Dear Daisy Dog: The backyard of our new home is littered with acorns, which our dog Murphy eats. Are acorns safe for dogs?

Daisy Responds: Acorns contain tannins that taste bitter and dry out a dog’s mouth, so most of us don’t like them. But if Murphy is snacking on them, you need to know what to expect.

Acorns are not extremely toxic, but they can cause digestive disturbances and other problems if ingested.

Dogs that eat a few acorns may experience loss of appetite, mild vomiting and diarrhea. These problems usually subside on their own, without medical intervention.

However, a large quantity of acorns ingested at one time can block the intestines, causing Murphy to vomit repeatedly and lie around looking miserable. If this occurs, see your veterinarian or go to an emergency clinic immediately.

Another problem is mold. If your acorns have been lying on the ground since last fall, mold may have formed on them. Acorn mold can cause tremors and other neurologic problems that require immediate veterinary attention.

Given the risks, it would be best to blow or rake the acorns from your yard so Murphy doesn’t eat them.