Dogs & Onions - What to do if your dog ever eats onion - hear directly from a Vet

Dogs & Onions - What to do if your dog ever eats onion - hear directly from a Vet

Hi, I'm Dr. Steph and today I'm here to chat to you guys about onions and dogs.

A lot of dog owners will come to the clinic and say that their dog ate onion or they are worried about signs of onions poisoning in dogs.

So I know most of us know that onions aren't great for our dogs, if you didn't know then you will after the video, but essentially I just wanted to go into a little bit more depth as to why onions and dogs are unsafe, what the toxic principle is, what the toxic dose is, how much your dog really needs to eat for there to be a problem, and what symptoms you can expect.

Onions and dogs - what you need to know

So I just want to start off with talking about the actual type of onion.

It really doesn't matter whether it's red, doesn't matter whether it's white. It doesn't matter whether it's cooked.

It doesn't matter whether it's raw.

It doesn't even matter if it's ground up into a powder. They all contain compounds called thiosulfates and disulfides.

And essentially what these compounds do is, well, without going into too much detail, they cause hemolytic anemia.

Now what that means is that the blood cells are being destroyed, the red blood cells, and with red blood cells being destroyed, they can't transport oxygen around the system.


What does onion poisoning in dogs look like

So the symptoms start manifesting as a lack of oxygen to the tissues and then your dog is in trouble.

So in terms of talking about how much onion your dog really needs to eat, it's calculated as about 0.5 percent of your dog's body weight.

And to make that a little bit easier for us to kind of get our heads around, if you have a 20 kilo dog and they eat a medium-sized onion you are likely going to have a problem.

Okay, so also important to note that our dogs can have an immediate reaction a couple of hours after eating an onion.

And this usually manifests as a vomiting, a diarrhea, gastrointestinal upset. And that can happen just within six hours after eating an onion.

But the real thing, and I think this is actually really important to note, is that the symptoms of hemolytic anemia can really manifest two to six days after eating the onion.

So for those of us who think it is going to be immediate, the problem's solved, and then six days later you notice your dog is not feeling well, I think that's where we really need to be educated.

So in terms of the symptoms, it's due to lack of oxygen to the tissues, like I explained earlier, but these manifest as signs such as panting, weakness, lethargy, exercise intolerance, you know, if you take your dog for a walk and he just can't move or he just collapses after a while.

Pale gums, pretty much any of those and your dog is in trouble and you really need to call a vet for supportive treatment immediately.

Okay, so I hope you found that useful and now know that dogs and onions are a complete no in any shape or form.

And if you want to find out what homemade dog food recipes are safe for your dog then check out the Healthy Dog Happy Dog book here

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