Can Dogs Eat Pine Cones?

correct answerThe Short Answer is:

Dogs can die if they swallow pine cones. Dogs cannot be poisoned by pine cones but they can be poisoned by sap needles and oils that stick to them.

In this research you will know the answer to the query “Can Dogs Eat Pine Cones?“.

Suddenly your yard becomes covered in pine cones as you dash to clear it before your dog does. 

If you like to walk in your favorite forest with your dog during the Autumn you may spend much of your time spotting Pinecones to pounce on so your dog would not pick up their favorite “chew toy.”

Isnot it funny how we tie ourselves up for our dogs?

Its impossible that walking is healthy for you mentally?! 

However did you know that pine cones and dogs are not meant to be together? 

Were we unnecessarily frightened? 

What do you think? Lets find out shall we? 

Here are a couple of amazing facts about pine cones before we get started. 

Can you believe some pine cones are 10 years old? 

Our dogs normally see and worry about female pine cones. Our dogs are not concerned with pine cones that are male as they tend to be much smaller. 

Lets not go into too much detail. It takes a while to explain to dogs why pine cones are so fascinating in the first place… 

Why Might Dogs Find Pine Cones Interesting?

Pine cones are not something most of us pay much attention to when we see them. Canines however often find them absolutely fascinating.

I think its important to understand why they may want to play with pine cones.

Dogs are like children to me they enjoy playing and exploring and sometimes I have to stop them from doing something harmful.

Sometimes I wonder why they do these crazy things that do not make sense to me. Its the same thing with pine cones why does my dog want to play with them?

 Every dog is different and they tend to eat or play with pine cones for different reasons.

Conifer cones may appear like sticks to some dogs or they may resemble one of their toys inside leading them to be attracted to the cone.

You may want to toss it around the yard for them like a ball so they will chase after it. Other dogs might be attracted to the Pine sap on the Pinecone looking at it as a tasty treat.

Dogs are attracted to pine cones for a variety of reasons and its important to understand that most of these reasons are based on their natural curiosity.

Can Dogs Eat PineCones? Are Pine Cones Toxic for Dogs?

On the question of whether dogs can eat pine cones lets get down to the nitty-gritty. Do pine cones cause toxicity in dogs?

Pinecones themselves are not toxic and the truth is that they are not toxic. Nevertheless it does not mean it is safe for your dog to consume or play with. 

Pine cones that are completely natural often have sap on them from the tree. When swallowed this sap can cause gastrointestinal distress or other issues like constipation.

Similarly pine cones tend to be brittle and will break when exposed to harsh conditions.

By cutting up their mouth throat stomach and more these sharp edges may cause damage to the internal organs of our four-legged family members.

Furthermore pine cones may be coated with toxic substances despite not being naturally toxic.

The pine cones may become contaminated with pesticides and herbicides.

When ingested by dogs these chemicals can cause serious and sometimes life-threatening issues.

So it is a good idea to steer our pets away from pine cones.

Are Older/Dryer Pine Cones Safer than Fresh Ones?

It is logical to ask okay but what if my dog gets ahold of an old pine cone is that safer than if they get ahold of a new one?

Pine cones older than one year may have less sap or hazardous chemicals but that does not mean they are less dangerous.

A pine cones brittleness increases as it ages as it dries and ages.

As a result they are easier to break. Even a dog playing catch is likely to break an old pine cone.

Our intention is to protect them from getting their mouth throat or stomach cut by these sharp pieces of broken glass.

Is there any way to make a pine cone into a toy?

It is sometimes hard for us to prevent our dogs from playing with something they love; they are usually stubborn in this regard.

Often the best solution is to find a way to turn something that could be dangerous into something safe.

When you remove the sap or harmful chemicals from a fresh pine cone you might think it is safe for your dog.

The pine cone can be strengthened so it does not break or it can even be softened so it can be chewed without causing damage.

There is no way to safely transform a pine cone into a toy and a pine cone is never a good toy.

The best approach in this situation is to take a more safe-than-sorry attitude regardless of what others might say.

Pine cones can cause serious or even life-threatening injuries so you should avoid them at all costs.

How can I stop my dog from playing with or eating pine cones?

It is not uncommon for our four-legged family members to seem a little stubborn at times. Pine cones are aware of the danger of pine cones and it can be hard to make them aware explain it to them.

The first thing you should do is teach them not to pee in the house like you did when you taught them not to pee in the house.

 There are many different methods we can use to train our dogs but one of the most common is showing them a pine cone and saying “NO! “ or “This is bad.” It is important that we don’t make them think they are being punished.

Some dogs may respond positively to a finger tapped in the nose as a warning not to touch the pine cone while others may not. Customize the lesson to the dogs temperament and training method.

Additionally if your yard is full of pine cones its a good idea to clean them. The temptation of pine cones while no one is looking may not always be available to us when they are outside so it is a good idea to remove them when no one is looking.

Last but not least on walks dogs are often curious and may even sniff or eat anything they find. You may want to consider using a muzzle if you encounter this problem.

While I personally do not like to use muzzles on my dogs I have found flat and open muzzles that might work. Dogs can open and close their mouths normally with these but they cannot pick anything up with their mouths during a walk. 

What are signs of poisoning from Pine Cones (or Chemicals on them)

You should monitor your dogs health after he eats a pine cone in order to decide whether a trip to the veterinarian is needed. Certain dogs may seem lethargic or confused as the result of reacting to pine cone sap or chemicals. It is possible that they will have diarrhea or other changes in their bowel movements or that their belly will make noises. Seizures and worse can also be caused by chemicals in pesticides and herbicides.

Keeping an eye on your dog is the best rule of thumb. Tell your veterinarian what you see if you see something unusual. In that case you may decide together if you want to get them checked out or just continue monitoring the issue.

Are Pine Needles Acorns or Conkers safe for your dog?

There are no safe alternatives for our dog among all of these. And to make matters worse all of these are more dangerous than the previous.

Dogs can get cuts on their mouths and throats from pine needles which often contain pine cone sap and chemicals. In addition acorns can cut them up when they are broken and their chemicals can cause health problems.

The last thing you should do is eat conkers because they are dangerous and you should see a veterinarian as soon as possible.


Due to our love for our furry family we need to steer them away from pine cones despite their curiosity. Because they are naturally curious it may not be easy to control their curiosity.

We do not want to stifle their spirit of exploration and adventure.  I suggest bringing a safe toy on a walk which they can use to play with and explore the park.

Taking your dog on a walk in the backyard is just as important so clear up those dangerous pine cones and spend time exploring the nooks and crannies. Both of you will have a great time and remember it forever.

If you want to read more about dog food tips read here: Dog Food Tips and Tricks.

Can Dogs Eat Pine Cones? (Watch Video)

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