Avocados are healthy and delicious for people. But how about it for the dog? Can dogs eat avocado? Are avocados bad for dogs?
In fact, thanks to a toxin called persin, avocado is associated with some problem in the dogs.
And today, I will have the definitive answer for your this question.
Let’s dive right in.
Dogs And Avocados; What You Need To Know.
Veterinarians and animal nutritionists consider the avocado to be a superfood. The avocado is botanically defined as a large berry containing a single seed. This fruit is native to South Central Mexico and thrives in Mediterranean and Tropical climates throughout the world.
I am particularly fond of sharing food with my dog Charlie, a Doberman. Over the past, I have been reluctant to let him have some avocado due to fears of poisoning or other negative effects.
This led me to research on the impact of avocados on a dog’s diet. To most other domestic animals, avocados have been ruled out as being toxic.
All manner of controversy surrounds the question of whether dogs can eat avocados or not. Take it upon yourself to learn as much as you possibly can with regards to foods fed to your dog and in particular avocados.
Different dogs are built differently and their varied physiologies influence the extent to which the effects of avocados and other foods will be felt.
Dogs have over time evolved to adapt to the human diet. The assertion that dogs are true omnivores remains yet to be proven by science. Despite this, dogs can survive and thrive on an omnivorous diet.
Dogs can’t particularly digest plant matter as well as herbivores. This is because they have shorter intestines. Avocados ingested in excess are likely to cause some complications.
Can Dogs Eat Avocado?
Yes indeed, dogs can eat avocados. The issue, however, comes in when avocado cores are concerned. Avocados contain persin, which cause heart failure and mastitis. And I will show you why it is bad for your dog later.
But now, nutritionally speaking, avocados pack a myriad of nutrients that are essential in your furry friend’s body. Avocados comprise the following nutrients;
- Folic Acid:
Folate or Folic acid helps in the maintenance and production of new cells. Folic acid is particularly important for your dog during periods of growth or pregnancy. Folate contributes the basic building blocks for new DNA. Puppies and adult dogs need this nutrient to synthesize healthy red blood cells preventing anemia.
In mammals, birds and reptiles, the element iron serves to carry oxygen in a bound form to various body parts. Avocados are rich in iron and will, therefore, benefit your dog a great deal.
- Vitamin C
Vitamin C is present in plentiful amounts in avocados. It is an amazing antioxidant that minimizes cell damage by free radicals. Vitamin C helps build collagen which keeps your dog’s skin strong and elastic. It also aids in the absorption of iron from plant dietary sources.
- Vitamin A:
This vitamin ensures the continued optimal performance of your dog’s internal organs such as the live, kidney and the lungs. Essentially it acts as “motor oil”. Vitamin A has also been proven to have an effect on your dog’s fur coat and skin. Vitamin A present in Avocados is completely different from synthetic Vitamin A found in supplements.
- Vitamin B complexes:
Comprise B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and B12 found in Avocados.
B1 and B2 are involved in the energy conversion process at the cellular level while B12 is directly involved in the production of blood cells and their subsequent proliferation.
B3 keeps your dog’s digestive system working properly while maintaining the proper function of nerves.
B5 is essential for your dog’s normal growth and plays a huge role in hormone production.
B6 helps put together antibodies that fight off disease, maintain normal nerve function and keeps blood sugar levels within a healthy range.
- Vitamin E
Vitamin E found in avocados is speculated to be an antioxidant by most nutritionists. Its deficiency is marked by serious conditions in canines such as the “Irritable Bowel Syndrome” that is characterized by hemorrhages and ulceration.
- Dietary fibers:
Lignin and non-digestible carbohydrates form the bulk of dietary fibers. Dietary fibers present in avocados reduce the incidences of obesity, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes in dogs. Dietary fibers also promote your dog’s normal gastrointestinal function.
Avocados are among a few foods considered by animal nutritionists to be healthy fat foods. They are rich in monosaturated fats, in particular, Oleic Acid that greatly benefits heart – related functions. The levels of monosaturated fats in avocados put them in the same class as olives.
