Can My Puppy Eat Avocado?

Many pet parents like to give their puppy “human” food that isn’t normally on their doggy diet. Why? Because we’re humans, and we figure that, if we like something, our pupper is bound to like it.

I thought about this in the grocery store the other day while shopping for vegetables. One of my favorites was there, avocado, and it reminded me of a question I’ve heard frequently over the last few years, can my puppy eat avocado?

The answer is that, yes, puppies can eat avocado in small amounts. Only the fleshy, fruit portion of the avocado can be eaten, never the pit, leaves, rind, or stem. (Not that they would even try to eat those, but just saying.)

However, I must point out that avocado is frequently listed as a food that’s toxic for dogs and puppies. That’s because avocados contain a fungicidal toxin called persin, which can cause serious health problems and, in some cases, death if eaten in large amounts.

However, from my research, the danger is minimal and, frankly, overblown. Persin is concentrated mostly in the pit, peels, and leaves of the avocado, parts humans don’t eat and don’t give their puppy.

You don’t want to feed your puppy a ton of avocado, though, because it’s high in fat.  However, avocado is also high in anti-inflammatories, vitamins, and minerals, all healthy for your puppy. Indeed, several puppy and dog food brands on the market use avocado meal as an ingredient.

Now that you know that your puppy can eat avocado, you probably have other questions about this amazingly nutritious fruit. (Yep, avocados are a fruit.) For example, how much avocado can your puppy eat, and are avocados poisonous for dogs?

For the answer to those questions on a few more, please keep reading. I have them for you below, essential information that will make you a better pet parent. 

How Much Avocado Can a Puppy Eat?

If you’ve seen a few of my other blogs, you may have read about the 90/10 rule. The 90/10 rule states that, when feeding your puppy, 90% of the food you give them should be their regular, daily kibble, and the other 10% should be snacks and treats.

That rule should be used for avocado, also. For the average-sized puppy,  that would mean no more than one or two bite-sized chunks of avocado per day (if even that much). 

While some people will remind you that avocado contains persin, a toxin,  I would say that the biggest risk of avocado flesh is that it contains a lot of fat. For that reason, giving your puppy only a small amount of avocado two or three times a week is best.

What are the Health Benefits of Avocado for Dogs and Puppies?

Avocado provides several excellent health benefits for your puppy or adult dog. For example, they’re extremely high in vitamins, including A, C, E, and the B complex vitamins. Also, avocado has a lot of magnesium and potassium, which are excellent for your puppy’s muscles, bones, and heart.

Avocado has fat (and fatty acids), but it’s good fat which is excellent for your pup’s health as it’s anti-inflammatory. Avocado also contains beta-carotene, lutein, folate, and many other nutrients.

Avocado, as I mentioned, has B vitamins, including vitamin B3, which is also known as niacin. Niacin helps your puppy’s metabolism, supports their brain function, and helps repair their DNA.

How Much Avocado is Lethal for a Dog?

If you’re worried that your puppy or dog might eat enough avocado to die, don’t be. Your pooch would have to eat so much avocado that there’s no way they would even be able to fit it all in their stomach.

Remember, the toxin in avocados, persin, is concentrated in an avocado’s stem, leaves, pit, and peel. Not only would your puppy have to eat a lot of those parts, but the chance that they would even try is also practically zero.

The biggest problem with avocados is the high amount of fat they contain. If you’re worried about avocados hurting your puppy or dog, it’s best to feed them a very small amount and only once in a while. 

For example, if you feed your puppy an entire avocado every day, there is a chance they could get pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas. 

In reality, the biggest risk to your puppy or dog from avocado is the pit, not because it’s toxic but because it can cause a choking hazard. 

Again, however, your dog would have to eat a huge amount of avocado, plus the leaves, pit, peel, and stem, to even have a tiny risk of dying. 

Can Dogs have Avocado Oil?

Veterinarians will tell you that it’s not a great idea to give your dog or puppy any kind of oil. That being said, avocado oil contains zero persin, the toxin that everybody worries about. 

In other words, if your puppy were to eat some avocado oil accidentally, there’s practically no chance that it would harm them. 

What Should I do if my Dog Eats Avocado?

If your puppy were to eat an entire avocado, the best thing to do is simply watch and make sure that they don’t have any reactions. The likelihood of them having a toxic reaction is low, to be sure, but keeping an eye on them would be a good idea even still.

I would be more concerned about your dog or puppy eating guacamole. The reason is that guacamole typically contains ingredients like onions and garlic, which are a lot more toxic than persin. 

If they do eat a large amount of guacamole, it might be wise to take your puppy or dog to the vet for observation. You could also observe them at home and, if you see that they’re reacting, take them to the vet at that point.

What About Dog Foods that Contain Avocado?

There are quite a few dog food brands that use avocado in their food, but it’s avocado meal, which, like avocado oil, has zero persin. If your puppy or dog has been eating store-bought dog food containing avocado meal without any problems, you don’t need to stop feeding it to them.

In Closing

In the opinion of many veterinarians and dog experts, yes, your puppy can eat avocado, but only in small amounts. You’ll want to give avocados to them in moderation, following the 90/10 rule, and also make sure to keep whole avocados out of their reach because the pit is a choking risk. 

If your puppy likes avocado, giving them one or two small pieces once in a while is not a problem. As we’ve seen, Avocado has quite a few nutrients and vitamins that will help your puppy stay healthy.

The real risk from avocado is that it contains so much fat and, if given to them in abundance, could cause pancreatitis. Frankly, however, your puppy or dog would have to eat a huge number of avocados for this to happen. 

Also, your puppy could choke on an avocado pit if they were able to sneak an avocado behind your back. For that reason, keeping avocados far out of their reach is a good idea.

I hope you enjoyed today’s article and that it set your fears aside about feeding your puppy avocado. Please see my other blogs if you have more questions or would like to learn more about being a puppy parent.  They’re filled with real-world, up-to-date advice to help you raise your precocious puppy into a healthy, well-adjusted, and happy adult dog.