Acorns Can Pose a Danger to Dogs

Not that anybody requested, however my favourite tree in the entire world is the oak tree. We have dozens of species of oaks in California, and the place I grew up, within the nice Sacramento Valley, the Valley Oak (Quercus lobata) is essentially the most ubiquitous and in addition the biggest oak tree round. They reside to be a whole lot of years outdated and develop into large, photogenic shapes. When my husband and I purchased the property the place we now have lived for the previous (virtually) three years, one of many key promoting factors was the magnificent hundred-year-old Valley Oak that stands in entrance of the home, and several other different smaller Valley Oaks sprinkled across the property, together with some lesser oak varieties, the Blue Oak and the Live Oak.

Here’s the down facet of dwelling with oak bushes, one which I by no means absolutely appreciated till now: acorns. So. Many. Acorns. And whereas all of the oak bushes are producing them, the Valley Oak makes a number of the largest ones; they exceed the dimensions of a typical tube of lip balm. Their distinctive “caps”, too, are a hazard. When they separate from the acorn, they grow to be a separate massive, onerous, marble-shaped hazard.

The Valley Oak in our entrance yard: Magnificent and a prolific producer of acorns

Acorns underfoot on the garden. (“Ow! OW!”)

Acorns getting mowed by the mower (turning the mower right into a harmful, projectile-throwing machine).

And worst of all: Dogs chewing on and (generally) consuming the acorns.

California children develop up with the knowledge that the native indigenous individuals in California harvested the acorns and made them a staple of their weight-reduction plan – and each California child who lives close to an oak tree tries to reenact this. You collect acorns, peel off the pores and skin to reveal what seems to be a giant, scrumptious nut, and discover some rocks able to grinding the nuts into a rough flour. The objective is to then add some water and use your arms to combine the flour and water right into a dough and attempt to make a tortilla. At some level within the course of, you dip your finger into the flour and lick it, or take a little bit chew of the dough, and – ACK! Blech! It’s bitter!

When California children get a little bit older, they study that acorns are stuffed with bitter tannins, and that the native individuals used to leach the flour with water, generally many instances, to take away the bitter substance and make the acorns suitable for eating.

And, as vet-bill-paying adults, we study that along with being bitter-tasting, these tannins will be poisonous to people, horses, and canines. Shoot!

Tannins in acorns will be poisonous to canines

I do know a number of individuals whose canines get form of hooked on chewing the bitter-tasting nuts and find yourself with an especially upset abdomen – and in extreme instances, kidney failure and dying. A canine who turns into inappetent after consuming acorns requires instant veterinary care. My sister had a little bit canine who, no less than annually, would require a vet go to after sneaking a couple of acorns. She favored them after it had rained a time or two within the fall, when the nuts have gotten soaked with rainwater and fermented barely – which appeared to extend their toxicity.

It took me about 10 minutes to gather this bucketful of nuts and caps.

Despite the wealth of nuts littering my property within the fall, neither of my canines has been desirous about choosing them up or chewing them, even speculatively, and up till now, neither have any of my foster canines. That is, till my most up-to-date foster canine arrived. I’ve to maintain a really shut eye on Coco, who has grow to be inexplicably drawn to chewing on the acorns, to the extent that I principally can’t have her out of my sight on my fenced, two-acre property. Wah!

Like my sister’s canine from years in the past, Coco is (fortunately) uninterested within the dry ones that cowl most of my property, and is generally drawn to those which have been soaked by the sprinklers on my entrance garden. While that is rather a lot, given the GINORMOUS Valley Oak, the satisfaction of our property, no less than it’s simply these. So it’s my new night passion: hanging out on the entrance garden within the evenings with my canines, throwing the ball for Woody, watching Woody and Coco wrestle, watching Otto look ahead to feral cats and squirrels … and choosing up acorns from the garden, and dumping them in our “green waste” barrel. I most likely have a couple of extra weeks to get pleasure from this new passion earlier than the tree’s provide is completed and I can calm down once more.

Have you ever had hassle with an acorn-eating canine? Spread the phrase about this hazard.

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