If you are planning on sharing your meal with your beloved furry friend, think again. There might be lots of onion in it and it is not good for your dog. Sure, onions add flavor and character to many dishes but they should not end up in your dog’s meal because it can cause serious effects on a dog’s health.
Whether it is raw or cooked, onions and the other members of the Allium family of vegetables – shallots, leeks, chives, and garlic are toxic to dogs. Read on to find out how much garlic is toxic to dogs and what you can do if your dog has ingested onions.
Can dogs have onions?
First, dog owners should not give onion rings to dogs. It is simply not a good idea. Whether onion has been turned into a juice or powder form, feeding foods with a generous amount of onions is unhealthy for dogs. If you are cooking a processed product or a store-bought soup, check the label if it contains onion before giving a portion to your pooch. You don’t want your dog to get sick after consuming something you poured into its food dish.
Are onions toxic to dogs?
Onions contain a chemical compound called N-propyl disulfide which is highly toxic to dogs. This is what makes onions bad for dogs. Grapes are known to be highly poisonous to dogs in even small amounts but onion toxicity depends on how much your dog has consumed. According to experts, onion toxicity is dependent on the size of the dog. Huge dogs such as 200-pound Great Danes can generally handle small pieces of onion without any problem but a small, three-pound Yorkie may get sick from it.
Cooking an onion does not nullify its toxic effects on dogs. The N-propyl disulfide is not removed even if the onion is cooked. No matter if the onion is yellow, red, green, or white, all of them are unsafe for your four-legged best friend. Generally, if a dog eats onions that are more than 0.5 percent of its body weight, toxicity is likely to occur. In simpler terms, the smaller the dog, the more dangerous onions are.
What parts of onions are toxic to dogs?
Everything in a whole onion bulb is dangerous to dogs including its flesh, skin, juice, and even its leaves. Be very careful in checking the labels of prepared foods that you intend to feed your dog. Onions are used in almost all types of food, even baby food, according to the wild earth blog.
Symptoms of onion toxicity in dogs?
The tell-tale signs of onion poisoning in dogs are signs of anemia which is a result of low red blood cells in the body.
What are the symptoms of onion poisoning in dogs:
- Pale gums
- Loss of appetite
- Elevated heart rate
- Elevated respiratory rate
- Discolored urine
- Ataxia (a disease in the nervous system caused by damage to the brain that results in uncoordinated movement in animals)
Also, the clinical signs that a dog is likely poisoned according to Animal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) include a high heart rate, panting, and vomiting.
If your dog exhibits these signs, this is an emergency case and your dog should be taken to a veterinarian immediately. An untreated dog may experience kidney failure or even death.
Treating onion toxicity in dogs
In any case of food poisoning, time is of the essence when dealing with dogs who consumed onions. Therefore, they should be taken to a veterinarian as soon as possible.
A veterinarian may use a combination of treatments or procedures to treat your dog. This includes flushing the stomach from toxins or giving medicine to induce vomiting.
Healthy vegetables for dogs
Are there vegetables that are good for dogs? The following are vegetables that are certified healthy for your dog as suggested by the Raw Bistro blog:
- Kale – contains vitamins K and A and Iron that stimulates bone health, good metabolism, good eyesight, and a healthy immune system
- Spinach – contains magnesium, potassium, and vitamins E, B6, and B9. Spinach is high in Vitamin C, Vitamin K, folic acid, iron, calcium, and carotenoids (plant pigments that help decrease the propensity for eye disease and cancer)
- Carrots -contain vitamin K, potassium, vitamin A from beta, biotin, and vitamin B6.
- Green Beans – contains calcium, iron, vitamins B6, A, C, and K. Green beans are also known to make dogs feel full because they are fiber-rich and low in calories.
- Broccoli – a powerhouse of vitamins as it is filled with vitamin C, vitamin K, and potassium which, altogether, are known to improve cardiovascular health among dogs, improve bone density and improve dogs’ ability to fight illnesses.
- Beets – the vitamins that are found in beets are vitamin C, manganese, potassium, folate, fiber, and vitamin C. These vitamins help your dog’s digestion and immune functions and give a dog healthy skin and coat.
- Cucumber – this vegetable contains chemical compounds called phytonutrients that help your dog fight inflammation.
- Sweet Potatoes – contain vitamin B6, manganese, and vitamin C. They are rich in beta-carotene and are high in fiber which is good for digestion.
- Butternut Squash – the watery kind of squash, this vegetable contains vitamins A, C, and B6 that help your dog’s vision, heart function, and immune system.
Why are onions bad for dogs?
Onions contain an organic compound called N-propyl disulfide that destroys the red blood cells of your dog. It compromises the functions of the red blood cells from carrying oxygen properly into its body. This results in Hemolysis which leads to anemia. Without treatment, hemolytic anemia can lead to poisoning and death.
What Should I Do If My Dog Ate Onions?
If you accidentally fed your dog with onions or if you think your dog has ingested onions in large quantities, take him to the veterinarian immediately especially if he exhibits symptoms of onion poisoning as mentioned above.
Each Layer Can Poison Your Pets
Just as all parts and all types of onions are dangerous to your pets, each layer of onions is also dangerous to dogs. Plants belonging to the Allium family contain the compound, Organosulfur, that can damage the red blood cells of dogs.
Are all onions dangerous to pets?
All types of onions whether they are sweet onions, yellow or white onions, shallots, scallions, or red onions – are dangerous to your pets. It does not matter if they are raw or cooked, a small amount can poison your pet, especially if it is a small breed. Experts say cats are more prone to onion toxicity compared to dogs.
Specific Foods to Think About
Onions and Garlic – these aromatics are basic ingredients in many dishes. Because we love our pets, we tend to give them tasty treats once in a while without thinking about the ingredients in the food we give them. Processed foods, cooked foods from the convenience store, pizza, tomato sauce, Chinese food, and even baby food are some of the foods that we need to think about when feeding our dogs. Table scraps are the common culprit to onion toxicity in dogs.
Symptoms of onion poisoning in dogs
- Irritation of the mouth
- Difficulty in breathing
- Signs of abdominal pain
- Fast heartbeat
Causes of Onion Poisoning in Dogs
Ingestion of onions, garlic, chives contained in human food/Eating food scraps and eating human food that fell on the floor.
Diagnosis of onion poisoning in dogs
Knowing beforehand if your dog has consumed onions will make it easier for the veterinarian to determine onion poisoning. A blood test will be conducted to find out the signs of hemolytic anemia. A urine test will also be conducted to determine the level of hemoglobin, the protein that carries oxygen in the blood. Heinz body anemia can be seen in a blood exam even before a marked drop in red blood cells can be observed.
Treatment of Onion Poisoning in Dogs
Your dog may be given activated charcoal to reduce the absorption of the poison in the gastrointestinal tract. Vomiting may also be induced if the poisoning is recent. Severely ill dogs may need to stay longer in the veterinary clinic and they may be given a blood transfusion to help the bone marrow produce new red blood cells.
Recovery of onion poisoning in dogs
Dogs with mild exposure to onions recover fast but severe poisoning is extremely dangerous especially without treatment.
So, can dogs eat onions?
ASPCA said occasional low doses of onions found in pet treats may be harmless but other experts emphasize that eating small amounts over time could lead them to a point where they could get sick because of cumulative effect. To be safe, omit onions in your dog’s diet and make sure they do not eat table scraps.