Avocados have gone through a terrific surge in interest over the last twenty years, and it’s not just hip Millennials eating them. Yet for all the fruit’s popularity when we talk about dogs and avocado, the fruit has a bad reputation, which is pretty ironic because avocado is on the list of many well-known dog foods. So can dogs eat avocado? Or is avocado toxic to dogs as some people would have us believe?
In this article:
Is Avocado Safe For Dogs?
Should you look at online articles that talk about toxic food for dogs, nine times out of ten, the writer includes avocados on the list. But if you investigate the claims further, you’ll discover that much of the talk centers around one part of the avocado bad for dogs, and that’s a toxin called persin.
According to the Pet Poison Helpline, persin poisons only some animals; dogs and cats are rarely affected. What can harm dogs is if they swallow the large avocado pit or seed. Dogs eating too much avocado run the risk of pancreatitis because avocados do have significant fat content.
This article will show dog owners the truth surrounding dogs and avocados and give you a straight answer to the question, can dogs have avocado or not?
Can Dogs Eat Avocado?
Small amounts of avocado given to your dog will not harm your dog. Providing you give him only the flesh, no skin, no leaves, and no pit or seed. There are some health and nutritional benefits for your dog from eating avocado, which we will cover later in the article. As we mentioned, several famous and quality dog foods contain some avocado.
Remember, avocado has a high-fat content, so you should consider it when feeding your dog avocado. You should also account for the calories and deduct those from your dog’s daily calorie allowance.
There is a rare occurrence when dogs are allergic to avocado. Sometimes dogs have an allergic reaction to food; it can even happen with food a dog has eaten numerous times without any adverse reaction.
If you’re feeding your dog avocado for the first time, the best course is small amounts and wait to see if there’s an allergic response.
If your dog would have any allergic reaction then rather stop feeding him avocado and find another alternative for a tasty treat, such as peanut butter or pumpkin. You can find a great recipe for homemade treats HERE.
How Are Avocados Good For Dogs?
Avocados are a highly nutritious fruit and contain up to twenty vitamins and minerals. There’s no reason to believe that your dog cannot enjoy the nutritional benefits of avocados. The benefits to your dog from avocados are:
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin B5
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin C
Avocado also contains, in smaller amounts, manganese, copper, zinc, iron, phosphorous, magnesium, and vitamins A, B1, B2, and B3.
A 3.5-ounce serving of avocado would contain 160 calories, 15 grams of healthy fats, and 2 grams of protein. Avocado is a low-carb food because while in the same 3.5-ounce portion, it contains 9 grams of carbohydrates 7 seven of those grams are fiber.
Why Are Avocados Bad For Dogs?
As we briefly mentioned, persin is the controversial ingredient in avocado that makes most people stop and ask is avocado safe for dogs?
Persin is a fungicidal toxin. The toxin comes from the fruit’s pit and is in every part of the avocado. The concentration of persin in the fleshy part is so low it’s considered harmless to humans and doesn’t affect dogs.
So dogs can have avocado, but it’s still wise to keep the amount reasonably low. There are higher concentrations of persin in the other parts of the avocado, the leaves, stems, skin, and pit, so definitely don’t let your dog eat those.
Should you grow avocados on your land, try to keep the area around the trees clear of any fallen leaves, branches, or fruit.
Can dogs eat avocado pits?
You should keep your dog away from avocado pits. There would be a higher concentration of persin in the pit if your dog managed to crack one open. But the more significant danger is if he swallows a pit. They are just about the right size to get stuck in your dog’s throat and choke him. If somehow he did manage to eat one, there is also the risk of intestinal blockage, which can have severe consequences.
Avocado Fat Content
Avocado contains good fats, but they are only good when eaten in reasonable amounts. Overfeeding your dog avocado means you run the risk of giving him pancreatitis, which is inflammation of the pancreas. This disease is a life-threatening illness because the pancreas does the vital job of releasing enzymes that assist in digestion and hormones such as insulin that regulate blood sugar.
Your dog eating too much avocado can give some side effects, so generally, don’t feed your dog avocado in large amounts.
Can Dogs Eat Guacamole
We’ve answered the question is avocado ok for dogs, so let’s talk about how guacamole can affect your dog. We know the main ingredient in guacamole is avocado, so is it safe to eat? Sadly the answer is no; while you can enjoy the benefits of a great tasting dip, you shouldn’t feed guacamole to your dog.
It’s not the avocado; it’s some of the other ingredients that are bad for dogs, such as:
- Fresh Limes
None of the above ingredients are suitable for dogs; at the very least, they might cause stomach upsets and diarrhea.
How To Prepare Avocado For Dogs
Should you still want to give avocado to your dog, follow these three quick and easy safety guidelines.
Avocado is ok for dogs in small amounts. Remember what we said about large amounts of avocado and why it’s a bad idea. So feed small portions and deduct the amount from your dog’s daily calorie intake.
Feed only the avocado flesh. There’s no need to feed leaves or skin; there are no discernable benefits, plus they have higher concentrations of persin. The pits are a genuine choking hazard.
Give your dog avocado only as plain fruit. Don’t add anything into the avocado or feed your dog dips that include avocado; the extra ingredients might be harmful to dogs.
Can dogs eat avocado – FAQ
Simple answers to other simple frequently asked questions that we didn’t cover it the article:
Can dogs eat avocado ice cream?
Dogs can eat avocado ice cream as long as there is just a little avocado in it and the ice cream is “dog friendly”. Why dog friendly? Because most human grade ice creams have sweeteners that are poisonous to dogs. Not to mention dairy and other ingredients that aren’t good for dogs as well.
Can dogs eat avocado oil?
Avocado oil isn’t harmful for dogs in small quantities. It doesn’t contain persin so it’s safe as long as you don’t exaggerate. Just to mention – no type of oil should be given to dogs in larger quantities because of high fat content.
Can dogs eat avocado skin?
Avocado skin isn’t exactly lethal to dogs but it’s not suited for a healthy and balanced dog nutrition since avocado skin contains persin which is toxic and can cause serious dog issues.
Can dogs eat avocado toast
Since avocado isn’t harmful for dogs in small amounts you could consider avocado toast as a “safe treat”. It doesn’t mean that it’s healthy and considered as super food as it is in human nutrition, but you don’t need to be worried if you dog steals a piece of avocado toast from the table.
Can dogs eat avocado flesh
In really small amounts yes. Although it contains only small amounts of persin, I still wouldn’t encourage you to feed your dog avocado flesh. If you’d like to give him a healthy treat consider pumpkin or peanut butter treats.
Can dogs eat avocado leaves?
No, dogs shouldn’t eat avocado leaves. They contain persin and are potentially poisonous for your dog. If he likes to chew, give him a piece of olive wood or something similar. If your dog eats avocado leave, make sure to observe him and call the vet if he starts vomiting or have diarrhea.
Do you have any other questions? Feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below and we’ll do our best to answer your questions.
If feeding your dog avocado for the first time, provide a minimal amount and keep your eye on him for any allergic reaction. It’s doubtful there will be, but it can happen, so just be on the lookout.
Can dogs eat avocado? Yes, in small amounts and only the fruit of the avocado, no dips, and no nacho chips to go with them.