can dogs eat avocado

So, you’re preparing yourself a healthy meal for breakfast. 

One second later

Your dog bolted right in front of you with those puppy eyes lightening at the sight of your avocado slices on the counter.

Being the affectionate fur parent you are, you’re thinking of giving them just a teeny bite.

But wait, can dogs eat avocado?

The Truth: You’ll see yes or no answers everywhere. 

And according to Dr. Sharon M. Gwaltney-Brant  of the University of Illinois:

dogs seem relatively resistant [to avocado toxicity] compared with other species.

But before you give that avocado slice to your pup, let’s tweak the question a little bit:

Should dogs eat avocado?

If so, how much is too much?

We know there are plenty of things to take note of. Fortunately, this blog will simplify it for you.

So, read on to learn more about the following topics:

  • Can I Feed Guacamole to My Dog?
  • When Can Dogs Have Avocado Oil?
  • 13 Surprising Benefits of Dogs Eating Avocados
  • 8 Potential Risks of Avocados in Your Dog’s Health
  • And so much more!

can dogs have avocado

Are Avocados Safe for Dogs?

Avocados are safe for dogs, especially when given in small amounts.

This fruit contains vitamins and antioxidants that can help boost your dog’s immune system and optimal health.

However, too much ingestion of avocados in dogs can lead to poisoning due to the toxin called persin.

Avoid feeding your dogs other parts of the avocado other than the flesh.

Can Dogs Eat Avocado: 13 Shocking Benefits

Note: All nutrient profile measurements (per 100g serving) are taken from the FoodData Central of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Still, we encourage you to always seek your vet for a proper diet and health assessment of your dogs.

1. Supports Your Dog’s Eyesight and Immunity

Containing at least 146 IU of vitamin A, dogs eating avocados can enjoy the following benefits:

  • Bone growth
  • Reproduction
  • Cell and immune function

According to a study, vitamin A supplements boost puppy growth from weaning until 1 year of age.

Another vital component found in avocados is the lutein and zeaxanthin or the pigments that help your pup’s eyes healthy.

That being said, 271 µg of these eye-friendly antioxidants give your Fidos the following health benefits:

  • Prevents eye strain
  • Eye damage prevention
  • Boosts vision and response
  • Oxidative stress (imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants) prevention

Fact: Dogs also suffer from retinal loss and damage, especially seniors.

But, a study confirms that eye supplements (i.e. antioxidants) help improve canine eye functions.

2. Improves Brain Functions

Avocados contain 0.257 mg of vitamin B6 that’s responsible for the central nervous system functions in canines.

How does vitamin B6 help improve my dog’s brain functions?

Well, your dog’s ability to respond in its environment is due to the neurotransmitters or the chemical messengers in the body.

And while this contributes to your pup’s alertness, vitamin B6 also harmonizes dopamine and serotonin, or the feel-good brain chemicals.

Thus, improving your Fido’s mood.

Other benefits of vitamin B6 in dogs include the following:

  • Gene activation
  • Glucose generation
  • Hormone regulation
  • Red blood cell production
  • Protein, fat, and carbohydrate metabolism

Meanwhile, vitamin B6 deficiency in dogs causes irritability and depression, too.

3. Avocados Contain Vitamin C

Vitamin C is seen as a promising treatment—with low side effects—in critically ill dogs and cats.

And in a 100-gram serving of avocado, your furry buddies can get 10 mg of vitamin C that helps in the following areas:

  • Immune regulation
  • Oxidative stress prevention
  • Tissue growth and maintenance

Trivia: Dogs and cats already synthesize vitamin C in their liver, which then is distributed in the body’s tissues.

But, animals need supplemental doses of vitamin C during heat stress or when they have illnesses.

4. Helps Improve Heart Health

Another amazing scientific discovery in reducing the worsening of heart diseases in dogs is credited to omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants like magnesium.

Magnesium plays a vital role in energy production in cells, especially in the mitochondria.

To simplify, mitochondria help turn the food your pups eat into energy.

And yes, they’re vital for your dog’s survival—they help decide which cells are dead and should be destroyed.

