Avocados are all the rage right now, but can dogs eat avocado the same way humans can? Whilst avocados are a delicious superfood jam-packed with nutrients, they might not be as beneficial for your dog. In this article we’ll discuss if avocados can be shared with your furry friends, or if it’s best to keep them at arm’s length.
- 1 Is avocado safe for my dog?
- 2 Use caution when feeding your dog avocado
- 3 Golden Rules
- 4 What else can dogs eat?
Is avocado safe for my dog?
The answer is yes and no. Avocado has a toxin in it called ‘persin’, which is a fatty acid derivative that can be toxic to some animals. Smaller animals such as birds and even larger animals like horses cannot consume foods with persin in it as it can be fatally toxic for them.
Luckily, similar to humans and cats, dogs have been found to be able to digest persin and are resistant to it. Some dog food brands even contain avocado because it helps with skin and hair issues due to avocados containing high levels of vitamin A and E plus a good dose of healthy fats. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be careful about how you feed it to your dog.
Here’s a few of the main benefits of introducing avocado into your dog’s diet:
- Prevention of heart disease through an abundance of vitamin B3 and niacin
- Boosted immune health and nutrient absorption from vitamin C
- Muscle support from amino acids and protein present in avocado
- Digestion regulation and colon health from fibre
- Great eye health is promoted through vitamin E and omega 3 fatty acids
- Shiny coat and moisturised skin from the vitamin E and healthy fats
- High in vitamins C, K, B5, B6 and E
- Prebiotics in avocado help to populate a healthy gut flora
Use caution when feeding your dog avocado
Although the flesh of the avocado is technically not toxic to dogs as it contains the lowest levels of persin, the leaves, seed and even the skin are comprised of persin and can also cause obstructions in your dog’s airway and digestive systems. This means that if you’re going to feed your dog avocado, you need to be sure that none of those bits of the fruit are given to them.
Additionally, just like with any other treat, you need to make sure you’re feeding it to them in small doses. Don’t overdo it, a piece the size of a blueberry is perfect and no more than a couple pieces in one sitting. A great reason to take it slow is to limit the amount of fats they’re getting from the avocado – healthy fat is still fat and can be harmful in excess.
If, at anytime, you believe your pup has stolen and eaten the seed, skin or leaves of an avocado then it’s best to get them to your emergency vet so they can monitor them for any complications.
- Do not feed your dog any part of the avocado except the flesh
- Feed them avocado in small amounts, sparingly
- Contact an emergency vet if you suspect your dog has ingested the seed, skin or leaves of an avocado
- Avocado contains persin which is toxic to some animals but not dogs, keep away from other pets
What else can dogs eat?
With your dog roaming the house and likely to hoover up any food that gets dropped on the floor or left unattended for a second too long, it’s good to know exactly what your dog can and can’t eat. That way, if you do notice them consuming something they shouldn’t be, you will know you need to get them to the vet ASAP. And on the other hand, if they eat something harmless you won’t be stressing out because you’ll already know it’s safe for them to consume.
As a general rule, do not feed your dog any part of the food that would be considered as skin, rind, seeds or leaves as there are usually toxic for them.
Here’s a list of a few more beneficial fruits and veggies that dogs can consume:
- Apples – Great source of fibre for digestion, potassium and vitamin C for immune support
- Oranges – Fibre, potassium, calcium and vitamins A, C, B1 and B6
- Berries – Blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, cranberries and strawberries
- Bananas – Potassium and carbohydrates
- Pumpkin – Loads of fibre for great digestion
- Brussel sprouts – Fibre and antioxidants
- Cantaloupe – Vitamins A and C plus fibre and antioxidants
- Carrots – Low in calories but high in fibre with vitamin A and potassium
- Sweet potatoes – Fibre and vitamins B6 and C
- Watermelon – Vitamins A, B6 and C
Fruits and veggies to avoid:
- Raw potato
Be sure to consult a vet if you’re thinking about introducing a new food into your dog’s diet as it’s always better to be on the safe side when it comes to your pup’s health. And if you ever notice any adverse reactions to new foods an emergency vet should be contacted.
Be sure to educate the whole family on what they should and shouldn’t be feeding them, it would be a great idea to make a list of what they shouldn’t be consuming and put it on the fridge for everyone to see.
And don’t be scared to have your dog around the dinner table, their digestive systems are pretty tough and as long as you’re keeping an eye on the treats they get passed under the table then there shouldn’t be any issues. Experiment with foods from the first list of beneficial fruits and veggies to see exactly what your dog likes and doesn’t like. You may even find a new favourite treat that you can use for training and rewards!