Can dogs eat avocado? The simple answer is yes, in small amounts. The long answer, well, let’s get into that. There are a lot of risks associated with feeding your dog avocado, but there are also benefits.
Here is a rundown on everything you need to know about your pup and avocado, written just for you by long-time dog parents just like you.
Building a healthy diet for your dog is often easier said than done. There are a lot of things to avoid that you might not guess would be harmful to your dog, such as grapes.
Fruits and vegetables are still an important part of your pup’s diet though, so what can they have?
Here are the do’s and don’ts when it comes to your dog and “people-food.”
Can Dogs Eat Avocado?
Like we mentioned before, this simple question has a tricky answer. While avocados have a lot of great nutrients that can be beneficial to your dog, too much of it can be extremely dangerous to some pets. Fortunately, your dog can enjoy this incredible fruit as long as you are careful and know what to look out for when feeding your pet avocado.
Building a sustainable diet for your pets while also keeping them safe and healthy is entirely possible!
The Risks of Avocado
The thing that makes avocados so dangerous to your dog is a fungicidal toxin called persin that can cause health problems and even death in many different animal species.
According to a study conducted by veterinarians, dogs are more resistant to this toxin than other animals, but that doesn’t make it completely safe for dogs to eat avocados whenever they like.
Persin can be found in every part of the avocado, meaning all of these parts can be poisonous to your dog if they eat enough of it.
Most of the toxin, however, can be found in the leaves, skin, and pit of the avocado, with smaller amounts present in the flesh.
If Your Dog Eats Too Much Persin
If your dog eats too much persin at once, the toxin can cause diarrhea and vomiting.
In addition, letting your dog eat too much avocado flesh can upset their stomach and cause pancreatitis because of just how calorie-dense the fruit is. These are all super important details to note if you are planning on feeding your pet avocado, even in small amounts. There are also some ingredients in dog food that can be toxic, so make sure to check if these are in your dogs food.
In addition to the persin issue, avocado pits can be a choking hazard or cause a blockage inside of your dog’s body, since dogs can’t digest them easily. Keep these pits away from your pup at all costs!
What Should I Do If My Dog Eats Avocado?
If your dog eats the flesh of an avocado, whether it be on purpose or by accident, keep a close eye on your dog for 48 hours to make sure that it passes through their system without any problems notice any changes in their health or behavior during this time, such as sudden tiredness, vomiting, lack of appetite, and diarrhea.
You can follow these steps in case that your dog eats any avocado skin, but if your pup gets a hold of a pit, it is best to call your local vet as soon as possible. They know your dog best, second to you of course, and will be able to give you recommendations on how to keep that pit from being a problem.
If you notice your dog vomiting, struggling to poop, or they appear to be in pain in any way after eating a pit, take them to get checked by a vet right away.
Can Dogs Eat Avocado Oil?
Fortunately, avocado oil doesn’t contain any persin, which means that it is perfectly safe for your dogs to eat. No type of oil should be given to dogs in large amounts since these oils tend to be high in fat, but in small amounts your dog can absolutely have avocado oil. This is a great way for them to cash in on the health benefits of eating avocado without having to put your pet at risk.
Beneficial Nutrients in Avocado
There is a lot packed into a single avocado, which is partially why it is so popular in the human culinary world. The fatty acids, niacin, and potassium are essential to keeping your dog’s fur smooth and shiny. Vitamins A, B3, B6, C, and E are great for your pup’s bone, skin, fur, and eye health.
Vitamins in Avocado
Best Ways to Let Dogs Eat Avocado
There are several great ways to give your dog avocado safely. First, keep the portions small. As mentioned before, persin can be dangerous in large amounts, so reducing the amount of persin your pup consumes will lower the risk of poisoning as well.
Second, only give your dog the fruit, never the skin, leaves, or pit. Persin is much more concentrated in these parts of the avocado, so it is best to avoid them altogether.
Third, limit your pup to plain avocado and do not let them eat guacamole. This dip, while delicious to humans, contains other ingredients that can be harmful to dogs.
Other Foods That Can Be Dangerous for Your Dog
There are lots of healthy fruits and vegetables that your pup can indulge in. At the same time there a lot of foods you want to avoid feeding your dog! Make sure that your dog stays as healthy as possible.
Here are some snacks to keep away from your dog:
- Alcohol – can cause coma, intoxication, and even death
- Caffeine – can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and is toxic to your pup’s heart and nervous system
- Cooked Bones – can be harmful to your dog’s stomach
- Chocolate, of course
- Raisins, Grapes, and Currants – can cause kidney failure
In order to keep your four-legged friends as healthy as possible, it’s important to know what you can feed your dog. Know what you can’t feed your dog, and which foods you simply need to be careful with.
Avocados are in this last category, and while they can be very dangerous, there are also a lot of benefits your dogs can get from the many nutrients in avocados.
All dogs are different and can react in different ways to the same food, so always have ASPCA’s pet poison helpline number saved in case your pet has a bad reaction to any food. Otherwise, do your research, and have fun building a sustainable diet for your dog!