Written by: Alicia Boemi,Dogly Wellness Advocate & Canine Nutritionist
Pet parents are often torn on whether it’s safe to feedavocado fruit to their dog. Rightly so, thishuman food comes with a lot of misinformation about thehealth benefits and dangers for dogs eatingavocado. Avocados can be consumed by dogs but with a few important safety protocols to follow. Fun fact,avocado fruit is actually part of the berry family because it fits in the botanical criteria for berries. Theavocado pit is actually called theavocado seed in botanical circles thus making it fit the description of a berry.Avocados can be a healthy way to boost your dog’s food as it contains healthygood fats, butdog owners must understand all the parts not to feed and how much to feed. We’ll cover theparts of the avocado that are dangerous for your dog to consume so you can avoid any issues, and we’ll discuss how muchavocado to feed a dog plus all thehealth benefits of avocados for dogs.
AreAvocados Safe for Dogs?
Whileavocados are generally safe to feed your dog, you’ll want to make sure to avoid feeding theavocado pit, skin, and leaves. Theavocado pit poses a major choking hazard and can get stuck in your dog’sintestinal tract causing a life-threatening blockage. Also, theavocado pit, skin, and leaves contain a fungicidal substance calledpersin, which is toxic to dogs.Persin is also found in theavocado flesh but is not as concentrated as it is in theavocado leaves, pit, and skin of theavocado plant. The entireavocado tree containspersin but again, there is less in theavocado flesh itself. This means you’ll want to avoid feeding theavocado pit, skin, and leaves to ensure your dog does not ingest this toxic substance and you avoid any unwantedside effects.
Becausepersin is present in the flesh of theavocado,pet parents will want to make sure to feed small amounts to their dog as too muchavocado can causegastrointestinal upset. Inlarge amounts,persin can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Be sure to consult your veterinarian if your dog has ingested anyparts of the avocado she shouldn’t or is showing signs ofgastrointestinal upset after consumingavocado.
Avocado also containshigh fat content and calories. Dogs who cannot tolerate additional fat in their diet, or who have pancreatitis, should avoidavocado as a whole. While the fat inavocado is consideredhealthy fat, dogs who cannot absorb excess fat will be prone to gastrointestinal problems if they consume too much fatty food such asavocado. Also, if your dog is prone to obesity or is trying to lose weight then it might be a good idea to skip theavocado until your pooch’s weight is under control.
What are theHealth Benefits of Avocados?
Avocados are a very healthy fruit that are rich in nutrients such as magnesium, potassium,Vitamins A, C, E, and B-complex vitamins.Avocados are most known for theirhealthy fats content. These beneficialfatty acids found inavocados are not onlyanti-inflammatory but can also improve heart health. You don’t need a lot ofavocado to gain the nutrients from it, for example 1 teaspoon is loaded with folate, beta carotene, lutein, plus the vitamins and minerals mentioned above.
Vitamin E:is a critical vitamin for a dog’s skin and coat health. It also can reduce oxidative stress and cellular damage throughout the body.Vitamin E also supports overall immune system function and lowers inflammatory responses in the body.
Niacin:Niacin, Vitamin B3, is necessary for energy metabolism and aids in continued support for brain function and supporting neurotransmitters.Niacin is a very important vitamin that repairs DNA if it gets damaged.
Lutein:is a carotenoid that is only found in plants. It has manyanti-inflammatory properties and can help greatly in improving your dog’s eye health. It’s also been shown to aid or even prevent age-related disease.
Folate: is part of the B Vitamins (B9) and is critical in helping control anemia while supporting the other BVitamins as they work to support many systems throughout a dog’s body. Folate is necessary to make red and white blood cells in the bone marrow and to convert carbohydrates to energy.
FeedingAvocado as a Healthy Treat to Dogs
The best way to feedavocado to your pup as a healthy treat or addition to yourdog’s diet is to avoid feedinglarge amounts of theavocado flesh. Size does matter when it comes to how much food a dog can consume but in this case,large animals should not necessarily eat moreavocado. Stick to feeding your dog small amounts and avoidlarge quantities ofavocado whether you add a piece to theirdog food or feed it asdog treats.
It’s best to avoid feeding store-boughtguacamole as that usually has additives like onion and spices that are not safe to feed to your dog. You can make your dog ahigh-quality homemade dog-friendlyguacamole by mashingavocado and adding in dog-friendly fruits and vegetables. Remember though, keep the portion ofavocado you feed on the small side.
Overall, feedingavocado (flesh) to your dog is safe and has manyhealth benefits! Stick to these guidelines we’ve given you so when yourdog eats avocado, he will be able to optimally digest and absorb all the nutrientbenefits of avocado.
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• Addresses irritating skin conditions
• Reduces itching and scratching
• Helps prevent scooting
• Addresses acute and chronic diarrhea
• Creates a thriving environment for healthy flora
• Super tasty and protein-packed
• Addresses acute diarrhea
• Relieves constipation
• Helps prevent scooting