By Jon Zeller | January 19, 2022

Can dogs eat avocados? Yes, but…

While it’s okay if your dog eats a small amount of avocado flesh, it’s probably best to make this popular fruit a rare treat—or simply avoid it entirely.

Avocados do have potential health benefits, for people and dogs. Avocado contains nutrients that can help your pal maintain healthy joints and skin and a shiny coat. Like olives, avocados contain oleic acid—a monounsaturated fatty acid that supports heart and brain health. and the fruit contains plenty of Vitamins C and E, folate, and fiber.

But dogs should only eat an avocado’s flesh; the pit and the skin are big no-nos. Avocados contain a toxin called persin—and most of it is in the fruit’s leaves, skin, and pit. Never let your dog eat those parts, which could also present a choking hazard or cause an intestinal blockage. 

Where the toxins are…

If you’re feeding avocado flesh, do so in small amounts, as avocados can cause GI upset in dogs who eat too much. Because the fruit is calorie-dense, you should probably opt for lighter options for treats and meal toppers to prevent weight gain.

And even if you are giving your dog a small amount of avocado flesh, never do so as part of guacamole or other avocado-based foods that have additional ingredients. A lot of those extras—like onion—are bad for dogs.

So, while avocado is sort of a nutritional powerhouse, feeding your dog any at all may be more trouble and risk than it’s worth. Keep it to an occasional, closely supervised treat, or skip it.