Avocados are a popular fruit, and many people enjoy them as part of a healthy diet. But can dogs eat avocado?
You’ll often see avocados listed with toxic foods for dogs, but did you know that dogs actually can eat avocados? Avocados can be a healthy addition to your dog’s diet, but there are some important things to keep in mind.
What are the risks of feeding avocado to dogs?
Let’s talk about the risks of feeding avocado to your dog first, and then we’ll dive into the benefits of avocado for dogs!
Risk 1: Persin
Avocado contains a substance called persin, which can be toxic to some animals. Dogs, however, are generally not affected by persin unless they eat large amounts of avocado peels or avocado pits.
What is persin? Persin is a fungicidal toxin that is concentrated in avocado pits, peel, and leaves. It is part of the plant’s natural defense against pests and fungal infections. While persin is toxic to some animals, such as birds and rodents, it doesn’t affect dogs in small doses.
How does persin affect dogs? In normal doses, persin has no effect on dogs. Overdosing on persin can cause vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, and fluid build-up in the lungs.
Risk 2: High Fat
Avocado flesh is safe for dogs to eat, but it’s important to give them only a small amount. Avocados are high in fat, and too much fat can cause gastrointestinal issues in dogs. Start by giving your dog a small piece of avocado and
What kind of fat is in avocados? The avocado’s fat content is mostly monounsaturated fat, which is a healthy type of fat. However, avocados also contain a small amount of saturated fat.
Why are high fat foods bad for dogs? Large amounts of fat can cause gastrointestinal issues in dogs, such as vomiting, diarrhea, and pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is a condition that affects the pancreas and can be caused by high-fat foods. Symptoms of pancreatitis include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and lack of appetite. If your dog has any of these symptoms,
Risk 3: Nutritional imbalance
Despite avocado’s many health benefits, it is important to keep in mind that avocado is not a balanced source of nutrition for dogs. It contains high levels of healthy fats and antioxidants, but also has very little protein or vitamins. Therefore, you should only feed avocado as an occasional treat and make sure your dog is getting all of their essential nutrients from other sources. Be sure to also check that you’re feeding your dog an appropriate amount of avocado based on your dog’s daily caloric needs!
Risk 4: Allergies
Some dogs are allergic to avocado, so it’s important to watch for signs of an allergic reaction if you decide to feed avocado to your dog. Allergic reactions can range from mild (itchiness, redness) to severe (trouble breathing, swelling). If your dog has a severe reaction, take them to the vet immediately.
What part of the avocado is not safe for dogs?
The creamy green flesh is the only part of the avocado that your dog should eat, because it contains the lowest concentration of persin (a level that is safe for dogs to consume in small doses).
Pit: The avocado pit is the most dangerous part of the avocado for dogs. It can cause obstruction in the gastrointestinal tract, and contains concentrated levels of persin that can lead to poisoning.
Peel: The peel of the avocado contains concentrated levels of persin that can lead to poisoning.
What are the benefits of feeding avocado to dogs?
Avocados are a good source of healthy fats and antioxidants. They can help improve your dog’s coat and skin health, and may also have anti-inflammatory properties.
Vitamins in Avocados
- Vitamin A: Avocado is a good source of vitamin A, which can help promote healthy vision and skin.
- Vitamin C: Avocado is also a good source of vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that may have anti-inflammatory properties.
Minerals in Avocados
- Potassium: Avocado is a good source of potassium, which is an electrolyte that helps regulate blood pressure and heart function.
- Folic Acid: Avocado is a good source of folic acid, which is important for cell growth and repair.
Overall, avocado can be a healthy addition to your dog’s diet, as long as you take care to avoid the risks associated with high fat content and nutritional imbalance. However, it is best to stick to small portions of avocado and always consult with your vet before introducing avocado or any new
How much avocado can my dog eat?
As a general rule, you should give your dog no more than 1/10 of an avocado at a time. If your dog is on a diet or has pancreatitis, you should give them even less (or no) avocado.
How to serve avocado to dogs
Avocado should only be given to dogs in small amounts as a treat, and it’s important to remove the pit and peel first. To serve your dog avocado, you can:
- Dice it and give them a few cubes on top of their kibble or as a treat
- Puree it and give them a few teaspoons (perfect on a lick mat or to fill a KONG)
Dogs should not eat guacamole, which often contains ingredients that are toxic to dogs, like onion and garlic.
While avocado oil does not contain any persin and is safe for dogs, avoid feeding avocado oil to your dog because it is high in fat.
Determine what part of the avocado your dog ate. If they just had a bit of the flesh, they will likely have no reaction. If they ate the pit, look for signs of choking or gastrointestinal distress. If they ate the peel, look for signs of nausea or vomiting. If you notice any adverse reaction, contact your vet immediately, as they could be signs of choking or persin poisoning.
Other fruits and vegetables that dogs can eat
There are many other fruits and vegetables that are safe for dogs to eat. Some good options include apples, bananas, broccoli, carrots, cucumbers, green beans, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes. Always consult with your vet before introducing any new foods to your dog’s diet.
What About Our Other Furry Friends?
Most pets should avoid avocados. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) advises not to feed avocados to birds, rodents, small pets, or farm animals. Persin is present in avocado fruit, pits, leaves, and the actual plant, so all of these parts are potentially poisonous to most pets. We are asked about a few specific pets fairly often.
Can Hamsters Eat Avocados?
No, according to the ASPCA, the persin in avocados is toxic to many pets and advises skipping this one.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Avocados?
Feeding guinea pigs avocados is not advised by the ASPCA.
Can Rabbits Eat Avocados?
Feeding rabbits avocados is not advised by the ASPCA.
Can Cats Eat Avocados?
Feeding cats avocados is not advised by the ASPCA.