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Can I give onion to my dog?

Author: The DogsPlanet.com Team

The benefits of onions are multiple for humans. Whether cooked or raw, it is a food that adds flavor to our dishes inciting us to give some to our dog. But, for dogs, the dangers of onions are real.

Find out in this article about the dangers of onions for dogs and what to do if your pet has ingested this food.

Dangers of onion for the dog

The onion is a vegetable used by humans for its tasting virtues but also for its many medicinal properties: hypotensive, diuretic or antimicrobial.

However, despite its benefits, onions are a toxic food for domestic carnivores, including dogs and cats.

Indeed, onion contains sulfur derivatives which are the cause of this toxicity in dogs. It is these sulfur derivatives that are at the origin of the symptoms of onion intoxication, mainly, hemolytic anemia.

What are the symptoms of onion poisoning in dogs?

The clinical picture of onion poisoning in dogs is mainly the consequences of hemolytic anemia, i.e. anemia caused by the destruction of red blood cells. Among these symptoms are the following:

  • Hemoglobinuria: the presence of hemoglobin in the urine. Urine is red or brown.
  • Feeling down, weakness and loss of appetite.
  • Pale mucous membranes.
  • Increase in respiratory and cardiac frequency.
  • In rare cases, digestive disorders: diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain.
  • The spleen is easily palpable because it is enlarged (called splenomegaly).

In some cases, only one symptom may appear with onion poisoning in dogs. Presence of hemoglobin in the blood should alert you to an immediate consultation with the veterinarian.

My dog ate onion: what can I do?

Your dog can be poisoned by onion in two ways: either by ingesting a large amount at once, or by ingesting small amounts repeatedly.

In the first case, if you catch your dog eating it, try to remove the onion he is eating and estimate how much he has already swallowed. See your vet if there are any complications.

Also monitor his symptoms during the week after swallowing, especially the color of his urine.

In the second case, the symptoms of onion poisoning will alert you. As soon as one of the signs appears, contact your veterinarian. Treatment is usually symptomatic.

An infusion to protect kidney function from destruction of red blood cells is necessary. Your veterinarian may also prescribe your dog vitamin E to help fight anemia.

In some severe cases, hospitalization and monitoring for 5 to 6 days may be required.

In any case, it is strictly not recommended to make your pet vomit if he has ingested onion, it could make the situation worse.

The prognosis for this intoxication is rarely bad. The dog can recover within a few days after a visit to the vet.

How much onion not to exceed?

The toxic dose of onion in dogs is about 5 to 10 grams per kilogram of body weight. If your dog weighs 10 kg, one onion can cause intoxication. The first symptoms of poisoning usually appear between 12 and 24 hours.

As you can see, onion is a food appreciated by humans but it is dangerous and toxic for dogs. It is advisable to simply remove it from your pet’s food.

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