Many people regard avocados as a superfood and enjoy eating this delicious fruit. You might consider sharing an avocado with your dog, but is this a good idea? Can dogs eat avocado, or are they toxic to them?
Can dogs eat avocado?
Although many dogs will eat some avocado without any problems, this does not mean that it is safe to feed to dogs.
The reason for this is that avocados contain a substance called persin. This is a fungicidal toxin that has the potential to cause serious health problems and even death in many animals.
Dogs are not as susceptible to persin toxicity as many other mammals, which is why some dogs will get away with eating avocados without any problems.
However, the risk is still there and we would advise that you steer clear of feeding the flesh of avocado to your dog. Avocados are also high in fat, which can lead to gastrointestinal problems and pancreatitis in dogs.
One final concern with avocados is the hard stone and tough outer skin, both of which can present a choking hazard to dogs.
What are the signs of toxicity?
Most docs can eat some avocado without any problems, but if they do develop persin toxicity they can rapidly become very ill.
The main signs of persin toxicity in dogs are vomiting and diarrhea. If left untreated, these can quickly lead to dehydration. The dog will become weak and lethargic, and eventually collapse.
In rare cases, persin toxicity in dogs also causes damage to the myocardium, the main muscular layer of the heart.
What to do if my dog ate avocado?
Most dogs will be able to eat a small amount of avocado without any problems. Avocado should never be deliberately fed to a dog, but if your dog snaffled up some by accident then there is no immediate need to panic.
Monitor your dog closely for any signs such as vomiting or diarrhea. If either of these occurs, contact your veterinary clinic and explain that your dog has eaten avocado.
If your dog eats the skin or stone of an avocado, you should be vigilant for signs of choking or an intestinal blockage. Again, the dog may start to vomit, or you may notice that they have reduced fecal output. If the dog becomes inappetent or seems bloated or lethargic, seek veterinary advice immediately.
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