Autumn is here and if you're a dog owner who likes to take in the orange scenes of crunchy leaves this time of year, then there's something else you'll need to look out for.

Conkers have been around for years and even though they seem pretty harmless, they're actually dangerous for dogs.

The Blue Cross has shared information that helps dog owners better understand the effect conkers can have on their four-legged friends.

Worcester News: A person walking a dog (Canva)A person walking a dog (Canva) (Image: Canva)

Are conkers poisonous to dogs?

Yes, they are “highly poisonous” and can harm your dog if they eat them, according to The Blue Cross.

Cases are rare but in the past, dogs have been treated after eating conkers.

Not only can the nuts block a dog’s stomach, but they also contain aesculin, a chemical that is found in every part of a horse chestnut tree and that is poisonous to dogs.

Symptoms to look out for if you think your dog may have eaten a conker are:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Restlessness with pain and discomfort
  • Lethargy or tiredness
  • Wobbliness and tremors

They may also collapse or go into toxic shock if left untreated.

The Blue Cross says: "It has also been reported that dogs can experience respiratory paralysis and may die."

What happens if my dog eats a conker?

If you think your dog might have spotted a conker and eaten it, you’ll need to get in touch with your vet immediately.

Dogs who are poisoned by conkers will have to be rehydrated and receive medication.

If a conker has caused a blockage, it will need to be taken out via surgery, but this is rare.

The Blue Cross advises dog owners to watch their dogs closely when conkers are close by.

Why dogs shouldn't eat chocolate

You shouldn’t encourage them to catch or play with conkers and taking a toy out on a walk with you could help distract them if they’re interested in picking up conkers.

If your dog picks up a conker, you can try to remove it from their mouth but you should only do this if you know your dog is familiar with having things taken out of their mouth and if it is safe for you to take it from them.

Visit the Blue Cross website for more advice and information.