Avocados are a popular nutritious snack. Although they offer lots of benefits for us, what about our furry friends? It can be tempting to cut your dog a sneaky slice at the breakfast table. But before you do, there are a few important facts to bear in mind.
While dogs can technically eat avocado, it may not be the best tasty treat for them.
Can dogs have avocado?
The short answer is yes. Given in moderation, the flesh of an avocado is perfectly safe for your dog to eat. Avocados contain many beneficial nutrients and are a great source of vitamin A, B6, C and E. They contain lots of fibre which is great for your dog’s digestive system, and fatty acids can help maintain a healthy coat.
Avocados are also known to contain a range of antioxidants that may help fight diseases and cancer. This super fruit certainly has many nutritional benefits, but it’s always best to check with your vet before feeding your dog human food.
How are avocados bad for dogs?
There are a few words of caution when feeding your dog avocados though. Avocados contain a fungicidal toxin called persin. While it’s dangerous for animals such as horses, cattle and birds, it’s harmless to dogs in small quantities.
You’ll find the highest concentration of persin in the leaves, skin and pits of the plant, so it’s important not to feed the fruit whole. Unripened avocado also contains higher levels of persin. But if you want to feed your dog a slice or two of ripe avocado, persin poisoning is highly unlikely.
Avocados are high in fat. Although it contains ‘good fat’, they can still cause gastrointestinal upset in some dogs. In large amounts, avocado can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and even pancreatitis. Which is why it’s always best to feed in moderation.
Avocado pits may seem like a tasty treat for your dog to chew, but they can be a choking hazard. They’re also small enough to cause a blockage if swallowed. So never feed your dog the pit of an avocado. And if you’re growing a tree in your garden, keep the fruits well out of reach.
Should you feed your dog avocado?
Although dogs can technically eat avocado, there are better options available if you want to treat your dog. Fish such as salmon, sardines, trout and herring are great sources of omega fatty acids and are also high in protein.
Avocados do come with a few risks, so it might be best to avoid them.
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