Avocados are among the favorite health foods you can find in the market and commonly found at our homes. From our favorite guacamole to sandwich fillings and our dietary salad – avocado had always been our go-to nutritious snacks. However, as delicious and healthy are avocados for us humans, it might not be the same for our furry friend.
A lot of debates have been going on about why you should not feed avocados to your dogs. Why can’t dogs eat avocado? Among the main cited reasons for such is the toxin called persin present in avocado and the fact that the pit, the leaves, and the peel are not easily digested by dogs and can be harmful to your pooch.
However, avocados are not completely off-limits for your pets. After all, it is a delicious and nutritious snack that is safe for your dogs if you know how to serve them. Dogs can still eat avocados, but there are certain facts that you need to keep in mind before you decide for yourself if you want to give your lovely dog an avocado treat.
Are avocados good for dogs?
Avocado is a highly nutritious snack, so it is trendy among people as a healthy component of one’s diet. If you know how to prepare and feed avocados to your dog safely, it can, in fact, help boost the health of your pet as well. Avocados are even used as an ingredient for some dog foods because of their nutritional make-up.
Avocados contain various vitamins and minerals that are good for the body. This includes Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin E, fiber, potassium, niacin, antioxidants, healthy fats, etc. These nutrients can also translate to your dog.
The fatty acids, niacin, potassium in avocados can help your dog achieve a healthy and shiny looking coat of fur. The vitamins found in avocados are also good for their bones, eyesight, skin, and overall health.
Are avocados safe for dogs?
The answer would be yes, and no. Although we cannot deny avocados’ health benefits, it is not completely free from risk, especially for our furry friend. There are parts of avocados that you should keep out of your dogs.
The part of the avocado that is the safest for your dog is the fleshy portion of the fruit itself. It contains the nutrients and none of the harmful agent that is persin. But we cannot say the same for the other parts of an avocado.
The seed, skin, and leaves of avocado are not safe for your dogs because of the presence of persin in them.
What is Persin?
Persin is a fungicidal toxin, an agent present in avocado. It is found in the plant’s leaves and stems. It is also present in the fruit’s seed and skin.
That is why a lot of pet parents are hesitant in giving their dogs avocados. The debate on whether we can feed our dogs avocados or not is mainly because of the threat of persin poisoning.
However, over the years, studies have shown that our canine friends are more resistant to persin than other animals. The toxin is more deadly for birds, cows, goats, sheep, and others. Not only that, but experts also say that there is only a minimal amount of persin found in avocados.
Meaning, your dog will have to eat a large amount of avocado to experience the effect of persin poisoning.
Still, as responsible pet owners, we should not be too complacent. Dogs wander around and may happen to nibble on the leaves, fruit, and other parts of the plant that it bumps into. Always monitor and observe your dogs.
You can also look out for symptoms of persin poisoning such as diarrhea and vomiting. If your dogs are showing any signs of poisoning, contact your emergency veterinarian immediately.
What are other reasons why avocados are said to be bad for dogs?
Aside from persin poisoning, there are other reasons for avocados’ bad reputation as snacks for dogs. The avocado pit or the fruit’s seed is the biggest danger posed by avocado for dogs more than persin poisoning itself. Yes, the pit also contains a little amount of persin, but the seed’s size is what is more dangerous for dogs.
If swallowed by dogs, the seed could get stuck in your pet’s throat and block their airway, thereby choking them. It could even get stuck in your dog’s intestinal tract causing more complications.
Also, even if your furry friend manages to bite down the seed in small pieces, these would still be hard to digest for them and may upset their stomachs. That is why you have to make sure to get the pit of the avocado away from your dog.
Another thing to watch out for is the amount of avocado that you feed your dogs. Like all things, too much avocado would mean bad for your dogs.
Avocados contain “good fats,” yes, but with large quantities of avocado, this could ruin the diet of your pet and could even lead to health problems such as pancreatitis, which can be fatal in some cases.
Can I give my dog avocado?
Yes, you can feed your dogs some avocado. However, there are some things that you should keep in mind to keep your dog safe and healthy.
As we have mentioned, the avocado plant’s stem, leaves, and skin contain the toxin persin. If you want to feed your dogs some avocado, only serve them the flesh of the fruit itself. Get rid of the seed and the skin as these are harmful to your dogs.
Also, keep the serving small. Do not give your pooch a large amount of avocado as there would be a higher risk of persin poisoning. To keep your dog’s balanced diet, feed them snacks in moderation. Avocados are also high in fats, which could be dangerous for our furry friends as well.
Can I give my dog guacamole?
Guacamoles can be your favorite dip but be careful not to feed your dog with them. More than the avocados in the guacamole, what you should be mindful of is the ingredients that make up the guacamole, which can be harmful to your dog.
Dogs can eat guacamole if it does not contain onions or garlic in them. Onions and garlic are common ingredients that a dog owner should watch out for in whatever they feed their dogs. Dogs cannot eat them.
It would be best to be mindful of the amount of salt in your food as too much salt is bad for dogs. Other spices and seasonings should be fine if it is in a minimal amount.
My dog ate an avocado; what should I do next?
A small portion of an avocado should not do any harm to your dogs. But if you think they ate too much avocado, observe their reaction first.
Watch out for any adverse reaction from your dogs or persin poisoning symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and upset stomach. Make sure to keep your dog hydrated. If your dog continues to be uncomfortable, it is best to contact your veterinarian for help.
Before feeding your dog anything that has avocado in it, it is even better to first consult with your veterinarian to know if your dog is allergic or has food sensitivity issues with avocados. But if your dog enjoys an avocado without any problem, then give them this treat occasionally. Please keep them in small servings and prepare them well.
Can I feed my dog commercial avocado dog food?
You can indeed find avocado dog food in the market. There are dog foods with avocado oil and avocado meal in them marketed as nutritious and safe dog foods. And yes, you can give your dog commercial avocado dog food.
The oil and avocado meal do not contain any persin and are safe for your dog’s consumption.
However, you should still watch your dog’s reaction to the dog food to determine if it is good for them. If you see any unfavorable effect, stop feeding your pooch the avocado dog food and switch back to your previous one.
The doubts and question of why can’t dogs eat avocado stemmed mainly from the fact that avocados contain persin that is quite dangerous for many animals, including the dogs. But the conclusion is that you can give avocados to dogs in small doses. A slice of avocado would not hurt your dog. Persin is harmless to dogs in small amounts.
That is why, as responsible pet parents, you should control the amount of avocado or any snacks for that matter, that you give to your dogs. Avocados are highly nutritious and could even be good for your dogs.
It is safe to feed them to your lovely pet if you dispose of the skin and the pit and serve it in a small serving. Please do not make it part of your furry friend’s diet.
What do you think? Will you feed your dog with avocado? Share your thoughts with us.