Are acorns poisonous to dogs? : Autumn hazards

acorn poisoning in dogs

Should you be concerned if your dog eats an acorn?

During Autumn and Winter acorns can be found scattered around the woods and on you dog walks you are likely to come across them. Some dogs will find them interesting and give them a good sniff and then move on, others may pick them up.

Acorns are toxic to dogs, so make sure you keep an eye on your dog in case they do decide to investigate further. There is the possibility of obstruction, permanent liver damage and a very distressing time for your dog if they have eaten an acorn.

are acorns poisonous to dogs

Are acorns poisonous to dogs?

Yes, acorns are poisonous if a dog eats one. Acorns contain tannins which can cause stomach upset and in very severe cases, kidney failure and death. As the are hard and fairly large they can also cause obstructions in the intestines if eaten. So be on your guard.

The technical term for acorn poisoning is “quercus” poisoning, which can also occur after a dog eats oak leaves.

What are the signs of my dog eating acorns?

Signs that your dog has eaten acorns or oak leaves include drooling, retching, vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy and abdominal pain. The severity of these symptoms will depend on the amount of acorns your dog has consumed and will start a few afters after ingestion. Its a size to weight ratio, so a big dog eating one acorn would have milder signs than a small dog eating a lot of acorns.

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Preventing your dog from eating acorns

The best way is to limit your dog’s exposure to temptation. Avoid areas with lots of oak trees during the autumn and winter. Keep them on a lead if you are walking through an acorn littered area. It is also good to make sure that you have ‘drop it’ and ‘leave it’ commands on cue so that if they do pick up an acorn, you can tell them to put it down.

Help, my dog ate an acorn, what should I do?

Contact your vet immediately if you suspect they have eaten one and ensure your dog receives treatment as quickly as possible.

Look out for these signs of acorn poisoning in your dog

Some indicators of poisoning due to your dog eating acorns can include:

  • Drooling
  • Retching
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Lethargy
  • Abdominal pain
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