You’re probably already aware of the health benefits of eating avocados. They’re one of the many superfoods on earth that not only provide an excellent source of body-fortifying elements, but they’re yummy too!
But can your dog reap the same rewards?
Avocado can be a relatively controversial food when determining whether or not you should feed it to your pooch. This is mainly due to a toxin called persin, which is found all throughout an avocado plant including on the stem, on the leaves, but mostly in the rind. There’s also trace amounts of persin within the flesh of the avocado as well.
Fortunately, humans are extremely tolerant of this toxin and a properly ripened avocado only contains very small traces of it. Dogs are more susceptible to persin poisoning than humans, but only ever so slightly.
So, does that mean that they’re safe?
Are Avocados Safe for Your Dog?
If prepared properly, there are not too many issues with feeding your dog avocados. Just think of it this way: do you eat the rinds, leaves, or pit of your avocado? No! So, don’t feed it to your dog either.
The ripened flesh of an avocado can actually be very nutritious for your dog. There’s just so much good stuff in them. Avocados are chock full of healthy fats that can help lower your dog’s cholesterol and provide great caloric intake for exercise. Plus, they’re an amazing source of vitamins A, B6, C, and E. These vitamins can help keep your dog’s teeth, hair, and nails in tip-top shape.
Avocados also have other great minerals and compounds your dog needs to stay their best including niacin, folate, potassium, and antioxidants. As a matter of fact, avocado has made its way into commercially developed dog foods in the form of avocado meal. This is dried avocado flesh that has been ground up which contains all of the good stuff with none of the persin.
What Are the Biggest Risks to Feeding my Dog Avocado?
There are some risks that are associated with feeding your dog avocado. However, most of them can be mitigated with just a bit of common sense.
You should only feed your dog avocado if you are comfortable eating it yourself. This means don’t give them any skins, leaves, or unripe flesh. And while you may not purposely feed them these parts, your dog may find them in an unsecured trash can.
The next biggest risk for your dog eating avocados is the pit. The pit can present itself as a really desirable thing to a dog. It’s round and chewable. But it’s also a choking hazard. Be sure to keep your avocado pits securely put away where your dog can’t get to them.
Lastly, your dog may simply be allergic. Just like when trying any new food with your pup, give them only a little bit at a time to ensure allergic reactions don’t occur.
Is Commercial Avocado Dog Food Safe to Eat?
With the ever-growing avocado trends in human food, you can bet that the same as spread to your dog’s food. There are now many manufacturers out there creating and selling commercial avocado dog food. However, these products are made with avocado meal and oil. Neither of these two components contains persin.
And while the dog food isn’t substantially more nutritious than other types, your pup will still get some of the healthy benefits of avocado consumption. However, these can be a bit more expensive than your standard dog food. If you do decide to swap your dog over to an avocado-based dog food, be sure to do so gradually. Start by feeding your dog just a little at a time and watch for allergic reactions.
Are avocados safe for dogs to eat? Yes, but only when the proper precautions are followed. Avocados can make for an exceptionally great vitamin and mineral source. But they can also be relatively dangerous if consumed in high quantities or if large amounts of improper parts of the avocado is consumed.
If you’re looking for your dog to reap the benefits of avocados without any of the fuss, your best bet would be an avocado-based commercial dog food.
Featured Image Credit: Pxhere