Can Dogs Eat Avocados? Effects of Avocados for Dogs as a Dog Food

can dogs eat avocado

Dogs can eat avocados safely. Dogs can consume small amounts of avocado fruit without being negatively affected. In addition to healthy fats and fatty acids, avocados also contain minerals and vitamins and have anti-inflammatory properties. Some dog food brands even list avocado as an ingredient. Dog owners can feed their puppies avocados as long as they keep moderation in mind. Dogs will be just fine if they stay away from the pit and other parts of the plant.

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What are the Benefits of Avocados for Dogs?

The benefits of avocados for dogs are listed below:

  • Heart Health: As a source of vitamin B3, avocado meat provides various nutrients and is particularly beneficial for dogs’ heart health. They contain oleic acid, a compound good for heart health and a potent anti-inflammatory.
  • Strong Muscles: Avocados are rich in high-quality protein and contain 18 amino acids that are useful for the growth of new muscles in dogs.
  • Improved Digestion: Fiber regulates the dog’s digestive process, maintaining gut health, and decreasing the risk of high blood sugar and heart disease.
  • Healthy Coat: Avocados burst with vitamin E and omega fatty acids. Water is distributed throughout the dog’s body and hair via fatty acids. The fat-soluble Vitamin E helps bring out the luster in a dog’s coat.
  • Healthy Skin: Vitamin E, vitamin A, and fatty acids work together to keep a dog’s skin healthy.
  • Vision: Vitamin A maintains dogs’ vision.
  • Improved Nutrient Absorption: Avocados help dogs to get optimal nutrition out of all the food they eat.

How Can Avocados Harm Dogs?

The harm Avocados can cause to dogs are listed below:

  • Toxicity: Dogs who have access to avocado plants in the garden are at risk of being poisoned. The leaves and branches of an avo plant contain Persin, a toxic substance. However, dogs are not likely to eat parts of the plant. Birds, horses, and sheep are at a more significant risk of being poisoned.
  • Gastrointestinal issues: The high-fat content of avocados could cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea in dogs that overeat on avocado treats can.
  • Heart damage: Although not common, large amounts of avocado consumption could cause myocardial damage in dogs. Myocardial infarction could damage the dog’s heart muscle permanently.

Will Avocados Upset a Dog’s Stomach?

Ripe avocados will not upset a dog’s stomach. They are not toxic, and as long as a dog does not overeat on avocados, there won’t be stomach upset issues. Avocados’ fat content is high, and dogs may experience gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea and vomiting. Even when there are no adverse reactions in dogs after eating avocados, the 10/90 rule should be followed. Avocados are treats and not part of a dog’s overall diet, and treats must never exceed 10% of a dog’s daily caloric intake.

When Should a Dog Eat Avocados?

Dogs can eat avocados at any time, regardless of the time of day, and at any age.

Avocados are one of the healthiest sources of dietary protein for dogs. Compared to other fruits dogs can eat, they contain greater amounts of protein and fewer sugars. High-quality proteins in avos help build healthy dogs’ bodies and maintain and repair cells, hormones, and enzymes. Bedtime is a good time for avocado treats for all dogs. They contain tryptophan, an essential amino acid that increases the brain’s production of the super sleep-inducing hormone melatonin.

How Many Avocados Can a Dog Eat per Day?

The number of avocado treats a dog can have per day depends on the dog’s size, age, and overall health condition. The general rule is that smaller dogs should eat fewer avocados than a large dog and that avo treats should not exceed 10% of the puppy’s daily calorie intake.

How to calculate a safe daily portion of avocado for a dog

Approximate Daily Caloric Needs for Average Dogs

Dog’s Weight

Total Calories per day – including treats 

Allowed Calories of all Treats per day

10 lbs.

200 to 275 calories

20 to 27 calories

20 lbs

325 to 400 calories

32 to 40 calories

50 lbs

700 to 900 calories

70 to 90 calories

70 lbs

900 to 1050 calories

90 to 105 calories

90 lbs

1100 to 1350 calories

110 to 135 calories

One half of an avocado (about 2 ½. ounces) contains 114 calories 

Using this table could help dog owners determine how to ensure treats are healthy additives for their dogs and not just ways to spoil a dog and possibly cause weight gain or other health problems.

Avocados are packed with nutrients that can benefit a dog, giving them to the dog for the first time requires caution. Test the dog’s reaction, and if the dog has no adverse reactions, avocado treats might be beneficial for a dog’s health.

Which Nutrients in Avocados are Beneficial for Dogs’ Health?

