Last week a friend posted this clip on his FB page: In this episode of California’s Gold, avocado farmers in Fallbrook, CA are showing Huell Howser (love him!) their funny dog who loves eating the rich, fatty, delicious fallen green fruit. They explain that this dog, as well as all their dogs, love eating avocados. I was a little horrified when I saw this because I have always heard that avocados should not be fed to dogs, that they are toxic for pooches (as well as cats, birds, and horses). But these farmers, along with some other dog owners, contend that avocados are healthy treats for dogs, and point to their shiny, healthy coats that the fruits seem to give them. There are even dog foods on the market that contain avocados in them. So who’s right?
Avocados contain the fatty acid derivative, persin, in their leaves, fruit, seeds, and bark (The Guatemalan variety of avocado apparently has the highest persin content). In some dogs, avocados can cause severe gastrointestinal problems, but other dogs — like the ones who live on this Fallbrook avocado farm — don’t seem to have any adverse reaction to the fruit.
The safest bet is to avoid feeding your dog fresh avocados, especially whole avocados, as the pit can be a choking hazard and also contains a high amount of persin in it. If you’ve been feeding your dog a good quality food with avocado in it and he/she doesn’t seem to be having any problems, it’s probably safe to keep feeding your pet the food. If your dog does eat an avocado and has a bad reaction, call your vet immediately.