Most People Question If Avocados Are Bad For Dogs. Here’s The Answer
You may or may not have heard that avocados¹ are harmful to dogs because this myth is common in some parts of Canada and the US, it originated from a study back in 1994 from South Africa which discussed putative avocado toxicity in 2 dogs, so if your dog ate avocado slices, don’t fret.
Before you even start believing in this myth. You need to know that putative means assumed or thought to be. Therefore, the study wasn’t really sure about the matter. Moreover, the two dogs that eat avocado were hungry to the point that they ate not only the avocado pulp but also stems, tree barks and the leaf.
After the two dogs’ cause of death was analyzed, it was discovered that they died from the toxicity of avocado leaves, yes, they do contain a chemical that is toxic to humans and animals. This instance was similar to another where 15 goats died of eating avocado leaves. Nonetheless, the fruit’s pulp is edible and poses no harm to humans.
The substance that causes avocado to be toxic is known as persin². It is mainly found on the leaves, pit, skin and small amounts are located in the pulp. This need not worry you because persin in low volumes is capable of killing cancer cells.
But, Are Avocados Safe For Dogs or Should This Fruit Be Avoided?
Being a matter of concern, two researchers took the liberty of studying if avocados are really toxic to dogs in 2012. The study was done to a group of Beagles for half a year where they were fed extracts of avocado leaves, skins, flesh, and pits. This research determined that avocado extracts are safe for dogs.
You can therefore conveniently feed your dog avocado fruits but not the stem, pits or leaves as these contain higher amounts of persin.
Use common sense when giving fruits to your dog
Let’s set aside the research when you buy an avocado, do you eat the pit and the skin? Probably not. Doing the same for your dog will ensure that he/she doesn’t come into contact with high amounts of persin while enjoying this natural treat.
It’s important to note that dogs that are very sensitive might experience an upset stomach, diarrhea or vomiting if they eat avocado. Also, any dog on a low-fat diet or suffering from pancreatitis should avoid avocados and mango. Remember to check with a veterinarian care professional anytime your dog shows abnormal symptoms.
As false as this myth, there are some organizations that do a terrible job of spreading it. These include the likes of ASPCA and AKC which misguides the public that avocados are toxic and this can prevent most pet parents from feeding their dog’s healthy foods.
Dogs are our best friends, and, they too need to live a healthy life which entails being fed the proper diet.
If you ever asked can dogs eat avocado, know that some vets do discourage pet owners from feeding their dogs food with high fat. They claim that it can lead to pancreatitis. But this is partly true because only cooked fats do lead to pancreatitis. As much as you should listen to your veterinary doctor, always take the time to do research and even get a second opinion when it’s an important matter.
Avocados are high in raw fat which is ideal for your dog’s health. Moreover, they entail lipase which is an enzyme responsible for breaking down fat. Thus, avocados qualify as a fruit that can be in your dog’s diet but always in moderation. Also, make sure to keep the pit and the skin away from your dog.
Is Avocado Good For Dogs?
Above, we had already discussed how avocados contain high fats. They also contain essential minerals and vitamins such as vitamin K, A, D, and E. But, because avocados have high fats, this doesn’t mean that it will make your dog obese.
Foods rich in carbs are the ones responsible for making human beings and animals fat. Did you know that avocados help lower LDL cholesterol? This is because of its capability to decrease triglyceride levels.
Additional Advantages of Feeding Your Dog Avocados:
- They contain oleic acid which not only has anti-cancer properties but is great for heart health and minimizes symptoms of inflammation.
- Compared to other oils, avocado oil is more stable at high temperatures. It is thus ideal for helping prepare healthy meals for your dog.
- Avocados benefit gut health thanks to the presence of gut bacteria in them.
- If you are watching your dog’s calorie intake, then avocados are the perfect meal. This is because avocado contains a few more calories than a tablespoon of coconut oil.
- They also have a higher level of potassium than other fruits such as bananas. An avocado has 485 mg of potassium whereas a banana has 385 mg.
If the myth of dangerous avocados has prevented you from feeding yourself and your canine friend this nutritious fruit, then you need not fear anymore. As you can see above, avocados have a lot of health benefits and are safe for consumption. Moreover, they are quite delicious.