Onion toxicity is uncomfortable for dogs as it can damage the body in a variety of ways. Onions are very irritating to your dog’s intestines. When you eat them, you often experience excessive drooling, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Worse, these unwanted effects are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to it how dangerous onions can be!
If your puppy has recently consumed onions, do something first Contact your veterinarian, right away. Read on to find out everything you need to know about onions and dogs.
Why are onions poisonous to dogs?
Onions also contain a Chemical called n-propyl disulfide. It causes oxidative damage to red blood cells and leads to their destruction (a process known as hemolytic anemia). The destruction of these red blood cells means that not enough cells are circulating in the body – we call this anemia. Without enough blood cells, not enough oxygen is moved around the body, which leads to organ damage. Anemia is difficult to spot and can be fatal. This is why onions are particularly dangerous for dogs.
What are the symptoms and timing?
Signs of an upset stomach such as loss of appetite, drooling, vomiting, and diarrhea can appear as early as 30 minutes after your dog has consumed the onion. Unfortunately, the more deadly effects of hemolytic anemia can take days to fully show and include:
- Exercise intolerance
- Pale gums
- Breathe faster than normal
- Increased pulse
- Red / brown-colored urine
If your dog shows any of these signs, see a veterinarian right away.
How much onion will harm a dog?
Consumption of even small amounts can lead to signs of toxicity or Onion poisoning in dogs. As little as 15-30 grams per kilogram of body weight changes in the red blood cells of dogs have been reported to occur. Studies have shown that toxic effects occur when dogs eat more than 0.5% of their own body weight in onions. As a result, smaller dogs are much more prone to onion toxicity. This is because they only need to eat a small number of onions to get a toxic dose.
For example, a 20kg border collie would need to eat 100g onion to receive a potentially toxic dose (roughly one small to medium-sized onion). The results are far more dangerous for a 5 kg Maltese terrier who would only need to eat less than 25 g to be poisoned by an onion. Unfortunately, the toxic effects of consuming onions are believed to be cumulative. If your dog has eaten small amounts of onions for a few days, there is still a risk that they will develop onion toxicity.
It is important to keep in mind that some dogs will be affected after consuming more or fewer onions than the set toxic doses. This depends on age, health status, race, and individual variation. Breeds that have been reported to be more sensitive to onion toxicity are Japanese breeds like the Japanese Chin. The Akita and Shiba Inu are also susceptible.
Are Cooked Onions Safe For Dogs?
Onions are Part of that leek Plant family. All varieties (including red, brown, yellow, green, and spring onions) are poisonous to dogs and cats. The leek Family also includes leeks, garlic, chives, and shallots. Each of these is just as dangerous if eaten by your dog. It is important to note that all parts of the plant are poisonous (including the leaves and sap). This is important to keep in mind when growing onions in your garden.
When we think of a dog who eats onions, we may first think of raw onions falling to the floor at dinner and a curious puppy who takes a bite. However, onions are just as dangerous in cooking. This can be a problem as onions are a very common ingredient in-home cooking, ready-made meals, and take-away meals (think onion rings, pizza, and Chinese food). Onion is also great commonly used as a flavor in the form of onion powder (think instant soups and noodles, or even in a filling and sauce).
It has been known that owners feed onion-containing foods without realizing the risks. Your furry friend can also steal onions while preparing food. This can happen when food is left unattended on the table or out of the trash can. Also, when flushing out of the trash, there is a chance that other high-risk foods (such as grapes, cooked bones, fatty foods, and chocolate) or inedible items such as plastic or aluminum foil are consumed.
My dog ate onions, what should I do?
In the unfortunate event that your dog does consume onions, there are several steps you should take immediately. We have already recommended that you contact your veterinarian right away. However, you can follow these steps while you wait.
Pay attention to symptoms
Are you behaving normally? Are you breathing faster than normal? Has there been vomiting or diarrhea? If your dog has pale gums, has collapsed, or is having difficulty breathing, see the nearest emergency doctor right away. If your dog is light, alert, and breathing normally, skip to step 2.
Prevent further access
Remove any onions (or foods that contain onions) from the ground to ensure other pets don’t join in and your dog won’t return. This includes the trash can as the smell of onions is extremely tempting to dogs, especially as part of a delicious meal.
Call your vet
Given the severity of the toxic effects of onions on our dogs, it is best to seek veterinary advice as soon as possible. Remember that small breed dogs and puppies only need to ingest a very small amount of onions to show signs of toxicity. Make sure you give your veterinarian all the relevant information:
- Your dog’s age, breed, health status (all known diseases) and size.
- Amount of onion consumed, possibly.
- Any other food that may have been eaten.
- When did your dog eat the onion (or the best guess possible)?
- Signs of illness or unusual behavior.
If your vet is concerned that your dog has ingested a poisonous amount of onions, they will advise you to come to the clinic. If your clinic is nearby, it may be worth going straight to the vet instead of waiting.
Calculate how much has been used
If you drop a raw onion on the ground and watch your dog eat it is pretty easy. Most often, however, the onion is boiled or added to a meal. Try to remember how much onion went into the bowl and how much of it your dog could have eaten. Check the labels for onions, onion powder, or related foods like garlic. If you think your dog may have eaten a toxic amount of onions (see above), or if you are unsure, it is time to call your veterinarian.
When your dog comes home from the vet, carefully follow all discharge instructions. You should watch your dog closely for signs of onion toxicity (see above). This is true even if your vet believes it is unlikely that your dog has eaten enough onions to be poisonous and has advised you to wait.
frequently asked Questions
Here are some other questions that are commonly asked when a dog is consuming onions. It’s worth noting that this is not meant to be all-inclusive. If you still have questions, ask your veterinarian.
What is the treatment for onion toxicity?
Your veterinarian will take a thorough medical history and perform a physical exam on your dog. If your dog has recently eaten onions and is otherwise fine, the veterinarian can make him vomit to prevent toxic effects such as hemolytic anemia from developing.
However, please do not try this at home. Vomiting a dog is not a risk-free procedure and should only ever be attempted by a veterinarian. You will give your dog an injection to do this as safely as possible. Home remedies for vomiting in dogs are all over the internet. Many are unsure and may limit the help your veterinarian can give your dog with surgery. Activated charcoal can also be given. This can help bind toxins that are not removed by vomiting so that they can travel through the intestines without being absorbed.
How can I prevent onion toxicity and protect my dog?
Making sure your dog cannot access onions in any form is the safest way to protect your dog and prevent onion toxicity. If you have onions or any of the leek Family in your yard, make sure this section is fenced off. In the kitchen, be careful not to leave the food in places your dog could get to, such as in the kitchen. B. at coffee tables (and at the kitchen counter for larger breeds!).
Keep your dog away from the kitchen while preparing food. In case the food is dropped, make sure your trash can is pet safe or out of reach. If possible, avoid feeding leftovers or “human food”. If you do, check the ingredients for onion or onion powder before feeding it to your dog.
As mentioned, though Your dog ate onionsYour first step should be to call your veterinarian. Once you have established that you are on the safe side, you should follow your veterinarian’s advice to make sure your pup is on the mend. As always, do your best to take proper precautions to prevent onions from being eaten in the first place. With luck, your pup will be fine peeling an onion.