Containing at least 29 mg of magnesium, avocados are known to have the following benefits for canine health:

  • Cell responses
  • Normal heart rhythm
  • Metabolic processes
  • Muscle contraction and relaxation
  • Bone mineralization (conversion of organic matter to mineral nutrients)

5. Promotes Good Gut Health

Thanks to its 6.7 g of dietary fiber content, avocados help maintain your dog’s gut environment.

Although in minimal amounts, the dietary fiber in avocados can help supplement your dog’s diet.

Note: Not all fibers are created equal, though.

To start, there are 2 types of dietary fiber that your dog needs, namely:


Also known as digestible, this fiber is broken down into molecules upon digestion, which the gut bacteria process into nutrients for your dog’s body to absorb.


Commonly known as indigestible, this fiber cannot be digested and is left intact as it moves with food through your dog’s gut. 

Insoluble fiber helps your dog’s gut healthy by reducing inflammation and cleaning the mucous membranes.

How much fiber should my dog have?

In dry dog foods, crude fiber (mostly insoluble) content ranges between 2-4%.

But you can also follow the 10% rule for fiber-rich supplemental foods for your dogs, such as:

  • Apple
  • Pumpkin
  • Beet pulp
  • Brown rice
  • Green beans
  • Sweet potato 
  • Flaxseed meal

You can give small slices of fruits and vegetables to your pups as occasional treats, too.

6. Improves Skin and Coat Condition

Yup, the best pup skin care is through a holistic approach — or what your dogs eat.

What makes your dog’s coat healthy and glossy?

Well, thanks to PUFAs or polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Containing 1.82 g of PUFAs, avocados can make your Fido’s skin and coat healthy, according to a study:

Significant improvements were found in hair coat glossiness and softness in all dogs fed the higher fat diets in relation to the acclimation diet.

It’s good to know there are natural canine hair treatments available at home, isn’t it?

7. Avocados Are Cholesterol-Free

Trivia: Cholesterol helps build healthy cells in your dogs.

And too much is not a good thing, either.

Fortunately, avocados contain zero cholesterol.

But what happens when my dog consumes too much cholesterol?

Truth be told, the main causes of obesity in dogs aren’t attributed to cholesterol alone.

Fat — triglycerides and cholesterol — can be found in your dog’s blood, and levels rise after every meal.

Typically, the fat levels in your Fidos go back to normal within 3-10 hours. 

But for dogs with hyperlipidemia, the fat level remains high for more than 12 hours.

What is hyperlipidemia?

Simply referred to as high cholesterol in dogs, this condition can lead to canine heart diseases and reduces their lifespan by — more or less — 2 years.

Common causes of high cholesterol in dogs include the following:

If you think your dog has high cholesterol, the following symptoms may show:

To help prevent high cholesterol in your furry buddies, consider a low-fat, high-fiber diet

8. Supports Bone Health

Containing 21 µg of vitamin K, avocados can help support your dog’s bone health, even in small doses.

Vitamin K is known for its positive effect on bone health in animals, including the following:

  • Helps bone structure
  • Prevents skeletal diseases
  • Improves bone-cell formation
  • Enhances bone serum levels
  • Prevents loss of bone mass density

9. Helps Treat Skin Diseases

With 2.07 mg of vitamin E, dogs eating avocados can have a dose of the skin-friendly nutrient that can reduce the following skin conditions:

  • Irritation
  • Redness
  • Inflammation

Backed by a scientific investigation, experts say that:

increasing amounts of vitamin E in foods for dogs and cats increases serum and cutaneous concentrations of [their skin] vitamin E [levels].

Dogs with low vitamin E levels are prone to skin diseases, such as eczema.

10. Plays a Vital Role in Canine Health

Dogs eating avocado can benefit from its thiamine properties—0.067 mg, to be exact.

Thiamine, by the way, is a vitamin B1 that can be found mainly in foods—plants, fruits, meat, fish, and grains.

This essential nutrient is a must-have in your dog’s diet for optimal health, especially in the following aspects:

  • Growth
  • Cell functions
  • Healthy weight
  • Carbohydrate metabolism
  • Nervous system functions

11. Avocados Contain Iron, Too

Yup, the vital nutrient is present in avocados at 0.55 mg per 100-g serving.

How vital is iron in my dog’s health?

The most important function [of iron] is oxygen transport in hemoglobin.

