Does your neighbor have a giant oak tree dropping acorns in your backyard yearly? And with a dog who identifies as a squirrel, you might be wondering, “can dogs eat acorns?”

The unfortunate answer for your squirrel dog is NO. 

Now you need to justify to your dog why he has to give up his favorite snack. So the REAL question is, “Why are acorns bad for dogs?”

You have come to the right place to answer this nagging question. Read this post along with your dog, who is disappointed for sure. 

Are Acorns Poisonous to Dogs?

YES, acorns are poisonous for dogs. 

You might pity your furry friend and think, “How bad can it be? Squirrels have them all the time.” Well, I wouldn’t be so sure about that. Those little nuts are poisonous for humans too (study).

Acorns contain gallotannin (article), a nasty bitter chemical. And dogs DO put anything in their mouth. Consuming in large amounts can make your dog unwell (article). So the next time your dog is on a treasure hunt in your backyard, be on the lookout.

Symptoms of Acorn Poisoning 

Your dog can get acorn poisoning from eating too many spiky monsters. Acorns and oak leaves are poisonous for your dog, causing Quercus poisoning (article).

Symptoms to look out for if your dog has consumed acorns : 

  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Dehydration
  • Drooling
  • Kidney and Liver damage (signs of this can include a change in how much your dog drinks)
  • Abdominal pain

Acorn shells are spiky, which can cause gagging and can cause renal injury (study). Keep a watch if your dog is facing trouble swallowing food. 

Treatment of Acorn Poisoning

If your dog has ingested a large amount, he may need IMMEDIATE MEDICAL ATTENTION. Researchers say, “Depending on how many acorns your dog ingested, the size of your dog, and the severity of his reaction, he may need IV fluid rehydration, an X-ray to determine if there’s a blockage.”


Your vet may suggest a blood test or X-ray if required. 

What Would Happen if My Dog Ate an Acorn?

If your dog scooped up one acorn while sniffing the world around him, chances are he will be fine. But remember, even ONE tiny acorn can cause blockage, especially in smaller breeds of dogs. If your dog has ingested acorns in large quantities, CONTACT THE VET IMMEDIATELY. 

Important Note: All parts of oak trees are poisonous for dogs. The bark, leaves, and acorns contain large amounts of tannins. 

a sad dog as his owner tells him no

How to Stop Your Dog from Eating Acorns?

Prevention is better than cure

Yes, a quote from a book is the best advice any vet would give you. It is generally a good rule not to feed your dog human food. Your squirrel dog who hunts for acorns needs to be trained in the case of acorns. 

1. Use commands

The best way to train your dog is to teach him the command “leave it”. This might be a challenge if you are dealing with an excited puppy. Beat them in scooping up the acorn. It is the easier way. 

2. Use a muzzle

You can put a muzzle on him while on autumn walks to ensure he is not feasting. Additionally, distract them with toys while out on a walk.

3. Section off the acorn trees

Try sectioning off your backyard if your neighbor’s trees insist you have the acorns. You can invest in light garden netting or a lawn sweeper to make your life easier. Always remember to keep acorns out of reach of your canine friend to keep them safe and healthy. 

But What About Acorn Squash?

YES! Acorn squash is safe for dogs to eat. Acorn squash is a nutritious treat for your pup. It is an excellent source of Vitamin A and beta-carotene. 

1. Clears the gut

While acorn is responsible for causing gastrointestinal problems in dogs, acorn squash helps in relieving them. Acorn is genuinely the evil stepmother of acorn squash! Acorn squash is high in fiber which helps your puppy be regular in the bathroom. The high antioxidant content prevents bad eyesight in older dogs (study).

Ask your vet before treating your pup to human foods is always advised. 

2. Separate skin and seed

Do not feed your dog acorn squash along with its seed and skin, as they can get stuck in the intestinal tract. Raw acorn squash is also tricky for dogs to digest. Acorn squash is not toxic for dogs, but most dogs would turn their snoot away. Mix it with kibbles to sneak some nutrients into your canine’s diet. 

You can also try dog-friendly squash recipes (article) for your dog to enjoy a fine dining experience.  

Other Nuts to Avoid

There are a lot of other unsafe nuts for your pup that you might encounter on your next walk.

Here is a list of toxic nuts you should not feed your dog: 

  • Macadamia nut: It is highly toxic for dogs and can lead to vomiting, weakness, and hyperthermia. 
  • Raw cashew: Cashews are not toxic but can lead to an upset stomach. They are high in fat, which makes it harder for dogs to digest. 
  • Black walnut: It is incredibly toxic for dogs and can cause neurological problems. You can treat your dog to a few fresh walnuts instead. 
  • Pecans: Pecans contain aflatoxin and are toxic for dogs. Moldy ones can also cause seizures. 
  • Almonds: A small amount of almonds does not cause any harm to your dogs. But in large quantities, they can lead to an upset stomach. 
  • Pistachio: Pistachios are a choking hazard and can lead to blockage of intestinal tracts in smaller breeds. While they are not toxic, they are often seasoned with poisonous ingredients. 

The common symptoms your dog might experience are vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. 


In a nutshell, no matter how disappointed your dog looks or decides to throw a tantrum, do not let them eat nuts if you are not 100% sure of their safety. While some, such as peanuts and hazelnuts, are fine for dogs, others can be highly toxic.

Now you know that the answer to the question,”can dogs eat acorns?” is no. Use this knowledge confidently the next time you and your pup are out on an adventurous sniffing-the-world walk.

As an added precaution, you can keep an eye out for your dog. It only takes them a blink of an eye to have swallowed or eaten something inappropriate. Once you’ve got the do’s and don’t’s down, you’re ready to take your pup out in the world, leaving acorns for the squirrels. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can dogs eat nuts from trees?

Yes and no. Not all nuts are safe for dogs. Some extremely toxic nuts for dogs are black walnuts, macadamia, acorns, and pecans. You should NEVER feed your dog nuts if you are not 100% sure of their safety. 

Why does my dog have diarrhea after eating acorns?

Acorn is toxic for dogs and can cause acorn poisoning, also known as Quercus poisoning. Vomiting and diarrhea are some of its symptoms. If your dog is showing any of these symptoms, contact a vet immediately. 

Will 1 acorn hurt my dog?

Yes, even one acorn can be harmful to your dog. Even though one acorn does not contain enough toxic tannins, it can be a choking hazard and cause blockage due to its spiky shell. Prevention is always better than cure. Do not let your dogs acorn.  In large quantities, it can cause acorn poisoning.

What should I do if my dog ate acorns?

If your dog ate one acorn, chances are he is going to be fine. But if your dog consumes large quantities of tannins, he would need immediate medical attention. It can damage your dog’s liver and kidney if not treated promptly.

Are oak trees poisonous to dogs?

Yes, all parts of an oak tree are poisonous for dogs. The bark, leaves, and acorns contain large amounts of tannins. Do not let your dog eat any part of the oak tree as it can lead to acorn poisoning. It can lead to gastrointestinal issues in dogs and liver and kidney damage in extreme issues.

Share the Post: