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Are you thinking of sharing some avocado with your pet dog? Are you worried about what could happen?
Obviously this fruit is healthy, but the ASPCA says there’s toxicity for animals with horses being especially at risk.
Here’s the deal:
Avocados won’t be harmful for your dog if you stick to small portions. While that is good news, there are pitfalls (pun intended) you need to know about.
For one, four-legged friends don’t process plant-based foods as well as humans. This means feeding avocado may cause a bit of diarrhea or an upset stomach.
Arguably though, the most dangerous aspect is the pit.
Your Dog Can Have Avocado (modest portions and remove the pit)
Truth be told, this food is better tolerated by dogs than horses.
Go easy anyway because pure avocado is high in fat and also contains a toxin called persin.
Play it safe and avoid feeding your dog large amounts of this fruit. Besides, avocado is more in-line with what people need in their diet.
Basically, be reasonable about it!
FYI: A company named Avoderm has quality dog foods that incorporate omega-rich avocados (very healthy for the skin and coat)!
Persin Pit And Peel Pitfalls
Avocado doesn’t have to be dangerous.
Just know the pit can be harmful so it is essential to prevent any possibility of a choking hazard.
Pitted fruits, avocado certainly included, should be prepared by removing any large seeds.
You don’t want your dog to have this lodged in their throat. Such an obstruction is entirely avoidable.
Another reason to remove the avocado’s pit:
It contains an oil-soluble compound known as Persin. In fact, that is the origin of avocado’s toxicity and why you may have heard about this fruit being harmful.
Also remove the peel or skin prior to serving.
Translation: If you want to share some avocado then be sure to properly prepare it and serve small portions.
Fido And Fatty Fruits
High levels of fat is yet another reason to limit how much avocado your dog gets to eat.
Much like olives as well as soybeans, avocados are fatty although it’s a healthy kind of fat.
Nonetheless, too much guacamole can make your dog gain unwanted weight.
Make no mistake about it:
It is a bad idea to regularly provide your buddy with a bunch of this fruit.
The Bottom Line
You can feed avocado to your dog despite the rumors.
This fruit’s toxicity affects horses and birds more than canines. But you still have to be safe and remove the seed as well as the skin.
Last but not least, avocado is very fatty and may cause weight gain.
Be smart and stick to small dog-friendly portions!
15 thoughts on “Want To Feed Your Dog Avocado? Read This First!”
My German Shepherd loves avocado. I give her the rinds when I’m done and she picks them clean and leaves all the junk behind. Her coat is thick and shiny.
I’m not saying it’s due to the avocados alone because she eats very well aside from that. Like anything, it’s probably best in treat-sized doses. The same goes for us humans and certain things we like to eat.
These precariously placed pitfalls preclude present peoples’ prior perspectives pertaining to puppy peril. Finally, folks’ frequent feelings follow founded food fundamentals for our fuzzy furry friends. Persin-ally, I feed my dog avocado all the time. Woops! Glad people say dogs have nine lives.
Thanks! That gave me a chuckle!
Our puppy swallowed an avocado seed from off the bench. It was so toxic that it started killing her from the inside! When we took her to the vet, a few days later, she was unable to move and was close to death. She fully recovered over a few weeks but the vet bill was very high. Surgery was needed to remove the seed.
I was feeding my dog some Avocado in the mornings with his homemade meat loaf. He seemed to love it! I did not do this every day but now he has developed a fatty tumor on his back leg. Do you think this may have been the cause? Any input out there?
I highly doubt the avocado caused the tumor. I’ve always given my dogs table scraps and yes, that often includes avocados. No problems! There are so many toxins in everything today; that tumor could have been caused by anything, even just plain genetics. The important thing is that you try to give your dog the best life possible. It sounds like you are doing that, so I wouldn’t worry at all about giving him bits of avocado.
Avocados are not toxic to dogs. The ASPCA recommendation is based on old information regarding persin, the toxic chemical in avocados. Not yet knowing the extent of persin toxicity, the general recommendation was to avoid it.
More recent studies have concluded that, while highly toxic to birds, it does not affect dogs (at least not at the amount they’d be able to reasonably consume – same for humans). However, the ASPCA and other organizations have not updated their information.
