There are many nutritional benefits humans can enjoy from avocados. Plus, this health food has become one of the trendiest additions to the world of nutrition. From avocado toast and smoothies, to adding avocado to your burrito bowl, there are many delicious ways you can incorporate this food into your own diet.
However, can you share this trendy food with your furry friend? Can dogs eat avocado? The answer isn’t so simple. While it may seem like avocados should be a safe food for our dogs to enjoy, they can actually cause serious harm. There are some safe ways dogs can consume avocado, but there are some risks as well.
This doesn’t mean your dog can’t enjoy other sources of healthy fats and nutrients! Let’s take a closer look at the possible dangers of avocados for dogs, alternatives to these foods, and how you can keep your dog happy and healthy for many years to come.
Dangers of Avocados for Dogs
While avocados contain many health benefits and nutrients, they also come with a few serious risks. Here’s what you need to know before giving your dog avocados.
Avocados contain a fungicidal toxin known as persin. This toxin is found in the leaves, skin, and the pit of avocados, as well as in small amounts in avocado meat. Persin can lead to serious health conditions and even death in severe cases.
The reason whether or not dogs can have avocado is complicated is because, while dogs can still experience serious consequences from avocado, they are much more resistant to this toxin than other animals.
It’s important to note that animals other than dogs and cats don’t handle persin well. If you own rabbits, birds, or other pets, keep avocados far from reach. Avocados still aren’t completely safe for your pup, but your dog is better at handling this toxin than other animals.
Think of it like this: if they pick up a small slice you drop on the floor, you don’t need to panic like you would with a grape, but you probably shouldn’t make an effort to make your pup’s breakfast bowl “California-style” with extra avocado.
Another risk to consider when it comes to avocados is the potential for a choking hazard. If your dog gets into your fresh, store-bought avocados, they may choke on the pit in the middle.
Regardless of whether or not you feed your furry friend avocado meat, make sure you keep whole avocados out of your pup’s reach. This will help prevent a choking incident when you’re not around.
Even if your dog manages to swallow the pit of an avocado, they will have serious difficulty passing it. It could likely lead to a blockage in their intestine, causing serious health concerns and potentially even the need for emergency surgery.
The last risk to consider when it comes to avocados is the possibility of unhealthy weight gain. Avocados are packed with healthy fats, which in and of themselves are great for both humans and dogs. However, too many healthy fats can still lead to an imbalance in nutrition and unwanted weight gain.
If your dog gets into avocados without you knowing, this is usually way more fat than what they actually need. In excess, too much of a good thing can quickly turn into a bad thing.
What To Do If Your Dog Eats Avocado
It’s no secret that dogs tend to get into foods and objects they’re not supposed to. If your dog does get into an avocado, it’s important to know what you should do next.
Monitor them very closely and watch for symptoms of discomfort — it may be a good idea to contact your vet and let them know what’s happened since they know your pup personally. If you notice any sudden changes in behavior, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, or constipation, take them to your veterinarian.
If they ate an avocado whole, pit and all, it’s a good idea to seek immediate medical help. Even if your dog managed to swallow just the pit, it’s highly unlikely they’ll be able to pass the pit with no issues, even as a large dog. Contact your veterinarian or seek emergency veterinarian services.
It’s unlikely that your pup will experience a negative reaction to persin if they just stole a few bites of the avocado fruit itself, but if you notice any behavior that’s out of the ordinary, don’t hesitate to talk to your vet.
Health Benefits of Avocado
There are many reasons to avoid feeding avocado to your canine companion, but it’s worth noting the many health benefits this food has to offer. Avocados are known for a range of health benefits in humans. Here’s what you need to know.
The most significant benefit of avocados is their content of healthy fat. Fats are essential for the production of energy, cellular function, and warmth. Fat also helps your body absorb nutrients and produce hormones. Avocados are an excellent source of healthy fats for humans, but it may be best to find other dietary sources of fat for dogs.
Fiber & Detoxification
Avocados are also an excellent source of fiber to help detoxify the body and get rid of waste. Our dogs need fiber to keep them regular, support regular blood sugar levels, and to support healthy gut bacteria.
Avocados contain powerful antimicrobial properties that help support the body’s internal defenses against immune system invaders. Foods with antimicrobial properties are excellent for your dog’s immune system and health. However, because of their risks, avocados may not be the best source.
Alternatives to Avocado: Other Ingredients To Look For
While your dog can probably handle a little avocado, it’s best to avoid giving your pup this food as a treat or in their dog food.
What are some other ways you can supply your pup with the nutrients they need to thrive? Take a look at these avocado alternatives that are safe for your pup.
Healthy Fat Alternatives
Since it’s best to avoid avocado, here are some other foods that act as sources of healthy fats for our four legged friends to enjoy.
Fish like salmon, tuna, sardines, and other fatty ocean critters are an excellent source of healthy fats for your pup. These are packed with omega-3 fatty acids that are essential for your canine’s health.
Skip the avocados and look for dog foods with fish as the first ingredient. Not only are these excellent sources of protein, but they’re a great source of healthy fat your dog can enjoy.
Our Salmon & Brown Rice Recipe is designed for adult medium and large breed dogs. This food is formulated by scientists and approved by vets to offer skin, digestive, and immune support in a delicious recipe.
Fiber is found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. If you’re looking for a fiber alternative for dogs other than avocado, look for whole grains like brown rice and oatmeal.
You can also look for fruits like cranberries, blueberries, and vegetables like peas, potatoes, beets, chicory root, and pumpkin. These are great sources of fiber for your dog that can help support healthy gut bacteria and digestion.
Optimeal® Premium Dog Food: Natural Ingredients & Immune Support
When it comes to our furry friends, supporting their immune system health is critical. Your dog’s immune system works to protect them from illness so they can enjoy your friendship for years to come.
Look for dog food with natural ingredients like fruits, vegetables, real meat, and whole grains to find the best dog food for immune support. Learn more about Optimeal® here!