Are Avocados Bad for Dogs?
Some dogs have voracious appetites. Quite literally, some dogs like to “eat anything and everything.” So, you might be wondering, “can dogs eat avocado?”. This is a popular dog food question that pet owners would like to know more about. The truth to “can dogs eat avocado” is yes and no.
Avocados contain huge volumes of a toxic fungicide called persin. Persin is found in the avocado tree’s leaves, stems, and skin of the avocado fruit. Large amounts of persin are toxic to dogs. So, is avocado bad for dogs? Yes, avocados are bad for dogs. This is especially if they eat the avocado leaves, stems, and peel.
The flesh of the avocado fruit can be safely eaten by dogs as long as they eat it in moderation and when the fruit is ripe. Yes, avocado flesh contains persin, but only in minimal amounts. So, if you want to risk it, you can feed the fleshy part of the ripe avocado fruit to your dog. There’s no universally-recognized “safe volume” of consumption of the dog avocado fruit, though.
Signs of Persin Poisoning in Dogs
You might be worried about your dog getting poisoned by the persin in the avocado fruit’s flesh. That’s understandable because different varieties of avocados’ flesh contain varying levels of persin. This means your dog can get persin poisoning if the fruit has a lot of persin without you realizing it.
If you feed your dog avocado, or if your dog accidentally eats the avocado peel or leaf, or the avocado tree’s leaves or bark, your dog can develop persin poisoning. Here are some signs that your dog has persin poisoning:
- Abdominal pain.
- Difficulty defecating.
- Myocardial damage (this one is rare).
The leaf of the avocado tree contains the most persin, while the fruit’s flesh contains the least. For this reason, some veterinarians may recommend keeping dogs away from avocado trees to avoid persin poisoning. Yes, some dogs eat avocado; the riper the avocado fruit, the less toxic is the fruit flesh.
The Nutritional Value of Avocados for Dogs
The truth is, many veterinarians don’t automatically worry when a dog owner brings in their pet and tells the vet, “my dog ate avocado.” That’s because not all dogs are sensitive to the persin in the avocado fruit. There are even health benefits when some dogs eat avocado. Here are the health benefits:
- Contains healthy fats.
- Doesn’t have much sugar.
- Has a ton of vitamins.
- Has many antioxidants.
- Contains fiber.
The Benefits of Avocados for Dogs
You might be thinking, “Is avocado good for dogs?”. The answer is yes; there are some advantages when dogs eat avocados.
One benefit is the flesh of the avocado fruit can make your dog’s coat shiny and healthy-looking due to the healthy fats it contains. The vitamins of the fruit flesh will also enrich your dog’s diet. This is great if you want your dog to have a well-balanced diet for the long term.
Another benefit is that avocado fruit flesh is good for the intestinal tract of dogs. The fiber will act as a “broom” to clear out the intestinal tract of previously ingested food.
There are also antioxidants in the fruit of avocados. This helps counter free radicals, which are instrumental in developing certain illnesses, such as cancer. Dogs benefit from those antioxidants and will remain disease-free if enough antioxidants are consumed.
Keeping Your Dogs Away From Avocado
If someone says, “my dog ate avocado,” it doesn’t mean that their dog will immediately die of persin poisoning. However, it is always a good idea to keep your dogs from getting near an avocado tree, so they don’t ingest any part of the tree.
Also, don’t let your dogs eat the fruit that has fallen from the tree because its peel and the pit are highly toxic to dogs. The pit can also be a choking hazard since it can block your dog’s airway, causing them to suffocate.
If your dog is nosy, it might take an interest in digging up the avocado peel and pits from your garbage bin. This means you have to be proactive and prevent your dog from getting access to your garbage bin. This also applies to those pet owners who may throw the peelings and pits into the home compost bin or compost pile in the backyard.
A Delicious Avo Treat Dog-Friendly Recipe
If you want to incorporate some avocado fruit into your pet’s diet, one way is to bake it using this wonderful dog-friendly treat recipe.
