Can Dogs Eat Onions?


Key Takeaways

  • Onions are toxic to dogs
  • The symptoms of onion poisoning include diarrhea and vomiting – but not all signs are immediately obvious! ☠️
  • The N-propyl disulfide in onions causes a dog’s red blood cells to break down
  • If your dog has eaten any amount of onion and is showing signs of sickness, contact a vet immediately

Why Are Onions Toxic to Dogs?

Onions are a member of the Allium genus, which also includes garlic and leeks. While all members of this family have the potential to cause toxicity in dogs, garlic is by far the most toxic. Can dogs eat onions?

By now, you should have sensed that onions might not be the best vegetable to feed your dog. In fact, it’s one of the most toxic human foods for canines. Here are some health difficulties onion toxicity can lead to.

  • Onions and other vegetables like garlic, leeks, chives, and shallots contain compounds called organosulfides, which are toxic to dogs in even small amounts. Some of these same toxins are also found in durian and stink beans.
  • These organosulfides (especially N-propyl disulfide) can cause a condition called hemolytic anemia (Heinz body anemia), which is when the dog’s red blood cells burst from exposure to an oxidizing substance. Symptoms of anemia include weakness in the limbs and difficulty breathing.

Is Onion Powder Bad for Dogs?

Onion powder is not good for dogs. Just like fresh onion, it contains N-propyl disulfide. The amount of toxic compounds in onion powder can vary depending on the quality of product and how it’s been processed. But it’s generally much higher than in cooked or raw onions because the product is more concentrated. A small teaspoon of the powder is toxic to a medium-sized dog!

Can Dogs Eat Cooked Onion?

Cooked onion, even though it’s milder, is still poisonous to dogs. Onions can cause anemia in dogs if consumed in large enough quantities. Therefore, it’s important to keep them – cooked or raw – away from your pet, including snacks like onion rings. It’s not worth risking their health.

Editor’s Note

Most dinner recipes call for onions, but it’s often easy to make a separate, onion-free batch of whatever you’re cooking. For example, if you’re steaming chicken, you can put the meat in the pan first, then scoop out a little to give your dog as a treat before adding the onions.
Can Dogs Eat Cooked Onion?

Symptoms of Onion Poisoning

Can dogs eat onions safely? No, it’s poisonous. Symptoms may include:

  • vomiting;
  • diarrhea;
  • depression;
  • labored breathing;
  • discolored urine (red or brown);
  • pale gums due to anemia;
  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • decreased appetite; and
  • dehydration.

If your dog has eaten onion, they may require veterinary care. Symptoms of poisoning in dogs usually appear within 24 hours of ingestion. But it’s best to contact a vet right away if you catch your pet eating something with onion or garlic in it.

Treatment of Onion Poisoning

The treatment for toxicosis in dogs depends on how much they’ve eaten and how long ago it was ingested. The quicker your dog gets medical attention, the better their chance of recovery. Treatment may include:

  • intravenous fluids;
  • blood transfusions if anemia is severe enough; and
  • medications that counteract harmful effects of onion ingestion.
Treatment of Onion Poisoning

The vet may induce vomiting and give your dog activated charcoal to help absorb any toxins that have been ingested. Treatment will also likely include fluids and oxygen therapy if necessary.


If you can’t go to the vet right away, you can use a syringe to feed your dog hydrogen peroxide. This will induce vomiting. The maximum dose is 3 tablespoons for dogs weighing over 45 pounds. If your dog is smaller, aim for 1 teaspoon per 5 pounds of body weight.

Onion Toxicity: How Much Onion Can Kill a Dog?

The answer depends on the size of your dog and their individual sensitivity to Allium compounds. In general, it takes the equivalent of 0.5% of their body weight in onions to cause symptoms. For a 25-pound dog, that is 2 ounces of the vegetable. Onion and garlic have a lot in common in this regard, except garlic is said to contain more of the toxin.

Conclusion: Can Dogs Eat Onions?

In conclusion, can dogs eat onions? The answer is no. Even small amounts can be harmful to dogs, so it’s important to prevent your dog from eating any. This includes keeping onions out of reach when cooking, not leaving chopped onions on counters or tables where your dog might be able to snatch them up, and making sure that any food you serve your dog does not contain onion.

Conclusion: Can Dogs Eat Onions?

There are many other safe and healthy vegetables that you can give your dog instead. If you’re ever in doubt, consult with your veterinarian about what is right for your dog.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will a Little Bit of Onion Hurt My Dog?

Onions contain a substance known as N-propyl disulfide, which is harmful to dogs and can cause onion toxicosis if it’s ingested in large enough amounts. While a small piece of onion (less than 0.5% of their body weight) may not harm your dog, regular consumption is harmful and even potentially fatal.

How Much Onion Is Toxic to a 10-Pound Dog?

Onion toxicity can be dangerous for dogs of any size, but particularly small dogs. The consensus is that 0.8 ounces of onion can cause symptoms of toxicity in a 10-pound dog.

Is Organic Onion Good for Dogs?

Whether the onion is organic or not, the answer is still no. It’s best for pet owners not to feed their pets this vegetable in any form, whether it’s raw, cooked, or powdered.

Archiwum: grudzień 2022

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