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Friday, February 23, 2024

Onion: Good for you, bad for your dog

Onions are often a staple in the kitchen, offering amazing aromas and tasty additions to some of our favorite dishes. However, this vegetable is dangerous for dogs to eat.

According to online portal PetMD, onions are toxic to dogs and should not be eaten. Whether cooked or raw, all parts of the onion and onion plant are toxic to dogs, including the bulb, leaves, juice, and processed powders.

“No form of onion should be included in your pet’s diet or treats. Care should also be taken to prevent dogs from getting into any gardens with onions or wild onion patches,” PetMD counsels.

Onions belong to the genus Allium, and their scientific name is Allium cepa (cepa is Latin for ‘onion’).

Vet doctors warn that onion contains a toxic compound, N-propyl disulfide, that damages red blood cells in dogs, leading to their [red blood cells] breakdown and destruction.

“This process, called hemolysis, results in anemia and red or brown discoloration of urine. With anemia, the body’s organs are no longer getting enough oxygen. In severe cases, this can result in organ failure and death,” vet doctor, Olufemi Akin, says.

How much onion is toxic to dogs?
Onion poisoning is consistently noted in pets who consume more than 0.5% of their body weight in onions. When dogs ingest large amounts of onion, it can be deadly.

The amount of onion that would be dangerous for your dog depends on your dog’s weight and a few other factors that can make them more at risk.

  • Dogs that may be more susceptible to onion poisoning include:
  • Japanese breeds (Akita, Shiba Inu)
  • Dogs with concurrent diseases such as diabetes, liver disease, or anemia
  • Dogs on certain medications

The bottom line

If you use onion in your foods, cook separately for your dogs and refrain from sharing your food with them.

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