Are Acorns Bad For Dogs? (Explained)

Are Acorns Bad For Dogs

Have you had a sudden situation where your dog swallowed a few acorns from the tree while they were enjoying their time alone outside or walking them?

Acorns are toxic to dogs and can cause stomach upset. Due to their hardness and sometimes sharp edges, acorns can also damage or block a dog’s stomach. Although rare, eating acorns has led to liver and kidney failure in some cases. Therefore, keep an eye out for acorns when walking your dog.

So let’s dive in to see how bad they are for your dog and what can happen to them if they ate them.

How Acorns Ingredients Affect Dogs?

Acorns are nuts of an oak tree that acts as a form of protection for it. To do its job well, nature has provided acorns with tannins, a yellowish or brown organic substance.

Tannins are presented with derivatives of gallic acid, which is used in products like ink and leather. Because tannins are meant to be inedible, if your dog eats it, it won’t like the taste very much and will become slightly uncomfortable because of the physical disturbance that the acorn has caused inside of its body.

Grant it, acorns are rich in protein, carbs, fats, and some minerals, which is why your dog took the risk; however, the effects of it could leave your dog feeling ill.

What Types of Acorns are Poisonous to Dogs?

Acorns that are grown from Quercus species trees are poisonous for dogs. You should know that Quercus species trees have the altering chemical tannins within its bark and leaves.

Therefore, if the tree has tannins in it and the acorn is grown from that tree, then the acorn has tannins within it. There are many ways to spot a Quercus tree based on the triangular and jaded leaves that they grow.

If an acorn comes from these trees – which they all do – you’ll want to keep your dog from sniffing around this area for too long to avoid the potential of a sad puppy.

Are Live Oak Acorns Bad For Dogs?

Live Oak trees are the most popular tree to obtain an acorn from. The trees grow them for most of the year and they are abundant across the United States. Unfortunately, you should know that Live Oak acorns are bad for your dog.

These acorns contain a significant amount of tannins which is highly concentrated with gallic acid within them. Your dog may like the smell of it for, or eat it for the protein and carbohydrates that lie dormant in the acorns, but it’s never a good idea to allow it.

Live Oak acorns should not be ingested by your dog, not even as a snack. If you dog snagged a couple, be sure to watch for any behavior changes that may occur.

Are Green Acorns Bad For Dogs?

Yes, your dog can become ill from eating green acorns and they have been proven to be bad for their physical health. Green acorns are just like brown acorns in the sense of chemical composition; the only difference is that green acorns grow in the fall, while brown acorns are grown in the spring.

Green acorns may stem from young oak leaves, but they still contain tannins. Also, considering that green acorns come from young Oak leaves, the tannins in them can be more potent and more bitter than that of a brown acorn.

This means that your dog could experience symptoms quicker with green acorns than with brown. But regardless of the color, acorns and dogs don’t mix.

Are Red Oak Acorns Bad For Dogs?

Considering the fact that Red Oak acorns contain the gallic acid found in the tannins of all Oak trees, yes, Red Oak acorns are bad for dogs.

Although Red Oak acorns are just like any other acorn, they can differ in looks. The red pigment from the bark and leaves of the Red Oak tree bleed into the nut, which gives the acorn a reddish hue once they are fully developed.

The ripeness of the acorn can drive your dog to eat it. Red Oak acorns are not edible for dogs and if you are around them, keep a watchful eye on your dog and clear their path of any acorns you see.

Are Pin Oak Acorns Bad For Dogs?

From the Quercus palustris tree, the Pin Oak acorn is grown. It has the shape of a wide circle and vertical stripes similar to a watermelon. Guess what? Pin Oak Acorns are bad for dogs as well!

The Quercus palustris tree produces approximately 15,000 acorns a year, per tree! That’s millions of potential threats that can harm your dog if they decide to eat them.

Pin Oak trees are found across the United States, with the only time that’s safe for your dog to be around them is in the winter when the Oak tree is not bearing any gasto-intestinal disturbances, like the Pin Oak acorn.

Are Acorns Edible For Dogs?

No, acorns are not edible for dogs. If your dog – or any dog – engages in feasting on any acorn from any Oak tree, it will be an uncomfortable day for both your dog and you.

The tannins in acorns are meant to stop a predator from eating the tree, which is why the acorn is so bitter. Tannins are also meant to make the nut itself unpalatable; meaning that you won’t be able to eat it without cringing or most likely spitting it out.

Acorns are not a proper source of nutrients and minerals for dogs, nor are they an appropriate snack for them to munch on at any time.

How Many Acorns are Toxic For Dogs?

What it really comes down to is how much tannins can a dog’s body handle before it become toxic for them.

My research shows that if a dog eats about six percent of its body weight in acorns, it will feel the toxic effects of it sooner than later. In Layman’s terms, if your dog eats about a paw-full of acorns, expect for them to experience moderate discomfort and other symptoms that come along with eating acorns.

Although a specific number has not been concluded, more than one acorn has proven to be unsettling and potentially toxic for your dog.

Can Dogs Be Allergic to Acorns?

A dog being “allergic” to acorns can be explained in two different ways.

The first way includes sneezing, coughing, itching, running nose, and lethargy from eating acorns; while the second is based on the effects of a dog ingesting acorns and having a negative reaction.

If you’re thinking the first option, considering that acorns do not spread spores, no, your dog is not “allergic” to acorns. However, if you are referring to the second option, then you can bet your bottom dollar that your dog will have negative effects from eating acorns.

These consequences can be described as an allergic reaction, but in reality, it’s more like a toxic effect.

Can Acorns Give Dogs Diarrhea?

Acorns can surely give your dog diarrhea. The tannins from the multiple acorns your dog may have eaten will definitely cause it to have an upset stomach.

As this discomfort  – and possible pain – persist, your dog’s body will have to find a way to rid itself of the intruder that is causing it so much distress, which is where pooping comes in.

Diarrhea occurs when there has been an excessive amount of acorns eaten by your dog. The diarrhea could go on for a day or two, but typically subsides on its own. If it does continue, talk to your veterinarian for effective solutions for easing the pain and dehydration that your dog is feeling.

Can Acorns Cause Seizures in Dogs?

As my research shows, yes, acorns can cause seizure in dogs. You might be surprised at the fact that it isn’t the tannins in acorns that cause the seizures, but the mold that grows on the acorn.

Once acorns hit the ground, they are typically there for days to weeks in the same spot, which allows for mold to grow on them. The mold releases a fume which is called “tremorgenic mycotoxins” which has the ability to cause damage to the intestinal walls and the blood-brain barrier, which is where the seizures stem from.

In some cases, if enough mold was ingested, it can appear fatal for your dog if it’s severe enough.

What Happens if Dogs Eat Acorns?

You may have seen one of the following symptoms of your dog eating acorns: upset stomach, diarrhea, lack of appetite, or sporadic vomiting. This is a sign that your dog is ill from the tannins they ate.

In more moderate cases, your dog could experience abdominal pain, dehydration, and possibly random passing out during their daily activities.

In more severe cases, if too many have been ingested, your dog could go into toxic shock or have a seizure, with death being the most rare and severe consequence.

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