It’s the hip superfood that health and wellness gurus go nuts for, but can dogs eat avocado? While this buttery soft fruit is considered the ultimate nutritious and delicious snack for humans, the picture isn’t so straightforward for our canine companions.
Feeding our dogs any kind of human food requires careful consideration. A dog’s digestive system is different from ours and high-fat foods can be a challenge for them to process, which is why for the most part, we recommend sticking to the best dog food.
But sometimes, that adorable face looking up at you and begging for a treat is going to be too much to resist, so can dogs eat avocado on the odd special occasion, or does this green fruit get a red light? We find out.
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Can dogs eat avocado?
Don’t you hate it when the answer to a question is both yes and no? Unfortunately, that’s the case with avocados. Let’s start with the good stuff.
Avocados contain tons of healthy fats that are great for the skin and coat, which is why you’ll sometimes see it included in the best dry dog food and best dog treats. It’s also low in sugar and high in vitamins and fiber, all great for dogs who are omnivores.
The downside is that parts of the avocado fruit contain a fungicidal toxin called persin, which can result in serious illness or even death in our furkids. Let’s break down each component of an avocado so you know where the dangers lie:
Avocado pit: While you’re not going to willingly feed your dog the stone that holds this fruit together, it’s amazing how quickly they can gobble things down when your back is turned. Pits don’t digest well and can easily get stuck in the digestive tract, causing gastrointestinal blockages that require surgery.
Avocado skin: The skin of avocado contains the toxin persin, so you want to make sure your dog doesn’t get their paws on this. Most vets agree that dogs have a lot more resistance to persin (opens in new tab) than other animals, but that doesn’t mean they should be consuming the skin, which like the pit, can cause stomach upsets.
Avocado flesh: The pulp of an avocado isn’t known to be toxic to dogs, but it’s very high in fat and calories. Sensitive dogs can develop pancreatitis, an inflammation of the digestive organ the pancreas, from eating even small amounts of this rich fruit, and all dogs will quickly pile on the pounds if they’re being fed slivers of avocado regularly.
While a little bit of avocado is unlikely to harm your dog, on the whole, we recommend avoiding this fruit. Granted, it’s packed with goodness, but the vitamins, fatty acids, fiber, and antioxidants it contains can all be sourced from elsewhere.
The risks of overconsumption or even small portions for dogs with allergies, including vomiting, diarrhea, and pancreatitis, far outweigh any gains, so if avocados are a staple in your home, make sure to keep them away from your pooch’s paws.
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Kathryn is a freelance writer who has spent the past two years dividing her writing time between her two great loves - pets and health and wellness. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with one very mischievous Cocker Spaniel, drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and attempting to set numerous world records for the longest ever FaceTime calls with her family back home in NZ.
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