Can Dogs Eat Pine Cones?

Can Dogs Eat Pine Cones
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Last October, I went hiking with my two dogs and we came across an area full of Pine trees. Since it was the fall season, there were so many Pine Cones with Pine needles on the ground. My Labrador was very curious and started to sniff around. Moments later, he had a Pine Cone in his mouth! Like many dog owners, I wondered, “Can my dog eat Pine Cones?” Here’s the short answer first. 

Can dogs eat Pine Cones? No, dogs should not eat Pine Cones and should stay away from Pine Cones. Dogs that eat Pine Cones can have intestinal blockages and other symptoms such as vomiting and depression. So while Pine Cones aren’t directly toxic to dogs, they can still cause other health issues in dogs.  

Knowing what I know now, I’m thankful that I grabbed the Pine Cones out of his mouth. In this guide, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about Pine Cones and dogs, including why they are bad for dogs and what you can give your dogs instead if they love to chew.

Are Pine Cones bad for dogs?

Dogs Pine Cones
Is it bad for dogs to eat Pine Cones?

Yes, Pine Cones are bad for dogs, and pet owners should do their best to keep Pines Cones away from their K9 friends. Can dogs get sick from eating Pine Cones? Yes, dogs can get sick from eating Pine Cones. In fact, we’ve listed below the top 8 reasons Pine Cones are bad for dogs and how they could harm your dog’s overall health and wellbeing.  

8 reasons Pine Cones are bad for dogs 

1. Dogs can not easily digest Pine Cones

As we know, Pine Cones are pretty hard. Some dogs may enjoy playing with Pine Cones and chewing it because of their hard texture. However, Pine Cones can be hard to chew and difficult to swallow. 

2. Pine Cone scales can splinter your dog’s mouth, throat, and stomach

If you’re wondering, “are Pine Cones bad for dogs to chew on?” the answer is yes, Pine Cones are bad for dogs to chew on. Since Pine Cones have sharp edges (or scales), they could cause cuts to your dog’s lips, tongue, and mouth while your pooch attempts to eat it. 

When your dog keeps chewing on the Pine Cones, the scales become splinters, and once swallowed, the splinter could also cut your dog’s throat and pierce your dog’s stomach and intestines. This can cause internal bleeding and is very dangerous. 

3. Dogs can choke on Pine Cones

Not only that, Pine Cones can be a choking hazard since they are difficult to chew and break down into tiny pieces. Make sure you’re familiar with the Heimlich maneuver so you know what to do if your pooch happens to choke on Pine Cones or other food. 

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4. Pine Cones can cause upset stomach in dogs 

If your furry friends manage to swallow some pieces of the Pine Cones, they may start to experience upset stomachs which can be extremely painful and excruciating. 

5. Pine oil or sap on Pine Cones can cause gastrointestinal irritation in dogs

Since Pine Cones come from Pine trees, there’s a high chance that some Pine Cones may have Pine needles attached to them. Both Pine needles and Pine trees produce Pine oil, which could also be found on the Pine Cones as well. 

Pine oil is also known as sap and once your pooch ingests some Pine Cones containing Pine needles, he or she will experience mild stomach irritation. 

You’ll want to keep an eye on your pooch if you’re both walking near Pine Cones and Pine needles since consuming a large amount of Pine needles and Pine Cones can cause minor nervous system depression and gastrointestinal irritation in dogs.  

6. Consuming Pine Cones can lead to intestinal blockages in dogs 

In addition to getting upset stomachs and symptoms of gastrointestinal upset, your K9 friends may also have intestinal blockages from eating Pine Cones. The intestinal blockage leads to bowel obstruction. Signs and symptoms of bowel obstruction in dogs include: 

  • Repetitive vomiting.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Whining.
  • Hunching over. 
  • Watery diarrhea.
  • Dehydration.
  • Bloating.
  • Loss of appetite. 

If you suspect your furry family has intestinal blockage after eating Pine Cones, we highly recommend that you contact your vet immediately. Bowel obstruction requires immediate medical attention and treatment. 

In some cases, intestinal blockage may require surgery to remove the blockage. 

