What Happens If My Dog Eats Pine Cones? What To Do Then?

Dogs often have a curious palate, and their penchant for exploring the world through their months can sometimes lead to unexpected encounters with unusual objects, like pine cones.

While pine cones may seem harmless, they can still pose some potential risks to our furry companions. So, what happens if my dog eats pine cones?

Let’s learn more about the dangers, warning signs, and necessary steps to ensure your pet’s well-being.

This way, whenever you find your canine companion munching on these forest-floor treasures, you will know how to respond and keep them safe.

Can Dogs Eat Pine Cones?

what happens if my dog eats pine cones

No, it is not safe for dogs to eat pine cones. These items can trigger several health risks for your pup. Firstly, their rough and woody texture can be harsh on a dog’s digestive system.

When ingested, pieces of pine cone can splinter or cause blockages in the gastrointestinal tract, resulting in severe internal injuries that may require surgical intervention.

Furthermore, pine cones might carry harmful chemicals or pesticides, especially when they have fallen in areas where such substances have been used.

Also, even the resin found in pine cones can be irritating to a dog’s mouth and digestive system, causing discomfort.

What Happens If My Dog Eats Pine Cones?

Eating these inedible objects can lead to symptoms that affect your canine’s health, walking problems, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, throat swelling.

Or else, your pooch might look tired or show signs of excessive thirst or urination.

Appetite Loss

As pine cones are composed of fibrous material, they can be challenging for the dog’s digestive system to break down.

This indigestion can lead to discomfort that naturally reduces its desire to eat.

Plus, the residual sap in the cones might be irritating to the dog’s mouth and stomach, further discouraging the animal from eating.

Walking Issue

In response to the pain or discomfort brought by ingesting the pine cones, your furry pet may show some behavioral changes, such as reluctance to engage in physical activity.

This can affect their walking, making them move strangely, lay down on walks, and even experience difficulty in doing so.


The body may respond to the presence of foreign objects like pine cones with inflammation, which can evoke vomiting as part of the body’s defense mechanism.

Moreover, when the pet consumes a relatively large piece of a cone or several smaller fragments, a partial intestinal blockage is to be expected.

Vomiting may occur as the body tries to clear the obstruction.

Throat Swelling

As mentioned before, the pine cone sap can be quite damaging to your pet’s health.

One common sign of pine sap poisoning in dogs is throat swelling, which shows up when this juice enters the dog’s mouth and causes inflammation.

The pup’s tongue may initially appear slightly swollen, or you may first notice the dog experiencing difficulty swallowing.

This can sometimes entail unusual behaviors, such as wheezing when breathing.


Your beloved furry companion’s drooling is not merely a bothersome personal behavior. It is an extremely significant symptom of poisoning that requires immediate attention.

Even though there are other potential culprits behind the illness, eating pine cones may be a significant one.


If your pet eats the cone or the cone fragments, it could easily get diarrhea.

The abrasive texture of the cones can scratch and upset stomach lining and intestine lining, triggering diarrhea as a defensive response to flush out potential irritants.

Also, in some cases, the ingestion of foreign objects can disrupt the normal balance of gut bacteria.

This imbalance can pave the way for bacterial overgrowth, resulting in severe diarrhea as the body tries to eliminate the excess bacteria.


Pine cone poisoning can be to blame for your dog’s lethargic behavior. This is because the pine cones contain the seeds, which are poisonous to the animal.

Thujone, the toxin inside the kernel, can give rise to problems in the dog’s brain. More severe conditions, such as muscle tremors or even seizures, will appear in your poor dog.

Excessive Thirst Or Urination

The stomach irritation can trigger an inflammatory response in the body, increasing the release of certain hormones, including antidiuretic hormone (ADH).

ADH is crucial in regulating the body’s water balance by reducing urine production.

Still, inflammation can interfere with the normal function of the hormone, forcing the body to produce more urine and hence the excessive thirst to compensate for the increased fluid loss.

What To Do When My Dog Eats Pine Cones

Can Dogs Eat Pine Cones

Once this happens, you need to stay calm and follow these steps: monitor the animal’s behavior, keep it hydrated, and talk to a vet as soon as possible.

