One of nature’s superfoods, avocados, are full of nutritional benefits.
Healthy fats and oils, fiber, and vitamins like potassium and folate make these fruits an appealing type of green goodness.
For dog owners, it’s natural to let a bit of our meal slip under the table to our canine companions.
When something tastes good, we want to share it! And it would seem that whatever we can eat, our pups can enjoy as well.
However, not everything rich in human dietary benefits is suitable for dogs.
Can dogs eat avocado?
Read on to find out more.
Can Dogs Eat Avocado?
There isn’t an easy answer to this question.
In general, in small amounts, the flesh of the avocado will not hurt your dog.
However, they should never consume large portions, and you should keep the pit away from them.
Can Dogs Eat Avocado When Sick?
Dogs can eat avocado when they’re sick, but it’s not a good idea.
There are many other options for dogs to snack on if they feel under the weather.
Generally, a meal of plain chicken and steamed rice is best to help restore a dog’s appetite.
Can Dogs Eat Guacamole?
Since guacamole is made with avocado, the same cautions apply here.
However, something else to note is that guac often includes onion, another substance with toxic potential.
It’s best not to feed guacamole to your dog, though you could compromise by giving them a tasty tortilla chip to munch on while you enjoy yours with spread.
How Are Avocados Good for Dogs?
The ways avocado is suitable for dogs are the same ways it benefits humans.
Vitamins A, B6, C, and E are plentiful in this food.
The flesh is fiber-rich and contains fats that will help develop a lush, glossy coat.
Avocados are also high in potassium, niacin, folate, and antioxidants.
Why Isn’t Avocado Good for Dogs?
One thing to keep in mind is that the part of the avocado makes an enormous difference.
If a dog consumes the pit, leaves, or stem, there’s much more cause for concern than if they eat the flesh.
Below are some issues present in avocados that make it risky to feed your dog.
Persin is a fungicidal substance that is toxic to dogs but harmless to humans. Like a fatty acid, it’s an oil-soluble compound that makes its way from avocado seeds to fruit.
Though dogs are more resistant to Persin than other animals, it’s still not a good idea to introduce it to them if you can help it. Small dogs, in particular, may react badly to Persin.
Dogs who are on a low-fat diet should never eat avocado.
Though avocados include “good” fats, they will still harm a dog’s stomach if they’re not used to consuming them.
Diarrhea, vomiting, and other GI symptoms may occur if a dog eats too much avocado.
There’s also the danger of developing pancreatitis.
You may have heard that a diet including avocados is good for heart health, and this is true for humans.
In dogs, it could have the opposite effect.
Though several factors contribute to any health issue, large quantities of avocados certainly don’t help a dog stay healthy.
What Should You Do If Your Dog Eats Avocado?
Sometimes, despite our best efforts, our furry friends get into trouble.
If your dog consumes something they shouldn’t, your best bet is to keep an eye on them and have the number for the local vet handy if it becomes necessary.
Look Out for Avocado Toxicity
Avocado toxicosis (poisoning) in dogs mainly affects their gastrointestinal system.
If you think your dog has gotten hold of an avocado, keep a close eye on them for GI symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhea.
Call the Vet
If your dog shows no sign of their GI upset slowing down, or presents with other alarming symptoms like lethargy, discolored gums, or trouble breathing, then call your vet immediately.
The chances of this happening to a dog with a regular diet are rare, but it can’t hurt to be prepared.
How Much Avocado Can a Dog Have?
If you choose to supplement your dog’s diet with avocado, give it to them in small portions.
A few bites won’t be enough toxicity to hurt them and will provide them with the health benefits present in this tasty treat.
Which Dog Food Brands Add Avocado to Their Dog Foods?
There are many dog foods and diets that incorporate avocado, and it’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Typically these brands utilize either avocado oil or modest amounts of the meal (the green fleshy part that humans eat).
The most pertinent brand is the AvoDerm line, which uses avocado for skin and coat health.
Here are a few others:
- Abound – Lamb Rice & Avocado Recipe
- Purina – Beneful Dry Dog Food
- The Farmer’s Dog
- Dr. Marty – Nature’s Blend
- Ollie Dry Kibble
- Wild Earth Dog Food and Superfood dog treats
How To Feed Your Dog Avocado
Keep these tips in mind if you decide to feed avocado to your dog.
Keep the Portion Size Small
If they only have a little avocado, it shouldn’t hurt your dog.
It’s enough to give your dog the fats, oils, fiber, and vitamins that enrich their diet and contribute to a gorgeous coat.
A large dog could have up to half an avocado’s meat when mixed in with their regular kibble or other meal plans.
Smaller dogs should only have a nibble amounting to a few bites.
Feed Them Only the Fruit
The green portion that we use to make guacamole or adorn sandwiches is the same part your dog should eat.
The stem and leaves are high in toxic chemicals and don’t provide any taste or nutrients.
Never feed them the pit, as this is high in Persin.
It’s also a severe choking hazard, especially with small dogs that may not be able to swallow it as easily.
Even if a dog does eat the pit, it could cause blockages in the intestinal tract.
Keep It Plain
There’s no need to decorate the avocado if you feed it to your pup.
They are happy to have something unique and exciting, and their taste buds don’t require additives like salt or flavor like we are used to.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about feeding avocado to dogs.
What foods are poisonous to dogs?
- Grapes and raisins
- Chocolate (particularly dark chocolate with high cocoa content)
- Artificial sweeteners, like Xylitol
- Cooked bones (can splinter and cause choking or bleeding)
- Alcohol of any kind
- Macadamia nuts
What vegetables are toxic to dogs?
Most vegetables aren’t bad for dogs.
They enjoy the crunchiness of broccoli and carrots and get some health benefits from spinach (for example).
Celery, bell peppers, and green beans are other doggie favorites.
However, you should keep onions, garlic, and chives away from pets due to their tendency to cause GI problems.
There are some chemical irritants in these types of foods that don’t agree with dogs at all and can even affect their liver and blood.
There’s a lot of confusing information about whether dogs can eat avocado.
Some sources say it’s rich in health benefits, and others claim it’s toxic.
The truth, of course, lies somewhere in the middle.
It turns out that feeding your dog small amounts of avocado is good for them, and some dog food brands use it as a prime ingredient!
However, administering too much (especially raw) could cause issues.
Other factors like parts of the fruit, the size of your dog, and their diet as a whole contribute to the health consideration.
For the most part, use common sense and avoid feeding too much.
Your pet will appreciate the tasty goodness of this all-natural snack, and you’ll be happy that it’s good for them, too!