This is a very common question and you are probably confused, as well, on whether your dog can eat an avocado. We’ve done research and have differentiated the response to this question to indicate which parts of avocado your dog can eat.
Can Dogs eat avocado?
Dogs can eat avocado flesh and will not experience any allergic reaction as the impact of persin toxic is insignificant. The reason some people do not agree that dogs can eat avocados is due to an oil-soluble toxin known as persin which is found in avocados. Persin has been found to be quite dangerous to some animals like horses and birds hence the assumption that it can also be dangerous to dogs.
To those who have thought of it in this way your fears are not misplaced but you should know that the toxin is found mostly in leaves and barks of the avocado plant and in very low concentrations in the avocado fruit. Humans and dogs have proven not to be affected by this toxin which has led to various studies being conducted by certified veterinarians that have come to a conclusion that it is safe for a dog to eat avocado, it is actually recommended as it has various health benefits.
Although it is safe for your dog to eat avocados you should not let it do so unsupervised as there are also many other dangers besides persin. Your dog might be allergic to avocados and thus ingestion of certain amounts of avocados could pose a problem.
You should also be careful to make sure your dog does not swallow the pit as present a serious choking hazard. This is why you should peel your avocado and cut it into slices before giving it to your dog to avoid such cases. Even if your dog is not allergic to avocados ingestion of too much might bring serious gastrointestinal upset which in turn leads to things like vomiting or diarrhea and in serious cases both.
Despite the various problems that may be encountered due to ingestion of avocados it has a great nutritional value. It is a great source of inflammatory fat and is essential in providing vitamin A and E. deficiency of these vitamins can lead to things like skin infections. Recent studies have shown that an average avocado contains 320 calories and 25 grams of fat. The calories give your dog energy allowing it to play all day and the fat helps prevent thing like dry itchy skin. This makes it quite important and most vets recommend that it should be included in your dog’s diet. Avocados are easily available from the market or from malls and supermarkets nearby.
You might also be fortunate enough to have avocado trees or maybe your neighbors might own avocado trees. In this case you should be more careful that your dog does not eat the leaves as persin is high in leaves and barks and also ensure your dog does not swallow the pit. You should also ensure to limit the amount of avocados consumed in this case.
Can Dogs Eat Avocado Oil
You may opt to give your dog avocado oil to avoid the risk of it swallowing the pits. You might therefore wonder if avocado oil is good for your dog. It is quite recommended as it contains two major nutritional contents which are vitamin E and Omega 3 fatty acids.
The two are essential in decreasing inflammation in your dog’s body. This has made it even a better option than avocados since avocado oil poses fewer risks. This does not mean that you should not be careful when giving your dog the avocado oil as it is high in fat and thus should be administered in limited amounts. High amounts of fat may bring other problems in your dog which is why people are asked to be careful.
Can Dogs Eat Avocado Skin & flesh
It is also a common question especially whether a dog can eat avocado skin. This is because of persin which is known to be found in the leaves, bark, and skin and in very low amounts in the flesh. People are therefore more concerned as to whether a dog can eat avocado skin. Although persin is found in the avocado skin it is in low amounts as compared to the leaves and the bark of the plant. Studies have also shown that dogs, cats and humans are tolerant to persin in small amounts. Although this is true consumption of large amounts of persin can lead to serious problems in your dog’s stomach. It is therefore to avoid as much as possible eating of avocado skin by dog. However if this happens you should not worry as long as it is in low amounts as it will not affect your dog.
The avocado flesh has very minute amounts of persin which makes it a very good option. It also contains very essential fats which help decrease inflammation your dog’s body. Various vets have also classified it as a nutrient dense food. It has various other health benefits to your dog.
Even as you feed your dog avocadoes you should consult your vet as the high fat content may not be appropriate to some dogs. You should also ensure that your dog is not allergic to avocados to avoid uncomfortable situations which could easily be avoided.
