Can Dogs Eat Acorns?

If you have a garden and have a lot of oak trees, then there is a good chance that there are a lot of acorns around it. And if you have a dog that goes out a lot, you might be thinking whether dogs can eat acorns. If that is the case, you’re in the right place. Because, in this article, we will find an answer to that question.

First, let’s give our short answer to that question, no, dogs cannot eat acorns. Because they might be harmful in some ways to our loyal companions. Acorns can be toxic to dogs if ingested since they contain tannins, which can cause some stomach problems and diarrhea.

Let’s see what acorns are and the effects of them to dogs.

What are Acorns?

Acorns is a nut that comes from oak trees. They usually contain the oak tree’s seed inside of a tough shell. The shell is cup shaped with a cap.

And they are found most commonly during the fall and winter months, when they fall from the trees. So, if you have oak trees in your garden, you need to be most careful during these months.

Are Acorns Safe or Toxic to Dogs?

Let’s start by mentioning that even though they are harmful to dogs, acorns should be fine for dogs in small amounts. So, even though dogs cannot eat acorns, you don’t have to worry if your dog had some.

That is why a visit to the vet won’t be necessary if your dog has eaten some acorns. Because he would have to consume a lot to become ill.

But still, you should not let your dog eat acorns for the reasons that we will mention below.


Acorns have a tough shell and it contains a substance called gallontannin. It is a chemical compound found in the class of chemicals called tannins. There are a lot of seeds, nuts and fruits in nature that contain tannin. They are known to be effective antioxidants.

Antioxidants are very good at fighting harmful cells called free radicals.  So, they are very successful at preventing cancer in humans. But that is not the case for our loyal companions. Because they have different systems and too much of it can be problematic.

Gallotannins in acorns is very high and it can cause some problems for dogs. First, it can cause your stomach to be upset if your pup consumes too much. It can even cause diarrhea if he has too many.

Also, when consumed too much, tannic acid can cause liver or kidney damage to your dog. There are some symptoms that you can understand whether your dog has got effected by the tannins including vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy.

But as we mentioned above, your dog has to eat too many acorns to for it cause issue. So, don’t worry about that if your pooch managed to have some somehow.

Digestive Problems

Some dogs love to swallow whatever they find outside. If that is the case for your pup, consuming acorns might cause some problems. Because your dog consumes acorns, your dog’s gut won’t be able to digest it.

So, it will just stay in your dog’s stomach and it can cause problems to the digestive track unless he is able to poo it out.


We already mentioned that digestive problems can happen your dog consumes acorns. And that digestive problems lead to inflammation.

As for the small breeds, they usually end up with a bloody diarrhea called hemorrhagic gastroenteritis. If you see those symptoms in your dog, a call to the vet will be necessary.

Intestinal Obstruction

Even though it is very rare, we would also like to mention this issue. Because it is very serious when it happens. The symptoms of intestinal obstruction are pale gums, no appetite and abdominal pain.

This a very serious issue and it can be fatal to your dog. So, if you see such symptoms in your dog, you should call your vet immediately. You should know that a surgery might be necessary.

Minor obstructions can sometimes be shaken loose with continuous, heavy IV fluids, but this isn’t the typical outcome. Usually, a serious surgery will be necessary and also it will require a significant recovery time.

We should also mention we should also mention that this product is more common in small breeds. So, if you have a dog that has eaten a significant amount of acorns, you should check out the symptoms we mentioned above.

Kidney Damage/Failure in Dogs

This is another issue that won’t be happen when your pup consumes small amounts of acorns. But in some cases, eating acorns can cause your dog to have increased thirst, urination and fatigue.

That can be a sign of a kidney damage. Blood work will present elevated kidney values, showing the kidneys have been affected by the acorn’s tannins. But as we mentioned above, your dog has to eat a ridiculous amount of acorns for this to happen.

Choking Hazard

Even though it depends, some acorns are the size of pin pong ball. So, besides the issues we mentioned above, the biggest issue might be the choking hazard.

When your dog eats acorns, they can get stuck in your dog’s throat can cause a choking hazard. You will understand whether your pup has such problem from the hard time he’s having to breath.

If you see that, a call to the vet would a necessary.

Conclusion: Can Dogs Eat Acorns?

As we mentioned above, dogs can not eat acorns and they can cause all sorts of issues to them. The biggest problem is the tannins found high amounts in acorns, which can stomach problems.

Other than that, the big size of acorns can cause choking hazard. So, it is always a good idea to prevent your dog from eating them. You should keep in mind that small amounts won’t probably a problem. But it is always better to be safe than sorry.

Alaaddin Sarac

I've been an avid dog enthusiast since childhood. I started this blog in hopes of helping owners find answers to questions I had after owning my first dog. This website was created as a way to share our love for all things canine with the world. From choosing the best food for your older dog to get the best beds for your tail-wagger, I aim to give you the information you need to give your dog the best care throughout his entire life.