Onions bring a lot of flavor to many of our favorite dishes. What if your dog snatches an onion from the dinner table (uh oh!)? Don’t freak out just yet! According to Emmy-award winning veterinarian Dr. Jeff Werber, “Traditionally, we have always recommended avoiding raw onions and raw garlic because of a type of toxin that can have a negative effect on red blood cells.” So, now we wonder if dogs can really eat onions? Are you curious? Read on!
Onions are not healthy for dogs and the amount of toxicity depends on how much of an onion a dog consumes. More than likely, if a dog ingests a small amount of onion, it should not cause any problems. However, it is important to note the size of the dog in comparison to how much onion they ingested. A huge danger of onions and dogs is that the toxins can build up in their system, meaning they could slowly reach a point where an onion exposure could get them sick.
A condition known as hemolytic anemia can develop if a dog eats onions. The condition destroys dog’s red blood cells, leaving them without enough of them for healthy functioning. As you can see, prevention is key to ensuring that your dog is safe and healthy. However, if your dog has consumed a large quantity of onions and they are not feeling well, it is best to seek immediate veterinary care. Look for signs such as weakness, decreased appetite, and lethargy. Extreme signs can include panting or vomiting. Your veterinarian will be able to evaluate your dog and determine if any treatment is necessary.