Can Dogs Eat Onions? Are They Toxic or Safe?

can dogs eat onions

Onions are a staple in many households. They can be added to soups, stews, pastas, curries… just about anything. And with dogs loving almost anything that we’re eating, it’s normal that you’re asking: can dogs eat onions?

As tempting as giving your pup onion or food containing onion might be, dogs should not eat onion. Onions are toxic to our pups and can cause serious problems that even result in death.

Here’s everything you need to know about (not) feeding this vegetable to your furry friend.

The Short: Can Dogs Eat Onions?

No. 🧅 Dogs should absolutely not eat onions 🧅. Onions cause onion toxicity thanks to a compound called N-Propyl Disulfide. This causes your dog’s red blood cells to break down leading to anemia.

Onion poisoning can be very serious and can result in your dog needing medical treatment and even death if it goes unnoticed.

Always check anything you’re giving your pooch for onions and stick to dog-safe fruits and veggies.

Is The Whole Onion Toxic to Dogs?

Yes, the whole onion can cause onion toxicity in pups. Onions are part of the allium family (as are leeks, shallots, and garlic) and this family is all toxic to doggos.

The leaves, stem, bulb, juice, and outer layer can all poison your pup.

How Much Onion Can Dogs Eat?

The safest option is none, and we really don’t recommend feeding your dog any onion.

It takes just 100 grams of onion per 20 kilos of your pup’s body weight to cause onion poisoning. That means that a small breed such as a Havapoo or Maltipom would only need a very small amount of onion for it to be toxic to them.

Don’t take the risk and always keep onions and any other food containing onions out of reach of your pooches.

Can Dogs Eat Cooked Onions?

Nope! Cooked onions are not healthier for dogs. Cooking them doesn’t affect the toxic compound. So avoid giving your dog onions that are cooked too.

onion poisoning, dog at vet

Can Dogs Eat Onion Powder or Onion Seasoning?

Again, dogs should not eat onion powder or seasoning. Both onion and garlic powder can be toxic to dogs and it appears in so many things – some of which you might not expect!

If you’re thinking of feeding your dog bread, olives, seaweed, or pork, always check that there’s no added extra onion powder.

Can Dogs Eat Red Onions?

Red onions still cause your pup’s red blood cells to break down, which can be life-threatening. It’s safest not to feed dogs any amount of red onions.

Can Dogs Eat Green Onions?

You’ve probably guessed it by no, but no. You should not give dogs onions – of any shape, color, or size. Green onions are still toxic to dogs and have no place in their diets.

Can Dogs Eat Chicken Broth With Onions?

Low-salt chicken broth made from chicken bones can be a yummy and nutritious additive to your dog’s diet. But not if it contains onion.

Even small amounts of onion (that add a big amount of flavor to broth) can cause onion poisoning in dogs.

It’s important to check all human food you decide to give your dog so you know it doesn’t contain any form of onion.

Safer still, stick to doggy-specific food such as fresh dog food. These meals are designed by canine nutritionists and are preportioned to your pup’s needs.

Can Dogs Eat Raw Onions?

We know you know the answer to this one by now, but no. Dogs should not eat any form of onion, including raw onion.

can dogs eat red onions

My Dog Ate Onions: What Should I Do?

If your dog eats onions, the first thing you need to do is contact your vet as your pup will probably need medical attention.

Your vet will be able to guide you on the next steps depending on when your pup ate onions and how much.

Symptoms of Onion Toxicity in Dogs

If your pup eats onions, it’s important to know the signs and symptoms of onion poisoning so you can effectively monitor them.

Symptoms of onion poisoning in dogs are:

  • Lethargy
  • Pale gums
  • Decreased appetite
  • Red/pink urine (blood in urine)
  • Collapse
  • Weakness
  • Vomiting/diarrhea

Treatment of Onion Poisoning in Dogs

Depending on when your pooch last ate onions, your vet may induce vomiting or keep your pup in for monitoring and health care until your dog can produce enough healthy red blood cells to replace the ones damaged by onion toxicity.

In extreme cases, your vet may recommend a blood transfusion.

Preventing Onion Toxicity in Dogs

Really, the only way you can avoid onion poisoning is to keep onions away from your dog. We know pups are curious about almost all food, so don’t trust them not to eat something yummy with onions in it.

Always check any human food you give your dog, especially for onion or garlic powder as these quite often sneak in without us knowing it.

If your dog does eat something with onion in it by mistake, contact your vet right away.

Alternative Veggies for Dogs

By now we know onions are a no-go for dogs. But there are lots of healthy veggies you can give your pup to get a bit more nutrients and variety into their diets. These include:

As with anything, give your pup a small amount to begin with and monitor them for any signs of allergies or an upset stomach.

Human food should only make up 10% of your pup’s daily diet. They should be getting the nutrients and calories they need from special dog food.

Sum Up: Can Dogs Eat Onions?

No. Dogs cannot eat onions. Onions, in any form including powder, raw, red, and cooked, are poisonous to dogs. You should always check any food you give your pup for onions and contact your vet straight away if your pup eats onions.

There are plenty of other healthier foods you can give your dog as a treat or as a snack. Have a look at the BarkingTalk Food Page for more information and inspiration – your pup will thank you!