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Dogs can eat avocado, but in moderation, as this fatty fruit can cause inflammatory conditions such as pancreatitis. Still, avocados contain an array of beneficial properties, including vitamins and minerals, which help support your dog’s overall health.
Avocado is a superfood, famous for its numerous health benefits for us. It’s also delicious, and as any loving dog parent, you’d want to share your tasty snack with your darling pooch.
Except, can dogs eat avocado?
Before you offer your pup a slice, we answer this question and much more to see if avocado has any benefits for dogs and if it’s even safe.
Can Dogs Eat Avocado?
Can dogs eat avocado? The answer is yes, and no.
Yes, dogs can have small amounts of this green superfood. Avocado contains multiple benefits for your pup’s overall health, such as healthy fats and fatty acids, minerals, and vitamins, among much more. Some dog food brands even include avocados in their formulas.
However, not all parts of the avocado are safe for your dog to consume, and they can make them severely sick—it could even be fatal.
First, let’s look at the nutritional advantages of avocado:
Nutritional Benefits of Avocado
Avocado contains a host of beneficial nutrients, which is why the fruit is so popular in the culinary world. Some of its components that are great for dogs include:
- Amino acid
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B3 and B6
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
Essential nutrients such as niacin (vitamin B3), folate, fatty acids, and potassium help support your dog’s coat. Vitamins A, B3, B6, E, and C support bone health, fur, eyesight, skin, among many others.
Still, despite the health benefits, you should be wary of how much avocado your pup consumes and which part.
Potential Risks of Giving Your Dog Avocado
We can divide the avocado into roughly three parts: The pulp, pit, and external elements, like skin, bark, and leaves. Not all components are safe for dogs to consume, so let’s explain a bit further:
The avocado pulp is the greenish fruit meat that we eat. It’s soft and mashable, and it contains the most health benefits, such as outlined above.
Serving your dog small portions of avocado pulp shouldn’t do any harm and might even provide them with a boost of minerals and vitamins.
With that said, if you already provide your pup with a well-balanced diet, supplemental foods aren’t necessary unless stated by your veterinarian.
Another reason to go light on avocado pulp is the risk of pancreatitis—a painful inflammation of the pancreas. Dogs can develop it due to the high-fat content in the avocado pulp—even consuming a small amount can trigger symptoms.
Pancreatitis symptoms are painful for your dog, and in some cases, the condition can be fatal. Because of this, watch your pup for 24 to 48 hours after giving them avocado, and check for diarrhea, vomiting, or signs of abdominal discomfort. If you see any adverse symptoms, contact your vet.
The pit of the avocado can pose significant dangers for your dog. Because of the pit’s sheer volume and density, it doesn’t digest well and can lead to an intestinal or gastric blockage.
It can get stuck somewhere in their system if they didn’t digest it fully, and the only way of removing it is by surgery.
Another danger of allowing your dog to eat the pit is choking, especially with smaller breeds. Their food pipe may not be broad enough to swallow the seed should they eat it whole. Call your vet if you notice wheezing or signs of choking.
Avocados contain one known poison to animals, called persin. It’s a fungicidal toxin produced by the avocado plant, meaning it’s present in the leaves, seeds, skin, bark, and sometimes fruit.
The amount of persin present varies between the type of avocados as well as other external factors. Ingesting high levels of persin, however, isn’t necessarily fatal for a dog. Interestingly, both cats and canines appear to be less sensitive to the toxin than other animals.
Also, the likelihood that your dog will munch on the leaves is relatively small. Although dogs can be silly, rarely will they choose to eat the leaves or bark.
Still, if you have an avocado tree at home, avoid using any fallen branches as toys and remove leaves from the ground.
Can Dogs Eat Guacamole?
Although your dog can easily eat a small amount of avocado, you should never give them guacamole. This delicious condiment contains an array of ingredients not suitable for dogs, including:
- Onions and garlic: Deriving from the same plant family, onions and garlic can have severe impacts on your dog’s health. They contain a toxin called n-propyl disulfide, which can impair your dog’s red blood cells, causing anemia. Symptoms can take days to develop, and if not treated, it could be fatal.
- Salt: Although eating a small amount of salt won’t cause toxicity, it’s best to avoid this ingredient in your dog’s diet. Salt can cause depression, tremors, excessive thirst and urination, vomiting, and even fatality.
- Tomatoes: This ingredient contains solanine, among other toxins, which can lead to tomatine poisoning. Fortunately, ripe tomatoes only include a small amount, but you should still be wary.
- Jalapenos and cayenne: Spicy ingredients don’t do well in a dog’s sensitive stomach and may lead to an upset tummy.
Other Doggy-Approved Healthy Snacks
There are loads of other healthy snacks that don’t pose the same risks as avocado. These include:
- Green beans
- Cooked sweet potatoes
- Cooked squash
All the healthy treats above are safe for dogs, but as with any snack, serve in moderation. Watch your pup for 24 hours to ensure they don’t develop any symptoms of discomfort or sickness, like abdominal pains and vomiting.
When serving any treat to your fur baby, make sure the pieces aren’t too big. Dogs tend to swallow food whole, so avoid anything larger than a blueberry.
Can dogs eat avocado? You can easily offer your pup a small piece of avocado once in a while. The fruit contains several nutritional benefits for dogs, including fatty acids, minerals, and vitamins.
However, avoid excessive amounts as the fat content can cause pancreatitis, and contact your vet in case symptoms, like vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pains develop.