Handy Hint: Prunes contain pits that may also cause bowel obstruction in dogs. Avoid feeding your furry friends fruits that contain pits in them.

7. Pine Cones may cause allergic reactions in some dogs 

You read that right! Pine Cones can cause allergic reactions in some dogs because Pine trees produce Pine oil or sap. Not only is Pine Oil (or sap) toxic to dogs, but it can also cause allergic reactions, especially to dogs that are highly prone to allergies. 

8. Pine Cones may contain pesticides that are harmful to dogs 

Pine Cones near farms may contain fertilizers or pesticides and both are harmful to your dog’s health when consumed. They can cause irritation and lead to symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting from nausea, and excessive drooling.

So, are Pine Cones bad for dogs to eat?

As we can see, Pine Cones are bad for dogs to eat. Not only are Pine Cones difficult to digest, but chewing them can splinter your dog’s lips, tongue, throat, and even his stomach and intestines. 

Since Pine Cones are hard to digest, they can also cause intestinal blockage. In the worst-case scenario, this may require surgery which may be an unexpected high emergency bill you weren’t prepared for, especially if you’re on a budget. 

If you’re walking your dog and notice Pine trees ahead, it’s best to take another route. Pine trees and Pine needles produce Pine oil or sap and this oil can sometimes be found on the Pine Cones. Since our furry friends are naturally curious canines, they will want to explore their surroundings by smelling and chewing everything they see and come across. 

Are Pine Cones poisonous to dogs?

Pine Cones for dogs
Are Pinecones poisonous to dogs?

No, Pine Cones are not poisonous to dogs. Are Pine Cones toxic to dogs? No, Pine Cones are not toxic to dogs either. However, just because Pine Cones are not toxic or poisonous to dogs doesn’t mean that our furry pooch should chew or eat them. 

Dogs that eat Pine Cones may experience upset stomach or gastrointestinal irritation because Pine Cones may contain Pine oil or sap. Both symptoms are unpleasant and painful. 

Our four-legged friends may also start to have bowel obstruction due to the intestinal blockage caused by eating a large amount of Pine Cones. In severe cases, this may require surgery to remove the blockage caused by the Pine Cones.

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Can dogs chew Pine Cones?

my dog chews Pine Cones
Yorkie Terrier dog eating a Pine Cone

As you can see, dogs should not chew Pine Cones and should avoid Pine Cones at all costs. Not only are the Pine Cones hard and difficult to chew, but the scales can also splinter. When this happens, both the sharp edges of the Pine Cones and the splinters can cut your dog’s lips, tongue, and mouth.

Once swallowed, the splinter and sharp edges of the Pine Cone scales could scratch your dog’s throat and even pierce your dog’s stomach and intestines. This causes internal bleeding and intestinal blockage. Intestinal blockage can lead to bowel obstruction and in severe cases, it requires surgery. 

To add to that, your precious pooch may experience an upset stomach and gastrointestinal irritation. 

On top of that, the Pine Cones may contain Pine oil or sap from the Pine tree and Pine needles. That sap is harmful to dogs and some dogs may be sensitive to it or have allergic reactions from it.    

Are Pine Trees poisonous to dogs?

Yes, Pine Trees are poisonous to dogs. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), Pine Trees are toxic to dogs since they have Pine needles (sap) and there’s a high likelihood that the Pine needles may be stuck on the Pine Cones your furry friend is playing with and trying to eat. 

The Pine needles are terrible for dogs. They are sharp and pointy. If your pooch ingests Pine Cones with Pine needles attached to them, the needles can pierce or puncture your dog’s stomach lining. 

This can cause gastrointestinal irritation in dogs. Your pup’s stomach and intestines may become irritated and inflamed and cause dogs to experience the following symptoms of a gastrointestinal upset: 

  • Nausea: licking the air or their lips.
  • Loss of appetite. 
  • Acid reflux: dogs may gulp to combat acid reflux.
  • Lethargy.    

Additionally, the oils found in the Pine needles can also irritate your precious pooch’s mucous membranes. Your furry friends may experience excruciating pain and discomfort after eating Pine Cones with Pine needles attached.

The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding dietary needs.