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Can Dogs Eat Avocado? A Heart-Healthy Snack Or Cause For Concern?

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Last Updated: March 7, 2024 | 3 min read | Leave a Comment

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A dog with plate of sliced avocado.

Avocados are widely known for being a healthy fruit packed with lots of vitamins and nutrients. But do you know if what’s healthy for humans is also good for your dog? Before giving this tasty treat to your furry friend, learn more about the dos and don’ts of dogs and avocado and find out is avocado bad for dogs or not.

Is Avocado Safe For Dogs?

It’s tricky to say if avocado is safe for dogs because the answer is yes and no. Avocado contains persin, a toxic chemical that’s potentially dangerous when ingested by dogs. Different parts of the avocado have more or less persin. For instance, the avocado’s pulp or meat contains only traces of persin, so those parts of the fruit are safe in moderation. But in large amounts, avocados can be toxic to your dog. How much avocado is okay? The smaller the dog, the smaller the amount you should consider feeding.

What The Vet Says About Dogs Eating Avocado

I asked veterinarian Rebecca MacMillan about dogs eating avocado to learn more.

I’ve never seen a dog for a consultation because they have eaten avocado flesh and developed symptoms. However, I always advise against giving it to dogs because it’s high in fat compared to healthier fruit and veg options. In truth, the flesh is safe to eat in small amounts, but the pit and skin contain persin, which is toxic to dogs. Again, I’ve not seen a dog with signs of persin toxicity in practice; however, I have seen a couple of dogs who had eaten avocado pits and ended up having to have them surgically removed from their intestine because they were causing a blockage.

Dr. Rebecca MacMillan, BVetMed BSAVA PGCertSAM MRCVS

Benefits

Is avocado good for dogs? There are some health benefits. Avocado is full of healthy vitamins and nutrients from which both you and your pup can benefit. They include:

  • Beta-carotene
  • Folate
  • Lutein
  • Magnesium
  • Niacin
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Pantothenic acid
  • Potassium
  • Riboflavin
  • Vitamins C, E, K, and B-6

Can Dogs Eat Avocado? (Infographic)

Can Dogs Eat Avocado? (Infographic)

Avocado And Puppies

Because puppies tend to be smaller and have more sensitive stomachs than older dogs, you’ll want to be extra careful about giving them avocado. They may react negatively to a smaller amount of avocado than an older dog, so don’t assume you know what to give them.

What Types Of Avocado Can I Give My Dog

You might also be wondering, can dogs have avocado oil? This is one of a few different avocado products you can give to your dog. However, some are a better choice than others.

Safer Options

  • Avocado oil: Oil extracted from avocados is in some commercial or homemade dog food. It can be safe in moderation.
  • Avocado pulp: The pulp or meat is the fruit’s bright green flesh. It has a limited amount of persin, and dogs can have it in moderation.
  • Avocado meal: The meal is dried, ground-up pulp that’s sometimes in dog food, and is safe in moderation.
  • Avocado flesh: Since persin is in higher levels in the skin, eating it can be toxic.
  • Avocado pit: Not only does the pit contain more persin than any other part of the avocado, but it’s also a choking hazard.

What happens if dogs eat guacamole? That could be an issue because it typically contains onions which are toxic to dogs.

What Are The Side Effects Of Too Much Avocado?

Even if your dog is eating the safe part of an avocado, there’s such a thing as too much. Because the avocado pulp is high in fat and contains small amounts of persin, your pup can experience some side effects. These include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Heart congestion
  • Nausea
  • Pancreatitis, or inflammation of the pancreas
  • Vomiting
  • Weight gain

Can My Dog Be Allergic To Avocado?

Dogs can be allergic or sensitive to almost anything, and avocado is no exception. Try it first in a very minimal amount, and then keep an eye on your pup. Always try new foods one at a time so you can tell which foods cause a problem. If you notice diarrhea or vomiting, check with your vet. If you want to be more certain about your dog’s allergies, try an at-home allergy kit for convenient testing in your home.

My Dog Ate Avocado. Now What?

If you think your dog has eaten an avocado without supervision, here’s what you should do:

  • Call your vet immediately
  • Prepare to tell the vet what part and how much was ingested
  • Keep a close eye on your dog for choking or an adverse reaction

Avocados aren’t the only thing in your kitchen or yard you need to keep away from your dog. You can check out what our experts have to say about poisonous plants for dogs.

How Do I Prepare An Avocado?

This minute-and-a-half video from LoveOne Today shows you a few different ways to prepare an avocado.

Safe Snacks For Dogs

When dog food gets a bit boring, and you want to give your pup some new treats, be sure you give him a safe snack for munching. Our experts can guide you with recommendations for the best dog treats, other safe fruits, and help you learn what foods not to feed your dogs.

The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease; it is not intended to offer any legal opinion or advice or a substitute for professional safety advice or professional care. Please consult your health care provider, attorney, or product manual for professional advice. Products and services reviewed are provided by third parties; we are not responsible in any way for them, nor do we guarantee their functionality, utility, safety, or reliability. Our content is for educational purposes only.

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