The nutrients in avocados that are beneficial for dogs’ health are listed below:

  • Vitamin C: Dogs benefit from the vitamin C in Avocados in several ways. Vitamin C is a significant antioxidant that tracks molecules of free radicals to eliminate them before they can damage the dog’s healthy cells. Vitamin C also helps support the immune system, reduces inflammation, slows down cognitive aging, and fights some cancers. In growing puppies, it may also ease sore joints.
  • Synthesized Vitamin C: A dog’s liver synthesizes vitamin C naturally, but the process could be jeopardized if the dog has high activity or anxiety levels. If the liver is not doing that job properly, an avo treat could give the puppy’s liver the necessary boost of vitamin C to support liver synthesis.
  • Vitamin A: Avocados contain high levels of beta-carotene, which promotes dogs’ eyesight and healthy vision. Once beta-carotene enters the dog’s body, it changes into vitamin A to support a dog’s cell function, immune and reproductive system. 
  • Lycopene and beta carotene: These are carotenoids that are invaluable for a dog’s health. The dark green flesh and peel of the avocado contain the highest concentration of these antioxidants. When dogs eat avocados, these powerful antioxidants help prevent cell damage by free radicals. Lycopene and beta carotene are also believed to reduce stroke and heart disease risks in dogs.
  • Potassium: A dog’s heart and kidney functions will benefit from the potassium in avocados. Further benefits of potassium include regulated fluid levels, bone density, and muscle development. In case a dog lacks the necessary amount of electrolytes provided by potassium, hypokalemia will develop, resulting in symptoms such as vomiting, weight loss, muscle pain, lethargy, and appetite loss.
  • Dietary Fiber: Fiber is essential in a pup’s diet to ensure regular bowel movements. While helping things move along in the dog’s digestive system, fiber keeps a dog feeling full longer after eating, helping to maintain a dog’s weight. One more fiber-related benefit for dogs is how it slows digestion to prevent sudden dropping or spiking in blood sugar. 

A nutritional profile of ½ an avocado or 68 grams is listed below:

  • Calories 114
  • Total sugar 0.2 g
  • Dietary fiber 6 g
  • Sodium 5.5 mg
  • Potassium 345 milligrams (mg)
  • Vitamin A 43 micrograms (μg)
  • Magnesium 19.5 mg
  • Vitamin K 14 μg
  • Vitamin E 1.3 mg
  • Vitamin B-6 0.2 mg
  • Monounsaturated fatty acids 6.7 g 

What Nutrients in Avocados are Harmful to Dogs’ Health?

Contrary to popular belief, avocados cannot harm dogs, and most canines tolerate them well.

Any potential harm to a dog would be linked to the matters listed below:

    • Safety: Never feed a dog a new type of human food without checking with the vet that it would be safe for the specific dog’s unique constitution.
    • Moderation: Dogs do best on diets that are 100% balanced. Although avocados are regarded as superfoods, they must be seen as treats when given to dogs. The owner must consider the dog’s breed, age, size, and lifestyle, and then the number of avocado treats must never exceed 10% of a dog’s daily diet.
  • Poisoning, choking, and blockage risk: The only part of an avocado that could harm a dog is the pit. The pits pose choking dangers, and in large dogs that are able to swallow the pit, blockage risks exist. Furthermore, a dog that chews the pit could ingest Persil, a toxic substance present in the pit, skin, and leaves of avo plants.
  • Chemical hazards: Herbicides and pesticides on store-bought avocados could adversely affect a dog. Buying avos that are sustainably raised is safest. A thorough rinse to remove chemical residues, manure, dirt, and germs is essential, even though the dog will not eat the avocado skin.
  • Gradual introduction: Giving a dog avocado for the first time should start gradually. It is important to begin with small portions and look out for adverse reactions.

Does the Fat in Avocado Cause Weight Gain in Dogs?

Yes, the fat content of avocados could cause weight gain if the dog overeats them. Avocados have high-fat contents, but they are not necessarily all bad. Avocados contain 29 grams of fat and 320 calories. Avocado is considered one of the world’s most healthy foods for dogs and their owners. 

One of the reasons avocados are healthy for dogs is because they contain monounsaturated fat, a “good fat” for lowering a dog’s cholesterol. They are also high in essential nutrients like anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, fiber, B vitamins, and antioxidants. The potassium content of avocados far exceeds the potassium levels of bananas.

What is Persin?

