Can Dogs Eat Onions? When it is or isn’t an Emergency

No, dogs shouldn’t eat onions, whether they are raw or cooked. Both red and yellow onions are unsafe to eat. All parts of the onions are toxic to dogs.

Are onions toxic to dogs?

Onions are toxic to dogs due to the presence of a compound called N-propyl disulfide. This compound will make dogs sick by damaging the ability of a red blood cell to carry oxygen. Too much of this can lead to a dangerous health condition called anemia, which occurs when a dog’s body lacks enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen to their body’s tissues.

Dogs that develop anemia will display a number of concerning symptoms including rapid breathing, lethargy, and pale gums. It doesn’t take a lot of onions for the toxicity to affect your dog.

How much onions are toxic to dogs?

It only takes 100 grams of onion per 20 kg of a dog’s weight to reach a high level of toxicity. A tiny piece of onion is unlikely to make a dog sick but a few pieces or more could be enough for dogs to feel the toxic effects of onions. A 10 pound dog, for example, could fall seriously sick by eating half a onion.

Can dogs eat onion powder?

No, dogs shouldn’t eat onion powder or any human foods that may use it as a cooking ingredient. Onion powder can have a faster toxicity effect because it’s much easier to digest and absorb than regular pieces of onions.

What to do if your dog ate an onion

You should call the vet or the pet poison hotline if you suspect your dog has eaten more than a few tiny pieces of onion. Emergency vet visits usually aren’t required if a dog only ate a tiny piece of onion (unless the dog has a pre-existing health disorder that could be exacerbated by the ingestion of onions). If you aren’t able to take your dog to the vet, there are some steps you can take at home to minimize the damage of onion poisoning.

If it’s been less than an hour since your dog ate the onion, you could try making them vomit. Your objective is to get the onion out before it gets digested and absorbed by the dog’s body. 3% hydrogen peroxide is one of the most effective remedies to induce vomiting. You can learn about other fruits or vegetables could be toxic to pets? Check out our human food for pet database to find out!

Disclaimer: The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a veterinarian when in doubt.


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