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Dog owners commonly ponder about the toxicity of various human foods. When you search for information about the safety or toxicity of avocado to dogs, you get some very mixed results from it being safe to highly toxic. We will answer the question about the safety of avocado in dogs in detail in this article.
The questions about the safety of different foods increased after learning that certain foods were toxic, which lead to a lot of press coverage. The most important toxic foods are chocolate, grapes and raisins, peanut butter, and foods that contain xylitol.
Exposure to the dangers of these foods have encouraged pet owners ask about other human foods such as “Can dogs eat Avocado?” Learn more about what dogs can and can't eat in this article: The Ultimate Guide to What Dogs Can't Eat.
Can Dogs Eat Avocado?
Avocado is a tree originating from Central America that produces a fruit, also known as the avocado. The fruit is pear-shaped with green leathery rough skin that contains a large round stone. When ripe, the fruit located between the skin and the seed is soft and beige to light green in color. Avocado is now cultivated in many locations due to its popularity in human foods such as guacamole and salads. The avocado is known by the scientific name Persea Americana or the common name Alligator Pear.
The answer to the question, can dogs eat avocado - is yes. Dogs can eat avocado and often love the soft texture and enjoy it as a healthy snack. Avocado is low in carbohydrates, high in antioxidants, and a good source of potassium, magnesium calcium and vitamins A, E and C.
The Dangers of Avocado to Dogs
When researching the safety and danger of Avocado for dogs, there are some considerations.
- First is the potential for blockage from the large seed and skin. Dogs in warm areas where trees grow have exposure to the whole fruit can develop gastrointestinal upset and potential blockage. The same is true for dogs that have exposure to the trash and eat the skin or seeds. The avocado skin is not very digestible and can cause intestinal blockage.
- The second is the risk of choking when eating the seed or skin. It is recommended to place all seeds and skins in a covered trash can inaccessible to your dog.
- Thirdly, much of the controversy about the safety of feeding avocado to dogs is based on the toxic known as persin that is in the avocado. It is primarily in the skin and pit of the avocado but is also in the leaves and bark from the tree. Ingestion of leaves, pits, skin or bark have the potential to cause toxicity in dogs. However, based on information from the animal poison control centers, it appears there is little effect on dogs and cats. Possible toxic side effects after large ingestions may include diarrhea, abdominal cramps and stomach pain. This toxin primarily affects horses and cattle causing respiratory distress, heart failure, and swelling (edema).
Although the avocado fruit is considered safe, large amounts of any fruit is not a natural part of a dog's diet and can cause gastrointestinal upset. What does not bother some dogs may bother another dog. The same can happen in people. Some foods can bother one person but not another.
Do Dogs Need Avocado?
There is nothing in avocado that dogs require. What dogs do need is a high-quality AAFCO approved dog food. Learn more about Nutrition in Dogs.
The Safest Way to Give Avocado to Dogs
The safest way to give avocado to your dog is to offer small pieces of sliced avocado without the skin and seed.