Can Dogs Eat Acorns? (Pros and Cons)

can dogs eat acorn

Acorns are a common sight to see for many dog owners starting from late summer and continuing on till the end of fall. Since dogs love spending time outside, you probably have come across the possibility of your dog eating acorns without your consent.

If you have kept a dog for at least one year, you also have figured out that dogs have a tendency to eat whatever that they can get their paws on, and the same rule applies to stuff outside such as pieces of grass and acorns!

So can dogs eat acorn? The answer is yes, dogs can eat acorns. However, eating raw acorns can be bad for your dogs’ health, so we suggest cooking them! Cooked acorns are very healthy for your dog.

Benefits of Acorns for Dogs

The benefits apply to both raw acorns and cooked acorns, but to give more support for this section, I will be talking about cooked acorns since raw acorns are too dangerous even for humans to consume. Just for your information, dogs can definitely eat cooked acorn. As always, we will start off with the nutritional values to get a quick glimpse at this small nut.

  • 50% Carbs
  • 30% Fats
  • 13% Fiber
  • 7% Protein

In addition to these nutrients, acorns are packed with antioxidants such as Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Iron, Manganese, Potassium, and Folate. Many cultures around the world use acorn to make different dishes, but it is rare to use acorn in any food dish in the United States.

1. Beneficial for Dog’s Digestive Tract

Being high in fiber, acorn can be used to improve gut health by providing the right nutrition for the bacteria that aid your digestive process. This health benefit was based on a study done with human subjects, and it may prove beneficial for your dog’s health as well.

2. Rich Source of Antioxidants

As mentioned in the beginning, acorns provide high amounts of antioxidants, which are used to prevent cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Acorn contains different kinds of vitamins and minerals that reduce inflammation and helps prevent chronic illnesses.

  • Vitamin A – Helps Internal Organs to Work Properly
  • Vitamin E – Strengthens Immune System
  • Iron – Red Blood Cells
  • Potassium – Kidneys
  • Manganese – Metabolism
  • Folate – Cell Function and Growth

Because of its many functions, acorn extract has been used as a herbal extract in many health products, and using cooked acorns can have similar health benefits if used in moderate amounts. Make sure to introduce this nut slowly, and if you see any signs of discomfort in your dog, don’t continue!

3. Found in Large Quantities Outdoors

If you have an acorn tree nearby, you will find countless acorns on the ground for you to harvest, and as mentioned before, don’t feed dogs raw but cooked so be sure to prepare them first before giving your dog any acorns.

Also, if you use acorns in the wild, you don’t really have to buy anything since it is on the ground waiting for you to pick it up. In short, it is free, and you can find it in large amounts if you can find an acorn tree nearby.

Drawbacks of Feeding Your Dog Acorns

There is a reason why that this ingredient is not popularly used, so be sure to keep a close tab on each drawback in the section down below.

1. Dangers of Raw Acorns

There are several dangers that raw acorns pose for your dog, and this factor is what differentiates the raw acorns from the cooked ones. When your dog consumes a raw acorn, he swallows the nut whole, which can be destructive for your dog’s overall health.

  • Raw Acorns Contain Tannins
  • Sharp Edges Can Damage Your Dog’s Intestines

Mostly found in the outer shell, tannins are a toxic substance for both humans and dogs, and this toxin gives acorn a bitter flavor. In addition, whole nuts can cause an obstruction and even damage the internal lining when going through the digestive tract.

2. Double-Check for Allergic Reactions

Tree nut allergies are one of the most common allergies found in humans, and I think it is a good idea to check for the same symptoms in dogs since domesticated dogs began to follow the same patterns as their dog owners as the years go by.

  • Stomach Pain, Nausea, Vomiting, Diarrhea
  • Difficulty Swallowing or Eating
  • Itching in Any Parts of the Body
  • Shortness of Breath / Shock

If your dog experiences any of the following symptoms or more, be sure to discontinue the use of acorns since there are many alternatives if you are looking for healthy dog foods. Also, be sure to introduce this ingredient slowly and in small amounts.

3. Difficult to Prepare

Having personally experienced this, I think I have a right to say that acorn preparation is hard. Spending my childhood years in the Korean culture, I had to help with the acorn preparation since acorns are popularly used in Korean side dishes.

  • Forage Large Quantities of Acorn (Or Order Them Online)
  • Break the Shells and Remove the Insides
  • Soak Them in Cold Water 
  • Remove the Water With the Tannis (Repeat)

Then and only then, you can safely use the acorn for consumption, and I don’t think it’s worth the effort considering the amount of work put in and the amount that your dog can consume. However, the final call is up to you, so choose wisely!

Can I Feed Acorn To My Dog?

You can’t feed raw acorns to your dog without facing some serious consequences, so don’t feed any raw acorns to your friend! Raw acorns can cause an obstruction and even fatal damage to your dog due to its toxin. Rather, use cooked acorn to eliminate the toxin and multiply the benefits! Dogs can eat cooked acorn, and it will be healthy for them too!

Are Acorns Harmful For My Dog?

For raw acorns, they are harmful to your dog since acorns contain a substance called tannins on its outer shell. Highly toxic for both dogs and humans, raw acorns should not be consumed, so be sure to take extra care when you take your dog outside for a walk.

In addition to the toxicity, you also need to realize the hard covering of acorns and the extra-pointy side in the end. When consumed, acorns can cause obstruction during the digestive process and even damage the internal lining when going down.

My Dog Ate an Acorn. What Do I Do?

In a case where your dog already ate an acorn, you need to keep your dog inside to prevent him/her from eating more and just observe. Symptoms can occur as quickly in several hours and late as in half a day. If you see any on the nut allergy symptoms, you should take your dog to a vet for safety.

  • Remove Nearby Temptations (More Acorns!)
  • Watch and Observe (Better To Be Safe Than Sorry)

Last but not least, don’t leave your dog unattended at any time since you don’t know what substances that they got their paws on. Be responsible for your dog, and please research if you are thinking about giving a new type of snack.

How Can I Prevent My Dog From Eating Acorns?

If you do have large amounts of raw acorn lying around and your dog has easy access to it, you need to monitor your dog to see whether or not he eats acorns from off the ground. If your dog continues to eat acorns from off the ground, putting a muzzle around his snout might be a good idea.

Personally, I think they will eventually stop eating raw acorns from the ground since raw acorns have a bitter taste in them and dogs don’t have any special feelings for stuff that are bitter (last time I checked).

I hope that this article on can dogs eat acorn was helpful. If you are interested in this sort of topic, be sure to visit the Dog Food Category!

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