Can dogs eat pine cones? That’s a question my neighbor recently asked, and he’s not alone. If you take your dog for walks through a wooded area, near a park, or on trails, he may come across pine cones.
Dogs should not be allowed to eat pine cones because they are harmful to their health. Pine cones aren’t harmful to humans, but they can be very dangerous for dogs.
I frequent a Facebook group for veterinarians, and many members have posted pleas for help after their dogs have eaten pine cones. Ingestion of a foreign object is a common reason for dogs to need emergency veterinary care.
What to do if you think your dog ate a pinecone, and whether or not pinecones are bad for dogs, are all covered in this article.
Can Dogs Eat Pine Cones?
In conclusion, canines should not consume pine cones under any circumstances. Pine trees, as you might guess, are the source of pine cones. Pine trees produce pine cones, which serve as their reproductive structures. From September through December, they are most likely to drop from the trees to the ground.
Dogs, whose sense of smell is at least 40 times more acute than a human’s, find pine cones to be extremely appetizing.
Six million olfactory receptors in each of our noses allow us to detect odors. Due to their 300 million olfactory receptors, dogs can detect pine cones before they even see them.
Where Are Pine Cones Found?
Dogs may find pine cones in a variety of places besides the forest floor or under pine trees.
Pine cones are a popular seasonal decoration, especially around Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the winter holidays. Make sure your dog knows the leave-it command before taking him to holiday gatherings. Keep a close eye on him, especially if he is deaf.
Organic mulch, including bits of broken pine cones, is commonly used to surround trees and plants. Mulches are great for the soil because they keep moisture in, but they could be tempting to your dog.
Pine cones are a common crafting material for elementary school kids to create everything from autumn scenes to spooky decorations. Keep your dog away from the pine cone projects your children bring home.
Are Pinecones Toxic to Dogs?
Even though dogs won’t get sick from eating or chewing on pinecones, it’s still not a good idea.
Pinecones may not be toxic, but they present their own unique dangers to our four-legged friends.
Dogs Should Avoid Eating Pinecones
For the following reasons:
Because of the following, pinecones are dangerous for dogs:
One possibility is pine oil, which is produced by pine trees and possibly found on the pinecone. There is evidence that pine oil can upset the stomachs of some dogs.
Second, some dogs, particularly those with a history of allergies, may have a reaction to pinecones because of the sap that naturally collects on them.
Pinecones found on the ground by your dog may have been contaminated with harmful pesticides or fertilizers.
4 Your dog’s stomach could be irritated if it ate a pinecone because of the scales that run along their edges.
Fifth, a dog’s intestines may become blocked if it eats a whole pinecone; this may necessitate surgery.
Some dogs may become so ill after eating a pinecone that they throw up or stop eating for a while.
Why Is My Dog Obsessed With Pinecones?
So, naturally, they would want to play with, chew on, or eat a pinecone if they ever came across one.
Maybe they smell the pine sap and decide to investigate further because they think it would be tasty to eat or fun to play with. As I mentioned up top, canines are naturally inquisitive and find almost everything fascinating. It runs in their veins…
What Should I Do If My Dog Eats A Pine Cone?
It’s no secret that canines have a penchant for unhealthy snacks. The offending material is often expelled through the mouth or the bowels. However, this is not always the case, and in such cases, risks arise.
A pine cone, or even just a piece of one, can become stuck in a dog’s digestive tract and cause severe discomfort.
When swallowed whole, pine cones can be fatal. Never make a pet vomit without first consulting with your vet. The esophagus and the throat are vulnerable to blockages caused by objects that are brought up.
An endoscopy (a long camera equipped with a device to remove the pine cone) or surgery, if endoscopy is not possible, may be necessary to remove the pine cone from your dog’s digestive tract.
The veterinarian may attempt to return the pine cone to the stomach during the procedure in order to remove it without making any incisions. Your veterinarian may recommend an enterotomy to remove the pine cone from the digestive tract.
More complex resection and anastomosis may be needed if the pine cone causes extensive damage to the intestines. Risks associated with the anesthetic and the surgical site exist whenever your dog undergoes intestinal surgery.
Avoid having your dog ingest pine cones by keeping him away from them. However, these procedures are sometimes necessary to save a dog’s life, and no one wants to subject their pet to them.
Consequences of Dogs Who Ate Pine Cones
Sue Greenberg, a dog mom, knows the terror of finding a pine cone in her pup’s stomach. Bailey, her Cocker Spaniel, helped himself to pine cones and branches from her lilac tree. Immediately, she took her dog to the animal hospital.
It was too late for her to remove the items from Bailey’s mouth. We all know that when dogs fear we will take their food, they can become incredibly nimble and swallow it in a matter of seconds.
Bailey gave him intestinal distress. After being rushed to the vet, he was given an anti-nausea medication and some food, Greenberg said.
She told the amazing internal medicine doctor that if her son threw up, an ultrasound appointment would be made for the following day. Pine cones, which we couldn’t pry out of his mouth fast enough, don’t show up on x-rays, and he enjoyed those, too. Will we need to scan him with an ultrasound anyway?
In other words, he has company. In addition to Bailey, tens of thousands of dogs regularly consume pine cones in one form or another. When dealing with an intestinal blockage, you should take no chances. I’m a member of a Facebook group dedicated to veterinary medicine, and here’s what one dog mom there recently wrote:
In a dog park, my dog chewed off a tiny piece of a pine cone. It just wouldn’t leave his mouth. As he fled from me, he chewed on it.
The next morning, he had normal bowel movements. On the other hand, he vomited up a piece of pine cone first thing Saturday morning. No other odors were present besides bile.
On Sunday night he began passing a soft stool, which quickly escalated into diarrhea that occurred every three to four hours. The morning’s cleaning revealed mucus. His diarrhoea has not stopped.
He maintains regular patterns of eating, drinking, and sleeping. He’s as lively as ever on this stroll. But every once in a while you’ll see him stretch his stomach. Clearly, he has some sort of nagging concern.
Other Side Effects of Dogs Eating Pine Cones
Dogs that eat whole or partially digested pine cones may experience, among other things:
- Tissue fragmentation in the mouth and/or throat
- Diarrhea and sickness
- Problems breathing and choking
- Problems digesting pine oil or sap
- Depression of the nervous system
- Stomach ache
- Allergy attack if your dog suffers from severe allergies
- Pine cone’s adverse reaction to pesticides
In spite of the fact that pine cones are not poisonous to canines, owners should never let their pets ingest them. Also, the same issues mentioned above can occur if your dog ingests pine needles, whether they come from a real tree or a fake one, so keep them out of your dog’s reach.
How to Stop Your Dog From Eating Pine Cones
You can teach your dog basic commands like “leave it” or “drop it” with the help of positive reinforcement. Your dog will thank you for teaching it this life-saving command. The last thing you want is for your dog or puppy to be a scavenger.
When your dog eats or chews something it shouldn’t, never punish it with a spanking or a hit. Your relationship with your dog should be happy and secure.
When practicing “leave it,” bring your dog’s favorite treats or a toy if he has a tendency to eat random objects on walks.
It’s rude to use a phone for anything other than making calls or sending texts while walking a dog. You can’t keep tabs on your dog’s behavior if you’re not paying attention.
When walking your dog at night, it’s a good idea to bring a flashlight, leash light, or cap light so you can keep an eye on them.
Do not forget to keep your regular vet’s number handy, as well as the numbers of any emergency animal hospitals. Even if it costs you money, you should have the number for a pet poison hotline readily available.