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Can Dogs Eat Onions? No, Here’s Why!

If you’ve wondered if can dogs eat onions, this post will answer all your questions! The short answer though is no, dogs should not eat onions, and here’s why.

A black french bulldog in front of yellow onions.

Red, white, and yellow. No, we’re not talking about roses. Onions come in a variety of colors and shapes, and their health benefits are undeniable. It’s filled with antioxidants, potassium, and iron, to name a few. This power veggie can help with cancer prevention and boost hair and skin health.

These layered wonders are perfect for us humans, but can dogs eat onions? Keep reading to know how onions affect canines and whether you should be feeding them to your dog.

So, Can Dogs Eat Onions?

The short answer is no, dogs can’t and shouldn’t be eating onions. Every single part of the vegetable is toxic to dogs; leaves, flesh, juice, and even the powder form should be far from your pooch. This is true for onions in raw and cooked forms.

Red onions on a white background.

Why Onions Are Toxic to Dogs

Onions are part of the allium species, which includes garlic, chives, and leeks. They all contain n-propyl disulfide, an oxidant that attaches itself to red blood cells.

Once attached, the body recognizes the blood cells as a foreign body and breaks them down, causing “oxidative damage.” This, in turn, can lead to anemia. This red blood cell-breaking process is called hemolysis and can cause hemolytic anemia.

How Much Is Too Much?

If your dog sneaks a small bite of onion, it shouldn’t be much of a concern. However, you should monitor how much onion is getting into your pooch’s system.

Your dog’s size plays a huge role in how easily onion toxins affect them. Smaller dogs like Yorkies are at higher risk than big dogs like Rottweilers or Great Danes. The general toxic dose per kilogram of your dog’s weight is 15-30 grams of onion.

Also keep an eye out for onion being added to foods you might think are ok to feed your dog periodically. This could be soup, sausage, bread, or other.

A bag of mixed onions.

Symptoms of Onion Toxicity

Your dog got to an onion, now what? You should start monitoring your dog for the following symptoms:

  • Decreased appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Panting
  • Pale gums
  • Lethargy and weakness
  • Fainting
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Dark or reddish urine

Onion toxicity is potentially lethal, so once you notice any of these symptoms on your dog, it’s time to rush to the veterinarian.

They will be able to diagnose whether it was caused by onion toxicity or if there’s another underlying condition. The vet may either induce vomiting or administer charcoal tablets.

Golden retriever with a chef's hat next to a bowl of onion.

Summary

Can dogs eat onions? The answer is no. If your pooch sneakily chomps a small bite, they shouldn’t be at risk. The risk of onion toxicity will get higher when your dog consumes more than a small bite. This includes raw, fried, and processed onions.

You should also avoid sharing any snacks that contain onion powder since it has the same risk factor as a regular onion.

So no matter how much your furry friend begs, you should never give them onions or any onion-flavored food.

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