Do an online search for, “can dogs eat avocado?” You’re going to get a good mix of yeses and nos on your results page.
So, can dogs eat avocado or not?!
Dogs can eat avocados, if they like it, without problems. The reason some say not to give avocados to dogs, or that avocados are bad for dogs, is because avocados are known to contain a toxin called persin, which is quite dangerous to other animals like horses and birds but is in fact harmless to dogs in small amounts. Avocados hold the highest concentrations of persin in their leaves, thick skin, and pits; avocado flesh contains low levels of this chemical – a negligible amount for most humans, and for most dogs too. We don’t eat the leaves, skin, or pits of avocados, so don’t give these to your dog.
A few thin slices of fresh avocado over your dog’s dinner, or as a nutrient-rich treat, however, will be fine for your dog, unless of course, he has a food allergy to it.
If you happen to live in the right climate and have access to avocado trees, whether on your property, a neighbor’s property, or out in the community, you are probably already aware of dogs’ tolerance to the fruit. Dogs will munch happily on avocados, usually avoiding the skin and pits on their own (both parts are notoriously tough and hard, and probably don’t taste very good). This doesn’t mean you should let your avocado-eating dog scarf them down unsupervised, however. Avocado pits present a serious choking hazard to dogs, and some do try to chew or swallow them.
Even if you know your dog only tries to eat the avocado flesh, you should still limit the amount of avocado your dog gets. Too much avocado can cause gastrointestinal upset in dogs (and people) – vomiting, diarrhea, or sometimes both.
How much avocado is too much? One avocado should be fine for a medium-size dog, but two or three in a day? That is far too many avocados for a dog.
Is Avocado Good for Dogs?
Keep in mind the nutritional make-up of avocados. One medium-sized avocado contains roughly 320 calories and 29 grams of fat. Yes, it’s the “good” fat, but it is still fat that must count towards your dog’s daily nutritional intake. Therefore, a dog who needs to lose weight, or has pancreatitis, should not eat avocados (consult your vet, as always).
Commercial Avocado Dog Food
What about avocado dog food? A growing number of pet food companies are marketing avocado oil and avocado meal as healthy components of their dog and cat foods. Neither avocado oil nor avocado meal (avocado “meal” is avocado flesh that had been dried and ground) contains persin, and both are completely safe for dogs.
Is avocado dog food somehow healthier than other high-quality packaged dog food?
As with any commercial dog food, you need to feed a product to your dog and watch his response over a few days or weeks to determine if an avocado-based dog food is right for your dog. If you see the onset of any diarrhea, vomiting, itching, or any other adverse response, switch back to a food he has previously eaten without an adverse response. But keep in mind that it may or may not have been the avocado present in the food that caused his reaction; avocado oil or meal typically makes up a small percentage of the ingredients in the foods that contain it.
I started adding about a tablespoons of avocado oil to the dry kibble food of my 25 pound mixed breed dog. He was so itchy at the time, fleas out of control, and his underbelly skin was gray instead of pink. That was about 3 years ago, and have not seen a flea since. His skin is healthy pink, and he rarely scratches.
I have one dog who does not care for avocados. My older dog loves them. I eat 1/2-1 avocado daily and give him a healthy part of it.
Another problem with dropped avocados in hot weather is that they ferment, and if your dog eats a bunch, it’s basically like feeding them a beer in their water bowl.
Thank you for this article! My dog love love loves avocados! He only eats the flesh and is quite adept at scraping every bit from the skin
love these thank you, and love the serving size too, many of my favorite ingredients in one half of an avocado!
I have avocado trees at home and two mixed breed male dogs (medium size), they eat avocados that fall to the ground and they completely love them!. When i told the vet he was really mad at me because he told me they were toxic for dogs , long story short my dogs are 14 years old now and my vet has never seen healthier dogs at their age. I never was able to fully control their avocado intake since they are just there on the ground and when i wasn’t there or stoped looking they just disapeared.