What’s the big deal about avocados?

It was not long ago that I completely flipped out on somebody for feeding a dog guacamole.

YOU’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO FEED AVOCADO TO DOGS!!

After I became a raw food convert, I poked around a bit more on the question of avocados because my textbook suggests the fruit is very good for dogs due to the vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats so necessary for complete nutrition.

Why the confusion?

Avocados are on the ASPCA’s list of hazardous foods, but there is usually an accompanying explanation that most people fail to read.

Certainly, if your large breed dog snarfs down a whole avocado, peel & pit, an intestinal obstruction is likely. Those pits are rock-solid and impossible to digest.

Also, the skins could be coated in pesticide. If you’ve let your avocado sit out and get too ripe, and you have a garbage hunter in your pack, you might want to take measures to avoid consumption of the whole fruit from the trash.

And depending on the variety of avocado you’re dealing with, it could contain high levels of persin, which is a fungicidal toxin harmless to humans, but which causes illness in some animals. I don’t dare hazard a guess as to how much of that toxin it would take to make a dog sick, or even as to how much is actually present in your average grocery store avocado. The amounts for each of those inquiries will depend on size and variety of avocado, and size and breed of dog, no doubt. This is probably the reason why most people fear feeding them to dogs (and probably the reason why one website I found advises “don’t feed anything to your dog that is not dog food.” That kind of advice presumes readers are stupid, and indicates a lazy writer…but I digress…)

However, my dogs love the occasional avocado, sprinkled with unrefined sea salt, and mashed up with a splash of goat’s milk. I let them enjoy a serving about once a month, and they’ve had no problem with it.

WebMD calls the avocado a “Nutrient All-Star” because it offers almost 20 vitamins and minerals, including potassium, lutein, folate, Vitamins B, C, and E. They’re low in sugar, and high in fiber. They are very high in fat, but it’s good fat (yes, there is such a thing). It’s monounsaturated fat, which reputedly reduces cholesterol.

Fat = Energy.

So, for all the reasons avocados are the “it” food for anything and everything trying to show a healthy option these days, they’re healthy for your dog, and delicious to boot.

Here’s what I do for my 25-lb dogs:

  • 1/2 small-medium avocado, mashed
  • dash of unrefined sea salt
  • 1-2 oz raw, fermented goat’s milk

So, as long as you’re responsible with your trash and feed on occasion, you should be fine.

pugs & kisses,

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