Why Is My Dog Obsessed With Pine Cones

Why Is My Dog Obsessed With Pine Cones?

Ever thought about why your close canine companion gets so worked up when it comes across pine cones and wondered why is my dog obsessed with pine cones?

Dogs are obsessed with pine cones as they usually like to chew on them, play with them, or eating bits of them. This is because they probably get attracted by the scent of the sap and think it’ll be a good treat for them, or maybe because it feels like a plaything to them.

Let’s take a closer look at the question, why is my dog obsessed with pine cones.

What Are Pine Cones?

Why Is My Dog Obsessed With Pine Cones

Pine cones are the hard, woody, and spirally scales that grow on pine trees. However, that is a female pine cone. Male pine cones are soft and spongy and do not make the woody-shelled cover like the female cones do. This is due to the fact that male pine cones are smaller in size and have a very short lifespan.

The male pine cones have to release the pollen which they produce. The wind blows the pollen away, hopefully landing on a female pine cone on another pine tree. This is how a female pine cone gets pollinated.

The woody structure in a female pine cone protects the seeds from harsh winters and wind. This is done so that the seeds can be pollinated and grow. Each scale has two seeds inside if it is fertile. After pollination, the pine seeds grow and gradually fall to the ground after peeling away from the cone. It will get fertilized as it stays on the ground, and a new pine tree will emerge. The seeds can also be transferred to different places by wind and water.

Are Pine Cones Edible?

Pine cones are indeed edible for humans. In fact, all parts of certain pine trees can be eaten except for the out layer of the pine bark. The pine nut is also popularly used in making pesto. So, there are certainly some parts of the pine tree that can be used for edible purposes.

The pine nuts are also a great source of vitamin C and minerals.

Do Animals Eat Pine Cones?

Animals like squirrels, deer, rats, woodpeckers, crossbills, etc., eat pine cones. The squirrels leave stacks of empty scales under pine trees. Unlike the squirrels, the birds do not leave a very clean-cut edge when they pull out the pine cones.

Deer also receive necessary nutrition for winter from the pine cones. They commonly consume pine cones and pine needles. They have no choice but to munch on what they get from the pine trees during winter because of the lack of other food sources.

Is It Safe for Dogs to Eat Pine Cones?

Pine cones may look harmless, but you should not let your dog chew on one. The pine needle or the sap from the cone is a little toxic for your dog and might lead to vomiting and depression. The thorn-like points from the needle may also pierce your dog’s intestines.

Why Do Dogs Eat Non-edible Items?

Dogs have a mentally compulsive behavior that results in them chewing on inedible items like wood, metal, rocks, dirt, etc. This condition is called Pica. It makes the dog crave things that are not food items and can cause harm to the health of the dog.

They may end up swallowing toxic things or something that might disturb their digestion.

Are Pine Saps Suitable for Dogs?

If a specific dose of pine sap or oil enters the dog’s digestive system, it can irritate them. It affects their gastronomy and may have mild symptoms of depression.

Are Dogs Allergic to Pine Trees
How to Teach Your Dog to Stop Eating Pine Cones

Will the Ingestion of Pine Needles Harm the Dog?

Whenever you go to the park for a walk along with your dog, you should make sure that it doesn’t go and start chewing on pine cones as the pine needles are harmful to its health. It may not cause death, but it gives mild diarrhea or may make the dog vomit. The worst-case scenario can be that the pine needles will puncture the dog’s intestines. However, most cases are resolved without much of an issue.

Are Dogs Allergic to Pine Trees?

Dogs can certainly suffer from various seasonal allergies as it is difficult to avoid these situations. Pine trees let out a lot of pollen into the air during the spring season, which may trigger some of your dog’s allergies.

This is nothing to worry about and is normal. Only in some instances, it might get severe, but that can also be resolved by visiting the vet. Pollen released by the trees can land and stick to your dog’s fur, skin, and paws.

How Poisonous Are Pine Cones?

Eating pine cones can cause issues such as vomiting and intestinal ruptures. They are awful for puppies. You should avoid making puppies randomly chew on pine cones, and, if necessary, there are safer alternatives for a dog’s chewing purposes.

Are the Leaves Safe for Puppies to Chew On?

Although leaves are not dangerous to the puppy’s health, they can cause blockages in its digestive organs if it chews off more than it can bite. In large amounts, it is detrimental to the puppy’s overall health. It may cause vomiting or constipation.

How to Teach Your Dog to Stop Eating Pine Cones

It is essential to control your dog from chewing on pine cones or any other inedible items, for that matter. You can always train the dog to have some level of restraint even if it is not 100% effective. This will help in minimizing the chances of hazard. There are specific methods on how to take care of a dog when it comes to avoiding pine cones.

Use a muzzle to teach it how to have self-control. It would help if you spent a lot of time training your dog to get used to the muzzle, as it will most likely dislike the muzzle at first. You should give the dog a treat every time it wears the muzzle. This is how the dog will learn how to wear a basket muzzle.

Another option is a new gadget called Outfox, designed to refrain dogs from eating foxtails. This would also be ideal for keeping the dog from chewing on pine cones.

You can also take the help of a cone (Elizabethan collar). If you choose a cone that is longer than its nose, then it won’t be able to reach out for things on the ground with its mouth. This is a device that would be the most comfortable for your dog.

How Is Pine Wood for Dogs?

Pinewood is not good for your dog, either, not just pine cones. The pine tree that we use for decoration purposes during the Christmas season is especially unsuitable for the dog. It is poisonous and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy if consumed. It will upset its stomach even though it may not result in death.

Are Pine Needles Bad for a Dog’s Paws?

If your backyard has pine trees and you don’t regularly sweep the needles from that area, it will be hazardous for your dog. The needles are sharp enough to pierce your dog’s paws which will cause him significant discomfort and pain. It can also get stuck inside its mouth and stay under the skin of the paws.

What Are the Uses of Pine Cones?

Pine cones have a vital job to keep the seeds inside them safe from the harsh temperatures in the winter season. Pine cones have scales that can close tightly to protect the seeds. It keeps out the chilly temperatures, winds, ice, and some animals that enjoy the seeds of the pine cones.

Are Pine Cones Good Fire Starters?

Dry pine cones have always been excellent tinder for starting fires. People have been using them for hundreds of years, and they last for a long time when dipped in wax and used. It gives a faster start to the fire too.

Some Interesting Facts About Pine Cones

  • Pine cones actually date back to the prehistoric period and belong to the gymnosperms plant group.
  • Pine cones protect their seeds during winter and release their pollen when the weather gets warmer.
  • The Jack-Pine cones require hot heat to break open and release their seeds.
  • Pine cones stay stuck to the tree for more than a decade before falling to the ground.
  • Pine nuts are an excellent natural source for zinc and phosphorus.
  • All types of conifer trees produce male and female cones. The female cones are more visible than the male cones because the latter is much smaller and not visible.
Is It Safe for Dogs to Eat Pine Cones
Do Animals Eat Pine Cones


Although pine cones have many uses for humans and other animals, they are not suitable for man’s best friend – the dog.

Dogs are obsessed with pine cones because they are attracted by the scent of pine sap or oil. They feel that pine cones are a thing to play with. Even if it looks like a harmless wood cone, it is dangerous for the dog to swallow the pine needle. It can perforate the dog’s intestines and cause upsets in its stomach resulting in vomiting and a lack of energy.

If you want to know how to take care of a dog, the best way is to avoid all these problems to keep a good eye on your puppy when you take it for walks to the park or near pine trees. You can also train the dog to have self-control.

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