Persin is a fungal toxin contained in avocado trees. The flesh of avocado contains low levels of Persin, not enough to harm a dog. However, significantly higher levels of the toxin are present in the skin and pit of avocados. Persin is mildly toxic to dogs, yet, it can cause an upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea in dogs who over-consume avocados.

How Much Persin Does Avocado Have?

The exact amount of Persin necessary to be lethal is still unknown. The toxicity of avocado flesh caused by the Persin is insignificant. Nevertheless, large amounts of the fungal toxin could cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea in dogs. A few cases of heart muscle damage, myocardial have been recorded in other animal types that like to chew the leaves of the avocado tree. A dog would have to consume dozens of avocados before experiencing the effects of Persin poisoning.

Can Persin in Avocado Kill Dogs?

No Persin cannot kill a dog. The Persin in the flesh part of an avocado is not enough to kill a dog. Dogs with sensitive stomachs might suffer nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea after eating even small amounts of avocado. However, that might be caused by the high-fat content in avocados. Also, dogs on low-fat diets or those with pancreatitis should not eat avocado treats. Any abnormal symptoms should be checked with a veterinarian care professional.

Can Avocados Affect a Dog’s Mood?

Yes, Avocados can affect a dog’s mood. Avocados contain high levels of tryptophan, which is an essential amino acid that dogs cannot produce themselves. When dogs eat avocados, the tryptophan will promote serotonin production. Serotonin is a mood-boosting hormone. 

Can Baby Dogs (Puppies) Eat Avocados?

Yes, puppies can eat avocados, but in small portions. Their immune systems are still developing, and puppies are more susceptible to gastrointestinal issues. Avocados can help a puppy build a healthy body but use caution when introducing a puppy to avocados.

Puppies might take time to get used to the texture of Avocados, and they might turn away from an avo treat. Nevertheless, the benefits of extra fiber, minerals, and vitamins in avocados for baby dogs can be equally valuable if the avocado treats are mixed into their food. Avocado treats may relieve the sore joints of fast-growing puppies.

Puppies are explorers, and dog owners who grow avocados in the gardens must take precautions to prevent the puppies from getting to taste the avocado plants or leaves on the ground because it could cause Persin poisoning. 

Can Old Dogs Eat Avocados?

Yes, older dogs can eat Avocados. Several of the nutrients in avocados are particularly beneficial for senior dogs. Vitamin C in avocados optimizes the immune systems of dogs and reduces inflammation risks. Additional vitamin C benefits for old dogs include fighting some cancers and slowing down cognitive decline.

Senior dogs can further benefit from the vitamin A in avo treats. Many older dogs experience macular degeneration, which affects the retina’s central area. Aging dogs could experience mild vision impairment, night blindness, and even complete loss of vision. However, vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant in avocados that could prevent or slow down macular degeneration in old dogs.

Can Different Dog Breeds Eat Different Amounts of Avocados?

All dog breeds can eat Avocados in amounts to suit their size and health condition. Too many avocados could cause gastrointestinal problems in any breed of dog. 

A small butterfly-eared Papillon dog weighing 10 pounds or less can have only half-an-ounce of avocado, which is about 25 calories.

Border Collies weighing about 50 pounds can eat about 1 to 1 ½ ounces of avocados totaling 60 to 80 calories.

A Bernese Mountain Dog weighing about 90 pounds can safely eat 2 to 2 ½ ounces avocados, which is 100 to 135 calories.

It is crucial to ensure dogs eat the flesh of avocados only.

For Which Dog Breeds are Avocados More Beneficial?

Avocados are equally beneficial for all dog breeds. Avocados are one of the healthiest sources of dietary protein for dogs. Compared to other fruits dogs can eat, they contain greater amounts of protein and fewer sugars.

For Which Dog Breeds are Avocados Less Beneficial?

Avocados are not less beneficial for some dog breeds. It is only less beneficial if dog owners feed their dogs too many avocado treats.

Which Avocado Recipes and Parts can be Eaten Safely by Dogs?

A dog is most at risk from avocados if it swallows the pit. It can cause an obstruction or blockage in the dog’s esophagus, intestinal tract, or stomach. Dog owners must exercise toxins caution and prevent dogs from eating whole avocados in their skin or the avocado pit. 

Can Dogs Eat Avocado Skin?

Yes, dogs can eat avocado skin, but it is not recommended. The Persin concentration in the skin of the avocado is higher than in the flesh, but dogs are only mildly affected by it. However, a dog that has eaten avocado skin should be monitored for any signs of abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, or vomiting. If such symptoms occur, contacting a vet would be wise.

