Avocados Can Be Toxic to Dogs (And Turn Them Into Hipsters)

The question of feeding your dogs avocado is a tough one. The answer to the question about avocados is yes and no!

For starters, there is a laundry list of food items in your home that are dangerous for your animals, and avocado is often included:

  • Coffee grounds
  • Fatty foods
  • Tea
  • Chocolate
  • Avocados (read on about persin)
  • Alcohol
  • Yeast dough
  • Grapes/raisins
  • Salt
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Any product containing Xylitol (even certain peanut butter brands use this so read the ingredients)

What about avocados and persin?


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Persin is the problem! Persin is present in the avocado fruit, pits, leaves, and the actual plant, so all of these are potentially poisonous to your dog.

The American Kennel Club tells us that most of the persin is concentrated in the leaves, skin and pit of the fruit:

"It is also present in avocado flesh in small amounts. Exactly what amount of persin is lethal isn't known. In large amounts, it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and myocardial damage."

What about a fresh avocado?

Does fresh avocado have a lot of health benefits? Avocados are rich in Vitamin E, Vitamin A and healthy fats, these power fruits are a great feeding option for dogs with skin and hair problems. There is also a pet food made with avocado your vet may recommend, but parts of the avocado are an absolute choking hazard.

Dog owners should be aware that the benefits of avocado make this a good snack, but human foods should only be given in moderation. Gastrointestinal upset may be a side effect. It may not be worth feeding this fruit when the avocado plant parts (avocado leaves) are so toxic.

What about avocado pits and seeds?

Dogs should not eat avocado pits or seeds. The pit or seed can cause an obstruction in a dog's throat, stomach, or intestines. It can cause choking! Many of the pits (such as apples and apricots) contain cyanide which is detrimental to animals.

Should you just keep your dogs away from avocado?

If you can identify a safer snack or fruit, it's a better idea to just keep avocados off the list. There is an avocado approved dog food, but it's typically recommended by a veterinarian for pets with skin issues.

Some substances can be dangerous or even fatal if ingested so it's really important to know when you need to rush to the emergency room. If you come home or step into the kitchen and suspect one of the above items was ingested, call your vet or DVM immediately.

Please leave us a comment, if there is something we missed on this list. 

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