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Are Avocados Safe for Dogs?safe for most dogs in moderation.
Why? Avocados often make the list of foods that are bad for dogs, which is kind of confusing since some dog food brands actually promote that they are made from avocados, claiming it helps with fur and skin problems.
The concern is that avocados contain a unique fatty acid called persin, a type of fungicidal toxin. Persin is typically harmless in humans, and in fact, several medical studies have found that persin can even help kill breast cancer cells.
However, the Pet Poison Helpline warns that persin can be “mildly toxic” to dogs and cats, and deadly with certain types of animals, such as birds and large animals like horses, cows, goats, and sheep.
Small amounts of persin rarely cause problems in dogs. Dog foods that include avocados use avocado meal – made from the green fruit between the skin and the pit – as well as avocado oil. Both avocado meal and oil only contain low amounts of persin and are generally considered safe for dogs.
In most cases, a little bit of avocado fruit is ok for your dog, although it could lead to a tummy ache, diarrhea, or vomiting. The seeds are often the bigger danger, as they can cause your dog to choke or obstruct its digestive system. Finally, dog breeds that are prone to pancreatitis should probably avoid avocados due to their high fat content.
While the fruit, skin, and leaves of an avocado all contain persin, the highest concentration is in the leaves. Dogs should never eat avocados off the ground that have fallen from an avocado tree, and you should never give a dog a whole avocado. Also, Guatemalan avocados, which are sometimes found in stores, seem to be the most problematic variety with the highest toxicity levels.