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 They dwell to be a whole bunch of years outdated and develop into large, photogenic shapes. When my husband and I purchased the property the place now we 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 aspect of residing with oak bushes, one which I by no means totally appreciated till now: acorns. So. Many. Acorns. And whereas all of the oak bushes are producing them, the Valley Oak makes a few of the largest ones; they exceed the dimensions of a regular tube of lip balm. Their distinctive “caps”, too, are a hazard. When they separate from the acorn, they develop into a separate giant, exhausting, 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 data that the native indigenous folks in California harvested the acorns and made them a staple of their food regimen – 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 show what seems to be an enormous, scrumptious nut, and discover some rocks able to grinding the nuts into a rough flour. The aim 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 somewhat chew of the dough, and – ACK! Blech! It’s bitter!

When California children get somewhat older, they be taught that acorns are filled with bitter tannins, and that the native folks used to leach the flour with water, generally many instances, to take away the bitter substance and make the acorns fit for human consumption.

And, as vet-bill-paying adults, we be taught 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 folks whose canines get type of hooked on chewing the bitter-tasting nuts and find yourself with a particularly upset abdomen – and in extreme circumstances, kidney failure and demise. A canine who turns into inappetent after consuming acorns requires speedy veterinary care. My sister had somewhat canine who, at the least annually, would require a vet go to after sneaking just a few acorns. She appreciated 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 excited by selecting 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 develop into inexplicably drawn to chewing on the acorns, to the extent that I mainly 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 usually drawn to those which have been soaked by the sprinklers on my entrance garden. While that is quite a bit, given the GINORMOUS Valley Oak, the pleasure of our property, at the least it’s simply these. So it’s my new night interest: 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 selecting up acorns from the garden, and dumping them in our “green waste” barrel. I most likely have just a few extra weeks to take pleasure in this new interest earlier than the tree’s provide is finished and I can loosen up once more.

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

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