Can dogs eat Avocado?

Updated 29 May 2024
Read time: 4 mins
article author
Written by Corinne Homer
article author
Reviewed by Dr. Linda Simon
Team Vet

Sadly, the answer is no - dogs can’t eat avocado. Though it might be deemed a nutritious ‘superfood’ for humans, it’s somewhat toxic to dogs and dangerously high in fat, so don’t sneak them a spoon of smashed avo without thinking twice.

Let’s delve a little deeper into why dogs can’t eat avocado…

Why is avocado bad for dogs?

Avocado isn’t a safe food for dogs, as all parts of the fruit - the flesh, skin and stone - are toxic to a dog’s body. Alongside this, the high fat content of avocado could cause issues for dogs susceptible to pancreatitis.  

The pit/stone is a really problematic part of the avocado fruit. When eaten, it’s indigestible and almost always leads to a gut obstruction if vomiting isn't induced quickly.

Though a small bit of avocado accidentally eaten is unlikely to do too much harm, it should never be considered a safe food for dogs. 

What makes avocado toxic to dogs? 

Avocados are toxic to dogs because of a compound called persin - which is found in all parts of the avocado. Though it’s safe for humans to consume, it has toxic effects in dogs and other animals, and could cause stomach problems such as diarrhoea and vomiting, as well as heart issues. 

What to do if your dog eats avocado

If your pooch slurps up a small bit of avocado flesh, it’s unlikely to harm them. If they’ve wolfed down a whole fruit, however, this is more a cause for concern. 

Keep an eye on your dog, and if they show any signs of persin poisoning (below), get them to a vet immediately. 

Symptoms of persin poisoning

If you spot one or more of the following symptoms of persin toxicity after your pooch has consumed avocado, you should contact a vet straight away: 

  • Breathing difficulties. Your dog might cough or wheeze as if they can’t get air, or experience shortness of breath.
  • Swelling. Swelling may occur in the face, neck area or on other parts of the body.
  • Diarrhoea. Diarrhoea that concerns you should be noted. 
  • Vomiting. If your pooch is being sick after eating avocado, take them to a vet.
  • Fatigue. Take note if your dog’s suffering from fatigue or aren’t their usual self after eating avocado.

How much avocado is safe for dogs?

It’s not safe to feed your pooch any avocado at all. However, if they accidentally eat a small amount, it’s not likely to cause them any serious harm. Keep a watchful eye on them to be sure.

How to stop your dog eating avocado

The best way to deter your dog from eating avocado is to never offer it to them, that way they’ll have no experience of tasting it or even knowing what it is! If you eat avocado with a meal, be sure to prepare it well out of reach of your dog, and throw away all the discarded skin, stone and leftovers into a secure bin that can’t be snooped in. 

Other avocado products

Here are some extra details about other avocado-based products that a dog might want to eat… 

Can dogs eat avocado oil?

Ideally, no. For humans, avocado oil is sometimes used as an alternative in place of olive oil or rapeseed oil, for instance. There isn’t the toxicity in avocado oil that there is in the fruit itself - that said, the high fat content of avocado oil means it isn’t recommended for dogs. It could be especially unhealthy for pooches prone to pancreatitis. 

Can dogs eat avocado flesh/skin? 

No - dogs shouldn’t eat avocado flesh or skin. All the parts of an avocado contain persin, which could be toxic to dogs if eaten, and is very high in fat too.

What other foods are toxic to dogs? 

If you’re worried about other foods that are toxic to dogs, here are a few others to remember! 

  • Chocolate

Probably the most well-known no-no for dogs, chocolate is very toxic due to its theobromine content and should be avoided at all costs. 

  • Grapes and raisins

Avoid grapes and raisins, their sundried cousin. They are mysteriously toxic to some dogs and can cause kidney issues, though some may eat them without issues. 

  • Tomatoes

Tomatoes contain a compound toxic to dogs called solanine, though this is present in much lower amounts in ripe tomatoes.

  • Onions and garlic

Allium is the toxic substance found in onions and garlic - it impacts red blood cells in dogs which can lead to anaemia or even cause a dog to collapse.

  • Xylitol/artificial sweetener

The artificial sweeteners found in a lot of human foods are poisonous to dogs - specifically Xylitol. Eating it can cause blood sugar levels to fall dangerously low, which can result in kidney dysfunction in dogs.

What can I feed my dog instead of avocado?

If you’re looking to feed your dog a nutritious snack, there are plenty of other tasty options:

Apple is a crunchy fruit full of fibre and vitamins, yet much lower in fat than avocado.  

Blueberries are similarly nutritious as avocado, without the high fat content. 

Cooked eggs are a great source of protein and don’t contain any toxic compounds. 

Pumpkin is a squidgy source of vitamins and fibre, that’s gentle on digestion too.  

Salmon Oil for Dogs is a safer option than avocado oil for being nutrient dense and a source of essential fatty acids. However, you should avoid this if your pooch is prone to pancreatitis.

To feed your dog nutritious, whole foods that are gentle on their digestion try our Pooch & Mutt grain-free dog food, powerful dog supplements and healthy dog treats.

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