A dog with a concerned expression looking at acorns, indicating it's toxic for dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Acorns?

No, dogs should not eat acorns. Acorns are harmful to dogs due to the presence of tannins and other toxic compounds. Ingesting acorns can lead to severe gastrointestinal issues and other health risks. It's best to keep your dog away from oak trees and fallen acorns to prevent accidental ingestion.

A photo of Stefan Stumpfl, the co-author of this article.

By Stefan Stumpfl, in collaboration with Dr. Ali Raza.

Updated on Jul 1, 2024

Did You Know?

Acorns contain tannins which can cause stomach upset, kidney failure, and even death in dogs.




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Feeding Frequency


Allergic Risk


Why Are Acorns Bad for Dogs?

Acorns contain tannins, which can cause stomach upset, diarrhea, and vomiting in dogs. In some cases, acorns can also lead to more severe issues like gastrointestinal blockages or kidney damage. Even a small amount can be harmful, so vigilance is key.

How Many Acorns Can Dogs Eat?

Ideally, dogs should not eat any acorns at all. Even a single acorn can cause significant health problems. Always monitor the area where your dog plays and remove any acorns to ensure their safety.

Similar Toxic Products

Certain other items and foods that are similar to acorns or found in similar environments can also be harmful to dogs:

  • Oak Leaves: Like acorns, oak leaves contain tannins that can upset your dog's stomach and cause other health issues.
  • Pine Cones: These can cause digestive problems and pose a choking hazard.
  • Chestnuts: These can cause intestinal blockages and contain toxic elements that can harm dogs.

What to Do If Your Dog Eats Acorns

If you suspect your dog has eaten acorns, immediately contact your vet. Do not attempt to induce vomiting without professional advice. Provide your vet with details about the amount and time of ingestion to help them assess the situation accurately.

Signs and Symptoms of Acorn Poisoning in Dogs

Watch for these symptoms if you think your dog might have ingested acorns:

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

How Long After Eating Acorns Will a Dog Get Sick?

Symptoms can appear within a few hours but can also take up to a day to manifest. The severity depends on the amount ingested and the individual dog's sensitivity.

When to Contact Your Vet for Advice?

Contact your vet immediately if you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above or if you know your dog has ingested acorns. Quick intervention is crucial.

How to Treat Acorn Poisoning in Dogs

Veterinarians may administer activated charcoal to absorb toxins or intravenous fluids to help flush out harmful substances. Treatment duration varies based on severity and can include hospitalization for severe cases.

Treatment costs vary but can be high, especially if hospitalization is required. Pet insurance can be a lifesaver, covering many of the unexpected costs and providing peace of mind.

What Are Healthy Alternatives?

Swap out those potentially harmful snacks with some of these dog-safe alternatives:

  • Carrots: Crunchy and full of nutrients.
  • Apple slices: Just avoid the seeds.
  • Blueberries: A sweet, antioxidant-rich treat.


In conclusion, acorns are not safe for dogs. They pose multiple health risks and should be avoided entirely. Always consult your vet if you have concerns about your dog's diet or if they accidentally ingest something they shouldn't. Your furry friend's health is too important to take unnecessary risks.