Poppy enjoying a walk through woodland

Are acorns poisonous to dogs?

Autumn brings beautifully coloured trees and crunchy paths of fallen leaves. Along with leaves, this is the time of year when conkers and acorns are found on the ground and few people realise that these nuts can pose a serious health risk to your pet if eaten. 

  • Acorns, like conkers, are dangerous to dogs if eaten
  • Symptoms of acorn poisoning include vomiting, collapsing and an upset stomach
  • Contact your vet straight away if you think your dog has eaten an acorn

What should I do if I think my dog has eaten an acorn?

Contact your vet straight away for advice.

What are the symptoms of dog acorn poisoning?

Although fatalities are rare, if your dog has eaten acorns it could still pose a serious threat. In general, the more acorns eaten, the sicker your dog may be. 

Dogs who have eaten acorns can experience:

  • vomiting
  • collapsing
  • diarrhoea 
  • abdominal pain
  • dehydration
  • toxic shock
  • death, in rare and severe cases

Signs of illness usually arise within a few hours.

Why are acorns dangerous to dogs?

Acorns contain tannins which can cause upset tummies and, though rare, can lead to kidney failure and be fatal. It is also possible for them to cause a blockage of the intestines in smaller dogs.

What treatment is my dog likely to receive if they have eaten an acorn?

Depending on the severity, your dog may need to be rehydrated and given medications to manage their symptoms. 

In the case of an acorn causing a blockage, surgery will be needed.

How do I stop my dog from eating acorns?

Dogs love snuffling through the autumn leaves with lots of scents to discover. So, the best thing is to keep a close eye on them to make sure they’re not picking up anything dangerous. Don’t encourage your dog to catch or play with acorns and if they show signs of being unwell after your walk, call your vet immediately. 

— Page last updated 12/10/2020

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