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Are Acorns Poisonous To Dogs?

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Taking your dog for a walk through the woods is a wonderful way to spend your day. Not only does your dog get their much loved exercise, but you both also get to enjoy the wonderful fresh air. However, during the autumn months, there are dangers hidden among the leaves in the form of acorns.

Not many dog owners know that acorns are actually incredibly poisonous for your dog if they are eaten. This is because they have things known as tannins or gallotannins, which can cause upset stomachs. In extreme cases, they can cause kidney failure and can be fatal. Acorns that are ingested can also cause choking hazards or blockages in your smaller dog’s intestines.

The good news is that deaths from eating acorns are actually pretty rare. However, you will want to keep an eye out for acorn poisoning so that you can prevent it from becoming a serious threat to your dog. Usually, the more acorns your dog eats, the sicker they will be. 

Symptoms of acorn poisoning include abdominal pain, collapsing, dehydration, diarrhea, toxic shock, vomiting, and even death in some rare or severe cases. You should be able to tell if your dog is ill within a couple of hours.

Can one acorn kill a dog?

It’s very unlikely that a single acorn could kill your dog. However, it can be difficult to know how your dog is going to react to this single acorn. While a single acorn may not be enough to make your dog seriously ill, it could still pose a choking hazard. It could also block your dog’s intestines, particularly if they’re a smaller dog.

The general rule of thumb is the more acorns your dog eats, the sicker they will be. While a single acorn is unlikely to poison your dog enough for it to be fatal, there’s no guaranteeing that your dog won’t get seriously unwell. It will differ from animal to animal. If your dog is a smaller breed, they are more likely to get ill from a single acorn. If you have a medium to large sized dog, then they are unlikely to suffer severe side effects from eating a single acorn.

If you think your dog has eaten more than one acorn, you will need to take them to see your vet.

Are old acorns toxic to dogs?

Yes, old acorns are still toxic to dogs. This is because they will still have those deadly tannins in them, regardless of how old the nuts are. Interestingly, oak leaves are another outdoor threat to your dogs. These also have deadly gallotannins that can be toxic to your dogs, especially in large doses.

It’s best to keep an eye on your dog whenever you take them walking in the woodland. Try and discourage them from eating any acorns they find. If you suspect that your dog may have eaten an acorn or two, you may have to take them to your vet before a serious problem occurs.

What should I do if my dog ate acorns?

If you think your dog has eaten an acorn, you should contact your vet immediately. They should be able to best advise you on how to tackle the issue. If your dog’s symptoms get progressively worse, you will need to take your dog to see your vet in case they need any other form of treatment.

The treatment your dog requires will differ depending on the severity of its symptoms. They will likely just need to be rehydrated in most cases, and given medication to help manage their symptoms.

In the unfortunate case that your dog is suffering from a blockage, surgery will likely be needed to remove this.

Why is my dog eating acorns?

Golden Retriever dog lying down while chewing on an acorn.

Sometimes, dogs just like to eat things that aren’t good for them. They don’t know that the acorns they’re so happily munching on could poison them. The odd acorn here and there shouldn’t be too damaging for your dog. However, you should keep an eye on them whenever you let them out near an oak tree just to make sure that they don’t eat anything they shouldn’t be.

If your dog has eaten an acorn, you can ring your vet to ask for their advice. The best thing to do will be to monitor them for the next 12 hours or so. If you notice any of the symptoms we’ve listed above, then you will need to take your dog to see your vet immediately.

You can give your dog something else to chew outside if you want to prevent them from eating any stray acorns.

Can acorns give dogs a rash?

Acorns can give your dogs a rash, yes. However, this is one of the more unusual side effects. If your dog has eaten an acorn, they could indeed suffer from a rash or swelling around their mouth or eyes. Most dogs won’t show these symptoms at all. If your dog has eaten an acorn and is suffering from a rash, you should take them to your vet so they can help treat this.

In summary

Even though those acorns look pretty harmless, they can actually be incredibly poisonous for your dog. So if you notice your beloved pooch chowing down on any acorns they find in the underbrush, you will need to take them to your vet immediately.

If you suspect your dog may have eaten an acorn, you should call your vet for their advice. Monitor your dog for the next 12 hours and see if any acorn poisoning symptoms appear. Remember that acorns can also pose a choking hazard and cause intestinal blockages in your smaller dogs.

Although one acorn shouldn’t be fatal for your dog, the more acorns they eat, the worse the effects will be. This is because acorns are full of gallotannins. You should try and discourage your dog from eating any acorns that they might find on your daily walks. Even if you think one acorn will be fine, it’s better to be safe than sorry!