Should dogs eat avocado? Not really. Avocados contain persin, which is a fungicidal toxin. It is a poison for horses and birds. Avocados hold the highest concentrations of persin in their leaves, thick skin, and pits, making those parts of the fruit toxic to dogs as well.
The avocado flesh, which is what most of us eat, contains lower levels of persin, so a few thin slices of fresh avocado may be fine for your dog, depending on the dog’s size, of course, and whether he has a food allergy to it. But, why do you want to take the chance? Limit your dog’s consumption of avocado to a slice or two, but that’s it. Too much avocado can cause gastrointestinal upset in dogs (and people), including vomiting and/or diarrhea, and you could wind up with a big veterinary bill.
Whole Avocados Are Extra Risky
Never give your dog a whole avocado. If there are avocado trees in your area, don’t let your avocado-eating dog scarf them down unsupervised. In addition to the persin, avocado pits present a serious choking hazard to dogs, and some dogs do try to chew or swallow them.
Is Avocado Healthy for Dogs?
One medium-sized avocado contains roughly 320 calories and 29 grams of fat. That’s a lot of calories for a dog and, because of the fat content – yes, even the “good” fat – too much could trigger pancreatitis.
Commercial Dog Foods
A few pet foods contain avocado oil and/or avocado meal. Neither avocado oil nor avocado meal (dried and ground avocado) contain persin, and both are safe for dogs, if your dog tolerates it. As with any new food, watch your dog’s response over a few days or weeks to determine if an avocado-based dog food is right for your dog. If you see diarrhea, vomiting, itching, or any other adverse response, switch back to a food he has previously tolerated well.
Are you now looking for healthier treats for your dog? Great! Try our homemade dog treat recipes.