Can My Dog Have Avocado?

A common question for pet owners is “Can my Dog Have Avocado?” The short answer is that the avocado should be avoided although small amounts of avocado flesh are probably ok.

If your dog ingests a bit of avocado he/she will probably be ok as the persin isn’t super concentrated in the flesh.  It might not hurt to call your vet and keep on eye on your dog for poisoning symptoms if you think they ate more than a few tablespoons.

Avocados Can Be Toxic To Pets – Maybe

According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, feeding avocados to your pets or any other animal should be avoided. Animals such as cattle, horses, goats, rabbits, birds, dogs, cats, and even fish can be severely harmed or even killed if they consume the leaves, bark or fruit of the avocado tree.

Ingestion of fruit, leaves, stems, and seeds of avocado has been associated with toxicosis in animals; leaves are the most toxic part. The Guatemalan varieties of avocado have been most commonly associated with toxicosis.

Persin (the dangerous stuff) is only found in dangerous quantities in  the leaves, skin and pit of the avocado. If you really think your dog needs avocado, peel the skin throw out the pit and carve the darkish green parts where the pit was. Many online say they have fed rats, dogs, cats, bunnies and mice avocado without any problems. Many educated vets say the biggest problem with the avocado is a choking hazard.

Avocados Toxicity Differs between Type Of Avocado

Levels of toxicity vary between the two types of avocados (Mexican and Guatemalan) that grow in California.  Toxicity also tends to vary depending upon the time of year though this and various other factors relating to toxicity are not easily understood by experts.  Periodically, cases of avocado poisoning are seen in animals living in Los Angeles County or other parts of the world where avocados can be grown. If you live around an avocado orchard it might be worthwhile to invest in a dog fence.

Can My Dog Have AvocadoCan My Dog Have Avocado (persin)?

Avocados contain a toxic fatty acid derivative known as persin and many animal organizations recommend total avoidance of all parts of the plant. The symptoms include gastrointestinal irritation, vomiting, diarrhea, respiratory distress, congestion, fluid accumulation around the tissues of the heart and even death. Cattle, goats, horses, mice, rabbits, guinea pigs, rats, sheep, budgerigars, canaries, cockatiels, ostriches, chickens, turkeys, and fish are susceptible. Caged birds appear more sensitive to the effects of avocado, while chickens and turkeys appear more resistant.  Additionalyy, dried avocado seed can kill mice.

The primary negative effects in humans seem to be limited to those individuals who have an actual allergy to avocados themselves.