Are Pinecones Bad for Dogs & Puppies to Have?

It is easy to find pinecones scattered across the yard, and they can be useful in making DIY decorations from time to time. However, they can also be an excellent form of entertainment for your dogs. They may chew on them, battle with them, or sometimes end up swallowing them. 

Despite being excellent playthings for dogs living in areas with many of them, they can be quite discomforting for many pet parents. This is because many people aren’t sure of how it affects the dogs. 

If you’re wondering about the safety of pinecones to your dogs, the fact is that they are not safe for your dogs. Read through this article to find out why and how they affect your fur babies. 

Pine Cone Facts to Help You Get Started

Pine cones are products that come from conifer trees or pine trees. These trees are quite old, going back to prehistoric periods – as far back as 300 million years ago. 

According to scientists, your dogs aren’t the first animals to find pine cones delicious – dinosaurs were. The duck-billed dinosaurs used to enjoy pinecones before they went extinct. 

The production of pine cones by pine trees is a means of protecting the seeds. These cones help keep the trees safe from animals and cold temperatures that can quickly destroy them. 

As the temperatures become warmer, the pine cones begin to release the protected seeds by opening up. For some pine cones, there is a need to put them under fire to get them open and gain access to the seeds. 

Why Dogs Shouldn’t Play with Pinecones

When on a walk, most dogs love to play with pinecones. This is also the case if you have pinecones in the yard. An attractive feature of pinecones that dogs find amusing is the texture of the pinecones. 

For pinecones of larger sizes, batting and chasing them around is enough fun for a dog. However, the issue with pinecones becomes apparent when your dog goes beyond this. 

The moment it goes from carrying around and playing with the pinecones, it is a cause for concern. This is when the puppy or dog begins to chew on the pinecones. Chewing on pinecones is an issue for various reasons, such as: 

  • Pinecones may contain toxins from pesticides and fertilizers used on them.
  • They can lead to choking hazards in the form of fibers that may break off while the dog plays with them.
  • Some dogs may develop an allergic reaction due to the substances that may be present on the needles and pine sap.
  • Possibility of intestinal blockage when the dog swallows a large piece of a pinecone

Pine Cone Poisoning – What are the symptoms? 

If your dog eats a pinecone, there are several signs or symptoms that you may observe. These include: 

  • Drooling
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Urination 
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive thirst
  • Lethargy

These symptoms differ from those you will identify in the case of an allergic reaction. In such situations, the following are some of the signs: 

  • Coughing
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Difficulty walking
  • Swelling in the throat

When you notice any of the signs listed above, then your dog is between life and death. This isn’t the time to test your medical knowledge; it is crucial you contact your vet as soon as possible. The faster you get help, the higher the chances of your dog surviving. 

Swallowing pinecones in small quantities may not have a significant effect on your dog, but be observant for any behavioral change. If you do notice anything different, contact your vet. 

The best option is to eliminate the possibility of your dog playing with pinecones. This is the safest measure. You can do this by providing toys for your dog and clean up the yard frequently.

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