Updated: August 2021
One of the most common questions we get is, can dogs eat avocado? Dogs and humans have simpler GI tracts than cattle, horses, goat, sheep rodents, birds, or fish.
Consequently, while avocado is associated with health issues in the other animals of studies (with more complex GI tracts), only cattle appeared to suffer from toxicity.
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Are Avocados Safe for Dogs?
The seed, bark, and avocado leaves contain an oil-soluble toxin known as persin. Persin can cause heart failure, mastitis, and even death in some animals. Avocado leaves have the highest concentration.
The ASPCA’s (Americans Society on the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) poison controls data center, only lists persin as harmful to some animals. The list does not include dogs.
The good news is, dogs are more resistant to persin as compared to other animals, and can, therefore, enjoy this rich, creamy fruit without harm.
The same enzyme that dogs use to metabolize fat also neutralizes persin. However, any other factor could affect a dog’s ability to deal with this toxin. This includes genetics, body weight, existing conditions, and medications/supplements they take.
Can Dogs Eat Avocado?
Yes, dogs can eat avocados safely as long as you slice them up into small pieces and don’t feed too much.
It also wouldn’t hurt to monitor your dog’s bowel movements after eating avocado (they are usually yellow/grey in color) to make sure that they don’t have any gastrointestinal issues.
If they do, discontinue giving them avocado until further notice. Avoid feeding your dog avocado leaves, seed, or bark as they are potentially toxic.
Benefits of Dogs Eating Avocados
Niacin or Vitamin B3, present in avocados has been linked to the prevention of heart disease.
The fats found in avocados also help in the absorption of carotenoids. Carotenoids are antioxidants that help protect cells from damage, support the cardiovascular system, and boost overall immunity.
Avocados are a good source of Vitamin C, another antioxidant that protects cells from damage. Since avocados contain monounsaturated fats, consuming them can improve blood cholesterol levels by reducing the LDL or “bad” type of cholesterol.
According to a scientific study conducted by researchers at the University of California, avocados contain a good amount of oleic acid and sterolins that can significantly reduce cholesterol levels thus, lessening the risk of heart diseases.
The high fiber content in avocados is also beneficial for your dog’s cardiovascular health. Because it gets digested slowly, it prevents sudden spikes in blood sugar and thus, reduces the risk of heart disease or diabetes.
Avocados can also prevent circulatory diseases caused by mineral deficiencies that lead to poor circulation of blood within the arteries.
Being a great source of high-quality protein, and with 18 amino acids, your dog can benefit from new muscle tissue growth.
The fruit has 60% more potassium than a banana. This, along with magnesium, contribute to proper cell and muscle function.
This micronutrient also maintains a healthy heart and nervous system. Replenishing potassium after a workout can help your dog prevent cramping and fatigue.
A Shinier Coat
A shiny coat speaks of the health within. Rich in Omega fatty acids and Vitamin E, avocados bring out the shine in your dog’s coat. The fat-soluble Vitamin E in the fruit aids in the same function.
These qualities explain why avocado is a preferred ingredient in both hair and skin cosmetic products.
Aside from the healthy-looking fur, Vitamin E and amino acids also improve your pup’s skin health underneath so it’s healthy all around.
Thickened skin, matted hair, dullness, and thinning far will be the least of your worries. Aside from looking good, a dog’s fur provides warmth and heat regulation and protects it against parasites and infections.
Vitamin A is synonymous with eye health. It helps maintain a clear cornea. Typically, dogs see well than humans at night. However, Vitamin A is a component of rhodopsin, a protein that allows dogs to see better in low light conditions.
Avocados are rich in vitamin A, which helps maintain healthy eye tissue and supports night vision. This vitamin is good for preventing infection and eye-related diseases like glaucoma, cataract,s and retinal atrophy.
Better Bone Health
The magnesium in avocados is a crucial component of bones. Magnesium helps boost the production of bone cells, serving as an essential building block for strong, healthy teeth and bones.
It also aids in calcium absorption, which makes it easier for your dog to utilize this mineral and prevent bone loss and osteoporosis.
The calcium content in avocados helps your dog’s bones stay strong against breaks due to brittle conditions like osteoporosis. It also prevents tooth decay and gum disease, which are common among senior dogs.
The fiber content regulates the quality of food absorption and promotes colon health. A high-fiber diet can also reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes. About 7% of the fruit’s weight is fiber.
It’s not just the fiber in avocados that aids in digestion, it’s also the protein content. The fruit contains pepsin, an important digestive enzyme that helps break down proteins into smaller components for digestion.
Protein is essential for muscle growth. It also improves your dog’s energy level as it gets digested slowly. With a higher protein intake, your dog will enjoy fewer instances of constipation and lose bowels.
Healthier Blood Pressure
The high potassium content in avocados lowers blood pressure, which is beneficial for heart health. The fruit also supplies essential minerals like magnesium, phosphorous, and calcium that help control blood pressure.
A study conducted on rats suggests that the avocado’s high potassium content also helps the enzyme, Na-K-ATPase, pump more sodium out of cells and into blood vessels.
This is beneficial for heart health as it prevents the buildup of sodium in the arteries, which otherwise causes hypertension in dogs.
A Boost in Energy Level
Avocados contain the necessary carbohydrates and fats that convert to energy as it gets digested. In fact, dogs that are placed on a low-carb diet often suffer from fatigue because of their low intake of fat and protein.
