As pet owners, we’re well-acquainted with preparing food in our houses, only for our dogs to rush in and get their paws on any food that we may have dropped in the process. Just the other day, in fact, I had dropped a piece of avocado, only for my dog to scarf it up before I could reach down to pick it up. Whenever a dog ingests anything that’s not dog food, it’s natural to be nervous about whether or not it’s safe. In the case above, I found myself asking, can dogs eat avocados?
In this guide, we’re going to dive into the safety of avocados for pups and whether or not dogs can consume these without suffering any negative effects.
Can Dogs Eat Avocados? The Benefits of Avocados for Canines
Avocados aren’t entirely safe, but before we dive into the specifics, let’s talk about the benefits of avocados and why feeding a bit to your dog isn’t such a bad idea.
Although many of us are familiar with how healthy avocados are for humans (avocado toast anyone?) the good news is that these same health benefits extend to your dog as well. In fact, avocados are packed with healthy fats, vitamins and minerals, and can offer certain helpful qualities like anti-inflammatory properties that can be essential for much older dogs.
You’ll be surprised to learn that avocados contain a host of nutrients like fiber, potassium, vitamins A, B3, B6, C, and E, just to name a few. As such, making the decision to “accidentally” drop a piece of avocado on the floor or even incorporating it into your dog’s meal isn’t such a bad idea. Avocado can do a lot to further your dog’s health.
However, there is always the risk of giving your dog too much of a good thing. In this case, we shouldn’t just be asking, “can dogs eat avocados?” but, “when does avocado consumption become unsafe?”.
Let’s take a look…
When Avocados Pose a Danger to Your Pup
For the most part, avocados are safe when they’re prepared safely. But there are still some underlying risks that could pose a danger to your pup if you’re not careful about the way that you feed them this delicious fruit. Can dogs eat avocados? Some of the biggest concerns to be aware of include:
- The Toxin Persin: The whole avocado contains a toxin known as persin, with greater concentrations in areas like the stem and the skin. Animals that are typically affected by this toxin include birds, horses, cows. Dogs, however, can be affected too. Fortunately, most dogs aren’t heavily affected by persin, meaning that, if they do accidentally eat too much, you won’t typically have to take a trip to the vet. That being said, only feed the flesh of the fruit to your pup to avoid any negative consequences.
- Too Much Healthy Fat: Healthy fat is good to an extent. But if you overdo it, you can put your dog at risk of developing pancreatitis. Besides being extremely painful for your furry friend, pancreatitis can also be fatal. If they accidentally consume too much avocado, keep an eye out for symptoms like shaking and signs of abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, and diarrhea. If they look like something’s wrong with them, take them to the vet immediately.
- The Avocado Pit - A Choking Hazard: The final source of concern for dog owners is the pit of the avocado itself. Although the pit does contain persin, this isn’t something you should be too worried about. Instead, you’ll want to make sure that your dog doesn’t start gnawing on the pit as these can be major choking hazards that would be difficult to remove if your pup was able to get its paws on it. As a general rule, keep everything except for the fruit itself away from dogs.
As per our recommendations in other guides throughout Furzly, we also want you to be very careful when feeding your pup something that contains avocado. For example, we know that avocados are safe, but is guacamole? Guacamole is never pure avocado, which means that there are often plenty of contaminants that can do serious harm to your pup if you give them any.
If you feel like handing some avocado to your dog every now and then, it should be fine. But avoid giving them any dishes that may contain avocado and unknown ingredients that may be poisonous to your dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Avocados? Yes! Just Be Careful When You Feed It to Them
Avocados are a safe food, but as with many other foods you’re often curious about, practicing caution is important so as to avoid any health effects that come with feeding your pup too much.
As long as you avoid feeding them other parts of the plant or giving them too much avocado at a time, your pup should be able to enjoy this fruit just as much as you do!