Can Dogs Eat Avocado?
Can dogs eat avocado?
NO, dogs cannot eat avocados.
The ASPCA maintains that they are dangerous for dogs. “Avocado leaves, fruit, seeds and bark contain a toxic principle known as persin,” according to Dana Farbman, CVT, of the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. “The Guatemalan variety, which is the most common variety found in stores, appears to be the most problematic.”
According to the ASPCA, avocados are toxic to a number of animals besides dogs, including horses, rabbits, fish and mice. As mentioned above, the toxic effects are due to the compound persin, an oil-soluble toxin found in specialized cells (idioblasts) within the avocado fruit, as well as in its skin. In some animals, persin causes damage to the heart muscle cells, leading to heart failure. In other species, it causes an inflammation of the mammary glands.
The toxicity of avocado to dogs is under question. Although one case report indicated that two dogs developed fatal heart failure after ingesting a “large amount” of avocados, most dogs who eat avocado suffer no serious injury. However, until the susceptibility of dogs to persin is further investigated, it’s safest to avoid feeding avocado to your dog. In addition to the possibility he or she will have a bad reaction to the fruit itself, your dog might swallow the pit, which could result in blockage within his digestive tract—and that might require
In addition, the ASPCA includes avocados on the list of people foods that are unsafe for pets, with this warning, “The leaves, fruit, seeds and bark of avocados contain Persin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. Birds and rodents are especially sensitive to avocado poisoning, and can develop congestion, difficulty breathing and fluid accumulation around the heart. Some ingestions may even be fatal.”
With this in mind, many pet parents may wonder why avocados are sometimes included in commercial dog food. This very question was recently addressed on the ASPCA website: “The safety profile of foods and other products formulated with avocado is a difficult question for us to answer definitively, because we do not know specifically how avocados are processed for these foods, what types of avocados are used, or what minimum dose of the toxic principle results in clinical effects. Therefore, we have refrained from making an overall assessment of the safety or toxicity of products that contain avocado.”
To add to the confusion, there are animal experts who believe that fears about avocados are overblown. For some vets the main concern is not poisoning, but potential weight gain due to the fruit’s high fat content and the chocking hazard posed by the large seed.
When we spoke to our vet at Banfield, she said that avocados should be avoided but I think that the main problem is really giving it in large amounts and the pit. I would avoid avocados completely, because I don’t know what kind and what dosage would be appropriate for each kind of dog (for example, smaller dogs might need to be fed a lot less avocado than bigger dogs) and I just dot think it is worth the risk. Some people might say that they have been feeding their dog avocados for years and that it has not had any side effects. Firstly, you don’t know that yet because I think some effects are really long term. At the same time, all dogs are different and just because one person’s dog is healthy does not mean we will all be safe feeding avocados. It is up to you to decide whether you want to risk it but given that ASPCA does not recommend it, I would say steer clear of avocados. It is just not worth the trouble.
In conclusion, for us, the answer to the question can dogs eat avocados is NO they cannot!