Avocados are also rich in phytosterols that include beta-sitosterol, campesterol and stigmasterol that have been shown to provide anti-inflammatory benefits to your dog’s body systems.
Are avocados good for dogs? Are avocados bad for dogs? Your best answer can be found here
Avocados are safe to feed your dog; with some precautions of course. The main concern that surrounds avocado eating by dogs is the toxin Persin. This toxin is in larger concentrations in the avocado pits, tree barks and leaves. The flesh contains negligible levels of persin, therefore, your dog will need to consume copious volumes of avocado to experience Persin poisoning. The real danger associated with avocados, however, is the choking hazard posed by the avocado pit.
Avocado pits/seeds pose a potent choking risk to your furry friend if left unchecked.The avocado skin is another issue. Most dog owners wonder I avocado skins are OK or their dogs.
Well, the answer is simple, avocado skins don’t confer any additional nutritional benefits to your dog. Secondly, avocado skins don’t taste so good. I doubt your furry friend will want to indulge in avocado skin eating.
Other than that, your dog will likely experience a stomach upset upon consumption of avocado skins.
Dogs are originally carnivorous. To this effect, they might not be able to digest plant material as effectively as humans can. Avocados, however, carry simple to absorb nutrients and are beneficial to your dog’s health.
Why Are Avocados Bad For Dogs?
As mentioned earlier, dogs have different physiologies and body systems. For the most part, avocados are a healthy treat for your dog. To some dogs, however, there is a downside to avocado consumption.
Diarrhea, lack of stool production vomiting and gastric distress have been reported in some dogs that have eaten avocados.
The only reason avocados would be considered unsafe for canine consumption is due to two reasons. First is the toxin Persin found in avocado seeds/pits, leaves and the bark of the avocado tree. Persin is an oil soluble compound that is structurally similar to a fatty acid. Different varieties of avocados have varied levels of Persin. Persin poisoning is characterized by;
- Difficulty in breathing.
- Abdominal enlargement.
- Cardiovascular damage.
- Fluid buildup in the abdomen, chest and the sac around the heart.
The onset of the clinical manifestations of Persin poisoning occurs roughly after 12 hours after ingestion. Death ensues in one or two days.
The second reason avocados are considered unsafe is the choking hazard presented by avocado seeds. Swallowing the avocado seed would cause choking leading to death. In the rare event, the seed does make it past the gullet, gastrointestinal obstruction would ensue, with disastrous consequences for your dog.
Frequent avocado consumption can lead to drastic weight gain in dogs. This does raise some health concerns. For skinny dogs, a little extra weight wouldn’t.
A condition known as lipemia characterized by high – fat content in the blood is common in overweight dogs. This has been known to be a precursor to pancreatitis and other related ailments. Pancreatitis causes inflammation of the pancreas and is a condition known to progress rapidly in dogs.
The organs nearby such as the liver and kidneys are also affected. If left untreated for a long time, severe organ damage has been reported with extreme instances where brain damage to has been reported.
Treatment of Persin poisoning may also be symptomatic. Intravenous fluids are administered and in some cases, vomiting may be induced. Depending on the extent of damage, further specialized treatment may be sought.
Dog Allergies To Avocados.
Just like humans, dogs have allergies to some certain types of foods. Upon consumption of the alleged foods, an immune reaction follows and may vary in intensity depending on the amount consumed, and the severity of the allergy.
Before allowing your furry friend to indulge in full-on avocado eating, find out if there are any underlying conditions that might result from avocado consumption.
The common symptoms of avocado allergies in dogs are;
- Lack of stool production.
Avocado allergies arise from the heightened intolerance even to the insignificant amounts of the toxin Persin. It is recommended that you first peel off a small piece of avocado while being careful to dispose of the seed.
Feed your dog the small avocado piece and watch him/her for any signs of adverse reactions. If any negative reaction from avocado consumption is observed, discontinue any avocado feeding plans in the future.
What To Do If Your Dog Ate Too Much Avocado.
From time to time, it is unavoidable that your dog will eat too much of his or her favorite snack. In the case concerning avocados, your dog will probably overfeed if left unsupervised.
