Is It Safe For My Dog To Eat Acorns?

Written by Cory Eckert

Every fall as leaves and acorns start to hit the ground, we see a new surge of questions about what is safe for dogs to consume. That seems only natural since dogs experience the world with their mouths a good percentage of the time.

One question we get asked almost every year is...

Is It Ok For My Dog To Eat Acorns?

This simple answer is: No, your dog should not be eating acorns.

Here's what we know for sure...

  1. Acorns (and oak leaves) contain a combination of tannic acid and gallic acid called gallotanins which can be harmful to dogs. Gallotanins is known to cause stomach upset and in severe cases, kidney disease.
  2. Dogs who eat acorns often display symptoms such as upset stomach, diarrhea, and vomiting.
  3. Obstruction and internal damage can occur because of the hard sharp nature of acorns.

All that said, I'd say it's pretty safe to say acorns are not something that should be in your dogs diet. But even so, dogs are dogs and your pooch might pick up an acorn or two during the fall months.

If this happens, just be on the watch for symptoms and take your pet to the vet if things take a turn for the worse.

Other Interesting Facts

While acorns can cause the symptoms listed above, these same symptoms can come from acorns and/or oak leaves falling into your pets water bowl.

If you are near these elements and you give your dog water outside, please make sure you keep the leaves and acorns out of the water bowl as best as you can.

When oak leaves and acorns sit in a dogs water dish, the result is basically gallotanins tea (aka: bad stuff for the pup).

Preventing Acorn Consumption

Honestly, you may never fully prevent the consumption of acorns if you have a dog that likes to eat what it finds. But you can certainly reduce the risk and be proactive about protecting your pet.

Be sure if you live in an area where oak leaves and acorns are prevalent to train your dog "leave it" and "drop it" commands.

Having basic obedience training for your pooch could save their life some day!

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About the author

Cory Eckert

Cory is the co-creator of and a life long dog enthusiast. From training livestock dogs as a child to working with obedience classes as an adult, it's hard to imagine Cory without a dog. Currently enjoying being a dog parent to Remi (a chocolate lab) and Annie (a golden retriever).