Can Dogs Eat Acorns? The Risks and Dangers

Acorns may be a popular snack for humans, but are they safe for our furry friends? Find out if dogs can eat acorns and why it may not be a good idea.
Can Dogs Eat acorns?

The short answer is no, dogs should not eat acorns. While acorns are not toxic to dogs, they can cause digestive issues and other health problems. As a dog owner, it's critical to know which foods are safe for your pets, and acorns are definitely not on that list.

Composition of Acorns

Acorns are the nuts of oak trees and contain various nutrients and compounds that can pose risks to dogs.


Acorns are made up of several essential nutrients:

  • Fat content
  • Protein
  • Minerals
  • Vitamins


Tannins are a group of astringent compounds found in acorns. They can cause harm to dogs in the following ways:

  • Tissue contraction
  • Reduction in digestive tract secretions
  • Digestive irritation

Health Risks Associated with Acorns Consumption in Dogs

Dogs that consume acorns can experience several health issues, ranging from mild to severe.

Gastrointestinal Issues

Eating acorns can cause various gastrointestinal issues in dogs, including:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Loss of appetite


Acorns' high-fat content can lead to pancreatitis in dogs. This is a serious condition characterized by:

  • Inflammation of the pancreas
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Fever

Choking Hazard

The size and shape of acorns can pose a choking risk for dogs. Some risks associated with choking include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Coughing or gagging
  • Pawing at the face or neck
  • Loss of consciousness

Intestinal Blockage

Acorns can cause intestinal blockages in dogs, leading to symptoms such as:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy

Preventing Acorn Ingestion in Dogs

To prevent acorn ingestion, dog owners should:


  • Monitor dogs during outdoor activities.
  • Train dogs to avoid acorns and respond to commands like "leave it."

Clean Up

  • Regularly remove acorns from your yard.
  • Keep dogs away from areas with acorns.

Signs Your Dog Has Eaten Acorns

It's essential to recognize the symptoms of acorn ingestion in dogs:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Lethargy
  • Drooling

Emergency Care and Treatment

If you suspect your dog has eaten acorns, it's vital to respond promptly.

When to Contact Your Veterinarian

Consult a veterinarian immediately if your dog exhibits severe symptoms.

First Aid

While waiting for veterinary help, ensure your dog is comfortable, and remove any remaining acorns from their environment.

Veterinary Treatment

Upon evaluating your dog, a veterinarian may perform diagnostic tests and provide various treatments, depending on the severity of the symptoms.

Safe Alternatives to Acorns for Dogs

Instead of acorns, consider offering your dog a variety of safe treats and snacks, such as:

  • Dog-friendly fruits and vegetables
  • Specially formulated dog treats
  • Food items approved by your veterinarian

Remember that a balanced diet is crucial for maintaining your dog's overall health.


While acorns are not toxic to dogs, they can cause digestive issues and other health problems. Preventing acorn ingestion and monitoring your dog for signs of ingestion is crucial. If you have concerns about your dog's health, consult with your veterinarian.

Medically Reviewed by Ibrar Ahmed, DVM

Dr. Ibrar Ahmed is a DVM (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine) who took a Master of Philosophy in Animal Nutrition. He is looking after 2 dog shelters and a well-established dog research center in terms of food and care since 2019.

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