You’re probably already aware of the health benefits of eating avocados. They’re one of the many superfoods on earth that not only provide an excellent source of body-fortifying elements, but they’re yummy too!
But can your dog reap the same rewards?
Avocado can be a relatively controversial food when it comes to feeding it to dogs. This is mainly due to a toxin called persin that is found all throughout an avocado plant, including on the stem and leaves, but mostly in the rind. There are also variable amounts of persin within the flesh of the avocado.
Fortunately, humans are extremely tolerant of this toxin and a properly ripened avocado only contains very small traces of it. On the other hand, dogs are more susceptible to persin poisoning than humans, but only mildly. Persin does have serious toxic effects on birds, mice, rats, sheep, and goats, among others.
So, does that mean that they’re safe?
Are Avocados Safe for Your Dog?
It is unclear how dangerous avocado ingestion may be and the exact amount of the plant or fruit that your dog can safely eat. For this reason, we don’t recommend feeding avocado fruit to your dog, and most importantly, we recommend keeping your dog away from the avocado plant.
Having said that, if your dog eats a small piece of avocado that you dropped while preparing a salad or toast, chances are that your dog will be perfectly fine. Since the pulp has a lower persin concentration as it matures, the risk of poisoning is low.
In terms of the fruit’s nutritional profile, avocados have healthy fats and numerous vitamins. They also have great minerals and compounds, including niacin, folate, potassium, and antioxidants. As a matter of fact, avocado has made its way into commercially developed dog foods in the form of avocado meal. This is dried avocado flesh that has been ground up and contains all of the good stuff with none of the persin, as it is lost in the processing.
What Are the Biggest Risks of Feeding My Dog Avocado?
There are a few risks associated with feeding avocado to your dog. However, most of them can be mitigated with just a bit of common sense.
Note that avocado ingestion can cause vomiting and diarrhea in canines, so please do not purposely feed it to your dog.
The biggest risk for your dog eating avocados is the pit. It can present itself as a really desirable thing to a dog, as it’s round and chewable. But it’s also a choking hazard. Be sure to keep your avocado pits securely put away, where your dog can’t get to them.
Is Commercial Avocado Dog Food Safe to Eat?
With the ever-growing avocado trends in human food, you can bet that the same has spread to your dog’s food. There are now many manufacturers out there creating and selling commercial avocado dog food. However, these products are made with avocado meal and oil. Neither of these two components is considered toxic for dogs.
If you do decide to swap your dog over to an avocado-based dog food, be sure to do so gradually. Start by feeding your dog just a little at a time, and watch for signs of allergic reactions or digestive upset.
Are avocados safe for dogs to eat? Avocados are considered mildly toxic to canines, so we don’t recommend feeding them to your dog. Avocados might be a great vitamin and mineral source, but until further research proves otherwise, dogs should not be fed avocados at home. They can be relatively dangerous if consumed in high quantities or if certain parts are consumed.
If you want your dog to reap the benefits of avocados without any of the fuss, your best bet would be an avocado-based commercial dog food.
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