Is it dangerous to give avocados or guacamole to my dog?

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Many disagree as to whether or not avocado is a danger to a dog.

Some pet experts and agencies, including the ASPCA, maintain that avocados are dangerous for dogs. Others insist that avocados are safe to be eaten by dogs. Avocado plants grow abundantly in some areas, and dogs have been known to chomp on these plants with no ill effects.

Even some veterinarians think the warnings are overblown. Much of the concern, they say, is more about weight, since the avocado has a high-fat content. It is even used as an ingredient in some commercial pet foods.

According to the ASPCA, the leaves, fruit, seeds and bark of avocados contain Persin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. Birds and rodents, however, seem to have to most toxic reaction to Persin, with fluid accumulations around the heart, problems breathing and eventual fatality.

The ASPCA also addressed the issue of including avocado as an ingredient in pet food with this website statement: “The safety profile of foods and other products formulated with avocado is a difficult question for us to answer definitively, because we do not know specifically how avocados are processed for these foods, what types of avocados are used, or what minimum dose of the toxic principle results in clinical effects. Therefore, we have refrained from making an overall assessment of the safety or toxicity of products that contain avocado.”
There is also the fear that the dog could swallow the golf-ball sized avocado seed and choke.
Most veterinarians recommend that you take the “better be safe than sorry” approach when it comes to feeding pets table scraps and other human food, since many have proven to be toxic to animals. If you have any concerns about fruits, vegetables and other foods that you might consider feeding your pet, be sure to discuss it thoroughly with your veterinarian. The ASPCA also has a complete list of toxic foods.

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