- Not a substitute for professional veterinary help.
It’s a nice day and you’re dining al fresco with your dog. You look up from your phone to hear crunching and find several of your onion rings gone. No big deal, right? Unfortunately, onions are not a dog safe food, and your best friend may be in trouble.
Onions are toxic for dogs to consume in any form, even in powder form. They’re part of the Allium plant family along with garlic, leeks, and chives and contain a toxic principle called N-propyl disulfide. This compound breaks down red blood cells, causing anemia and organ failure in severe cases. If you think your dog may have consumed onions, there are some things to watch for.
Symptoms to watch for after onion ingestion
- Decreased Appetite
- Pale Gums
- Reddish Urine
These symptoms could be signs of onion toxicity and anemia, and time is of the essence. If your dog eats onion rings and starts showing these symptoms, they need to go to the vet as soon as possible to prevent life-threatening complications.
While some dogs may not show symptoms of onion poisoning after eating something small, such as an onion ring, it’s still best to inform your vet that they’ve eaten onion and see what they recommend. Thankfully, while onion poisoning can result in death in extreme cases, it’s all in the dose, and how big your dog is.
How many onion rings are too much?
Ideally, your dog won’t eat any onion, in ring form or otherwise. PetMD notes that pets that eat more than 0.5% of their bodyweight typically show signs of onion poisoning. That means as little as a 1/4 cup of onion can make a 20-pound dog sick. So, while it may not be dire if your 50-pound dog eats one onion ring, it’s still recommended that you keep a close eye on your dog for signs of onion poisoning.
Pet Poison Helpline notes that some Japanese breeds of dog such as Akitas and Shiba Inus seem to be more sensitive to poisoning by Allium plants, so if your dog fits into those breeds, extra precaution is advised. (It’s also good to note that cats appear to be more sensitive as well, so if the ingestion was a cross-species tag team on your dinner, watch your cat for symptoms as well.)
Treatment for onion poisoning
Onion poisoning is serious. Watch your dog for the symptoms mentioned above, and contact your vet about your concerns. This is a case where swift action can make a difference, so caution is advised.
For More Information
We have many different articles on which types of food may or may not be safe for your dog to indulge in. Browse through our directory page with all the “Can My Dog Have” articles here.
You may also be interested in “Can My Dog Eat Onions?”
The information provided in this article is not a substitute for professional veterinary help.