Can Dogs Eat Onions? Or Are Onions Bad For Dogs?


When it comes to onions, the number of foods we can prepare and make tasty thanks to this one ingredient are countless. However, we must always remember that just like there are many human foods out there which are perfectly safe (and even recommended for health purposes) to feed your dog, there are also human foods which are toxic and potentially deadly if your dog consumes them.

On which side of the spectrum do onions lie? Can dogs eat onions? Or are onions bad for dogs to eat?

Can Dogs Eat Onions? The Short Answer

Unfortunately, the answer to this question is NO.

If your dog eats any form of onions, be them raw, cooked, fried, an ingredient as part of any meal or in the form of powder, these can all make your dog very sick, and could very well lead to death in some cases.

Why Are Onions Bad For Dogs?

Onions, in all forms, shapes and sizes contain certain elements that can seriously damage your dog’s red blood cells, which means that your dog will have anemia.

Your dog doesn’t even have to eat that much of a large quantity of onions before they fall terribly ill, even the smallest amount of onions can (and most often do) spell big troubles for both you and your dog.

This is why with other human foods your dog can get away with consuming a very minor amount without anything happening to them, but when it comes to onions, your dog consuming any amount (no matter how small) is very dangerous, because damaging your dog’s cells will definitely occur in all cases.

The damage that your dog’s red blood cells has taken from the consumption of onions will generally appear after 3-5 days from digestion.

Onions also contain a substance called thiosulfate, one which dogs lack a necessary enzyme to digest, which makes it very dangerous to their health.

Here are some additional health hazards your dog faces if they eat onions:

  • Liver damage
  • Asthma
  • Allergic reactions
  • Lethargy
  • Weakness
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dermatitis

How To Tell If Your Dog Was Intoxicated From Eating Onions

Here are some of the most common symptoms that dogs who have been intoxicated from eating onions will display:

  • Lethargy, tiredness, weakness or unwillingness to move
  • Urine color becomes orange to dark red in color
  • Gum color becomes pale
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Fast breathing
  • Depression
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Greatly decreased appetite
  • Stomach aches
  • Skin color becomes yellowish
  • Eye white areas become yellowish in color

What To Do If Your Dog Eats Onions

If your dog exhibits any of these signs, you should immediately contact your veterinarian and have them be take a look on your dog.

Your veterinarian may induce vomiting in your dog or might specify a product for you to use to help minimize the absorption of the onions, and this minimize the toxicity from them in your dog’s system.

The sooner you act and get your dog professional help and care, the less the risks of serious health damage they might have, and the less treatment is required. And, the more time you take to act to get your dog some professional help, the more serious the health risks on your dog are, and the more complex the treatment process becomes.

In some more serious intoxication cases, your dog might require blood transfusions to be performed on them.

Please do not attempt to treat a case of onion toxicity in your dog by yourself if you’re not a professional animal care person and are not certified to do so, the only course of treatment you should follow is one that is specified by your veterinarian (or any other professional who knows their stuff).


  1. My dog is 12 years old. I have made her skinless chicken breast for a long time. I always put onion and celery in it as cook it because I like the flavor in the broth and I use it later. I don’t know if it has hurt her any. None that I can tell.


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