Can Dogs Eat Avocado Seeds
The seed is the middle part of the avocado pit. It is definitely not advisable to let your dog eat avocados with seeds. They pose a variety of risks to your dog. For one seeds are indigestible thus ingestion could lead to serious problems in the digestive tract.
Research has also shown that they contain cyanide which is very poisonous even to humans. Cyanide combines with hemoglobin preventing oxygen transportation. Luckily avocado seeds contain very little amounts of cyanide thus can’t really affect your dog but this does not mean that you should not be careful.
If by accident your dog swallows the seed it may bring a number of problems. The seed may block the esophagus or the stomach. If it manages to pass the esophagus and the stomach it may pose an even more serious threat as it may lead to intestinal blockage. If you suspect your dog has swallowed a seed you should contact the vet immediately. You should also do so if you see the following signs;
- Lack of stool
The signs may also suggest that your dog has swallowed an avocado seed. The known treatment if your dog has swallowed an avocado seed is surgery as any other action may make the situation even worse
Can Dogs Eat Avocado Pits
The answer to this question is definitely no for a number of reasons. One of them is that the pits are indigestible. If swallowed whole they also pose a great risk to your dog. The greatest one is that they cause blockage which could either be intestinal or of the esophagus. Even if the dog manages to break down the pit into smaller pieces it is still indigestible which leads to intestinal blockage.
Any blockage is quite risky as it can only be removed through surgery since other methods might worsen the situation. As if this is not enough other studies have also shown the presence of cyanide in pits. Cyanide is a very poisonous substance and is toxic even to humans. It works by combining with the haemoglobin which inhibits transportation of oxygen throughout the body. This could easily lead to suffocation. Fortunately the concentrations of cyanide in avocado pits are very low and thus can’t affect the dog but continuous accumulation could eventually lead to health problems in your dog so you should be careful to ensure it does not ingest avocado pits.
Commercial Avocado Dog Food
Over time avocado dog food has been incorporated by various companies due to various recommendations by vets all over the world. Its high nutritional content has made it acknowledged across the globe and the studies continue to show even more benefits that are obtained from avocado dog food.
It is due to these companies that have decided to process the avocado and add other essential nutrients to it so as to make it a complete meal for your dog. This has helped dog owners to advance from giving the dog the fruit to giving the dog a complete meal composed of avocado food. Avocado oil has also been processed to reduce the risks associated with giving your dog the actual fruit.
Avocado oil has a lot of calories and also contains fat making it suitable for your dog. Processing also allows the product to be customized which allows you to buy food specifically made for your dog. This has helped a lot of dog owners, a good example is avocado dog food made for elderly dogs to improve their cognitive function. This clearly show that the food can even be made according to age grade where it can be divided into three major categories which are; food for puppies, food for adult dogs and food for elderly dogs
Is avocado dog food healthier than other packaged dog food?
You might wonder if avocado dog food is healthier than other high quality packaged food. It’s difficult to give a straight answer to that question since both of them contain a lot of nutrients essential for your dog and are also recommended by the vets.
The only way to find out if either one is suitable for your dog is to carry out a test run. This is easy as all you have to do is buy avocado food and give it to your dog in the same proportions as the previous foods. Do this for a week and observe if there are any noticeable changes. However, as you carry out this test and your dog starts exhibiting some symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, itching, or any other response you should stop administering the avocado dog food and give it the previous foods. You should also keep in mind the symptoms may be due to something other than the avocado dog food. If you are still uncertain of what could be causing its reaction you should consult the vet.
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Hi there! My name is Ben Domb, an owner of two pets and I am one of the co-founders of OurPets HQ. I have several years of experience as a pet care professional in the New England region having spent time in various roles including a stint at a veterinary hospital in Upstate New York, Syracuse area. I am a certified pet care professional and mostly spend my time researching pet nutrition and sharing my thoughts in various blogs and columns. With quarantine and COVID restrictions, I have been spending a lot of time a lot with my dogs and cat and loving it! I also run a small consulting business providing advice to parents on pet nutrition, and especially safe homemade options to try. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org