You are sitting at the dinner table. Margarita. Chips. Guacamole. The night is starting out well. Your dog comes to the table, sniffing the good food you have laid out. You are about to give him a chip with some guac, but you stop. You remember hearing from another dog owner that avocados are bad for dogs. Is it true? Will my dog be deprived of the best part of Mexican cuisine? Will I have to eat it ALL BY MYSELF?
Hopefully, you are now reading this article, where you will explore the debate over whether or not avocados are safe for dogs to ingest. We will answer questions such as: are avocados toxic? Does it apply to all animals or only to some? If they are not toxic to dogs, then is there anything to worry about?
Keep reading to learn more about this green, fleshy fruit.
Why Are Avocados Potentially Dangerous for Dogs?
The main issue that is debated with dogs and avocados has to do with a fungal toxin called persin. Persin is found in the seed, leaves, and stem of the avocado. The issue for dogs is that some people say that persin is also present in the fruit, meaning that the fruit is poisonous to ingest. Others say that there are very low levels of persin in the fruit of an avocado, and there are different reasons why certain animals can eat avocados while others cannot.
Where is the Evidence?
According to ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, avocados are listed as a toxic fruit – for some animals. But, out of all the people who have called in requesting emergency assistance because of their dog’s avocado ingestion, the worst thing they have heard of is an upset stomach. Additionally, Breeder’s Choice, a long-standing pet food company, uses the fruit of avocados in their dog food, and report good reviews and feedback from their customers. They say that adding the avocado in their dog food helped improve coat and skin issues in dogs.
Apparently, the biggest concern with dogs eating avocados has more to do with the accidental digestion of the seed, which can cause blockage in the gastrointestinal tract.
- An avocado is actually a fruit, specifically a berry, originally found in Mexico and now grown in tropical and Mediterranean climates around the world.
- Avocados are also called an alligator pear
- Avocados are rich in fiber, monounsaturated fats, and contain more potassium than bananas
- Persin, the toxin found in the leaves, stem, and bark of an avocado, is deadly to horses, birds, cattle, and a few other species of animals
Foods Your Dog Cannot Eat
Listed below are some foods that are important to keep your dog away from. For one reason or another, these will not jive well with your pup.
- Onions and garlic: weaken the red blood cells and can cause anemia (lack of iron)
- Caffeine: you probably keep your morning coffee or tea to yourself, but surprisingly caffeine can be found in some medications. As with all the food items below, make sure you check the ingredients of whatever medicine you are giving to your dog
- Grapes: can cause kidney failure in dogs
- Macadamia nuts: considered one of the most toxic foods to dogs, macadamia nuts can be fatal if ingested. Keep your dog away!
- Chocolate: most of us know chocolate is bad for doggies. The reason is because of theobromine, which is a compound found in the cacao seed and contains caffeine.
- Excessive salt: salt affects dogs more drastically than it does humans, so it is best to keep dogs away from human snacks like chips and pretzels
- Yeast dough: it can rise in your dog’s stomach if he eats is uncooked
The main concern with avocados and dogs is the ingestion of the leaves, stem, and seed of the avocado. So, if you have an avocado tree in your backyard, do not let your dog freely snack on the fruit from the tree. This increases the risk of accidental ingestion of the seed, stems, bark, and leaves of the avocado. If your dog does ingest these, immediately contact your veterinarian or the animal poison control center for emergency assistance.