Can dogs eat avocado? Everything you need to know

Avocados are very healthy for us humans because of their high content of vitamins, minerals and especially unsaturated fatty acids. But are they also healthy for our dogs? There are a lot of foods that are not only delicious but also healthy for us humans, but which can be unhealthy or even toxic for our dogs.

Caution: Avocados are unsuitable for feeding dogs! Symptoms of poisoning and even death can occur in dogs.

But why is that? And: is everything about the avocado unsuitable for my dog?

Sliced avocado half with pit

Caution: Avocados are toxic to dogs

What makes the avocado dangerous for dogs?

Avocados, whose botanical name is "Persea americana", contain persin (an acetogenin). This is contained in the leaves and the bark of an avocado plant as well as in the fruits. By the way, the fruit, i.e. the avocado, is botanically a berry.

Persin is a heart and circulation poison for dogs and many other animal species. It is contained in particular in the pit of the avocado fruit, but may also be present in small traces in the flesh of the fruit.

Beware of the avocado pits:

  • Avocado pits are particularly toxic because they contain the highest levels of persin.
  • Your dog can also swallow the pit and choke on it.
  • A swallowed avocado pit can also get stuck in the intestine and lead to a dangerous intestinal obstruction that can only be cured by surgery.

The avocado pulp should not be fed to dogs:

  • The flesh of the avocado contains relatively little persin, but a dangerous dose is unknown. Therefore: do not feed avocado pulp.

The avocado plant is poisonous for dogs:

  • The bark and leaves of avocado plants also contain persin and are therefore toxic to dogs and other animals. If you have a avocado plant in your house: keep it out of reach of your dog! Do not let your dog drink the water that may be in the pot.

The dose of persin or avocados that is toxic for dogs has not yet been researched. But precisely for this reason, and because every living creature reacts differently to poisons, avocado should not be fed to dogs.


What are the signs of avocado poisoning in a dog?

The following symptoms can occur with avocado poisoning in dogs:

  • shortness of breath and coughing
  • palpitations and increased pulse rate
  • heart rhythm disturbances
  • water retention (oedema)
  • acute death is possible from approx. 12 hours after ingestion of avocado


Which treatment can be applied in case of avocado poisoning?

If you know that your dog has eaten avocado pulp, or even the pit, and/or is showing symptoms of poisoning, you should go to the vet immediately and preferably call them first.

By calling, you ensure that your vet is on site and can prepare for the emergency. They may be able to give you advice over the phone. In the case of poisoning, every minute counts to prevent the poison from passing from the stomach into the blood.

Unfortunately, there is no antidote for persin (avocado) poisoning.

Your vet will try to remove the avocado poison from your dog's body. There are different methods to do this, but they can only help in the first 2 hours after ingestion of the avocado. For example, the administration of activated charcoal can bind the poison in the gastrointestinal tract and excrete it with the faeces. This should be done within 2 hours of ingestion to prevent the toxin from entering the bloodstream. In addition, your vet can give your dog laxatives.

Activated charcoal binds the toxin after ingestion so that it can be flushed out of the body

You can give your dog charcoal tablets or better still, if available, activated charcoal as soon as possible after ingestion of the poison, always in consultation with your vet.

  • Dissolve 1-4 g of activated charcoal per kilogram of bodyweight in water
    5ml of water per gram of activated charcoal
    Give the activated charcoal solution directly to the dog

Your vet can also induce vomiting with different medications to get the poison out of the body.

If the symptoms of poisoning are very severe, the vet can also treat your dog's symptoms with infusions and pain-relieving medication.


Keep avocados away from your dog

Normally, dogs should not be magically attracted to avocados, as they are to sweet things like chocolate. But you never know if some dogs might steal an avocado from the table. That's why you should keep them out of your dog's reach.

Few people will come across avocado plants in the garden or in nature. But an avocado plant can be grown from the avocado pit with a little skill. Care must then be taken, as the leaves and bark of the plant are poisonous to many animals, including dogs. The water in the saucer can also be dangerous for dogs.

It's also best to make sure that an avocado pit doesn't accidentally fall on the floor while you're cooking. Some playful dogs are very fond of this!

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