Is Avocado Good for Dogs? Food Myths

The avocado. Deemed by many to be the world’s most Instagram-able food, it’s hard to avoid seeing photos of avocado toast or chips and guac online. Avocados are widely popular among human consumers for complimenting a variety of dishes, as well as providing health benefits. But are avocados a healthy snack for our pets as well? This leads to the question of the day: Is avocado good for dogs?


Can Dogs Eat Avocado?

Before we find out if avocado is good for dogs, we need to find out if dogs can even enjoy the trendy treat. After all, there exists a lot of speculation over whether avocados are toxic for animals.

It turns out that dogs can actually eat avocados. In case you were wondering, cats can enjoy avocados as well. However, avocado should never be fed to birds or horses.


Why Do Avocados for Pets Get a Bad Rep?

Though avocados are an approved food for dogs and cats, there are still many rumors claiming that they are harmful. Pet Insurance website Pet Health Zone took it upon themselves to investigate the truth about avocados and pets.

Avocados are falsely believed to be toxic to dogs because a toxin called persin is present in areas of avocados. This toxic fatty acid derivative is present in the seed, leaves, and bark of the fruit.

While persin toxicity is a real danger for birds and larger animals, it does not seem to pose a risk for dogs and cats. This means that they are safe to enjoy appropriate servings of avocado.


Is Avocado Good for Dogs?

Now that we knows dogs can eat avocado, let’s explore the health benefits. Is avocado good for dogs? You may have noticed that avocados are left off of many lists of healthy fruits for dogs to eat. However, avocados might actually earn the overall ranking as healthiest fruit.

Avocados are a superfood for humans. The fat and nutrients in avocados are linked to overall nourishment. Avocados also contain fiber, folate, potassium, niacin, essential fatty acids, and Vitamins A, C, E, and B6. These positive components can also aid in doggy nutrition.

Though they are not necessary in a pet diet, avocados do contain healthy fat, vitamins, and minerals. There are actually dog foods on the market that include avocados as an ingredient.

So, is avocado good for dogs? It certainly won’t harm them in small servings, but it is by no means an essential element to any dog diet. However, always be on the lookout for individual reactions to the fruit, such as an upset stomach or diarrhea.


How to Feed Dogs Avocados

There are many ways for humans to enjoy avocados. But since your dog isn’t likely to stop by Chipotle for some fresh guacamole, let’s review how to feed the fruit to canines.

First and foremost, the avocado seed poses a major risk to animal health. Be sure to never allow your dog to snack on the avocado seed. This could result in serious health complications such as accidental choking.

Additionally, you should peel the avocado before feeding it to your dog to avoid digestion issues. Also be sure to keep your dog away from the avocado bark, leaves, and sticks due to choking concerns.

If you are feeding your dog avocado for the first time, monitor how she reacts to the new food item. If she appears to digest it without issues, feel free to serve avocado in small portions as an occasional treat. However, if you are a multi-pet household, be aware that avocados are extremely toxic for some other animals.

Lastly, while the fat in avocados is deemed “good fat,” the average avocado still contains a staggering 29 grams of fat, according to the USDA. Due to this high fat content, be sure to really keep those portion sizes small for dogs.


What Fruits Should My Dog Avoid?

While the rumors about avocados being toxic for dogs are false, you should still never feed your dog grapes. Grapes and raisins are very bad for dogs, though the verdict is still out on why exactly they are so dangerous. In extreme cases, grapes could cause dog fatality due to sudden kidney failure.

Also be sure to never serve your dog any fruit with the pit still intact.


Sensible Snack Alternatives

While avocados are safe fruits for dogs to eat, they aren’t the most commonly recommended option for doggy snacking. However, there are many beneficial fruits that your dog can enjoy along with you.

The list of safe and healthy fruits for dogs includes apples, bananas, blackberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, cranberries, kiwis, oranges, pears, pumpkins, raspberries, strawberries, and watermelon.

Just remember to always limit fruit servings to snack sizes. Fruit should never be a meal substitute for dogs. Feeding your dog too much fruit in a day could lead to tummy troubles.

By feeding your dog fresh fruit as a snack, you are providing your furry friend with a treat that isn’t manufactured with high amounts of fat and salt. This will benefit your animal’s health and aid in weight control and other complications.

In conclusion, is avocado good for dogs? It might not be a doggy superfood, but it is safe for dogs to eat small amounts of avocados.

Emma Polini