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Avocados are one of the trendiest health foods on the market. They’re touted as a nutritious and delicious snack for humans, but what about for our four-legged friends? Can dogs eat avocado? The answer is no. Avocados contain persin, a fungicidal toxin, which can cause serious health problems — even death — in many animals. According to veterinarians, dogs are more resistant to persin than other animals, but that doesn’t mean avocados are safe for your pup to consume.

Exactly what amount of persin is lethal isn’t known, but in large amounts, it can cause vomiting and diarrhea, myocardial damage, and its high fat content can lead to pancreatitis.

Persin is present in the avocado fruit, pits, leaves, and the actual plant, so all of these parts are potentially poisonous to your dog. Another big concern is the stone at the center of the fruit, which may cause choking.

Keeping Dogs Away From Avocados

If you frequently bring avocados into your home, make sure the members of your household are educated about the dangers of feeding them and other human foods to your pets. You may even want to print out a list of fruits and vegetables dogs can and can’t have to keep on your fridge. If your pup tends to get into things, like the trash, invest in a dog-proof garbage can, so that he can’t rummage around when you aren’t looking.

Here at the AKC, we field many queries from anxious dog owners about what is and isn’t safe for their canine companions to eat. Questions range from the obvious (“Can dogs eat steak bones?”) to the trendy (“Can dogs eat quinoa?”) Check out more “Can dogs eat…” articles on AKC.org to see what other foods, such as cherries, grapes, and onions, could be harmful to your dog.

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