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Dogs and Avocados

Updated on May 6, 2013

Avocado is on the list of people foods that must not be given to dogs. Dog owners are warned to steer the pet away from avocado fruits and trees because of their known toxic effects. But are avocados really that dangerous to dogs? Why do other dog owners swear to the healthful benefits these green pear shaped fruits give to the dog?

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Avocado Facts

Avocado is also known as alligator pear presumably because of its pear shape and green leather-like skin that is somewhat similar to the skin of a ‘gator. This cholesterol and sodium-free fruit was once considered as a luxury fruit and only reserved for the royalty. These days, avocado is a well loved fruit that is often seen in people’s dining tables.

ASPCA and APCC warning

Avocado poisoning has been an ongoing controversy among pet owners. Avocado is listed by ASPCA and APCC as one of the people foods that must not be given to dog. This fruit has a lot of healthful benefits for humans but it is believed to be poisonous to dogs. Although some dog owners have refuted the toxicity of this fruit, there are also documented and confirmed cases of avocado poisoning in dogs. Do avocados poison dogs or do these fruits promote the health of our four legged furry friends?

Dangers of Avocados to dogs

Different varieties of avocadoes have different levels of toxicity but the Guatemalan variety is said to have the most toxic effects on dogs. It was reported that this fruit has caused life threatening allergic reactions in dogs. The avocado fruit, the leaves, the bark and the seed contains a fungicidal toxic substance known as Persin. This substance that was found to be toxic to fungi and silkworm causes fluid to build up in the dog’s throat, chest area and abdomen. This condition would lead to heart muscle failure. Dogs have the habit of gulping food. Avocado seed that was swallowed by the dog can create a blockage in the throat or in the gastrointestinal tract. Avocados contain high levels of fat and regular ingestion can result to obesity and in dogs, obesity gives rise to various health concerns.

Avocado in the dog’s diet

Dogs are voracious eaters but fruits are not really favorite foods of these animals. However, avocados are generally loved by dogs. In homes with avocado trees in the yard, dogs would be seen waiting for the ripe fruits to fall. Avocado is a rich source of vitamins and minerals. Half a fruit given to the dog everyday will provide the dog’s daily niacin, potassium and magnesium needs. Avocados are high in vitamins B, E and K. This pear shaped fruit increase palatability to the dog’s dry kibble. Avocados provide the essential nutrients that promote the dog’s skin tone and enhance the appearance of the coat.

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