Not to worry, the symptoms should wear off eventually and your furry friend will be alright soon enough. In case your dog eats too much avocado, follow the steps below;
- Place your dog in a well – ventilated room. Since your dog is likely to vomit, remove any fabrics that might stain.
- Try and identify the symptoms observed. Ascertaining whether the breathing rate is raised, any vomiting or diarrhea, whether there is gastric irritation and so on will better help diagnose what the problem is.
- When unwell, dogs tend to be shy and quite reserved. Don’t ignore the fact that your dog may be quieter than normal as this could be an indication that something is off.
- Try to find out the exact species of avocado that your dog might have eaten. As mentioned earlier, Persin levels vary from one species of avocado to another. Contacting your grocery store could go a long way in establishing this fact.
- Observe your dog for a while and if the symptoms don’t seem to improve, it’s probably time for a quick dash to the Veterinarian.
In female lactating dogs, signs of mastitis may be observed and the Vet will administer analgesics and pain medicines to counter the pain and swelling. If the symptoms suggest cardiac damage even to the slightest extent, the vet will administer diuretics and/or a combination of antiarrhythmic drugs.
All in all, your pooch should be able to recover in time and resume normal jovial tendencies.
Home-made Avocado Dog Treats.
A healthy well fed dog will be a source of happiness and will to most dog owners bring a sense of personal satisfaction and achievement.
I am one of those people. My dog Charlie is my favorite food critique and I can only hope he carries my homemade treats and delights in high regards. The good thing is unlike humans, dogs can’t really pretend so I’ll go ahead and assert that Charlie loves my cooking.
It is generally recommended that you come up with a selection of your own homemade dog treats and recipes.
It is important to keep in mind that avocados shouldn’t be served as the main course to your dog’s diet but rather should serve to complement and enhance its nutritional value. To make the perfect avocado treats, you will need the following ingredients;
- 1 cup of blended avocado. Careful to get rid of any traces of the pit and seed.
- 2 eggs.
- Half a cup of peanut butter.
- Baking soda, one tablespoon.
- Two and a half cups of whole wheat flour.
- For glazing you will need 3 tablespoons of bacon grease, melted.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, mix the eggs, avocado, baking soda and peanut butter.
- Continuously stir in amounts of whole wheat flour until a stiff dough is formed. Using your hands, knead the dough and ensure all the flour has incorporated well into the dough.
- Roll out the dough using a rolling pin and use a cookie cutter to cut out the desired shapes.
- Bake for fifteen minutes. While the timer runs, melt the bacon grease.
- Drizzle the melted bacon grease over the baked treats and allow it to cool.
These ingredients perfectly blend to create the ultimate taste experience for your dog. Don’t limit your imagination, consider going on overkill and incorporate even more ingredients like I did after throwing in ground beef and bacon bits.
Traditionally, commercial dog food contains chemical preservatives. When it comes to your dog’shealth you really cannot afford to throw caution to the wind. Your dog’s health will be a reflection of what you feed it.
Avocado based home-made dog treats are the perfect way to be sure of what your dog eats while at the same time saving you money. You too will enjoy putting together all manner of recipes that will surely impress your canine friend.
If my dog Charlie could write I am certain there would be quite a number of ballads and songs about my recipes.
Can dogs eat avocado – The Final Thought
Despite the popular rumors, avocados are not toxic to dogs. Dogs have a proven tolerance to the toxin Persin compared to other domestic animals such as horses and cattle. In most other animals kept by man, avocados have been documented to induce persin poisoning and subsequent death.
With dogs and cats, however, the narrative is different. Avocados convey numerous health benefits to dogs and humans alike. This fruit has been termed by nutritionists as being extremely nutrient – laden.
Overindulgence as always carries negative side effects. Always feed avocados to your dog in moderation. Ensure that the avocado pits and seeds are disposed of properly to avoid poisoning or choking.
With that out of the way, the question of whether dogs can eat avocados can finally be put to rest. Avocados are a healthy snack for your pooch but do require some prior oversight.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article as much as I did writing it. Being a down owner, it only felt right to share this information with you.
Pass on the knowledge and help keep a dog safe.