According to a study conducted by Dinaz Z. Naigamwalla, et al., iron deficiency in dogs is commonly caused by severe blood loss and decreasing iron reserves in the body.

These are the results of a lack of iron in canine diets. 

Meanwhile, the dietary iron requirement for adult dogs is around 80mg/kg. 

And for puppies and nursing animals, a higher concentration of iron is needed for their rapid growth since canine milk contains low iron.

Besides iron supplements, you can find this nutrient in meat products, fruits, and vegetables.

12. Boosts Canine Reproductive Health

Besides tissue functions, avocados are found to be beneficial to the reproductive health of your dogs.

That’s because avocados contain the following trace minerals:

  • 0.64 mg of zinc
  • 0.19 mg of copper
  • 0.142 mg of manganese

A study supports that chelated (chemically combined with amino acids) zinc, copper, and manganese leads to higher litter production and survival in pregnant dogs.

These minerals help in the early formation and life of the embryo resulting in fewer deaths.

13. Helps Reduce the Risk of Cancer

Containing 81 µg of folate, dogs eating avocados can have a low risk of developing cancer.

Not just that, folate (folic acid) also is found to reduce the occurrence of palate and lip cleft in Pugs and Chihuahua puppies.

are avocados safe for dogs

Can Dogs Eat Avocado: 8 Life-Threatening Risks

1. Contains a Toxic Substance

Persin is the toxin that’s present in avocados.

While only minimal and harmless traces can be found in avocado flesh, be sure to keep all other parts of the fruit away from your dog.

That’s because higher concentrations of persin are present in avocado leaves, pit, skin, and stem.

When ingested, your dogs can experience the following symptoms:

Unfortunately, the lethal dose of toxicity in dogs is still unknown.

It’s best to take your pup immediately to your vet when you see poisoning symptoms after eating an avocado.

Warning: Unripe avocados contain the most toxin.

So, be extra careful when buying your avocados all the time.

2. Can Cause Heart Attack

In addition to the previous item, persin poisoning in dogs can also cause damage to the muscular tissues of the heart.

Although a rare occurrence in dogs, avocado poisoning-related heart attack symptoms include the following:

  • Fever
  • Panting
  • Seizure
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Immobility
  • Sudden death
  • Increased heart rate

A lot of heart attack cases in dogs happen at home.

As a first aid treatment, you can perform CPR on your Fido to help them regain consciousness or a normal heartbeat.

Depending on the situation, a trip to the vet is the best aftercare you can give.

3. Can Lead to Weight Gain

Avocados—being calorie-dense—can lead to weight gain in your dogs, especially when consumed in large amounts.

According to USDA, carbohydrates and protein contain 4 calories/gram, while fat has 9 calories/gram.

And in the same reference, avocados contain the following nutrient profile:

  • 14.7 g of fat
  • 2 g of protein
  • 8.53 g of carbohydrates

Although minimal in dosage, it’s still best to feed avocados in small, bite-sized portions to your Fidos.

And most importantly, stick to your pup’s diet unless a change is advised by your vet.

4. Triggers Fluid Buildup in the Lungs and Chest

According to statistics, dogs and cats are prone to poisoning in 95-98% of all reported animal cases.

Exposures occur more commonly in the summer and in December that is associated with the holiday season.

With the majority of poisonings classified as accidental and occurring at home, this is a wake-up call for pet owners.

Unfortunately, poisoning can come from human foods that aren’t safe for dogs.

Especially when consumed in large portions, avocados can trigger a fluid buildup in your dog’s lungs and chest.

This condition can lead to breathing difficulty and death due to lack of oxygen.

Fluid buildup can also take place in the following body parts:

  • Heart
  • Pancreas
  • Abdomen

5. Can Cause Inflammation in the Pancreas

The high-fat content in avocados contributes to pancreatitis in dogs.

Pancreatitis is an inflammatory condition common in dogs and cats.

Other causes of this disease include the following:

  • Genetics
  • High-fat diet
  • Medications
  • Post-surgery effects

In severe cases, here are common symptoms to look out for:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Weakness
  • Dehydration
  • Eating disorder
  • Abdominal pain

Treating pancreatitis in dogs needs supportive and symptomatic care with fluid therapy.

