Could an autumn dog walk be dangerous?

With autumn now well in motion, it’s a beautiful time of year to head outside with your four-legged friend to take in the brisk air, dim evenings and scattered, brown leaves. However, many dog owners have reservations, with two common seasonal sights being a particular concern.

Start a Google search with the words “are conkers” or “are acorns”, and you’ll see that these two fallen fruits of the autumn trees are of some apprehension among dog owners, but should you be worried about your dog eating them?


Although they are a form of chestnut, conkers are not the same as the chestnuts that can be bought and eaten from shops. They contain toxic chemicals, which make it a bad idea to eat them.

You shouldn’t worry if your dog only eats a conker or two now and again, but it should be discouraged in order to avoid the possible toxic and gastrointestinal effects of larger conker consumption.


Acorns fall from oak trees at this time of year, and are one of the most recognisable signs of autumn, but they too have toxic properties.

However, their bitter taste makes it unlikely that your dog will eat enough of them to suffer any illness as a result. They tend to be preferred by mice, squirrels and other rodents rather than dogs.

Though dogs should not be encouraged to eat conkers and acorns, it’s unlikely they will consume enough of them to become ill, so you shouldn’t let these concerns spoil your enjoyment of an autumn walk together.

To learn more about what your dog should and shouldn’t eat, and why, try our Canine Nutrition Diploma Course.

Categories: Canine Nutrition

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