Avocados are rich in healthy, beneficial fats and are in many healthy diets for humans. But, could they be found in the canine diet too? Can dogs eat avocado? And, more importantly, are avocados good for dogs? This article informs about feeding avocados to your dog. Read first before you give them any.
Can Dogs Eat Avocado?
The answer is: it’s complicated. Technically, dogs can eat avocado, but if they consume large amounts, they will experience its toxic effects. However, feeding your dog in moderation should be a prerequisite for any human food you intend to give to your dog as a healthy treat. Thus, dogs can, indeed, eat avocados but in small amounts to prevent any serious health risks.
Health Benefits to Avocados
The avocado is a popular addition to the healthy human diet due to its high nutritional value. From healthy fats and fatty acids to an ample amount of vitamins and minerals, many of these nutrients can benefit you as well as your dog. In sum, avocados include the following:
- Amino acids
- Vitamins A, B3, B6, C & E
The above nutrients all contribute to several health benefits for your furry baby. For example, the vitamins contained contribute to good eyesight, bone health, skin, and fur health. Moreover, the fatty acids, folate, and potassium all improve and maintain your dog’s smooth, shiny coat of fur.
Remember, the nutrients mentioned above may be suitable for your dog’s health, but avocado itself is only healthy when consumed in strictly small amounts.
Risks to Dogs Eating Avocados
As already mentioned, moderation is essential to avoid any health risks in your dog after eating an avocado. However, it is vital to know the reason behind it. Avocados contain a toxic agent called persin. Persin is reportedly dangerous for many animals, including birds, goats, cows, sheep, and horses. Dogs appear to be resistant to it. But, this does not mean that your dog is immune. If they consume large amounts of avocado, they too will experience the toxic effects of persin.
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Side-effects to dogs eating large amounts of avocados include:
- myocardial damage
- stomach upset
- weight gain
- persin poisoning
Can Dogs Eat Avocado Pits?
Dogs cannot eat avocado pits. Pits pose the greatest threat to your dog. The avocado pit (also known as seed) is large enough to cause choking or a severe blockage to your dog’s airway or in the intestinal tract. Moreover, the pit contains persin. Do not feed the pit to your dog. Be careful when you try disposing of it, as they might try to steal it.
If your dog accidentally eats an avocado seed, call your vet right away.
Can Dogs Eat Avocado Oil?
Generally, you should avoid giving oil to your dog in large quantities because of the high-fat content. However, you may add a few drops of avocado oil to your dog’s meal, as it does not contain any persin, unlike the pit, and it is thus, non-toxic to your dog.
Find below is an overview of safely feeding avocado to your dog without the risk of them experiencing any harmful effects.
- Small portion size: Keep in mind that treats and human food should make up no more than 10% of your dog’s daily calorie intake. A medium-sized avocado contains about 320 calories & 29 grams of fat, which for many dogs is much more than 10% of their daily calorie need!
- Fruit only: Get rid of the avocado stem, bark, leaves, pit, and skin. Cut the fruit in small sizes and offer it to them.
- Plain only: Do not offer any guacamole to your dog. It contains harmful ingredients such as onions and salt.
Your dog can eat avocado as long as it’s in small amounts and moderation. Remember that apart from all the side effects of too much avocado, your dog may be allergic or turned off by the fruit. Do not try to force them to eat avocado as a treat if they don’t like it. You can always seek out alternative options from our master post on healthy dog treats from human foods.
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