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Avocados: A Surprisingly Healthy Fruit For Dogs

July 30, 2015

Avocados: A Surprisingly Healthy Fruit For Dogs

If you feed your pet dog a diet consisting of only cuts of lean meat, chances are he would have severe nutritional problems.

While a dog is a carnivore – meat eater – he/she cannot live on protein alone. Just like his owner, a dog needs a balanced diet including fats, protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.

Few of us could afford a predominantly steak diet for our pets, but even if we could, our dogs would be a lot healthier with a cheaper cut of meat. Less expensive meats are better for dogs because they have a higher fat content.

Fats provide dogs with energy and heat and help keep his skin healthy. Not enough fat in a dog’s diet can cause scaly, dry skin. His/Her coat may become coarse and lifeless. A diet low in fat may also cause a dog to become highly nervous and more susceptible to many types of illness.

There are three fatty acids in fats which a dog needs. These are: linolenic, linoleic, and arachidonic. Linoleic acid can be found in meat products, suet, butter, and corn oil. It can also be found in avocados.

 

 

The Avocado

Birds, rabbits, and some large animals, including horses, are especially sensitive to avocados, as they can have respiratory distress, congestion, fluid accumulation around the heart, and even death from consuming avocado.

While avocado is toxic to some animals, in dogs and cats, we do not expect to see serious signs of illness. In some dogs and cats, mild stomach upset may occur if the animal eats a significant amount of avocado flesh or peel. Ingestion of the pit can lead to obstruction in the gastrointestinal tract, which is a serious situation requiring urgent veterinary care.

Avocado is often included in pet foods for nutritional benefit. We would generally not expect avocado meal or oil present in commercial pet foods to pose a hazard to dogs and cats.

*Consult your veterinarian if in doubt.

Avocados are one of the few fruits that most dogs love. One reason for this is that these fruits add palatability and texture to food, especially dry meal. It is also a nutritious supplement of fats to the canine diet. This pear-shaped fruit contains sixteen percent of rare oil seldom found in fruits as well as an unusual amount of protein for fruits.

One medium avocado contains about 35 grams of fat, mostly monounsaturated. This fruit also has more potassium than bananas. Avocados are also rich in vitamin E, vitamin K, and the B vitamins.

When the nutritional requirements of adult dogs were compared with the composition of avocados, particularly California avocados, this fruit also proved to be a good source of vitamins and minerals.

One half of a medium avocado provides a mature dog with all his daily requirements for magnesium, potassium, and niacin. About half of his requirements for thiamin, manganese, and vitamin A, are also provided with this awesome fruit.

Compare what the avocado offers a dog nutritionally to some of the other foods often added to a dog’s diet to improve his skin tone and coat. A half of avocado supplies thirteen grams of fat. There is one gram of linoleic acid in half of the fruit.

An egg has half the amount of fat grams and only a trace of linoleic acid. One half cup of cottage cheese only offers five grams of fat and a trace of linoleic acid, while one tablespoon of corn oil has fourteen grams of fat and seven grams of linoleic acid but none of the vitamins and minerals that the avocado offers.

 

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