Avocados are famous as one of the healthiest foods for humans. But is it as healthy for your dog as well? Can Dogs Eat Avocado? Simply put, yes. Dogs can eat avocado, although it is not safe for most other animals. However, only the fleshy part of the fruit is safe for dogs. Avocado skin, seed, pit, and foliage are all toxic to dogs as they contain a deadly toxin called persin. Excess persin consumption can lead to severe conditions that may even be fatal.
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Avocado is a part of the family of flowering plants named Lauraceae. Botanically, it is a large berry containing a single large seed. The green-skinned fleshy body shaped like a pear has become kind of iconic to the avocado, although fresh avocados can change from a dark-green color to a deep purplish (almost black) hue when ripe. It has become an ingredient in cuisines of multiple cultures, like the Mexicans, Filipinos, Brazilians, Indonesians, and Vietnamese, to name a few. Similarly, oil pressed from the avocado fruit, known as avocado oil, is famous as cooking oil, an ingredient in other dishes, and even as a lubricant in cosmetics.
Avocados are a prized source of high nutrition. They contain 20 different vitamins and minerals and are a good source of vitamins B, E, and C, along with copper and fiber. They do not have any cholesterol or sodium and are low in saturated fat (about 14% of total fat). Other predominant fats include palmitic acid and linoleic acid.
According to NutritionData, 150 g of avocado contains:
|Total Fat||22 g|
|Vitamin A||219 IU|
|Vitamin C||15 mg|
Can Dogs Eat Avocado?
In one word, YES! Dogs in fact can eat avocados. Avocados are an excellent snack for humans, both in taste and nutrition. In recent years, avocados have also become a health trend on the internet. But what about other animals? One scary fact about avocados is that they are toxic to almost all animals besides humans. This makes them the only berry with no animal large enough to disperse the seeds through dung.
Dogs are no exception to this. However, despite many people saying that avocados are toxic, dogs can actually eat avocados –– as long as you prepare the fruits properly. The primary reason why avocados seem like such a deadly food is persin.
Persin is a fungicidal toxin present in avocados that is structurally similar to a fatty acid. The ripe pulp of the berry contains this toxin in a concentration that’s harmless to us humans. Adverse effects are primarily just allergies. However, the leaves and bark of the avocado tree or the skin and pit of the fruit have a higher concentration of persin. Consumption of said parts has shown a multitude of harmful effects in domestic animals. These include the following:
- Birds: Weakness, increased heart rate, difficulty in breathing, and apathy
- Rabbits: Cardiac arrhythmia, and submandibular edema
- Horses: Gastritis, and colic
- Cows and Goats: Mastitis, and decreased milk production
- Cats and Dogs: Mild stomach upset, and potential heart damage
Other animals like hares, pigs, rats, sheep, chickens, turkeys, and fish show similar symptoms. Birds, horses, and rodents are known to be especially sensitive. The symptoms depend on the amount ingested. If your pet has ingested a large amount of persin, it can lead to more fatal conditions, like asphyxia, for instance, and may even cause death.
How Avocados can be Bad for Dogs
For many animals, persin is a deadly toxin, and dogs too can fall victim to it. However, small doses won’t hurt. We don’t precisely know what amount of persin is harmful to dogs, but avocado leaves, skin, pits, and unripe fruits contain a higher concentration, so if your pooch chomps on some, persin poisoning is likely to happen. Harmful effects of persin poisoning include:
- Gastrointestinal upset
- Myocardial damage and so on.
As with any other food, there’s also always the chance that your dog is allergic to avocados. Severe allergic reactions can lead to anaphylaxis, a potentially deadly condition. If your dog shows allergic signs like coughing, swelling, hives, etc., stop giving them avocados and call the vet or the poison control center asap.
How Avocados can be Good for Dogs
With avocados, a high risk of poisoning only comes with the foliage and the unripe fruit. Thus, if your feed your pup some ripe avocados in a small amount, there’s no need to worry. The mature, green fruit actually contains vitamins and fiber that can aid in digestive health and antioxidants, like lycopene and beta-carotene, that help prevent diseases. It also contains fatty acids which help keep your pooch’s coat healthy.
Things to be Careful About
If your dog loves avocados or you want to try feeding them one, be careful about the following:
- Remember to use only ripe avocados.
- Peel away all the skin and feed only the fruit part.
- The pit poses a choking hazard, so remove it properly as well.
- If there’s an avocado tree growing on your property, make sure your pup never eats the bark, leaves, or the fruit.
- Remind everyone in your family to never feed your pooch avocados without properly preparing them.
Should You Feed Your Dog Avocados?
Yes, avocados are edible for dogs, but only under the right circumstances. There’s always the risk of poisoning and allergies. Because of this, some dog owners choose not to feed their dogs avocados at all. If you’re one of them, you can search for other foods that provide similar benefits but are 100% dog-friendly. However, if you feel like giving your pup a little slice, that’s perfectly fine too. The question of feeding your dog avocados or not should be left up to your vet though.
Can Dogs Eat Guacamole?
Guacamole is an avocado-based dip, spread, or salad that’s internationally popular as a condiment. So, when you’re relaxing in front of the TV and having tortilla chips with some guacamole, can you let your little buddy have some as well? Well, not really.
Guacamole makes a delicious dip, but it’s not good for your four-legged pal. This is because almost all the time, it contains ingredients that can harm your pooch. These include onions, garlic, tomatoes, and salt. Onions and garlic, in particular, are very dangerous for your pet. However, like with avocados, it would probably take a considerable amount to cause serious problems. But, just to be on the safe side, it’s better not to give your dog guacamole.
What About Avocado Oil?
Avocado oil is pressed from the fleshy pulp surrounding the pit of the avocado. As a result, it does not contain persin, making it completely safe for dogs. It gives you a risk-free way of giving your dog the same benefits of the fruit. However, avocado oil is high in fat, so you should share it with your canine friend in moderation. About a tablespoon in their food once a week will be good enough. Click here to buy some flavorful avocado oil that you can give your dog and also use in your cooking.
Can Dogs Eat Avocados? Yes, but only the pulp of the ripe fruit. Consumption of persin in large quantities can be disastrous. Just make sure that your pooch never chomps on any foliage, unripe fruits, peels, and pits, and nothing will go wrong.
Have you tried feeding your dog avocado or are planning to do so? Leave a reply to let us know about the experience.
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