Can Dogs Eat Avocado Oil Safely?

Yes, dogs can eat avocado oil in moderation. The benefits of avocado oil for dogs include Omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin E that decrease inflammation in dogs’ bodies. Dog owners should however limit the amount of avocado oil they give to their dogs since it is high in fat.

Dogs should never consume large quantities of any type of oil because of their high-fat content. Concern about the Persin content of avocado oil is unfounded because it contains none of the fungal toxins and poses no poison danger for dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Avocado Flesh Safely?

Yes, dogs can eat avocado flesh safely. The toxin Persin present in avocados is concentrated in the tree branches and leaves, with a lower concentration in the skin and trace amounts only in the fruit’s flesh. Animals most at risk of Persin poisoning are those that would feed on the leaves or other parts of the trees, like birds, horses, and more. The flesh of the avocado is perfectly safe for dogs to eat in moderation. 

Can Dogs Eat Avocado Pits Safely?

No, dogs cannot eat avocado pits safely. If a large dog eats a pit, it could pass through the digestive system with only some irritation of the intestinal tract and stomach. However, the dog owners will not know whether the pit would pass through without problems or not. Dog owners who know their dog swallowed an avocado pit should contact a veterinarian. Especially if the dog acts lethargic, appears to experience abdominal pain, strains to poop, or vomits.

Can Dogs Eat Avocado Toast Safely?

Yes, dogs can eat avocado toast safely. Dogs can eat bread, and toast is nothing but cooked-again bread. As long as the bread has no dangerous additives like garlic or onion powder that is toxic for dogs, the dog can eat the toast safely. Adding an avocado treat on the toast will still not threaten the safety of the dog.

However, the avocado must be without any additives like spices, herbs, garlic, salt, or pepper. A dog owner treating a dog with toast spread with guacamole would make that avocado toast harmful for the dog’s health.

Can Dogs Eat Dried Avocados Safely?

Yes, dogs can eat dried avocado safely. Dried avocado is also called avocado meal. The process of making an avocado meal involves drying and grinding the flesh of the avocado. Being produced from the non-toxic avocado flesh makes it perfectly safe for dogs to eat.

Can Dogs Eat Avocado Ice Cream Safely?

Yes, dogs can eat avocado ice cream safely. The avocado flesh used for making the ice cream is non-toxic because the Persil content is insignificant. The second ingredient in ice cream that might pose health risks is milk that could affect lactose intolerant dogs. Milk is not an ingredient in the recipe for avocado ice cream.

Another benefit of giving a dog an avocado ice cream treat is the fact that it contains less sugar than most other dairy-free ice cream treats. However, dog owners should check store-bought avocado ice cream for synthetic additives like xylitol, which is toxic for dogs.

Which Dog Food Brands Add Avocados to their Dog Foods?

The AvoDerm brand offers a wide variety of different products for dogs in all life stages, as well as an assortment of specialty formulas for dogs with certain health problems. Overall, AvoDerm is a high-quality brand that offers excellent variety.

The basic ingredients in AvoDerm dog food products are listed below:

  • It contains essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants
  • Omega-rich avocados and avocado oil
  • 100% free from corn, wheat, soy, and by-product meals

Can Eating Avocados Cause Diseases in dogs?

  • Yes, avocados can cause adverse health to dogs, not necessarily diseases. The common adverse reactions are listed below:
  • Puppies are prone to stomach upsets if avocados are not gradually introduced. Young dogs’ immune systems take time to develop, and they could experience gastrointestinal problems.
  • Dogs with gastroenteritis or other GI problems should not receive avocado treats that can aggravate stomach sensitivity until they have recovered.
  • Dogs with weight problems can have avocado treats, but occasionally only.
  • The leaves and stems of avocado plants contain Persil, which, if eaten by dogs, could cause Persil poisoning. However, the flesh of the avo fruit is safe for dogs to eat.
  • The pit in avocados can cause a dog to choke or cause a blockage in the intestines. Dogs do not digest pits easily, so they may suffer from an obstruction in their intestinal tract as a result of the fibrous nature of the pit. In this event, the obstruction may have to be removed by surgery – it becomes life-threatening.
  • Avocados can also cause pancreatitis in dogs due to their high-fat content. Pancreatitis means inflammation of the pancreas, and it can produce symptoms such as fever, lethargy, diarrhea, vomiting, and a loss of appetite.

Allergies: Rarely, dogs have allergic reactions to avocados. When that happens, the dog owner should immediately stop giving the dog avocados since severe allergies can lead to anaphylaxis and possible death. Hives, swelling, and breathing difficulties could lead to anaphylaxis.

