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Home > Dogs > Can Dogs Eat Onions? Vet-Approved Facts & FAQ

Can Dogs Eat Onions? Vet-Approved Facts & FAQ

White onions on the table

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Paola Cuevas

Veterinarian, MVZ

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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We all love to share our food with our canine pals, especially when they sit and give you those puppy dog eyes, making it hard to deny them. However, there are foods you shouldn’t feed your dog and some that will make your dog ill or worse. You should never feed your dog onions; they are toxic to your dog and can eventually lead to anemia and death. If you’re wondering why your dog can’t eat onions and just what they can eat, we’ll discuss the onion’s toxic compound and the veggies your pet can eat.

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Can Dogs Eat Onions?

No, you should never feed onions to your dog. Whether raw or cooked, all parts of the onion are toxic to dogs. The bulb, leaves, peel, juice, and any granulated or powdered products should be kept far away from your canine. You should always be very careful to keep your dog away when you’re preparing onions for a meal and products with onion as an ingredient.

This applies to all members of the Allium Genus, which are toxic to dogs. This includes red onions, yellow onions, chives, scallions, leeks, and garlic, which is more toxic to dogs than any other member of the Allium Genus. If your pup swallows any garlic, treat it as a medical emergency and head to your veterinarian’s clinic.

sliced onions
Image By: Paresh85, Pixabay


Why are Onions Toxic to Dogs?

Onions contain N-propyl Disulfide, a compound that causes hemolysis. Hemolysis damages red blood cells and eventually leads to their complete breakdown, resulting in anemia. Anemia is a condition that prevents the organs from getting enough oxygen; this can lead to organ failure and eventually death.

Onions are dangerous for all dogs, but the level of toxicity depends on your dog’s weight. If your dog weighs 10 to 29 pounds, anything more than 22 grams of onion is too much. This increases to 77 grams of onion for a dog weighing 30 to 59 pounds and 136 grams for a larger dog.

As you can see, basically any portion of onions is dangerous. Since it’s pretty difficult to measure how much the onion weighs once it’s already in your dog, err on the side of caution and call your vet immediately if they consume any amount.

The Signs of Onion Poisoning

Signs of onion poisoning include vomiting, lack of appetite, grogginess, diarrhea, pale gums, abdominal pain, increased heart rate, increased respiratory rate, increased or discolored urination, and loss of balance. If your dog begins showing these signs, you should immediately call your vet.

vet examines dog
Image Credit: SeventyFour, Shutterstock

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Which Vegetables Can a Dog Eat?

So, onions aren’t an appropriate treat for your pup, but which vegetables can you serve? Well, many vegetables are already used in commercial dog food, including broccoli, spinach, bell peppers, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, celery, corn, carrots, peas, sweet potato, and green beans. So, all of those are good choices.

You can prepare the vegetables for your dog however you like, as long as you avoid butter, oil, and seasonings, but it’s best to cut and steam them to ensure your dog can easily chew them and swallow them without choking. However, keep in mind that the majority of your dog’s nutrients should come from high-quality animal proteins and healthy fats. Vegetables can be a source of fiber and antioxidants but should not be the bulk of their diet unless specifically requested by your veterinarian. 


Final Thoughts

Onions are toxic to your canine pal, and it’s best to keep your dog away when you’re cutting onions or using onion powder. Onions can cause red blood cell destruction, leading to anemia, organ failure, and eventually death. If you see any signs of your dog eating onions, it’s best to take the dog to an emergency vet immediately for diagnosis and treatment.

Luckily, there are veggies that you can feed your pal, as evidenced by the choices we gave you above. However, even they should be given to your dog in moderation. High-quality dog food and treats will keep your dog happy and healthy if you follow the feeding recommendations, but you can occasionally provide a small portion of healthy vegetables.

Featured Credit: stevepb, Pixabay

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