Many dog parents have probably wondered at one time or another if it’s okay to let their furry buddy munch on a pine cone. After all, a dog is known for being curious about everything they come across on a walk, and pine cones can look pretty tempting.
So, can dogs eat pinecones? The short answer is no. Pinecones are actually really bad for dogs. They’re difficult to digest and can cause blockages in the intestines. Plus, the sharp scale can cut up a dog’s mouth or throat.
If you see your dog nibbling on a pinecone, it’s best to take it away and keep an eye on them in case they show any signs of discomfort.
What is a Pine Cone?
A pine cone is the seed-bearing fruit of a coniferous tree. The scales on the pinecone protect the seeds from animals and the weather.
Pine cones come in all shapes and sizes but are generally triangular or oval-shaped with a pointy end. They can be anywhere from an inch to several inches long.
Pinecones are usually brown or tan, but some species have red or purple cones. The color doesn’t affect whether or not a pinecone is edible.
Pinecones fall on the ground when ripened and ready to release their seeds. This usually occurs in August or September.
Dogs allowed to roam off-leash in wooded areas are more likely to come across pinecones. But even if your dog sticks to the pavement, it could still end up with a pine cone if one falls into your yard from a nearby tree.
Are Pine Cones Poisonous to Dogs?
Pine cones are not poisonous to canines, but that doesn’t mean they’re safe to eat.
The cones are really hard, making them challenging to digest. They can also cause intestinal blockages. The sharp scales on pinecones can cut up a dog’s mouth or throat.
Why Are Pine Cones Bad for Dogs?
Here are some reasons dogs should avoid these cones:
- They contain a sticky sap that can cause skin irritations in dogs. In addition, the sap can become lodged in a dog’s fur, and as they try to groom themselves, they can end up ingesting it. This can lead to tummy upset, vomiting, and runny stools. If you suspect your dog has come into contact with pine sap, be sure to give them a thorough bath and check for any signs of discomfort.
- The oils on pine cones can cause stomach problems in dogs if they eat them. The oils can irritate the lining of the stomach and make them sick. If it’s severe, it can even lead to liver damage. The oil can also cause an allergic reaction in some dogs.
- Pinecones are often covered in a sticky resin which can cause intestinal blockages if eaten whole.
- The sharp scales on the cone’s surface can damage the gastrointestinal tract, leading to bleeding and infection. If you suspect your dog has eaten a pine cone, you must watch for signs of distress such as vomiting or difficulty defecating.
- Pinecones can be particularly dangerous for dogs, as they often have pesticides on them. If a dog tries to eat a pine cone, it could ingest harmful chemicals. This could make them very sick, and sometimes it can be deadly.
- Pinecones are not easily digestible, which means they can cause intestinal blockages. When a dog consumes a pinecone, it might become lodged in its digestive tract, causing vomiting or diarrhea. If the pinecone is not removed, it can rupture the intestines and cause fatal internal bleeding.
- Pinecones are a choking hazard. If a dog tries to eat a pinecone, it can get lodged in its throat and block the airways. If this happens, the dog will need emergency medical care.
For these reasons, it’s important to be careful when allowing your dog to play in areas where pine cones are present.
Why Do Dogs Love Pinecones?
Even though pine cones are bad for dogs, that doesn’t stop some of them from trying to eat them. So why do dogs love pinecones?
There are a few theories. One is that the resin on pine cones smells like food to dogs. Another is that the cone’s shape and texture make it irresistible to chew on.
Whatever the reason, it’s important to remember that just because your dog likes the taste of pine cones, that doesn’t mean they’re safe for them to eat. So if you see your dog chewing on a pinecone, be sure to take it away from them and keep an eye on them in case they start showing any signs of discomfort.
What Should You Do if Your Pup Tries to Eat a Pine Cone?
If you think your pup has eaten a pinecone, it’s important to watch them for any signs of distress. If they start vomiting or having difficulty defecating, it’s best to take them to the vet right away.
Sometimes, the vet may give your fur baby medication to help them pass the pinecone more easily. On rare occasions, surgery may be necessary to remove the pine cone from their digestive system.
Some Symptoms to Look For
- Loss of appetite
- Excessive drooling
If your four-legged friend is showing any of these signs, it’s essential to get them to the vet’s office asap. They may need to be treated for a blockage or other health issues.
How to Prevent Your Fur Baby From Eating a Pinecone?
- The best way to keep your furry friend from eating a pinecone is to keep them away from areas where pinecones are present. If you take your dog for walks in the park, avoid areas where pine trees grow.
- You should also pick up any pine cones that fall in your yard so that your dog can’t get to them.
- Train your pup not to eat pinecones. If you live someplace where pine trees are common, it’s important to train your dog not to eat pine cones. The best way to do this is to catch them in the act and quickly say “no.” You can also give them a tasty treat so that they associate the word “no” with something positive.
- With some training, your dog will learn that pinecones are off-limits, and they’ll be less likely to try and eat them. And if you see your dog chewing on a pine cone, take it away from them immediately.
Although pinecones are not toxic to canines, they can still pose a serious threat. Dogs love the taste of pine cones, but they are almost impossible to digest and can cause blockages in the intestines. Pine cones are also a choking hazard and can obstruct your dog’s airways.
If your fur baby has ingested a pine cone, monitor them by looking for any signs of distress and get them to the vet immediately if necessary. The best way to prevent your dog from eating a pinecone is to keep them away from areas where pinecones are present and to train them not to eat them.
By following these simple suggestions, you can help keep your dog safe from the dangers of pinecones.