Do you enjoy sharing your snacks with your furry best friend? Did you ask yourself last Taco Tuesday, “Can dogs eat avocado?” Before giving in to the pleading puppy-dog eyes of your pet, it is important to double-check if that food is safe. Avocados are rich in vitamins for humans and are a staple for healthy snack options, but are they safe for dogs? The short answer is no.
The leaves, skin, and pit of the avocado plant contain a toxic chemical called Persin. This chemical is a fungicidal agent that has been known to be unhealthy to not only dogs but also larger animals such as cows, horses, and goats. Trace amounts of Person may also be found in the avocado flesh.
The lethal amount of Persin is unknown, but even small amounts can cause serious health issues. In addition to the dangers of Persin, avocados are high in calories and fat, which can cause several gastrointestinal problems.
Consumption of avocados can cause:
- Heart damage
- Weight gain
- Intestinal blockages
What Happens if My Dog Eats Avocado?
If you see your dog eating avocado, immediately take it from them if possible. Once it is no longer in your dog’s possession, begin to assess how much they might have eaten.
If only a tiny amount was ingested, your dog will probably be fine, but keep a check on them for 24-48 hours and be aware of these symptoms:
- Blood in stool
- Decreased activity or appetite
- Repeated vomiting
- Vomiting blood
If the pit was consumed, your dog might exhibit signs of choking or intestinal blockages. If the dog is choking, you may be able to remove the object. However, if the pit causes a blockage in the intestine, a vet must surgically remove it. Be aware of these symptoms:
- Acting frantic
- Straining to poop
If your dog consumes a large amount of avocado flesh or skin, they are at a higher risk of developing severe complications, particularly pancreatitis. It is essential to closely monitor your dog and get them to a veterinarian quickly if ANY of these symptoms develop:
- Blood in stool
- Prolonged vomiting or diarrhea
- Vomiting blood
- Hunched back
- Dry nose or gums
- A prolonged period of decreased activity
Acting quickly can be vital in saving your dog’s life and ensuring they do not develop severe complications. Keep in mind that small dogs are more at risk than large-breed dogs to develop these side effects.
Other Dangerous Foods
Like the Persin-containing avocado, several other common foods can be highly toxic to dogs. Be on the lookout for similar symptoms if your dog ingests:
Healthy Dog-Friendly Alternatives
Avocados provide many health benefits to human consumers, such as essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. Dogs need these nutrients, too; check out this list of healthy alternatives to keep your pet happy, healthy, and safe!
- Eggs- a great source of protein!
- Salmon- gives your dog the necessary fatty acids
- Green beans
- Sweet potatoes
You can add any of these foods to your dog’s diet, either as their daily meal or a special treat! However, a simple diet of dry or wet food is also very nutritious for your furry friend. Be aware that any significant and sudden changes in a dog’s diet have the potential to cause digestive problems. The best way to reduce this risk is to gradually introduce new foods to your pet.
Keeping Your Dog Safe
There are many ways to ensure your pet’s safety in your house. Doing proper research and training can ensure your dog lives a long and healthy life by your side. Try these tips to keep your dog safe!
- Make sure all members of the household are adequately educated on what foods to feed your dog and understand to keep harmful foods away from them
- Keep a list of foods your dog can and cannot eat on your fridge
- Secure your trash can so your dog will not find a way into it
- Keep ALL foods out of reach
- Read the labels on dog food bags and treat bags
- Ask your veterinarian for treat and food recommendations
Can Dogs Eat Avocado? Things to Remember
Dogs cannot eat many foods that humans can. Avocados, onions, garlic, grapes, and many other foods can be highly toxic for dogs, even in small amounts. Instead, you may want to share a healthy alternative with your pet. Try eggs, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, salmon, or a piece of cheese as a safe treat for your furry best friend. Also, remember to keep ALL food out of your puppy’s reach at all times.
You should always ask a veterinarian for expert advice regarding your dog’s diet. They will offer recommendations for healthy dog food and treat brands. The last thing to remember is to always closely monitor what your pet eats.
Written by Alana Jones