Can Dogs Really Eat Avocado And Not Get Sick?

We’ve all been there. Fido is eyeing your avocado toast, and you’re tempted to give him a bite. But should you? Can dogs eat avocado? The answer is yes! But only in small amounts.

There is such a thing as too much avocado, and dogs shouldn’t eat any part of the avocado plant or avocado seed.

a Pug licking a green avocado
A healthy Pug wanting to eat an avocado fruit

Is it safe for dogs to eat avocado?

The answer is… sort of. Yes, dogs can eat avocado. But only a little.

To clarify, avocado contains persin, which is a fungicidal toxin. Small consumption for dogs and humans is no big deal. But too much, and it can cause serious health problems or even death.

When we talk about feeding avocado to your dogs, we mean just the fleshy green part inside the fruit. The rest of the avocado tree, including the leaves, stems, pit, and skin of the fruit, is poisonous.

Avocado flesh has an extremely high-fat content, leading to pancreatitis in dogs (and humans) if they overeat.

Benefits of Avocado for Your Dog

a whole and half avocados on a table
Fresh avocados on a wooden countertop

Avocados are good for humans and dogs because they contain healthy, good fat, and lots of vitamins and nutrients.

You’ll find vitamins A, vB3, B6, and C, as well as vitamin e, fiber, potassium, magnesium, antioxidants, amino acids, folate, omega fatty acids, and niacin. Remember that there are also low levels of persin in it.

There’s no reason to avoid avocado because it contains so many incredible health benefits.

The Risks of Avocado: Why are Avocados bad for dogs? 

Most dogs can have a small bit of avocado without any problems. But remember, avocado contains persin.

It isn’t established just how much persin a dog can eat before they start to get sick, but you don’t want to risk it.

If you notice your dog vomiting, experiencing diarrhea, or appears to have gastrointestinal upset or other unusual side effects, talk to your vet.

You never want to give your dog an entire avocado fruit, not only because it’s probably too much flesh, but that pit in the center is a choking hazard. It could also cause a blockage in your dog’s intestines.

If you have an avocado tree in your yard, be sure to pick up any fruit that falls before the dog can get it. You don’t want your dog to have any parts of the avocado except the flesh.

Which part of an Avocado is the most dangerous for your dog to eat?

a dog looking up towards an avocado
Meet Inga, a dog ready to eat his ripe avocado – Image source

The flesh and pulp of the avocado are potentially healthy for your dog in small amounts, but too much of it can cause toxicity.

The avocado pit is not only a choking hazard, but it contains more of the compound that can be poisonous to your dog in large amounts. It can also block the intestinal tract.

If your dog has already eaten a pit, best to get them to the vet right away.

The leaves, bark, skin, and stems of the avocado tree are all poisonous to dogs.

They contain a higher amount of persin. If your dog eats a small amount of skin, they’ll probably be fine, but keep an eye on them for signs of poisoning.

However, if your dog gets a large amount or eats an avocado branch, run to the vet ASAP. 

Avocado oil is a different thing. While you wouldn’t want to give a bunch to your dog in their dog food, you can rub it on their skin to ease itchiness and dryness.

A small amount of avocado oil as an addition to your dog’s diet is fine, too.

Avocado Part Safe for your dog?
Can dogs eat avocado flesh? Yes
Can dogs eat avocado pits? No, choking hazard and toxic
Can dogs eat avocado leaves? No, toxic
Can dogs eat avocado bark? No, toxic
Can dogs eat avocado skin? No, toxic
Can dogs eat avocado oil? Yes, in small amounts
Can dogs eat avocado pulp? Yes

How much Avocado can your dog have? 

It depends on the size of your dog. Toy breeds shouldn’t have more than ½ cups per week, while medium-sized canines can have up to 1 cup and a half.

Large dogs can have 2 and a half cups.

Spread this out over the entire week. You don’t want to give a five-pound dog a half cup of food in one sitting.

How should you give Avocados to your dog?

Keep the portion size small. You can give your pooch a little slice or tablespoon of the fruit or mix it in with their pet food.

Giving your dog avocado as a treat if they love it is a good way to add nutrients to their diet while making them feel rewarded.

Remember, only give the flesh of the fruit itself and only give dogs plain avocado – no guacamole for your pup.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

a Corgi laying on the grass with a plate of avocado toast placed on its belly
Meet Ollie, a Corgi offering an avocado toast – Image source

What are good Avocado serving ideas for dogs?

So now we know it’s okay to feed our dogs some avocado. But what if your dog doesn’t like it plain?

Either mash up the avocado and mix it into their food or smear it on a treat. Or try the recipe below from our friends at Rover.

What is a good avocado recipe for dogs?

Mash a peeled, pitted avocado in a food processor and add 2 cups of oat flour. Pulse. Add two eggs and pulse until everything is combined.

Dump the dough on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thick. Cut out shapes. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool completely.

This YouTube video has another great vegan recipe idea:

Should you give commercial avocado dog food to your four-legged friend?

Some commercial dog foods contain avocado in the recipe, such as AvoDerm. Avocado doesn’t necessarily make the food healthier, but it can contribute healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals.

More important is the overall recipe and ingredients. Food can still have all these healthy ingredients without containing avocado.

What should you do if your dog eats too much avocado by accident?

If your dog eats too much avocado, check with your vet and keep an eye on your dog.

You may want to call a poison hotline or the ASPCA helpline to get further assistance. An avocado treat is fine, but not an avocado meal.

How can you keep your dogs away from avocados?

Keep your food somewhere your dog can’t reach. Some people like to refrigerate their avocados, or you can keep them on a high shelf to be safe.

That’s the best way to keep your dog from eating avocado when you don’t want them to. 

What fruits and vegetables can you feed your dog instead of avocados?

If you don’t want to mess with avocados, try feeding your dogs carrots, peas, sweet peppers, or apples.

Dogs love these fresh treats, and they are beneficial for your overall pet health. Remember, not all human food is bad for your dog. Quantity counts.

Avocado is a Healthy Part of Your Dog’s Diet

a Red Heeler mix cuddling its avocado pillow
Meet Gracy, a Red Heeler mix comfortably snuggling a cute avocado pillow – Image source

Remember, large quantities of avocado can cause an upset stomach, diarrhea, vomiting… or worse! Stick to giving your dog high-quality treats and leave the avocado as a little nibble on the side.

Avocado has lots of good fat, and dog owners should feel good about feeding it to their pooch in the right amount.

So what do you think about the question: Can dogs eat avocado? What’s your take on it? Let us know in the comments section below.

The information in this article is deemed reliable, but it should not substitute as contact with a trained professional. If your dog ate an avocado and is reacting adversely, contact a trusted veterinarian.

Further reading: Give your dog a real treat

  • Best Healthy Dog Treats
  • Best Puppy Treats
  • Best Hypoallergenic Dog Treats

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