Most people think that avocado is toxic to dogs. While the skin, pit, bark and leaves of avocados and the avocado plant are toxic to dogs and contains concentrated forms of persin (the toxin found in avocado), the soft fruit inside contains very small amounts of persin. These very low amounts of persin are said to actually be beneficial when fed in very low doses over a long period of time. These low doses of persin in the fruit of the avocado is also said to be unlikely to cause any harm to your dog consuming it in small amounts. Avocado is also an amazing source of fiber, lipase (digests fat), healthy raw fats, vitamins and minerals.
Avocados are a great source of fiber! Although it does depend on the type of avocado used. There are variable amounts of fiber amongst different types of avocados. For example, a Florida avocado contain more fiber than a California avocado. Providing whole food options of fiber in your dog's diet helps your dog absorb the nutrients it takes in through his or her diet better. Fiber helps the body absorb nutrients in the body more readily! However feeding too much fiber can have the opposite effect - preventing the body from absorbing certain nutrients (source). Fiber also helps regulate bowel movements and is good for maintaining a healthy digestive system.
Vitamins, Minerals & Heart Health
Avocados aren't named a superfood for nothing. They contain a plethora of beneficial vitamins and minerals. Avocados contain a beneficial amount of Vitamins C, E, K, B6, Pantothenic Acid, Folic Acid, Manganese and Magnesium. Many people also don't know that avocados are actually an amazing source of potassium (source). Avocados contain healthy amounts of monounsaturated fatty acids. These fats actually support heart health (source)! In addition to being a heart healthy food, avocados are also known to help maintain a healthy weight.
Persin & Disease
Persin is the toxic component found in high amounts in the bark, leaves, and skin of the avocado fruit. However, as mentioned above, the soft fruit inside contains very minimal amounts of persin. This amount of persin that is found in the fruit of avocados is actually said to be beneficial. This is called hormesis. Hormesis is "a process in which exposure to a low dose of a chemical agent or environmental factor that is damaging at higher doses induces an adaptive beneficial effect on the cell or organism (source). "...despite the rumors, avocado is not poisonous to dogs, nor likely to cats. Only certain species are poisoned by persin. While dogs and cats don’t seem to be affected by persin, avocado poisoning can be deadly to birds and large animals (such as cattle). The bigger risk to dogs and cats is a foreign body obstruction, which can occur if the dog swallowed the whole large, round avocado seed; due to size alone, this seed can get stuck in the esophagus, stomach or intestinal tract of dog" (Pet Poison Helpline). As mentioned, the seed, skin, bark, and leaves of the avocado are to be of concern, NOT the soft fruit inside. That being said, feed the amount of avocado based on the size of your dog. If you overfeed avocado, it could cause digestive upset.
"Hass Avocado Composition and Potential Health Effects"
What is Hormesis?
A novel plant toxin, persin, with in vivo activity in the mammary gland, induces Bim-dependent apoptosis in human breast cancer cells
Avocado Nutritional Breakdown
"12 Health Benefits of Avocados"
Frozen Avocado Treat Recipe For Dogs
* this treat can be added to kibble, wet food, home-cooked and raw diets!
Blend all of the ingredients together and freeze in the silicone molds! After the treats are frozen store them in glass mason jars in the freezer for up to 1 week.
*Introduce new foods to your dog slowly to avoid digestive upset
DISCLAIMER: It is always important to do your own research first in regards to raw feeding or feeding fresh foods for your pet (dog or cat). Every animal is different! What may work great for some may not work great for others. It is important to know that if you are a beginner at raw feeding, there are tons of ways to feed fresh raw foods to your pets (commercially prepared, freeze dried etc.). Starting out can be a little difficult, so if you do your research accordingly, then you'll have more knowledge about EVERY aspect of raw feeding. Remember, if you are not ready to feed a raw diet to your pets, wait to transition and utilize the help of experienced raw feeders, connect with integrative veterinarians, read books geared towards a holistic dog diet and gain knowledge from all of your research so you can effectively give your dog the nutrition it needs to thrive. "The Raw Fed Pet" site is only for informational/educational purposes and is not meant to diagnose or treat any medical conditions.
Did you know?
GREEN LIPPED MUSSELS ARE GREAT FOR JOINT HEALTH?
"In addition to their inflammatory healing properties, these mussels are considered a superfood because they contain a huge variety of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, Omega-3 fats, antioxidants, enzymes, and many more nutrients" (source).