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Can Dogs Eat Avocado? Vet-Reviewed Health Concerns

Written by: Grant Piper

Last Updated on May 10, 2024 by Dogster Team

sliced avocado fruit

Can Dogs Eat Avocado? Vet-Reviewed Health Concerns


Dr. Ashley Darby Photo


Dr. Ashley Darby

BVSc (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Avocados are one of the most popular foods in modern America. Avocados have appeared everywhere, from being eaten raw for breakfast to appearing on toast, being added to hamburgers, and continuing to be a feature of guacamole. Many people love a good avocado. But are they safe for dogs?

The answer to those questions is an emphatic no. Avocados are not safe for dogs. Every part of an avocado is potentially dangerous to your dog for different reasons. That means that avocados should never be given to your dog, and you should keep your dog away from any avocados and avocado products in your house.

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Why Dogs Shouldn’t Eat Avocado

Dogs should not eat avocados because they contain persin. Persin, a substance akin to a fatty acid, is an oil-soluble component that manifests as a colorless oil. It permeates avocado skin and flesh. Persin is a fungicidal toxin that is toxic to numerous animals, although dogs appear less sensitive than other animals to the toxic effects of Persin.

Avocados are also incredibly high in fat. A medium-sized avocado can contain 20 to 30 grams of fat. Dogs do not need any additional fat in their diet aside from the fat provided in their regular dog food. High fat foods can cause gastrointestinal upset, and provide excess calories that can lead to weight gain over time. Some dogs may develop pancreatitis after eating foods high in fat; a condition where the pancreas becomes inflamed, leading to pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and sometimes more serious consequences.

For these reasons, dogs should absolutely avoid eating avocado in any form. Some people will claim that dogs can eat small amounts of avocado flesh. While this is technically true, it is ill-advised and still poses risks for your dog, especially small dogs.

Image Credit: Aurea-Santos, Pixabay

The Dangers of Feeding Avocado to Dogs

Avocados pose three separate dangers to dogs. First is persin poisoning. Persin is a toxin that is persistent in avocados. Persin does not affect humans, but it could potentially be harmful to dogs, especially if large amounts are consumed. Persin causes inflammation and hemorrhage in the mammary glands of lactating animals, and death of the heart muscle. Excess fat in a dog’s diet can lead to gastric upset or pancreatitis.

Avocado Dangers

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Heart damage
  • Mammary/ lactation issues
  • Pancreatitis
  • Choking
  • Death
Sick and unhealthy yellow Labrador Retriever dog coughing in the park
Image Credit: Dhanoo Surasarang, Shutterstock

Which Parts of the Avocado Are Most Dangerous?

Avocados have multiple parts. They have an outer layer called the skin, an inner fleshy bit, and a pit at the center. Avocados that are picked fresh from personal or private trees can also have leaves on their stems. Each part of the avocado is potentially dangerous for your dog.


The skin of the avocado is dangerous as it contains persin. If your dog eats any amount of avocado skin. If your dog eats a little skin, they are likely to be fine; however, if large amounts of skin and other parts of the plant are consumed, we recommend calling Animal Poison Control or your veterinarian for advice.

Flesh / Meat

The flesh or meat of the avocado is the tasty innards that most people enjoy eating. This is the least dangerous part of the avocado as it contains the least amount of persin. However, even the flesh of the avocado contains small amounts of this toxin. Dogs can eat a small amount of avocado meat and come away with mild symptoms, but the more avocado they eat, the more likely they are to become sick from the persin within. If your dog eats a small amount of avocado meat, it is not an emergency, but they will likely not feel well afterward.

Even if your dog doesn’t ingest enough persin from the flesh to be harmed, the flesh poses another danger to dogs. The meat of an avocado contains high amounts of natural fat. That is the reason why many people find avocados so tasty. If a dog does not contract persin poisoning from avocado flesh, they could get pancreatitis. Pancreatitis can occur when dogs eat too many fatty or greasy foods, and it is another condition that can potentially be dangerous and lead to lingering health problems.

person holding green and brown sliced fruit
Image Credit: Louis Hansel, Unsplash


The last part of an avocado that is dangerous is the pit. The pit is a severe choking hazard. Avocado pits are extremely hard and very dense. If a dog manages to swallow an avocado pit, it can cause an intestinal blockage, which will develop into a medical emergency. A blockage necessitates surgery to remove the pit from your dog’s digestive tract.

dogster paw dividerWhat Happens If a Dog Eats a Whole Avocado?

If your dog manages to eat an entire avocado, it should be considered an emergency. Not only will your dog be getting toxic persin from the skin and the flesh, but they will also likely have swallowed the pit. All of these things constitute a medical emergency that needs to be treated right away to secure the best prognosis for your pup.

Can Dogs Eat Guacamole?

No. Dogs cannot eat guacamole. Not only is guacamole made primarily from crushed avocados, but it also often contains garlic, onion, and potentially other toxic ingredients. You should keep all guacamole away from your dog whenever possible.

Image Credit: Tessa Rampersad, Unsplash

Tips for Keeping Avocados Away from Your Dog

An avocado tree in the garden is a big risk as it is a source of large amounts of plant parts containing persin, and dropped fruits. Your dog might find it tempting to snack on avocado that falls off the tree, or may chew and ingest the plant parts. We recommend removing any avocado trees or making sure your dog does not have any access to it, including the dropped leaves and fruit.

If you have avocado in the house, keep it out of your dog’s reach. Be sure to prepare the avocado and eat it completely separate from your dog. Dispose of the rest in a lidded garbage can. You should also take the avocado pit and skin to the outdoor trash if your dog ever breaks into the kitchen garbage. Ensure that you do not drop any pieces that your dog can get to.

Educate your friends and family about the dangers of avocados. Many people don’t realize that avocados are not good for dogs. If you are having people over for a get together or are letting someone else watch your dog, be sure to let them know to be careful with any avocado dishes, like guacamole, around the dog (or put your dog up if avocado is going to be present).

dogster paw dividerConclusion

Avocados are not good for dogs, and they provide nothing of benefit. They are mildly toxic, fatty, and pose a choking hazard. Dogs can get persin poisoning from avocados, they can get pancreatitis, and they can choke on the pit. That means that dogs should be kept away from avocados at all times for maximum safety. You can still enjoy an avocado at home. Just be sure to be extremely careful when you are preparing and eating your tasty snack.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: Gil Ndjouwou, Unsplash

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