Avocado is a good source of both fats and proteins with lower sugar content.
This combination of micronutrients gives your dog more energy for a longer period of time and prevents sleepiness, aka the dreaded “doggy coma” after eating too much food.
The tooth enamel preventative properties in avocados will reduce cavities in their teeth which contribute to bad breath. The fruit also contains probiotics that boost oral health and prevent tartar buildup.
This is great if your dog is always licking its paws or scratching a lot.
Avocados are beneficial for dogs with skin allergies, joint inflammation, or sensitivity to environmental triggers like food allergens and dust mites. It contains essential fatty acids that soothe the skin and reduces irritation.
The immunoglobulins and vitamins A and C in the fruit also keep your dog from getting sick.
The protein helps repair damaged tissues, eliminating the need for constant scratching or biting. It also reduces the incidence of red irritated eyes caused by allergies to pet dander or pollen.
Immune System Boost
The antioxidants in avocados detoxify the cells and protect them from free radical damage that can lead to cancer. The fruit’s high fiber content promotes a healthy colon, protecting your dog’s digestive system from infections and diseases.
The skin rejuvenating properties in avocados can slow down the aging process, keeping your dog younger and healthier. It also reduces wrinkles and fine lines caused by sun exposure.
A Good Source of Vitamins E, A, K, and B6…and Many More! Avocado is a rich source of vitamins and minerals, giving your dog healthier skin and coat. It also protects the brain against degenerative diseases like Canine Cognitive Dysfunction.
A fat-soluble vitamin essential in bone formation, vitamin K prevents loss of calcium from bones and improves blood clotting, which is beneficial for dogs with hemophilia.
Vitamin B6 helps eliminate toxins from the system while reducing memory loss that comes with age.
A water-soluble vitamin that plays an important role in regulating metabolism, maintaining good vision in dim light, and providing your dog with healthy teeth by improving the production of saliva.
It also works as an antioxidant to protect your dog’s cells against damage due to free radicals and reduces symptoms of depression, stress, and fatigue.
The antioxidant vitamin E boosts the immune system by protecting cells from damage caused by free radicals.
It also prevents cancer cells from developing to keep your dog healthy for longer.
Vitamin A is a natural antioxidant that protects the delicate tissues of the eyes, skin, and ears against bacteria and viruses while reducing inflammation and itching in areas like the nose, paws, or groin due to allergies.
It can treat infections such as parvovirus which causes vomiting and diarrhea, leading to dehydration among dogs.
With its antibacterial properties, it reduces the chances of food poisoning caused by salmonella or listeria when used topically on cuts. It also helps improve circulation by regulating blood clotting, since it promotes the formation of new tissue cells.
An essential mineral that regulates blood sugar levels and reduces the risk of obesity, heart diseases, high cholesterol, and diabetes by converting glucose into energy or heat which is necessary for metabolism.
It also strengthens bone tissues to prevent brittle conditions like osteoporosis.
A powerful antioxidant that prevents cell death due to free radical damage while boosting your dog’s immune system against various types of cancers.
Magnesium improves cardiovascular health by regulating heartbeat, improving blood circulation within the arteries, as well as reducing blood pressure. It can also treat hyperactivity in dogs caused by low levels of calcium in the bloodstream.
Magnesium relieves depression too through its mood-elevating properties… Add these yummy colorful fruits to your pooch’s diet and watch him enjoy his next golden years with more strength, energy, and vigor.
Better Nutrient Absorption
As if the above are not reasons enough to include avocado in your dog’s diet, the vitamin C in avocados improves your dog’s ability to absorb all those other healthy, useful nutrients you feed your furry friend.
It’s no wonder avocados are at the top of the list when considered as a superfood for dogs.
If you have a large dog breed, try giving your pup avocados in half-inch slices as the seeds may cause choking. You can also mix avocado into food and kibbles as it enhances the flavors of dry foods by softening them up.
Avocado is a healthy addition to weight loss diets for dogs because it is more filling, reducing the intake of excessive calories from other sources.
Freeze-dried versions of avocado are also available. For dogs with allergies to nuts and seeds like coconut or macadamia nuts, make sure you get freeze-dried avocado without these allergens added in.
Serving Your Dog Avocado
For your dog to enjoy this superfood safely, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- To serve avocado to your dog, ensure it is ripe, peeled, and pitted. Once that is out of the way, it’s just a little creativity and maybe looking up interesting avocado dog recipes.
- In addition, because of the fat content, be sure not to go overboard on the avocado meals as well. While some fat is essential for your dog’s body to function optimally, too much of it can be detrimental. As with other meals, follow the portion control guidelines provided by your dog’s vet.
- Because dogs have a harder time processing plant products than animal products, introduce it gradually for the first few times. Just in the same way as you wean a baby, start with a few scoops, observe for any adverse reactions and gradually increase the number of spoons. No matter how much they love their avocado, give only a bit at a time.
Summary: So, Can Dogs Eat Avocado?
Your dog can benefit just as much from avocados as you can. Conversely, this is yet another fruit you can buy for consumption for the both of you (which is convenient). Gradually introduce it and allow Fido to feel and look better from the inside out.
Please remember to always consult a veterinarian before giving your dog avocado, as it can be harmful to certain breeds, especially those with allergies-prone skin