Can Dogs Eat Avocado?

Is it safe for your dog to eat Avocado? Read more to find out.

When dog owners prepare the guacamole, chili, chips, and other snacks before the gang arrives to watch the big game on TV or friends descend for a party, they should be sure to let everyone know which foods the four-legged guests can consume safely. That includes foods that should be placed well out of reach of inquisitive canines as well as morsels family and friends may willingly offer to the pet.

It can be a challenge to remember which foods are not safe for dogs to eat. Take grapes, for example. Although it can be fun for a child to toss grapes into the air and watch a dog catch them, these fruits can be toxic.

Foods that contain several ingredients require extra thought. Take salsa, for example. Although dogs can eat tomatoes, salsa that contains items such as onions and garlic present a danger.

Another example is guacamole, or more specifically, avocado. According to research presented in Interdisciplinary Toxicology, the avocado leaves, pits, plant and flesh itself are all potentially toxic to dogs. Therefore, not only should foods prepared with avocado be kept away from dogs, the plants themselves should be off limits as well.

That’s because both the leaves and the fruit contain a fungicidal toxin called persin. Exactly how much avocado a dog needs to eat before it suffers the symptoms of poisoning or reaches a lethal dose is not yet known. Much depends on the size of the dog, the amount of avocado consumed and the dog’s age and general health.

If a dog does eat avocado, signs and symptoms can include difficulty breathing because of fluid that accumulates in the chest and lungs, stomach irritation, vomiting and diarrhea. Death can occur if the accumulated fluid around the lungs and heart advance to the point that the dog is asphyxiated.

Unfortunately, dogs are not repelled by guacamole, avocados or the plant itself. Therefore it is up to dog owners to be cautious when preparing foods made with this fruit or about having the plant in or around the house.


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