Pugs are curious creatures and seem to get anything they find in their mouth. It’s not uncommon to find a Pug hanging out under your oak trees sniffing around and trying to eat an acorn. Can Pugs eat acorns and what are the dangers of it?
Can Pugs Eat Acorns?
No, acorns contain a chemical called Gallotannin, which is a type of acid called “tannin” and is commonly found in grapes, teas, and coffee. When dogs eat acorns in the autumn and winter months, they often become ill from the tannin found in the acorns shell.
The Gallotannin is extremely dangerous for dogs and can even cause fatality if your pooch eats large amounts because the acid targets the kidneys.
In addition, if swallowed whole, they can cause serious dangerous intestinal blockages.
Note: This article is written by someone who owned a Pug for 16 years, not a veterinarian, and shouldn’t be a substitute for professional advice. If your Pug has eaten something potentially dangerous or is showing signs of illness, you should contact your vet immediately!
So what do Pugs like to eat? This breed eats pretty much anything, but that doesn’t mean that all the foods are good for them. Let’s take a look at why you shouldn’t feed acorns to your pooch and what to do if you catch them eating one.
What Are Acorns?
Acorns are known as an oak nut is a nut that belongs to the Fagaceae family. It has a shape of a capsule, with a tough, leathery shell, and contains the oak tree’s seed inside.
They are most common during the autumn and winter months, when they fall from the trees. If you have oak trees in your yard, you need to ensure you don’t let your Pug come into contact with them or the leaves.
Are There Any Benefits To Feeding Acorns To Pugs?
No, even though they are high in iron, potassium, vitamins A and E, and other vital minerals, they do not provide any benefits for your pooch.
In fact, the tannins can make you sick as well as your pooch! So be sure you wash them before eating and NEVER feed them to your pooch!
Fun Acorns Facts
Acorns come from oak trees and there are over 400 species of oak trees worldwide. The most common oak species of oak trees in North America are White Oak, Black Oak, and Willow Oak.
They are very rich in nutrients and contain large amounts of carbohydrates, protein, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and fats. But they are dangerous to both animals and humans.
Are Acorns Safe For Pugs?
No, they are extremely poisonous if eaten by dogs. Listed below are just a few of the dangers your pup can be exposed to when eating acorns.
One of the major issues your dog can face when ingesting acorns is bowel obstruction, regardless of the age or size of your dog. A small dog like a Pug or even a puppy are at higher risks of complications, and if swallowed will need to rush to the emergency vet for x-rays and possibly surgery.
The second concern is the high levels of tannins which can cause gastritis and vomiting. Gastritis is an inflammation of the lining of the stomach, which may lead to stomach ulceration. Frequent vomiting can cause dehydration, which will require IV’s and fluids from your vet.
Also, the leaves from your oak trees can also be harmful to your pooch and can cause acorn poisoning aka Quercus poisoning. As a responsible pet owner, you need to keep your pooch away from these yummy nuts, poisonous plants, and other hazards around your home and while in public.
Keep the acorns picked up around your home as they also contain a harmful mold known as “tremorgenic mycotoxins” which can cause seizures and even death.
Kidney Damage or Failure
This is not likely, unless your dog consumes a large quality. However, eating even a small amount of acorns can cause kidney damage, here are some of the signs to watch for.
- Increased drinking and urination
- Weight loss
- Mouth ulcers
- Chemical odor of breath
- Blood in urine
If your pooch shows any of these signs after eating an acorn, you need to take them to the vet immediately. A blood work test will be able to determine how bad the kidneys have been affected by the tannins.
But as we mentioned above, your Pug would have to eat an insane amount of acorns for this to happen.
Can Pugs Eat Acorn Shells?
No, the shells contain high amounts of the fatal toxin tannins and can lead to internal blockage to your pooch. Never let your dog eat the shell from any nut, whether it is toxic or not.
Letting your dog eat shells, is just asking for trouble.
Can Pugs Eat Cooked Acorns?
No, even if you’ve leached the acorns to remove the tannins to prepare them for roasting, your pooch should still not be fed this nut. If your pooch loves eating nuts, you may want to consider giving them peanuts, almonds, or cashews, the unsalted variety.
Can Pugs Eat Raw Acorns?
No, raw acorns are extremely toxic to dogs and can lead to unwanted health issues. The reality is your Pug is likely to eat rabbit poop or their own poop instead of an acorn if left alone in your backyard.
That being said, if your pooch loves hanging out in the shade under your oak trees, make sure you keep the ground free of any fallen acorns, leaves, or branches.
What To Do If Your Pug Eats An Acorn?
If you catch your pug eating an acorn, don’t panic, just tell them to “drop it.” Open their mouth and make sure they don’t have any part of it in their mouth, including the leaves.
Chances are they didn’t eat enough to cause any issues. You’ll want to monitor them closely for the next 24-48 hours and if you notice any vomiting or diarrhea, you may want to contact your vet or the animal poison hotline.
Be prepared to answer some questions like how old your Pug is, how much of the acorn did they eat, and what type of signs are they showing.
Alternatives To Feeding Your Pug Acorns
I know there are some pet owners who will feed their dogs nuts, even though they don’t need them in their daily diet. Just remember, there are good nuts and bad nuts for dogs.
Here are just a few of the good ones they can add, as long as they are unsalted.
- Roasted Chestnuts
- Almonds (high in fat)
As always consult with your veterinarian before adding any new foods to your dog’s diet. Every dog is different and may react differently towards different foods, your vet knows your pet’s health better than anyone and can ensure the safety of your canine friend.
Final Word On Feeding Pugs Acorns
Never feed your Pug any type of acorn, whether it’s cooked or raw. It’s just not worth it risking your dog’s life. Even if they don’t get severely ill, they will likely still suffer from an upset tummy and end up having diarrhea.
References And Further Reading
Plantation Pet Health Center – George E. Martin. Jr., DVM – Fall Season Pet Health Warnings