorn toxicity symptoms include the following: excessive drooling, lethargy, excessive thirst, upset stomach, diarrhea, vomiting, and gastrointestinal pain. If your dog exhibits any of these signs, get in touch with a vet right away.

Intestinal Obstruction

If your dog at an acorn, he can be at risk for an intestinal obstruction. Keep an eye out for symptoms including lethargy, vomiting, little or no bowel movements, diarrhea, and pale gums. If your dog exhibits any of these signs, consult your veterinarian.

bowl of acorns

Proactive Approach To Prevent Your Dog From Eating Acorns

A proactive strategy is required rather than a remedial one to address acorn toxicity. Dogs will eat anything that they can get to. Even if you are careful and quickly remove the acorn from your dog's mouth, the risk of ingesting an acorn or an oak leaf does not go away.

Instead of constantly being alert, you can teach your dog the simple yet effective "Leave It" command to stop acorn or oak leaf ingestion. It takes persistence and commitment to teach your dog the "Drop It" command, but after a few quick training sessions, your dog should start to understand and drop objects on command.

Review: Can Dogs Eat Acorns?

Fall is a time when acorns and oak leaves are abundant on the ground, making it challenging to prevent your dog from eating them. Bring toys and snacks with you whenever you take your dog for a stroll to prevent them from munching on them. If your dog does consume oak leaves or acorns, they will likely suffer from stomach issues; if they show signs of distress, call your veterinarian straight away.

It is also helpful to train your dog to drop anything they may pick up on command. Properly training your dog can be the difference between safety and a trip to the veterinarian for your dog. Always pay attention to what your dog is doing when you take them on walks, especially during the fall when acorns may be present.

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