Whether avocados are safe for dogs or not is not controversial (they are – empirical evidence has verified that beyond doubt), it’s only that misunderstanding makes it a controversial topic.
The one real caution about avocados is that they’re very high in fat, and pose the same risks as other high-fat foods (obesity, gastrointestinal upset, pancreatitis, etc.), so should be fed in moderation if at all. That’s not because of toxicity, but purely because of fat content.
The fat controversy is being debunked as well. Not just with avocados but with all foods. They’ve known for some time now that it is starchy carbohydrates, due to their effects on blood sugar, that are the real culprits in obesity, gastrointestinal upset (due to a protein called lectins in these foods – such as gluten in wheat), high triglycerides etc. High triglyceride levels are a risk factor for pancreatitis.
The Journal of Nutrition has a study showing the lowering of carbs in a canines diet also lowered triglyceride levels. There is no research that I am aware of linking quality, non-rancid dietary fats as a cause of pancreatitis including for dogs.
There’s a new documentary out called “Cereal Killers”. The high fat, very low carb diet eaten by the lead character improved all health parameters in that person.
Doctor Oz just recently had Neurologist Dr. Perlmutter on demonstrating how carbohydrates damage the brain and more quality fats should be eaten to replace starchy carbohydrates in the diet. There is so much more data out there as well.
Fat can be a contributing factor in pancreatitis, no matter the quality. By the way, there is no known cause of pancreatitis. Cereal Killers, a documentary focusing on humans, doesn’t address canines.
Hi Mark. I agree that elevated fat in the blood (hyperlipidemia) is a risk but there’s no science linking healthy dietary fats to the cause of pancreatitis (or fasting triglycerides). Like protein and kidney disease, they need to be watched when the disease is in place but that’s different than the cause of the disease, with one exception. High fat, higher sugar and low protein diets do cause pancreatitis but this is rare. There are no AAFCO compliant diets that would meet this nutrient profile.
My source is the NRC book “Nutrient requirements of Cats and Dogs, National Research Council”. I’m not able to link the quoted data but it can be found online if Googled. The Journal of Nutrition has two great articles demonstrating protein being a wonderful weight loss nutrient for canines.
Fat was moderate in both studies but it is the carbs affect on triglycerides that I’d like to highlight (note the affect on triglycerides for dogs is the same as for humans). The article’s title is “High-Protein Low-Carbohydrate Diets Enhance Weight Loss in Dogs.”
The first paragraph of the discussion reads, “Several studies showed the potential benefits of a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet on reducing body weight in humans (6,7). These diets are also associated with decreases in serum TG as compared to diets high in carbohydrates. The results of the study reported here suggest that these same benefits can also be obtained in dogs fed high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets.”
Since high triglycerides, also known as hyperlipidemia, is a risk factor for the inflammation that becomes pancreatitis, a high carb diet can be a potential cause even though once the pancreas is inflamed a higher carb diet is the recommended diet to deal with the symptoms (not the inflammation that is pancreatitis though).
Where can I find the science linking what quality of fat may or may not contribute to pancreatitis in canines? I have never read any differentiation between fats regarding this subject. I am specifically looking for data regarding pancreatitis in dogs.
ASPCA’s website now lists Avocado on their “Foods that are hazardous to Dogs” page. However, it says dogs are not especially sensitive but could get tummy discomfort. That avocado meal and oil found in dog food should be okay. The pit, however, can cause a dangerous blockage.
The Pet Poison Helpline is staffed by experts such as “clinical toxicologists, veterinary toxicologists, clinical pharmacists” etc. They say this about avocado in dogs and cats. “Avocado contains a toxin called persin, but despite the rumors, avocado is not poisonous to dogs, nor likely to cats”.
If avocados are so bad, what about the dog food Avoderm? Avo as in avocado. I used to feed this to my dogs, I have a Great Dane that’s 11 1/2 years old, but have since gone to Canine Cuisine. Not because I had problems with Avoderm, but considering her age, I wanted what was best for her. This is a great site by the way, lots of good info for us dog lovers.
We had a Rottweiler that loved avocados and he was on premium dog food twice a day. He was a hoss! But boy did he love those avocados.