What do you think? Can dogs eat avocados if their humans share with them?
The humans around my office love avocado. I hear them talking about it all the time. They like to make guacamole or put sliced avocados on turkey and bacon sandwiches. One of my co-workers even puts it in her omelet! I’m always asking the humans for food; sometimes they can’t resist my cuteness and hand over their snacks. Other times they make me research whether or not a food is safe for me to eat.
So, can dogs eat avocado? After all, that turkey, bacon, and avocado sandwich is looking really good!
Avocado isn’t the worst thing a dog could eat, by any means. That much is sure. Some animals, like birds, should avoid avocado. For dogs, though, parts of the avocado are fine.
It breaks down like this, there is something in avocados that humans call persin. Persin is a compound in the skin, pit, and leaves of the avocado that is toxic to a lot of animals. Ingesting persin can actually cause congestion, fluid to build up around the heart, and may cause trouble breathing for cows, horses, rabbits, and a lot of other mammals.
Lucky for me, most dogs don’t seem to have problems with avocados. Some dog food even has avocado in it to help us keep our coats nice and shiny. So maybe I can steal that turkey, bacon, and avocado sandwich. All I need to do is distract the humans for a minute.
Can dogs eat avocados? Yes!… Well, not so fast
I’m not done quite yet. Some dogs do actually have problems with avocados. You probably know a lot of humans that eat peanut butter (another food I love). I bet you also know some humans who can’t have peanut butter because they are allergic to peanuts. It’s the same way for dogs. Some of us have allergies to avocados, too.
So avocado is fine for most dogs, but it can make some dogs gassy or irritate their stomach. Mind you, this is the same part of the avocado that you eat. We definitely shouldn’t eat the skin or the pit.
The pit of the avocado is an especially bad idea for dogs. It’s like a small, slippery tennis ball. I love a tennis ball as much as the next dog (except maybe my friend, Luna – she is obsessed with tennis balls. She particularly likes orange squeaky tennis balls.)
Anyway, the avocado pit looks a lot like a tennis ball to us. But a tennis ball is fuzzy and pliable. An avocado pit is hard and slippery. It is really easy for us to accidentally swallow an avocado pit.
If that ever happens to your dog, you’ll need to get to a vet right away. First of all, your dog could choke on the pit. If the pit does manage to slide down your dog’s throat, there is a big risk of it getting stuck, and that could kill your dog if it blocks food or keeps your dog from being able to poop.
Worst case scenario, your dog would grow an avocado tree in his belly. Just kidding about that last part!
So my answer to “can dogs eat avocado?” is yes. Just make sure you keep an eye on your dog to make sure he or she is not among those dogs who is allergic to avocado. And whatever you do, don’t let your dog play with the avocado pit. Give them a tennis ball, a bone, play fetch, or play tug-of-war with them. They’ll love you for it, and you won’t have to worry about trying to figure out where that pit ended up.
Do you ever give your dog avocado? Does he love it as a snack? Let me know in the comments!
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