Avocados are tremendously popular today. People love them in guacamole, in salads, and on sandwiches. If you live in California you might have an avocado tree in your yard! So it’s reasonable to wonder can dogs eat avocado? The answer is yes – and no.
Are avocados poisonous to dogs?
If you check online you will notice a lot of articles that tell you that avocados contain a chemical called persin in their covering, seeds, and leaves. Persin can be toxic to some animals. Therefore, these articles tell you that you should not give avocados to dogs.
HOWEVER, the toxin persin does not seem to affect dogs or even cats. It is poisonous to horses, cattle and birds, but not to Fido and Fluffy. In fact, AvoDerm, a dog food company, makes dog food that uses avocados. Avocados are rich in vitamin E, vitamin A, and healthy fats so they can be very good for dogs that have skin and coat problems or dry, itchy skin.
Can a dog eat an entire avocado?
No, dogs cannot and should not eat the entire avocado. Even though persin does not seem to be toxic to dogs, the leaves, stems, and covering of the avocado could possibly irritate your dog’s digestive system.
The seed or large pit found in an avocado can pose a serious choking hazard to most dogs. If you plan to give your dog some avocado, make sure to remove the pit first. Also, like other fruit seeds, the pit of an avocado contains a minute amount of cyanide which provides another reason to avoid letting your dog chew on the pit. (Your dog would have to consume MANY pits or seeds to poison himself but he doesn’t need to eat these pits.)
The best way to give your dog some avocado is to slice the soft green flesh of the fruit for him. This is the same soft green part of the avocado that you eat.
Can you give your dog guacamole?
No, you should not give your dog guacamole but not because of the avocado in the dip. It’s because of some of the other ingredients. Guacamole often contains onions, garlic, and spices that can be bad for your dog. Onions, especially, are a no-no for your dog. If the guacamole does not contain any onions then you might be able to give your dog just a small bite or two without any problems but don’t let him steal the bowl!
What if your dog eats avocados off a tree?
If you have an avocado tree in your yard, as some people do, and your dog keeps helping himself to the fruit, it probably won’t do him any harm. Many dogs love avocados. The main concern is the pit as a possible choking hazard. You might need to fence off your avocado tree to keep your dog from eating too many avocados.
If your dog stuffs himself with avocados and you see signs of diarrhea or vomiting or other indications that your dog isn’t feeling well, take him to the vet right away. If your dog manages to eat an avocado pit he could have a bowel obstruction which involves serious constipation. See your vet.
The soft green flesh of the avocado is not poisonous to dogs. You can give your dog some fresh avocado in moderation. Be sure that you don’t let your dog have the leaves, stems, or covering of the fruit. You should especially make sure that your dog does not have access to the pit of the avocado since it can be a serious choking hazard.