Can Dogs Eat Avocado? Or Are Avocados Bad For Dogs?

Some dogs will just go crazy over Avocados, doing everything they can to convince you to give them some.

But, chances are that you might have heard someone advise you against giving your dog any avocados, because “they are poisonous to dogs”, as the person said.

The Problem With Searching Online

If you hop online and run a fast search about the topic, you’re bound to run into all the controversy about whether avocados are really safe for dogs to eat, or whether they are poisonous for your dog.

Some sources will tell you that giving your dog avocados to eat is just as bad as feeding them something such as gum that contains xylitol (known to be a dog killer), while other sources will tell you that giving your dog avocados to eat is a very good practice to do as long as it stays within the realms of moderation.

Heck, if you do a little bit of extensive research on this, some sources will go as extreme as to tell you that it’s even fine for your dog to come in contact with the avocado tree itself, take down any avocados hanging and eat them right then and there, with no negative consequences to follow.

Seems a bit too much of an extreme difference in verdicts, don’t you think? Especially since you’ve heard time and time again that dogs getting close to certain fruit plants is a no-no, which is the case with dogs and fig trees for example.

So, what’s the truth about this topic? Can dogs eat avocados or not?

Can Dogs Eat Avocado? The Short Answer

Avocados are often labeled as a toxic food for your dogs, and many dog owners have made it a sacred habit to keep their dogs away from this fruit as much as possible.

However, this may not be the right thing to do after all.

You see, dogs CAN indeed eat avocados safely.

What The ASPCA Has To Say About This

If you take a look at what the ASPCA has to say on this subject, you’ll see for yourself that avocados are only labeled as toxic to horses, cattle, goats, and birds.

Avocados aren’t labeled as toxic to dogs and cats, so that’s the first step in clearing up the controversy around this issue.

The main reason avocados are labeled as a toxic food for dogs is because of persin found inside the avocado, which is mostly concentrated in the pits, bark, seeds and leaves of avocado trees.

So if you plan on feeding your dog avocados, always remove these parts and only give your dog the flesh to eat.

When it comes to the flesh of the avocados, which is what your dog mainly consumes, perisin is found in very small quantities, which pose no health risk for your dog whatsoever.

If you ask your veterinarian about the subject, they’ll probably reassure you that cases of illness in dogs due to eating avocados are rare.

The worst case scenario that could happen if your dog eats a large amount of avocado flesh in one sitting is them getting some stomach upset, or a few problems they will face with the pit (more on that below).

But, as far as you should be worried about, if your dog eats a moderate portion of avocado the right way, they won’t face life-threatening problems such as cardiovascular disease or even death, which is the case if your dog got their way into some other foods such as bacon).

Why Is Avocado Good For Dogs?

Avocados are considered to be a super-food, and provide you and your dog with some of the best nutrients around.

Avocados are:

  • Rich in potassium (avocados can offer your dog 60% more potassium than a banana, and bananas are considered to be one of the highest potassium containing fruits around!)
  • An excellent source of dietary fiber
  • Rich in “good fats” and essential omega fatty acids
  • An aid for your dog’s skin health and coat condition
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Rich in antioxidants that benefit the immune system.
  • Rich in vitamin A
  • Rich in vitamin C
  • Rich in vitamin E
  • Rich in folate
  • A good source of niacin
  • One of the best sources of protein among fruits, containing 18 amino acids (excellent for muscle development)

How Much Avocados Can Dogs Eat

Avocados should not be one of the main cornerstone foods of your dog’s diet, it should only be a small supplement to an overall well round diet.

You should keep in mind that avocados are one of the highest fruits in fat content, which means that your pooch could easily be eating a whole lot more fat than they should be eating during a day if they’re being fed excessive amounts of avocado.

Even though avocado is technically considered to be a fruit, it’s up there in comparison with something like olives in terms of fat content.

And that’s definitely not something you want happening, as it can easily fatten up your dog in no time leading to obesity, as well as leading to your dog potentially developing pancreatitis and suffering from it their whole life.

How Can Dogs Eat Avocados

As we already established above, before you give your dog an avocado to eat you should remove the pits (the same way you would remove the pits from a cherry before feeding it to your dog), bark, seeds and leaves. This will leave your dog with only the avocado flesh to eat.

It’s especially important to take out the pit before feeding the avocado to your dog because it can block your dog’s esophagus, stomach or intestinal tract, which will cause nothing but serious health hazards that will threaten your dog’s life.

As for the avocado peel, you shouldn’t be feeding this to your dog for two reasons.

One, it has no added benefit to your dog other than what they’ll be getting from the avocado itself, and two, dogs that eat avocado peel will be at risk of suffering from digestive problems and stomach upset.

Signs Of Something Wrong

In case your dog exhibits vomiting, diarrhea or lack of stool production after they consume a few pieces of avocado, immediately contact your veterinarian.

What About Avocado In Dog Food?

Since we all feed our dogs high quality dog food made just for them (if you don’t, what are you doing?), you may be wondering about dog food that contains avocado in the ingredients list, and you may be asking whether or not these dog food manufacturers take into consideration the amount of persin from the avocado that goes into their dog food.

We’ve got good news, and we’ve got bad news.

The good news is, if you stick to the well known names in the industry, any avocado they use has minimal amounts of persin, meaning that there’s a 99% chance that your dog will never face toxicity from this issue.

The bad news is, if you try to compensate quality for a somewhat cheaper price when shopping around for dog food, you risk doing business with a company that doesn’t test the amounts of Persin in its dog food, meaning the risk is there for your dog to suffer from Persin toxicity if its found in high amounts in the dog food.

And this is especially true for those “here today, gone tomorrow” brands that see the light of day today, offer you the world and the moon and then some for a crazy price, and then disappears a while later after they re-call their products for “further testing”.

One of the most reputable dog food manufacturers in the industry that make significant use of avocado in their dog food is AvoDerm, and you can have a look at one of their products that made it on our list of the best dog food for small breeds.

A Quick Note For Garden People

If you’ve got yourself a garden at home and like to grow different plants/trees in it for whatever reason that may be, you’re going to want to pay attention to the following important point.

You must make sure that your dog never comes into contact with any avocado plant/tree, because there’s a huge risk that they decide to chew or even try to eat some of its parts.

And that’s very dangerous because as we covered above, the leaves, bark, and pit of this plant pose of huge toxicity risk for your dog, one you don’t want to take – as it’s always going to be a losing battle.


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