Autumn Dangers | Conkers and Acorns


Keeping Your Dogs Safe this Autumn



Fruit of the horse-chestnut tree (Aesculus hippocastanum) 

Also known as Horse Chestnut, Buck Eye, Chestnuts, Obblyonkers, Cheggies or Cheesers 

Conkers contain a chemical called aesculin (found in all parts of the horse chestnut tree) which is toxic to dogs if chewed and eaten.

Fatalities in cases where dogs have eaten conkers are rare but it can still make your dog very sick. They can also be swallowed whole which can cause an abdominal obstruction.

Signs of poisoning usually appear within one to six hours.


Clinical signs are:

• drooling

• excessive drinking

• vomiting

• diarrhoea (diarrhea)

• abdominal pain

• difficulty breathing.



Keep a close eye on your dog when you’re out and about this autumn.

If you notice any Horse Chestnut trees or your dog is nose deep in fallen leaves and conkers - call them in and keep them distracted with a toy or treat until it's safe for them to 'go play'

NEVER throw conkers for your dog to fetch.

Seek immediate veterinary advice should you have any worries.

 Conkers and leaves

Image by Mabel Amber



The acorn is the nut of the oak tree (Quercus robur)

Acorns contain gallotanins, a combination of gallic acid and tannic acid which can be harmful to dogs.

It can cause stomach upset and diarrhoea in some pets, and in some cases acorn ingestion can cause abdominal obstruction.   

Acorns Illustration

Signs include

• vomiting,

• diarrhoea (diarrhea)

• abdominal pain,

• loss of appetite and lethargy.

Seek immediate veterinary advice should you have any worries.  

You May Also Be Interested In

Dogs Advice & Information

Recipes for Dogs

The Pet Stop  

Pet Food

Check back for new articles. pet advice, recipes, and more!

On Facebook?

Why not pop over & say hello!


Ask A Vet | Dear Marjorie