Can Dogs Eat Avocado? (Solved & Explained)

Dogs can eat avocado flesh, if they like it, without problems. Some say not to give avocados to dogs because avocados are known to contain a toxin called persin, which is quite dangerous to other animals like horses and birds but is harmless to dogs in small amounts. 

The ripe, green fruit of the avocado contains many beneficial nutrients that can give dogs a health boost. They have even been used in some kinds of dog food.

Avocados are a source of vitamins A, B6, C, and E, as well as fiber that can aid in digestive health, fatty acids that are good for the coat, and other substances like folate, niacin, potassium, and antioxidants that may help fight disease and cancer.

Avocados contain what some refer to as “good fat,” which may help lower cholesterol.

However, too much of a good thing is never a good thing. Dogs who eat too much fat can develop pancreatitis. However, it would likely take a lot of exposure to avocados to be a problem.

Still, Can Dogs Eat Avocado?

Still, some dogs have medical conditions that require low-fat diets. Other dogs may develop gastrointestinal upset, vomiting, or diarrhea if they eat too much avocado.

Avocados hold the highest concentrations of persin in their leaves, thick skin, and pits; avocado flesh contains low levels of this chemical, a negligible amount for most humans and most dogs.

We don’t eat the leaves, skin, or pits of avocados, so don’t give these to your dog. However, a few thin slices of fresh avocado over your dog’s dinner or as a nutrient-rich treat will be fine for your dog, unless, of course, he has a food allergy to it.

Avocados are one of the trendiest health foods on the market. They’re touted as a nutritious and delicious snack for humans, but what about our four-legged friends?  The answer is yes and no. Avocados contain persin, a fungicidal toxin, which can cause serious health problems and even death in many animals.

According to veterinarians, dogs are more resistant to persin than other animals, but that doesn’t mean avocados are 100% safe for your dog to consume.

Persin is present in the avocado fruit, pits, leaves, and the actual plant, so these parts are potentially poisonous to your dog.

Most of the person is concentrated in the leaves and the skin and pit of the fruit. It is also present in avocado flesh in small amounts. Exactly what amount of persin is lethal isn’t known.

It can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and myocardial damage in large amounts. 

Avocado flesh’s high-fat content can lead to gastrointestinal upset and pancreatitis in dogs if they eat too much. Because it’s calorie-dense, it can also lead to weight gain. Another concern is the stone at the center of the fruit, which may cause choking.

If you happen to live in the right climate and have access to avocado trees, whether on your property, a neighbor’s property, or out in the community, you are probably already aware of dogs’ tolerance to the fruit.

Dogs will munch happily on avocados, usually avoiding the skin and pits on their own (both parts are notoriously tough and probably don’t taste very good).

However, this doesn’t mean you should let your avocado-eating dog scarf them down unsupervised. Avocado pits present a serious choking hazard to dogs, and some try to chew or swallow them.

Even if you know your dog only tries to eat the avocado flesh, you should still limit the amount of avocado your dog gets.

Too much avocado can cause gastrointestinal upset in dogs (and people), vomiting, diarrhea, or both. One avocado should be fine for a medium-size dog, but two or three in a day? That is too many avocados for a dog.

Keep in mind the nutritional make-up of avocados. One medium-sized avocado contains roughly 320 calories and 29 grams of fat. 

Yes, it’s the “good” fat, but it is still fat that must count towards your dog’s daily nutritional intake. Therefore, a dog who needs to lose weight, or has pancreatitis, should not eat avocados (consult your vet, as always).