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Can Dogs Eat Avocados? Everything You Need to Know

Yes, dogs can eat avocados in moderation. Avocados should be given only in small quantities. Many people might not know that avocados are actually a fruit and not a vegetable and, therefore, can be eaten by our four-legged friends.

What Is An Avocado?

Avocados are fruit grown from trees with thick, leathery skin, a stone-like seed with edible flesh. They come in many different varieties, including Fuerte and Haas. Avocados are members of the genus “Persea” and other species like kiwi and mango. They can be eaten raw or used in dishes such as guacamole.

Avocados are good for dogs because they provide many nutrients and vitamins. It is also an easily digestible fruit, ideal for the canine diet. It contains antioxidants, vitamin C, beta carotene, and essential fatty acids, which help lower your pet’s risk of developing certain heart diseases and cancers.

Avocados are a fruit rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, considered healthy for humans. However, some dog owners have been concerned about the nutritional benefits of avocados for dogs and have warned that avocados may be harmful to dogs. While there is not enough evidence to recommend or discourage the consumption of avocados for dogs, avocados provide nutrients that benefit both humans and dogs. 

Avocados should be given only in small quantities and in moderation. Many people might not know that avocados are actually a fruit and not a vegetable and, therefore, can be eaten by our four-legged friends.

Avocado is commonly classified as a fruit. The United States Department of Agriculture classified the avocado as a nut because it had large fleshy seeds inside the fruit. However, many experts have challenged this classification in recent years, and some have even argued that it should be considered a vegetable.

Avocado Nutrition Facts

Nutritional information of an avocado (100g):

NutritionValue
Calories160
Fat14.7g
Sodium7mg
Carbohydrates8.5g
Fiber6.7g
Sugars0.7g
Protein2g
Magnesium29mg
Potassium485mg
Vitamin C10mg
Vitamin E2.1mg
Vitamin K21µg

Is Avocado Safe for Dogs?

Avocado is a popular fruit that many people have been eating for years. However, some pet parents are afraid to feed the fruit to their dogs because of the risk of avocado poisoning if ingested. There is a small risk of toxicity with avocados if eaten in large quantities. That said, avocados can be fed safely in small doses, and they can be safe as a minor part of your dog’s diet. Therefore, avocado is safe for dogs in moderation, but it shouldn’t be your pet’s primary source of food.

Types of cooking methods that make avocados bad for dogs

When it comes to cooking avocados, there are several different methods. These other methods may cause avocados to lose nutrients and vitamin K.

Deep frying: Avocados are usually fried in oil. When that oil is heated to a high temperature, it loses some nutrients, and vitamin K. Oil has a low boiling point.

Microwaving: Avocados are often microwaved, and that process may result in a loss of nutrients and vitamin K.

Roasting: Roasting avocados can cause the oxidation of the fats in the avocado. Oxidation can lead to free radicals and compounds that may cause health problems.

Cooking in water: Cooking avocados in water makes the fruit more digestible for dogs. However, avocados can also be boiled in water, resulting in a loss of nutrients and vitamin K.

Sautéing: Sautéing avocado may cause avocado to release gas. This gas can cause stomach upsets in some dogs.

Parts of Avocado that are Bad for Dogs

Many parts of avocados are bad for dogs. One of the most toxic parts is the skin. The pit, seed, and leaves are also toxic but not as much as avocado’s skin and flesh. So, when you’re preparing your dog’s food, you should be sure to remove all the avocado skins and flesh before giving it a treat.

However, the avocado pulp is not toxic for dogs, but other parts of the avocado can be harmful. Still, it is a good idea to monitor your pet for 24-48 hours and contact your veterinarian if they are vomiting, diarrhea, or showing other signs of abdominal discomfort.

Avocado Pit

The pit of avocado doesn’t digest particularly well in a dog’s intestinal tract and might cause a gastric or intestinal blockage.

Avocado Leaves

Avoid feeding avocado leaves to a dog as it contains a compound called persin, which is harmful to dogs.

Avocado Seeds

Avocado leaves contain a substance called persin like avocado leaves, which is toxic to dogs.

Avocado Skin

Do not feed avocado leaves to dogs as they contain a compound called persin which is also present in avocado leaves, seeds that are harmful to them.

What is Persin?

Avocado leaves, seeds, skin, and almost every other part of the plant, including the fruit, contain persin, a toxic substance.

Persin is a naturally occurring antifungal compound produced by the avocado plant. Persin levels in avocados vary based on the type and other external factors. Ingesting large amounts of persin might indeed bother a dog’s stomach, but this would require eating a lot of leaves, bark, or avocado peels.

Why Is Avocado Good for Dogs?

Avocados are rich in nutrients essential for your dog’s body to stay healthy. They are also a good source of protein and fiber. It has been found that avocado benefits can help your dog’s coat, eyes, and skin to stay healthy as well.

Avocado is a portion of healthy food for dogs. It can be used as a savory or sweet treat for your pet. They are rich in Vitamin E and Potassium, essential for dogs to stay healthy. They also contain a range of antioxidants that fight free radicals in their body.

Vitamin K: Avocados are high in vitamin K. It is also an essential vitamin that helps your dog’s body function properly. Vitamin K is also crucial for the bones, muscles, and nervous system.

Vitamin E: Avocados are also rich in vitamin E. It is a powerful antioxidant that helps your dog’s body stay healthy. It also protects the dog’s skin from UV radiation.

Vitamin A: Avocados are also rich in vitamin A. It is essential for your dog’s eyes, and it helps your dog stay healthy.

Antioxidants: Avocados are also rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants help your dog’s body to stay healthy.

Fatty acids: Avocados contain a large amount of healthy fatty acids. Fatty acids are essential for dogs to stay healthy.

