Can dogs eat avocados? Are they good for dogs or are they toxic? It can be challenging to know which humans foods dogs can consume safely and it is important that proper research is done before you go ahead and give your pup a special treat.
The simple answer is that dogs should not eat avocados as they contain a certain ingredient that can be toxic. Let's take a closer look at dogs and how avocados affect them.
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Sings of a Dog Who is Experiencing Avocado Poisoning
Most of the time, your pup will not have access to enough of the avocado fruit to experience any extreme poisoning. The only time this may happen is if they get into a huge tub of guacamole or find an avocado tree where they have access to many fruits in one sitting. Most dogs will only experience mild stomach upset if they happen to have a sensitive stomach and don't react well to persin - a toxic chemical that affects some animals.
If your dog has an upset stomach, it can be anywhere from mild to severe symptoms. They can have vomiting, diarrhea, loose, wet, or soft stools, and they may not have an appetite for their meals or treats. Some dogs will be tired, lethargic, not have a ton of energy, or will just not be their happy and normal selves.
The biggest concern about an avocado is if your dog accidentally swallows the large pit inside of the avocado. This is such a big issue because it can cause an obstruction. Signs of an obstruction would be excessive vomiting, not drinking water or eating food, sluggishness, weight loss, weakness, and diarrhea. The severity of symptoms can vary depending on how bad the obstruction is.
- Ears drop
- Weight Loss If Obstructed
- General Discomfort
- Not Eating and Drinking Normally
- Sluggishness and Lethargy
- Extreme Vomiting
- Extreme Diarrhea
History of Dogs and Avocados
Furthermore, these creamy green fruits also contain potassium, folate, niacin, fatty acids. Avocados are great for improving your dog's immune system due to their high antioxidant levels and they also provide a natural source of plant protein to help your dog grow healthy and strong. That is, of course, if your dog doesn't have a sensitivity to them!
Science Behind Dogs and Avocados
The medical director of the ASPCA claims that they see many dogs who have eaten avocados and most of them only experience some very mild stomach upset like nausea, diarrhea, and some vomiting. She claims the biggest concern is the pit of the fruit because this can cause a bad intestinal obstruction in your dog.
The reason why some sources claim avocados are toxic to dogs is that they contain a chemical called persin. Persin is mostly concentrated in the leaves of unripe avocados. Persin is the main ingredient to cause any intense poisoning or extreme stomach upset in dogs if they are exposed to it. The only way a dog may be exposed to this chemical is if they have access to the whole unripe fruit, like from an avocado tree.
Avocados found in supermarkets, in guacamole, or even in dog food are only using the flesh of the avocado - not the leaves, stems, or the pits. Many studies have been done on dog foods that actually contain avocado, like oil or meal. After the studies, it was found that dogs had no adverse reactions to avocado oil or meal in the dog food.
Since the toxicity of avocados only come from persin found in the leaves, pit, stems, and skin, giving your dog the flesh of an avocado is generally found to be safe and healthy in smaller and controlled quantities.
Training Dogs to Eat Avocados Safely
If you decide you would like to give your dog some avocado during the week because of all the numerous health benefits, you must make sure you are preparing the avocado for your dog correctly. Make sure you only feed your dog the flesh of the avocado and not any of the leaves, skin, pit, or stem that may be attached to the fruit.
To serve, cut the avocado in half with a sharp knife. Use the knife to twist out the large pit in the middle of the avocado and discard. Take a spoon and carefully scoop out the bright green flesh of the avocado, leaving all pieces of the skin behind. Be sure the only part of the fruit you have is the bright green flesh.
Your dog may like to eat pieces of the avocado like a treat or you may have more luck getting your dog to eat the avocado if you mash it up and mix it with his food. Start with smaller amounts of avocado to make sure your dog does not have any adverse effects from the fruit, especially if your dog has never eaten any before. If Fido does ok with a small amount after a day, feel free to increase the amount of avocado you give your dog.
How to React if Your Dog Has Side Effects From Avocados
Consult your vet if symptoms are bad or get worse.
Make sure your dog has plenty of water to drink.
Stop feeding your dog any avocado!
Safety Tips for When Your Dog Eats Avocados
Make sure you only feed your dog the flesh.
Prepare the avocado correctly.
Never give your dog the whole fruit.