Step 1: Observe Its Behavior

The first thing to do when you suspect the dog has eaten a pine cone is to observe their behavior closely. Different dogs may react differently to ingesting pine cones.

Some may only eat a small amount and show no symptoms, while others may swallow larger pieces, leading to more serious issues.

Look for signs of distress or discomfort, as I have mentioned above.

Take note of the symptoms your dog may have, as your observations can provide crucial information for the vet. This will help you make informed treatment decisions.

Step 2: Give The Dog Fresh Water

Offer your dog a bowl of fresh water. This can help flush out any small bits of cones that are stuck in their mouth or throat.

Plus, it can present dehydration, which can be a concern if your dog has been vomiting or experiencing diarrhea.

Notice to ensure your dog has access to clean drinking water at all times during this process.

By offering clean water, you can also monitor your pet’s level of thirst.

Suppose it continues to drink excessively or refuses water altogether; it could be a sign of more serious issues that require professional health care.

Step 3: Bring It To The Vet

If your dog has ingested a significant portion of a pine cone or is exhibiting signs of distress, it’s crucial to contact your veterinarian immediately.

A vet can perform a thorough examination, which may include X-rays or other diagnostic tests, to determine the extent of the situation.

This will help identify any potential blockage risk or injuries in the digestive tract that may not be evident from external observations.

Then, they will give you expert advice and guidance based on their assessment of the animal’s condition.

After initial treatment, they can also provide instructions for post-treatment care and monitoring. This way, your dog’s recovery will progress as expected.

How To Prevent Dogs Eating Pine Cones

How To Prevent Dogs Eating Pine Cones

Preventing dogs from eating the cones is essential to guarantee their safety. Here are some tips you can apply to keep your pet from consuming the pine cones.

  • Supervision: Always supervise your dog when they’re in areas with lots of these items lying around. This allows you to intervene if they try to pick one up.
  • Teach the “Leave it” trick: Train your dog to respond to this command, reinforcing good behavior and redirecting them away from pine cones.
  • Regular yard cleanup: Keep your yard pine-cone-free by regularly cleaning up fallen cones to minimize the temptation.
  • Provide engaging toys: Offer a variety of safe chew toys and puzzles to keep your pet mentally and physically stimulated. This will reduce their interest in pine cones.
  • Leash control on walks: Keep your dog on a leash and under control during walks in areas littered with pine cones, supporting you to guide them away from these objects.
  • Use deterrent sprays: Pet-safe deterrent sprays can be applied to pine cones or the surrounding area, discouraging your dog from chewing on them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Pine Cones Digestible?

No. Pine cones themselves are not easily digestible for dogs or most animals.

Their harsh and woody texture makes it difficult for the dog’s digestive system to break down, potentially causing discomfort when ingesting, gastrointestinal blockage, and even internal injuries.

Is It Safe For Dogs To Chew On Pine Trees?

No. Pine trees contain various compounds, including oils and resins, that can be toxic to pets when consumed.

Chewing on pine trees can end up with mouth and gastrointestinal irritation, as well as potential poisoning. 

In less severe cases, your pup may get injuries and dental issues from sharp bark and splinters.

Are Pinecones Toxic For Dogs And Cats?

Yes. It can be toxic to both animals.

The aromatic resins and oils can give rise to a range of health issues, such as gastrointestinal upset, vomiting, diarrhea, and, in severe cases, organ damage.

The Bottom Line

What happens if my dog eats pine cones? Now you know all the potential risks your pet might face when eating these non-food items.

Thus, when this happens, prompt action is the key.

Always consult your veterinarian for guidance tailored to your pup’s specific situation.

Remember, a vigilant eye, preventive measures, and proper training can go a long way in keeping your furry friend safe from hazards.

By staying informed and proactive, you can ensure the animal’s well-being and continue to enjoy the wonders of nature together.


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Hi I am Mitchell. Dog Growth is a blog about dog caring and training where I share my experiences to my community. Hope you enjoy it!

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