6. Contains Harmful Chemicals and Pesticides

Avocados are one of the cleanest and safest products in the US, according to EWG.

But the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety of South Korea begs to disagree.

In an article published in The Korea Herald, avocados shipped from Colombia were found to have “more than 200 times the amount of pesticides” than the standard.

The food agency found “2.03 milligrams per kilogram of thiabendazole” in avocados — way higher than the standard “0.01 milligram per kilogram” set.

Thiabendazole is a pesticide and fungicide that prevents fruits and vegetables from molding, rots, and stains.

And if consumed in excess, this chemical is a major health hazard to humans and animals.

7. Can Trigger Allergic Reactions in Your Dogs

While avocados can be safe for consumption, some dogs are built differently than others.

Some pups may have allergic reactions to certain foods like avocados.

And when this happens, you’ll notice the following symptoms in your pooch:

  • Itching
  • Drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Red swelling in the skin
  • Swollen face or muzzle

8.  Potential Choking Hazard

Avocados have large seeds, which can cause blockage in your dogs upon eating.

It can also be difficult for your pup to digest due to its fibrous texture—leading to gastric problems.

can dogs have avocado oil

Can Dogs Eat Avocado: Quick Facts

Got more questions in mind? Here are some quick facts about avocados in your dog’s health.

How much avocado is good for dogs? 

Dogs should eat avocados in minimal portions and as occasional treats only.

If consumed in large amounts, your dogs can suffer from indigestion and severe health conditions due to its toxin called persin.

Can dogs have avocado oil?

Dogs can have avocado oil. It contains healthy fats that help control blood sugar levels.

However, too much of this healthy fat can also lead to weight gain in your dogs. So, be sure to feed avocados to your dogs occasionally. 

Can dogs eat guacamole?

Dogs cannot eat guacamole due to its high avocado content and other seasonings that are not suitable for their diet.

Plus, guacamole contains garlic, onions, and salt that can harm your dogs when ingested in high portions.

Can dogs eat avocado pits?

Dogs cannot eat avocado pits because of their high levels of toxicity.

Once ingested, your dogs can suffer gut issues, such as indigestion and diarrhea.

In severe cases, avocado poisoning can lead to respiratory and heart problems. Sometimes, death.

Can dogs eat avocado leaves?

Dogs cannot eat avocado leaves due to their high concentration of the toxin called persin.

If ingested, your dog can suffer from a potential choking hazard because of the leaf’s fibrous texture.

Not just that, but your dogs can also experience symptoms of poisoning, such as vomiting and diarrhea.

Can dogs eat avocado seeds?

Dogs cannot eat avocado seeds due to their high levels of toxic component, persin.

Apart from its toxicity, dogs eating avocado seeds can be a potential choking hazard, too.

When feeding your dogs avocados, make sure to get rid of the seeds.

Can dogs eat avocado peel?

Dogs cannot eat avocado peel because its toxic properties can harm your pup.

Not only are avocado peels dangerous, but your dogs will have difficulty digesting it.

This often leads to diarrhea and bloat, which can lead to gut problems if left untreated.

Can dogs eat avocado stem?

Dogs cannot eat avocado stems due to traces of the persin substance that are harmful to animals.

When ingested in high amounts, the effects of poisoning can be lethal such as heart and lung problems.

In severe cases, leading to death. 

can dogs eat guacamole

Can Dogs Eat Avocado: Before You Go…

Whether avocado is good for dogs or not, the big decision lies in you as a pet owner.

While we’ve discussed the many surprising benefits of avocados in your dogs, it’s still strictly advised to feed your pups in small portions.

And most especially, not daily.

As the general rule of thumb, a canine diet should contain at least 75% protein, 10% complex carbohydrates, and 15% vegetables and fruits.

It’s also vital to remember that some fruits, like avocados, aren’t tummy-friendly when consumed regularly.

When in doubt, it’s always the best idea to seek your vet for professional advice.


Compassion for pets is fuel to Lenin's lifelong mission. As a fur mom to a Havanese dog and 6 stray cats, Lenin sees the joy in rescuing and giving pets a chance at a forever home. Even in her career as a freelancer, Lenin focused on writing everything about pets — from breed profiles to nutrition down to some of their interesting facts.