Fun Avocado Biscuits for Pooches
Time: 28 minutes
Serving Size: 36 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Nutritional Facts/Info per serving/in total: No information available
- Electric or gas oven.
- Food processor or blender.
- Baking tray.
- Baking greaseproof paper.
- Rolling pin.
- Two eggs.
- Oat flour 100 grams.
- One peeled and pitted avocado fruit flesh, sliced into smaller pieces.
- Measure out oatmeal into the bowl of the food processor or blender, then pulse until it is fine oat flour.
- Put the avocado fruit slices into the bowl of your food processor or blender.
- Put the oat flour back into the food processor or blender bowl as well.
- Pulse the contents of the bowl until it is well-mixed.
- Crack the eggs and place them within the bowl with the oat flour and avocado mixture.
- Pulse the contents until well-mixed.
- You may add more oat flour if you feel the dough needs it.
- Pre-heat the oven until it reaches 180 degrees Celsius (356 °F).
- Roll out the dough onto a clean baking paper on a baking tray. The thickness of the rolled-out dough should be 0.5 cm (or ¼ inch). Use a cookie cutter to measure each biscuit dough and put it on the baking paper.
- Slide this baking tray into your hot oven.
- Wait for 20 to 25 minutes. (The biscuits should look slightly brown at the edges).
- Switch off the oven but leave the biscuits inside to cool on their own.
Can Dogs Eat Guacamole?
You may have asked your vet, “can my dog eat avocado?”. One popular dish is guacamole, and its main ingredient is avocado. So it is only natural to want to feed the family dog some guacamole, in case it might enjoy it.
However, guacamole is not entirely safe for your pet to consume, even if you’ve fed your dog avocado before. One risk is your dog could develop pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) because of the avocado. Guacamole also contains salt, garlic, tomatoes, and onions that are known to be bad for dogs, especially in excessive amounts.
If your dog accidentally ate some guacamole, such as when the dog gets into the trash bin and scarfs down leftovers, bring your pet to the emergency room of a pet hospital or clinic right away.
FAQs on Feeding Dogs Avocados
How Many Avocados Can You Safely Feed Your Dog?
There is no benchmark for your pet consuming a safe volume of avocado. What could count as “a lot of avocados” for one dog may be small for another dog. Even veterinarians might disagree on how much avocado your dog can eat. When in doubt, don’t give avocado to your pet at all.
Can Dogs Eat the Avo Pit?
No, definitely not! Avocado fruit pits are one of the most toxic parts of the avocado fruit. It might induce choking if your pet swallows the avocado pit and whole without chewing on it. If your dog ate an avo pit, rush your dog to the nearest veterinary clinic right away!
Can Dogs Eat Avocado Peel?
A dog owner might wonder, “can dogs eat avocado skin?”. Unfortunately, this is another major, “no!”. You should never allow your dog to consume the avocado fruit peel because it is also highly toxic. In addition, the persin content of an avocado peel is relatively high, so eating this could be fatal for your dog.
Can Dogs Have Avocado Oil?
Some dog owners may want to know, “can dogs consume avocado oil?”. The answer to that is, “yes, absolutely!”. Avocado oil doesn’t contain the toxic persin that pet owners should avoid feeding their dogs. However, as a responsible dog owner, you should refrain from giving excessive amounts of avocado oil to your pet. As with any kind of food or supplement, moderation is key.
Eating healthy is the mantra of many dog owners who may think that an all-natural food, like avocado, would naturally be beneficial for their dog. Veterinary research has advanced so much so that we now know to be careful when feeding avocados to dogs.
Some pet owners believe that there’s no harm in giving a bit of avocado fruit to their pets. This can be true for some dogs, but not all. Some dogs can be sensitive to the persin content of avocado, even if other dogs aren’t affected.
So, play it safe and give just a tiny bit of the avocado fruit to your dog. If your dog doesn’t have a major reaction to the fruit, then maybe your dog isn’t as sensitive to avocado fruit as you feared. Have your pet examined by the vet afterward anyway.