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Bring out the guacamole, but don’t feed it to the dogs. Avocados are a healthy and delicious snack for people. The same is not true for most animals, dogs included, thanks to a toxin called persin.

Avocado Toxicity in Dogs

Avocado is associated with a host of problems in many animals, including cattle, horses, goats, sheep, rodents, birds, and fish. Avocados contain persin, which can cause mastitis, heart failure, and death. Persin is most concentrated in the leaves of the plant, but it is also present in the seeds, stem, and fruit.

Dogs are more resistant than other animals to persin, according to veterinarians, but that does not mean avocados are safe for dogs. All parts of the plant can cause vomiting and diarrhea, and avocados are frequently listed among the top ten people foods that are dangerous for dogs.

What to Do if Your Dog Eats Avocado

Sometimes dogs eat things we don’t want them to. When it comes to avocados, the biggest danger is the pit. Not only are avocado pits full of persin, they are also a choking hazard. If you suspect your dog has swallowed an avocado pit, call your vet immediately.

Accidentally eating a small bit of avocado fruit probably won’t cause your dog any lasting damage. You should still monitor your dog closely if you suspect he has eaten avocado, and it is always better to play it safe and give your vet a call.


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Keeping Dogs Away From Avocados

Prevention is the best way to keep avocados out of your dog’s mouth. Talk to your kids about the dangers of feeding certain people foods like avocados to dogs, and print out this list of fruits and vegetables that dogs can and can’t have to keep everyone in your household up-to-date. Sometimes, however, the danger comes from elsewhere. Guests might try to offer your dog a well-intended bite of guacamole dip and chips while at your house, and some dogs have a way of breaking into the garbage can. Keep a close eye on your dog at parties where avocado is served, and invest in a dog-proof garbage can to keep your dog safe from avocado and other dangerous foods.

Find out what other human foods are safe for dogs and which are potentially harmful.

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