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Can dogs eat onions? Dangers of onion poisoning

Can dogs eat onions? Dangers of onion poisoning

Can dogs eat onions?
Dogs are known to be loyal and curious companions who like to try out one thing or another. But not all foods are suitable for them. One of the most common questions from dog owners is whether dogs can eat onions. Onions are a common spice in the human diet and can be used in various dishes. But are they safe for dogs or do they pose a serious danger? In this blog article we will address this question in detail and provide everything you need to know about the topic “Can dogs eat onions?” explain.

Can dogs eat onions?

No, onions are not safe for dogs. They are one of the most dangerous human foods for our four-legged companions. It has been found that eating too much onion can damage the dog's red blood cells, which can lead to a serious disease called hemolytic anemia.

All parts of the onion are considered dangerous for dogs. You should be especially careful when cutting up these vegetables or storing them in a hard-to-reach place in your kitchen. Your dog should not eat the flesh of the onion, the leaves, the juice, or even the onion powder, as they are all dangerous to your pets.

Let's take a closer look at onion poisoning in dogs so you know what your pet should avoid. What onion poisoning can look like in your puppy and what to do if your dog accidentally eats the dangerous vegetable.

Why are onions bad for dogs?

Can dogs eat onions?

With certain toxic foods for dogs, such as: E.g. grapes, experts don't know exactly why these foods are harmful. When it comes to onions, however, the answer is clear. Onions contain a chemical called N-propyl disulfide that is toxic to dogs. This chemical is a sulfur compound and is the reason onions are so dangerous to dogs.

N-propyl disulfide attaches to the oxygen molecules in your dog's red blood cells and causes oxidative damage. This means that the red blood cells can no longer transport oxygen properly. This is harmful enough in itself, but it also tricks your dog into thinking his own red blood cells are dangerous. This is how your dog's body attacks the red blood cells through hemolysis.

If hemolysis remains uncontrolled, it leads to hemolytic anemia. This means your dog's red blood cells are being destroyed faster than they can be broken down, leading to severe symptoms of poisoning and even death without treatment.

All parts of the onion are poisonous to dogs

All parts of the onion are poisonous, including the leaves, flesh, skin and juice. It doesn't matter whether the onion is cooked or raw. Cooking the onion doesn't remove the disulfide chemical, making it just as dangerous for your four-legged friend.

It is important to know that all types of onions are dangerous. White onions, yellow onions, red onions, green onions, none of them are safe for your dog. In addition, the different forms of onions also pose a risk to your dog. Onion powder is dangerous, and other forms - dried or dehydrated, fried, juiced, etc. - also pose a risk to your dog.

Similar foods such as onions, which can be harmful

Onions belong to the Allium family, a root vegetable. The allium family includes garlic, leeks, shallots (also known as green onions), and chives. Each of these vegetables is dangerous for your dog. Garlic actually has a higher concentration of N-propyl disulfide than regular onions, so it can harm your dog even more quickly. For this reason, you should definitely keep onions away from your dog and away from places he can reach.

Remember that many foods contain onions, garlic, or onion or garlic powder as an ingredient. Onions are dangerous to many different pets. If a fruit or vegetable is dangerous to one pet, it often is dangerous to most other pets as well. However, this rule does not always apply; but it is always advisable to speak to your veterinarian before giving your pet a new type of food or snack.

Your dog may not devour an entire onion that's fallen on the kitchen floor - although that's certainly possible. Your dog will be much more likely to pounce on the delicious onion ring or a piece of breakfast quiche. That's why you should always pay attention to what he eats.

Signs of onion poisoning in dogs

  • If your dog eats a large amount of onions or related foods in a short period of time, poisoning can quickly occur. However, symptoms usually only appear a few days after admission.
  • It is also possible for N-propyl disulfide to slowly build up in the blood over time if your dog eats small amounts of allium-containing foods over a long period of time.

What are the symptoms of onion poisoning?

Can dogs eat onions?

If your dog eats onions, there is a chance that he could get sick. That's why it's important to know the symptoms of onion poisoning. Symptoms of onion poisoning include:

  • lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pale gums
  • Increased heart rate and/or breathing rate
  • Vomit
  • Diarrhea
  • Ataxia (lack of coordination)
  • Discolored urine

Without treatment, onion poisoning in a dog can lead to kidney failure or even death.

How much onion can make a dog sick?

Another reason why onions and other bulbous plants are dangerous is that it doesn't take much to cause serious health problems in dogs. Generally, poisoning occurs when a dog consumes more than 0.5% of its body weight in onions at one time.

Simply put, even a tiny amount of onions, garlic, or other toxic allium foods can easily poison a dog. The smaller the dog, the greater the danger - eating a tiny piece of onion may not harm a 150-pound Great Dane. However, in a 2-pound dog like a Chihuahua, it can cause serious health symptoms. It's important to know which human foods your dog can safely eat because some foods are healthy for dogs. At the same time, other human foods can be dangerous to your dog's health.

Treating a Dog Suffering from Onion Poisoning

If your dog exhibits the above symptoms and you know or suspect that he has consumed onions or a similar food, you should take him to the vet's office as soon as possible. With any poisoning, including onion poisoning, time is of the essence.

Diagnosis of onion poisoning in dogs

Your veterinarian will make the diagnosis based on test results, symptoms, and your dog's medical history, which includes eating onions. Hemolytic anemia is diagnosed by a microscopic test that looks for Heinz bodies on a blood smear. When this test result is combined with a known recent onion ingestion, onion poisoning can be definitively diagnosed.

Treating Onion Poisoning in Dogs

Your veterinarian can perform various treatments to stabilize your dog and get him back to full health. The stomach may be flushed to remove remaining poison or vomiting may be induced. Activated charcoal is also sometimes given to help absorb the poison in the intestines. To flush your dog's bloodstream and maintain proper hydration, he can be given fluids intravenously. Your four-legged friend will then be closely monitored until his body produces enough healthy red blood cells again.

In severe cases of onion poisoning, oxygen supplementation and a full blood transfusion may be necessary.

In general, the outlook for a dog that receives early veterinary care is good. Remember: time is of the essence; Act quickly if you know or even suspect that your dog may have consumed onions or anything containing onions. Take him to the vet's office immediately because it's better to be safe than sorry.

What should I do if my dog ​​eats onions?

Most dogs recover from eating small amounts of onions, but you should always be extra careful. Say your dog eats onions, even a tiny amount. In this case, it's a good idea to talk to your vet or call a dog poisoning hotline. Your vet will have a better understanding of your dog's current health and how the amount of onions he consumes affects him.

Larger dog breeds are generally able to digest and recover from eating smaller amounts of onions better than smaller dog breeds. You should always be careful where you store your onions and keep them away from your dog.

Can dogs eat cooked onions?

Can dogs eat onions?
No, it is not recommended that dogs eat cooked onions. Cooked onions are no less toxic than raw onions. Even if the toxins are reduced somewhat during cooking, they can still cause enough damage to cause poisoning. So, it is best to keep onions and other foods toxic to dogs out of their diet and instead ensure a safe and balanced dog diet. If your dog accidentally ate onions or you are concerned about his health, you should consult a veterinarian immediately.


If you're wondering whether your dog can eat onions, it's important to know that onions can be toxic to dogs and can cause serious health problems. It is best to keep onions and other foods toxic to dogs out of their diet and focus on a safe and balanced dog diet. If your dog accidentally eats onions or shows signs of poisoning, you should consult a veterinarian immediately. Always remember that your dog's safety should come first when it comes to his diet.