Are Onions Bad for Dogs? Danger Foods

We might cry when we chop them up, but onions are a tasty addition to many meals. They add a kick to sauces, a crunch to burgers, and some zest to stir fry. But is it safe for dogs to eat onions as well? Are onions bad for dogs? Today we will get to the bottom of this canine food myth once and for all.


Can Dogs Eat Onions?

Onions are present in many dishes, but onion products also come in many forms. You can serve onions raw or cooked or season food with powdered onion. However, it turns out that onions are not safe for dogs to eat in any form.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) rules onions to be a toxic food item for dogs to eat. While you might be concerned about bad breath, the dangers of onions far dogs surpasses this inconvenience.

The AKC determines that there is a toxin present in onions that could lead to serious canine complications. Therefore, onions could potentially be deadly for dogs.


Why Are Onions Bad for Dogs?

Now that we’ve established that onions are not a safe food for dogs, let’s understand “why are onions bad for dogs.”

The AKC lists the principle in onions that is toxic for dogs to be N-propyl disulfide. This toxic principle triggers a breakdown in red blood cells that can lead to canine anemia.

Anemia is a common blood disorder that can affect humans, dogs, and cats. It is caused by a decreased number of red blood cells circulating the body. Symptoms of anemia include fast or irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, headache, chest pain, and light-headedness.

The N-propyl disulfide in onions reduces the ability of a dog’s red blood cells to carry oxygen. This destroys the red blood cells, which can result in hemolytic anemia. The form of anemia can be life-threatening in severe cases.


Can Dogs Eat Any Onion Parts?

Unsurprisingly, dogs cannot eat any parts of onions or onions in any form. This means if you are a home gardener, you must take extreme caution in your dog nosing around your garden. Also be sure not to share foods with your dog that have onions as ingredients.

The AKC finds that the flesh, leaves, juice, and processed powders of onions are all toxic to dogs. Additionally, the entire allium family is off limits for your pup. This means no shallows, leeks, chives, or garlic for your furry friend.

The AKC determines that it takes only one medium onion (100 grams) per 44 pound (20 kg) dog to experience toxic effects. Therefore, the toxicity of onions for dogs cannot be taken lightly.

Also, be on the lookout for foods that contain onion powder. This ingredient is present in a lot of dishes and sauces. Onion and garlic powders are ever more concentrated than the fresh food items, making them especially dangerous to dogs.


Help! My Dog Ate an Onion

Let’s assume a worst situation scenario occurred, and your dog managed to consume some onion. What signs should you look out for?

There are a number of anemia symptoms that you can monitor you dog for. Common symptoms include weakness, lethargy, diminished appetite, fainting, reddish urine, and pale gums. Signs of onion toxicity are panting, vomiting, and elevated heart rate.

If you observe any of these symptoms in your dog, be sure to take him to the vet immediately. You dog may have to have induced vomiting. In serious cases, she might even need a blood transfusion. Be sure to take your dog to the vet as soon as possible if you suspect onion poisoning. This condition can be fatal for dogs.


Onion Observations

Are onions bad for dogs? Hopefully this question has been thoroughly answered. Onions are never a safe choice for canines. Dogs should not be consuming onions in any form. However, you’re free to enjoy a carton of onion rings.

To read about safe human foods that dogs can eat, check out how sweet potatoes are good for dogs. And to brush up on more doggie danger foods, read about the perils of feeding your dog grapes.

Emma Polini