Other less severe symptoms of Avo allergy are listed below:

  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Itching
  • Skin rash
  • Gas,
  • Stomach upset
  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhea

To ensure a dog’s safety, owners must introduce avocados gradually and be vigilant for any reactions. Furthermore, avocados should be regarded as occasional treats and not form part of a dog’s overall diet.

Can Dogs Eat Avocados When Sick?

Yes, dogs can eat avocados when they are sick, except if their illness is gastrointestinal. Moderation in avocado treat portions is crucial for sick dogs.

Can An Anemic Dog Eat Avocados?

Yes, anemic dogs can eat avocados. A dog with anemia needs iron, and although avocados are not strong iron carriers, they act as active iron absorbers. That means the high level of vitamin C they contain increases their iron absorption rate.

Can Dogs With Kidney Disease Eat Avocados?

No, dogs with kidney disease cannot eat avocados. Never feed avocados to dogs with kidney disease, gastric reflux, bladder stones, or inflammatory bowel disease. The danger lies in the high potassium content in avocados.

A mineral like potassium is crucial to the health of dogs’ cells, nerves, and muscles, but a high potassium intake is also harmful to canines. Damage to the kidneys caused by chronic kidney disease causes a dog’s kidneys to have trouble removing accumulated potassium. The dog may be at risk of hyperkalemia due to excessive potassium levels in the dog’s body.

Can Dogs Eat Avocados to Help With Diarrhea?

Yes, dogs can eat avocados to help with diarrhea. Although some raw vegetables and fruit could worsen stomach problems, the same is not valid for avocados. Avocados have both soluble and insoluble fiber. The key is moderation in giving a dog avocado treats. Too much insoluble fiber from over-providing dogs with avocado could worsen diarrhea. At the same time, the soluble fiber in avocado treats could produce more formed stool to help the dog with diarrhea. However, too many treats could also cause constipation.

Can a Nursing Dog Eat Avocados?

Yes, a nursing dog can eat avocados. Healthy fat and fiber-rich food like avocados are ideal for including in a nursing dog’s treat routine. As an added benefit to puppies, the avocado fat can also aid in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins by the mother dog.

What Else can Dogs Eat together with Avocados?

Some of the people’s food that is often shared with dogs are listed below:

  • Eggs: Eggs are safe for dogs to enjoy with their avocado treats. A dog will benefit from the nutrition that eggs provide. They are high in vitamins, protein, and fatty acids that help support dogs’ overall health. Dogs should not have eggs as their main meal, but they can have them occasionally as a treat.
  • Carrots: Yes, dogs can eat carrots. Carrots provide a healthy addition to a dog’s avocado treat. They are low in calories but high in fiber and beta-carotene for producing vitamin A. As a bonus, chewing on carrots helps clean and strengthen canine teeth.
  • Milk: Yes, dogs can eat or drink milk. Milk is a safe doggy treat in small quantities. Some dogs are lactose intolerant and others have weight problems. Both conditions require milk treats to be occasional rather than daily.
  • Salad: Yes, dogs can eat salad together with an avocado treat. Lettuce of the iceberg, romaine, and arugula variety contain nothing harmful for dogs. Containing as much as 90 percent water, salad is a healthy, low-calorie snack for dogs. 

What are the Dog Food Recipes Containing Avocados?

  • Biscuits: Healthy homemade avocado doggy biscuits need 1 peeled and pitted avocado, 100g pulverized oats, 2 eggs. Mix and shape the biscuits on a lined baking tray and bake at 360F for about 25 minutes. 
  • Frozen treats: Mix half a cup of chopped avocado flesh with 1 cup of goat’s milk. Pour the mixture into popsicle molds or ice trays and place them in the freezer for dog treats on hot days.
  • Avo and Carrot Ice Cream: Blend equal quantities of mashed ripe avocado, shredded carrots, and plain Greek yogurt. Freeze and serve balls of ice cream as dog treats.
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Sarah Brady

Sarah Brady is an animal lover and the proud dog-mom of a Golden Retriever named Brody and an Italian Greyhound named Jessup. Unfortunately, Jessup developed serious allergies to many different types of dog foods and ingredients when she was just a puppy. Meanwhile, Brody could eat seemingly anything and carry on as healthy as could be. Sarah spent hours of time researching and testing different foods and brands before finding something that worked for little Jessup. She wants Dog Food Care to simplify this experience for future dog-parents who face food allergy or tolerance issues of their own.