Can Dogs Eat Onions? Everything About Onion Toxicity in Dogs That You Should Know

Can Dogs Eat Onions? Everything About Onion Toxicity in Dogs That You Should Know

Can dogs eat onions? NO! Onions are vegetables that dogs should not eat. In fact, onions are among the most dangerous vegetables there is to feed your pet. Onions are toxic to dogs and can damage the lining of their red blood cells. Dogs that eat onions will experience gastrointestinal discomfort, vomiting, diarrhea and are at risk for hemolytic anemia. But why exactly are onions toxic to dogs? Keep reading to find out!

Onion Toxicity in Dogs

Onions contain a toxic compound called N-propyl disulfide. This compound damages red blood cells, which leads to anemia in dogs. The toxin induces oxidative damage to your dog’s red blood cells by attaching itself to oxygen molecules in the dog’s RBCs. This causes the red blood cells to carry less oxygen, fooling your dog’s body into thinking that the cell is a foreign invader. Then, the red blood cells are destroyed in a process called hemolysis. Hemolytic anemia is the result of this destruction. This leads to your dog’s red blood cells being destroyed faster than they can be formed, leading to serious symptoms of poisoning and even death without treatment.

The Toxic Parts of Onion

All parts of onions are poisonous, including the leaves, flesh, skin, and even the juice for dogs. There is no safe part of onions that is edible for your pooch. Even small amounts of onions can cause serious problems in your dog. This means that even small pieces of cooked onions are poisonous to dogs. Raw, cooked, pureed, or powdered onions all have the same toxic effect on dogs. Also, cooking onions does not remove the disulfide chemical, which can still be hazardous to pets like cats and dogs.

As for the type of onions – All types of onions are toxic to pooches. White onions, yellow onions, red onions, and green onions – all of them are toxic. In addition, other forms of onions such as powdered onions are also dangerous for dogs.

Symptoms Of Onion Toxicity in Dogs

If you suspect your pet has been poisoned by onions, you need to take immediate action. If onion poisoning is left untreated, it can lead to death. The signs of onion toxicity include:

  • Lethargy
  • Weakness
  • Vomiting
  • Excessive Panting
  • Diarrhea
  • Decreased appetite
  • Pale gums
  • Reddish urine
  • Fainting
  • Ataxia (Loss of Balance)

Onion poisoning is a dangerous condition that can be very serious and even fatal if left untreated. Do not feed your dog raw onions and do not allow your dog to eat fresh or cooked onions. It is important to consult a veterinary professional as soon as you suspect onion toxicity in your dog.

You might also be interested in Can Dogs Eat Garlic? 

Can Dogs Eat Onions? If So, How Much?

Yes, dogs can eat onions, but should they? No. Keep onions away from your dog as they can be toxic. Onions contain a chemical called N-propyl disulfide, which damages red blood cells and can cause anemia and death. But if your dog eats just a teensy part of the vegetable, it shouldn’t cause any problems.

“How many onions can my dog eat?”. It all comes down to the size of your dog. According to AKC, “It only takes 100 grams of onions per 20 kilograms of a dog’s weight to cause toxic effects, which means that a 45-pound dog would only have to eat one medium-to-large-size onion to experience dangerous toxicity levels”.  This means that even a small amount of onions could prove devastating to your dog’s health. Thus, we recommend not allowing your dog to eat onions at all.

“My Dog Ate Some Onions. What Should I Do?”

If your dog ate a small amount of onions, it’s probably not a big deal. In this case, you’ll want to keep an eye on them for the next few hours. Some dogs vomit, others don’t. Some will be lethargic for a couple of days, others won’t notice anything out of the ordinary. However, if your dog ate a moderate/large portion of raw or cooked onions, you should take him/her to the vet for immediate attention.

After you get to the vet, the treatment procedure largely depends on the severity of the symptoms. For a dog that consumed a small/large amount of onions, the vet might try inducing vomiting and might prescribe drugs like Vitamin K to increase the blood clotting time. In addition, the vet might also give your dog some other drugs to relieve pain and to help repair the red blood cells.

As for severe cases, the dog might need supportive care like IV fluids or whole-body oxygen therapy. Blood transfusion might also be necessary. In some cases, the dog may have to remain hospitalized for a few days until blood values return to normal.

“How Do I Prevent My Dog from Eating Onions?”

The best way of keeping your dog from eating onions is of course not allowing them to eat onions at all. However, if you know your dog will be around onions at a certain event, make sure the onions aren’t accessible for them. It’s also a good idea to keep your dog away from onions during meal preparation.

If you suspect that your dog has already eaten some onions, them to the vet as soon as possible.


Onions are toxic to dogs, so keep them away from your pup. If your dog eats just a small amount of onions, it may be fine. However, if your dog eats some onions and exhibits some of the symptoms listed above, rush him/her to the vet for immediate attention. Try to keep any food items containing onions out of reach of your dog, especially during meal preparation.

Thank you for reading the article.

To explore more, check out our other onion-related dog articles that you might be interested in.

Did you already know about how onions are toxic to dogs’ health? Have you ever unknowingly given onions to your pooch? We would love to hear from you. Please share with our community by leaving a comment below!

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