As a dog parent, you’re probably surprised by the things your dog seems to want to eat. Dogs are very curious, and they’re drawn to unique smells. There’s a lot going on in your bowl of guacamole, and your dog is probably curious about what it might taste like.
As a responsible pet owner, you want to make sure the foods you allow your dog to try are safe before you offer up a bite.
Don’t dip a chip for your pup just yet. In many cases, guacamole isn’t a suitable snack for your pets.
Is Guacamole Healthy?
Guacamole can be a healthier alternative to empty calorie snacks. It’s made almost exclusively of vegetables with a twist of lime. Dipping sliced red bell peppers or carrots in guacamole can be a satisfying snack that helps you reach your recommended daily servings of vegetables. But how does that work out for dogs?
Guacamole can be calorically dense. Avocados are naturally very high in fat, and it’s easy to consume a lot of guacamole in a single sitting.
While snacking on guacamole in moderation may be a decent dietary choice for a person, the situation isn’t the same for your pet.
What’s in Guacamole?
Guacamole is not a whole food. It’s a combination of many ingredients. No two guacamole recipes are the same.
All guacamole will contain avocado, but some of the other ingredients may vary. You’ll need to read the ingredients list or ask a restaurant for their ingredients list in order to know for sure.
Here’s what you can expect to be in most guacamole:
- Lime juice
Can Dogs Have Guacamole?
Dogs cannot have most of the ingredients in guacamole. In fact, some guacamole ingredients can be highly toxic to your dog, while others may cause gastrointestinal distress. Let’s take a closer look at what a dog can and can’t eat.
Dogs can have a little avocado, excluding the pit, stems, leaves, and skin. Your dog can have a bite or two of fresh, ripe avocado that you’re prepared. Don’t give dogs leftover avocados that are beginning to go bad. If your dog enjoys avocado, you can use it as an occasional treat, though there are much better fruits and veggies share beside this fat-dense guacamole base.
Dogs can have a little tomato, as long as they aren’t able to consume the stems or leaves. Dogs might enjoy a little piece of a very ripe tomato from time to time, but dogs should never be given under-ripe or rotting tomatoes. This is another veggie you’re better off not turning into a regular treat — while not toxic, the high acidity is better left as a very minimal addition to your dog’s diet.
Dogs cannot have onions. Onions belong to the allium plant family, and all alliums are toxic to dogs. Your dog may experience symptoms of toxicity if they eat onion that can range from GI distress to organ failure. If you believe your dog has consumed onion in any form, contact your vet immediately.
Dogs cannot have garlic. Garlic, like onion, is a toxic allium. If your dog ingests a substantial amount of garlic, it can cause a medical emergency. Contact your vet right away if you suspect your dog has gotten into garlic — fresh, dried, or powdered alike.
Dogs should not have jalapeno. There’s nothing about jalapeno that’s inherently toxic to your dog, but it’s likely to cause digestive upset and make them generally upset, too. Spicy food can give dogs uncomfortable bowel movements or an upset stomach. If you believe your dog has ingested jalapeno, monitor their symptoms. If it becomes clear that your dog is in pain or if your dog develops severe diarrhea, call your vet.
Dogs can have some cilantro. Some dogs enjoy cilantro and will happily eat it right out of your garden. In fact, some people have to create a barrier to prevent their pup from destroying their herb garden with cilantro in it. Some dogs will chew on cilantro to settle an upset stomach. If your dog takes an interest in the occasional sprig, there’s no harm in letting them have it.
Dogs should not have lime juice. Citrus fruits are high in citric acid, which is likely to upset your dog’s digestive system. Your dog’s body isn’t prepared to handle citrus, and their sensitive stomach may suffer as a result.
If your dog ingested a small amount of lime juice, monitor their behavior, and take them to the vet if the symptoms become significant. If your dog ingested a lot of lime juice, it’s best to go to the vet right away.
Dogs should not have salt. There’s no reason for your dog to have any added salt in their diet. Salt can contribute to bloating and high blood pressure. If your dog ingests a significant amount of salt, such as a full bag of tortilla chips, provide your dog with a large bowl of fresh water and call the vet for additional guidance.
What Should I Do If My Dog Eats Guacamole?
If your medium or larger-sized dog licks a little bit of spilled guacamole off of the table, there’s probably nothing to worry about. Give your dog some fresh water, monitor them for symptoms of an upset stomach, and give your vet a call if you’re feeling worried.
If your dog dives face first into the bowl of guacamole, you should be concerned. Some of the ingredients in guacamole are toxic to your dog, and other ingredients are likely to cause an upset stomach.
Don’t wait. Call the vet immediately, monitor your dog, and tell your vet what the guacamole was prepared with. You should always follow your vet’s instructions. Some vets would prefer you bring your dog in immediately, other vets will use a “watch and wait” approach, but either way, your vet will tell you what serious symptoms to look out for and will provide guidance specific to your situation and your dog.
Making Guacamole Safe for Dogs
If you’re making homemade guacamole and your dog wants to “help,” you can always share bits of the dog-safe vegetables with your pup.
Mash up a few slices of avocado with a couple pieces of diced tomato and cilantro. and make a small scoop of “dogamole” that you can serve on top of their dry food.
Don’t worry — your dog likely won’t mind if their snack isn’t exactly like yours. Keep things simple and give your dog a bite-sized piece of avocado and they’ll be just as happy.
Just be mindful that avocado is very high in fat, and dogs don’t need added fat in their diet if they’re eating a balanced food that includes fresh whole fruit, veggies, and quality protein. Make sure the fat content of avocado doesn’t give your dog an upset tummy. If avocado doesn’t seem to sit well with your dog, don’t give your dog avocado again.
Sharing Special Snacks with Your Dog
Your dog can safely enjoy about 10% of their daily calories from special snacks, but guacamole is off the table. Instead, use whole fresh foods to help fulfill their snack allowance. You’ll always know what your dog is eating and where it came from, as long as you’re choosing fruits, vegetables, and proteins that are dog-safe.
Make sure the other 90% of your dog’s diet is coming from fresh, quality, well-balanced food. Choose dog food made with whole, fresh ingredients. Your vet may be able to recommend a holistic dog food that will meet your dog’s needs.
For more pet pointers, turn to the VETCBD Hemp blog. At VETCBD Hemp, we’re big believers in holistic animal wellness and pet parent education!
Onion, Garlic, Chive, and Leek Toxicity in Dogs | VCA Hospitals
Can Dogs Eat Spicy Food? Here's The Truth | Every Creature Counts
Counting Calories: Low-and high-calorie treats for dogs | Canine Arthritis Resources and Education