Antibiotics: Antibiotics are often used in pet food to prevent infections. Avocados contain several natural substances that may help to fight infections.

Fiber: Avocados are also rich in fiber. Fiber helps to promote your dog’s digestive system. It also helps to regulate bowel movements.

Lycopene – Prevents or slows down cancerous growth, supports vision in dogs, helps in skin health. Avocados are rich in lycopene, one of the essential benefits of feeding this fruit to dogs.

Vitamin B6: Vitamin B6 is essential. Glucose production, red blood cell, and central nervous function, hormone control, immunological response, niacin synthesis, and gene activation are all aided by this vitamin.

Vitamin C: Vitamin C acts as a significant antioxidant. It can help prevent inflammation and cognitive aging by scavenging potentially damaging free radicals in the body. Although dogs’ livers can generate vitamin C on their own, supplementation may provide health advantages in some situations. 

Potassium: Potassium is an electrolyte essential for your dog’s health. Potassium helps electrical charges in the heart, nerves, and muscles work correctly. If your dog lacks this vital mineral, you may notice that they are constantly fatigued, which is not normal, or that they have no desire to eat.

Magnesium: At the cellular level, magnesium is involved in energy generation. Magnesium is required to allow the passage of energy whenever your pet moves a muscle, has a heartbeat or has thought.

Niacin: Niacin has been found to lower VLDL production in obese dogs and help alleviate hypercholesterolemia in dogs.

Amino Acids: Amino acids are required for dogs. In a dog’s diet, amino acids are found in meat and plant-based protein. Proteins are broken down by the dog’s body and absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract. It is used to create and maintain muscles inside the body.

Folate: Folate ensures fast cell development during puppyhood, adulthood, and pregnancy. It regulates homocysteine levels in the blood and employs amino acids to construct new proteins. Vitamin B9 or folate has a role in regular blood production, immunological function, cell division, and tissue development. In addition, folate generates red blood, and white blood cells transform carbohydrates into energy and enhance their capacity to fix their DNA.

Why Is Avocado Bad for Dogs?

Avocados are a vital part of a healthy diet, but you should feed your pet in small quantities in moderation.

Avocados contain a persin substance, which can lead to inflammation in dogs and cause vomiting. Additionally, it has high amounts of fat and calories, leading to weight gain and an increased risk of diabetes.

Harmful Consequence of feeding avocado to a dog

  1. Avocados being digested by dogs can generate an excess of hydrogen sulfide that is toxic to dogs.
  2. Avocado can cause pancreatitis – a condition in which the pancreas becomes inflamed, swollen, and painful.
  3. Your dog may suffer from vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration due to the high potassium levels in avocados.
  4. Due to the high-fat levels, avocados can lead to obesity in dogs when fed repeatedly over time, increasing their risk of developing pancreatitis and other health problems associated with weight gain.
  5. Some dogs will develop severe kidney problems due to eating too many avocados over time.
  6. Dogs with gastroenteritis should not be fed with avocados since it can aggravate sensitivity in their stomach.
  7. The pit in avocados can cause choking or cause blockage in the intestines and lead to intestinal obstruction.
  8. The leaves and stems of avocado plants contain persin and, when ingested, can cause persin poisoning.

How Much Avocado to Feed Your Dog?

Dogs are often seen eating avocados. They like to eat it because of the taste, but they should avoid eating too many of them because they can have harmful effects on their health.

Quantity & Frequency

Two or three bite-sized chunks are more than enough to give your dog a tasty treat without risking their health. Remember to cut avocado flesh into small, bite-sized pieces to make it easy to swallow and minimize your dog’s choking risk.

You can feed your pet avocados as per the table:

Dog SizeNumber of Avocados per week
Small Dogs1
Medium Dogs2
Large Dogs3

How to Serve Avocado to Your Dog?

To serve avocados to your dog, you can slice them in half and place them in a small bowl. Next, gently mash the avocado with a fork and cover it with milk.

While your dog eats the mashed-up avocado, try not to make eye contact. This can be uncomfortable for them and could lead to territorial marking behaviors.

Things to Remember while Serving Avocado

Ensure you aren’t presenting any risk to your dog when giving him avocado. Here are some guidelines:

Keep the portion size small: Avocados are dangerous for dogs in large quantities because of their persin content and high-fat content.

Only give your dog the fruit itself: You should never let your puppy eat the stem, leaves, or bark of the avocado plant. Instead, remove the skin from each avocado, discard it, and make sure your dog won’t choke on the pit.

What if My Dog Ate Avocado?

If your dog has eaten a large amount of avocado, then it is recommended that you keep them for a couple of days. Then, if they start to vomit or worsen their condition, you should contact your vet.

Here are some symptoms that may occur in dogs if you feed avocado without any knowledge.

  1. Vomiting
  2. Diarrhea
  3. Bloody stool
  4. Dehydration
  5. Irritability and aggression
  6. Sneezing
  7. Coughing
  8. Itching
  9. Skin rashes
  10. Gas
  11. Stomach upset

Avocado plants have the highest concentration of persin in their thick skin, pits, and leaves. Therefore, keep whole fruits out of reach of dogs to prevent them from eating them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can dogs eat avocados when sick?

Yes, dogs can eat avocados when sick because small amounts of the fruit won’t harm your dog. Avoid feeding them to dogs with gastrointestinal issues.

Can dogs eat avocado oil?

Yes, dogs can eat avocado oil in moderation as it does not contain persin.

Final Thoughts

Dogs can safely eat avocados in small amounts. However, remember not to give them the fruit as the only food for your pet. Avocado contains a high amount of healthy fats, antioxidants, and vitamins. Still, moderation is the key to your dog’s healthy and happy lifestyle.

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