Here’s why conkers are dangerous for your dog

(Picture: Getty)

One of life’s great joys is dogs – cat people, look away.

Cuddling your dog during rainy nights, having a companion who always loves and understands you, and long walks in the cold autumn air (somehow this is starting to sound like a personal ad for a partner).

This season, while you’re out and about in nature with your best friend, take care and look out for conkers – the hard, dark brown nut from horse chestnut trees.

The little nuts start to fall off the trees in September and within, contain a deadly toxin known as aesculin, which if ingested by your dog, could be fatal. According to the Blue Cross, dogs have already died due to accidentally chewing or eating conkers.

‘Conkers pose two risks to dogs: their size and shape means they could cause an obstruction to the airway or gut, both of which could be fatal,’ Shaun Opperman, head veterinarian at Battersea Cats and Dogs Home, tells

‘Secondly, conkers contain a mixture of toxic compounds which may cause gastronomical and neurological signs of poisoning, such as vomiting, diarrhoea and collapsing.

‘If you think your dog may be at risk it’s important to contact your vet immediately for further advice.’

‘When out walking this autumn, it’s crucial to be aware of any dangerous plants and trees that might cause harm to your pet,’ PDSA veterinarian, Olivia Anderson-Nathan, tells

‘Keep a close eye on them, and try to walk your dog somewhere you know is clear of toxic plants.

‘If you know your pet’s a prime scavenger, you might need to take extra pre-cautions, like popping on a basket muzzle on them while you’re out and about to prevent them picking up anything dangerous.’

If you want more information on Conkers, visit the dedicated section on the Blue Cross website.