Are Pine Cones Bad for Dogs? [The Definitive Guide]

So, maybe you live near a lot of pine cones or your dog accidentally ate a pine cone. Now, you’re sitting here wondering, ‘are pine cones bad for dogs?’ 

Yes, pine cones can be bad for dogs, so it is best to avoid them. If your dog has already eaten pine cones, you must take certain steps to ensure their safety and well-being.

Let’s dive into more detail.

Yes, pine cones are bad for dogs. Most pine cones aren’t poisonous or toxic but can have some pretty adverse side effects. 

The pine cones that are toxic can cause heart problems in your dog, causing your dog’s heart rate to increase.

This can then damage the nerves and muscles of your dog. Additionally, the sharp points of the pine cone can damage the dog’s intestines, if not properly cooked beforehand.

So, from this, it’s best for your dog not to pine cones. However, you can eat pine cones and almost any part of the tree. You can make pine needle tea and pine pitch with the tree.

Why Do Dogs Eat Pine Cones?

Dogs eat pine cones because of two primary reasons – they’re convenient to eat and the sap smells amazing to dogs.

Dogs really like convenient things on the ground – for example, your shoes. It’s the same idea with pine cones, but they smell a lot better.

So, now that we know dogs are attracted to pine cones – and that pine cones are bad – can my dog eat any part of the pine tree?

Can Dogs Eat Any Part of the Pine Tree?

Dogs can eat pine nuts and the inner bark of the pine tree. 

It’s best to avoid pine cones as a whole since they contain andromedotoxin, but I’ve fed my dog pine nuts and inner bark before without any complications.

They should be fine and can even be a little fun.

Pine Cone Poisoning Symptoms

If your dog just ate pine cones, you will want to look out for these symptoms. Often, these symptoms won’t be very severe if they just ate a small number of pine cones, so you’ll want to pay close attention to any of these symptoms.

No appetite

If your dog doesn’t seem to be eating so much anymore, that could be a symptom of pine cone poisoning. This can take a while to detect, but it’s safe to say that after around a day of not really eating – you should contact your vet.

No energy

If your dog suddenly just sleeps around and doesn’t move that much anymore, this is likely due to the andromedotoxin’s effect. This can cause heart and muscle problems in your dog. 

Pay attention to how they walk as well. If they’re a little wobbly, then that is a symptom. If they fall down or act dizzy, contact your vet.


Vomiting is a symptom if your dog’s body ingests too much of anything. This is a good thing because they’re getting toxic out of their body. This typically happens around one hour after eating the pine cones.


Same deal with vomiting, if your dog’s body ingests too much of anything bad, they will expel it and that’s a good thing.

By the way, if you want to make the perfect dog first aid kit to treat minor injuries and symptoms, you can click the link to our article.

What to Do if Your Dog Eats a Pine Cone

If your dog eats pine cones, then you’ll want to observe your dog for any of the above-described symptoms. If there are no symptoms, your dog is FINE – it will not die.

If you do notice any of these symptoms, then call your vet ASAP. Tell your vet exactly what happened and they will assist in the best way they can.

When Do Pine Cones Fall?

Pine cones will fall the most in autumn and winter time. Although it does depend a little on your exact location. They are near conifer trees – because conifer trees make pine cones.

So, now how do we prevent dogs from eating pine cones?

How to Prevent Dogs from Eating Pine Cones?

You can take a few simple steps to prevent your dog from eating pine cones – no you won’t need to use a muzzle (and we wouldn’t recommend it).

Use a Leash

The first step is to use a leash – this will prevent them from running to conifer trees and gobbling those sweet-smelling pine cones.

Keep Them Away from Pine Cones

Now, of course, there will be pine cones that some end up on the sidewalk – you can just kick those away.

Treat Them

Treat them whenever they don’t go off to eat a pine cone – this will take a few days and you’ll need more treats on you, but this is an effective method of teaching.

Last Words

So, are pine cones bad for dogs? All in all, pine cones are harmful to dogs and should be avoided, as they can cause heart and muscle damage.

It is best to prevent them from eating pine cones, but if they have eaten them and are showing symptoms, contact a vet immediately.

We hope this was an informative article for you and have a nice rest of your day!

Leave a Comment