Can Dogs Eat Onions? Are Onions Bad for Dogs?

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Can Dogs Eat Onions? Are Onions Bad for Dogs?Lots of people have questions about what dogs can eat. Maybe you want to minimize food waste by feeding table scraps, or perhaps your dog loves to scavenge and get its nose into places it shouldn’t. Either way, knowing what human food your dog can eat is vital to keeping your pooch safe and healthy. Today’s question: Can dogs eat onions?

Can Dogs Eat Onions?

The short answer to “Can dogs eat onions?” is…

“No, dogs should not eat onions in any form”!! Read on to learn why you shouldn’t feed your dog onions.

Are Onions Safe for Dogs?

No – onions are not safe for dogs. Onions as well as all other members of the allium family (chives, leeks, and shallots), can make your dog very sick.

All parts of the onion are toxic to dogs: leaves, flesh, skin, as well as onion derivatives such as raw onion, onion powder, cooked onions, and more.

Are Onions Healthy or Toxic? Breaking Down the Nutrients

Close-up of onions in white background, can dogs eat onions

Although onions are healthy for humans, providing vitamins C and B6, folate, iron, potassium, and manganese, they are toxic to dogs! Onion toxicity is caused by n-propyl disulfide, a toxic principle that is very harmful to dogs. It can cause red blood cells to break down, leading to hemolytic anemia in dogs.

Dogs Need Their Daily Minerals and Vitamins too!

Dogs are omnivorous, and they should eat a balanced diet that provides for all of their needs in terms of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Good dog foods should provide everything your dog needs, and you should not have to rely on supplementing it with snacks. However, if you do choose to feed your dog snacks, there’s no reason these shouldn’t be nutritious too!

What Vegetables/Fruits can Dogs Eat?

Can dogs eat onions? No, but they can eat other fruits and vegetables. Certain fruits and vegetables can make great healthy snacks for dogs, especially if your pet is overweight. The following veggies are good to feed your dog:

Feeding Your Dog Onions: Possible Side Effects!

We now know that the answer to “Can dogs eat onions” is a resounding “No!”, but what exactly happens to them if they do? Just 3.5 ounces of onion per 44 pounds of a dog’s body weight is enough to cause toxic effects. That’s about the size of a small onion.

The symptoms of onion toxicity in dogs are linked to problems with red blood cells and hemolytic anemia. They include:

  • weakness
  • lethargy
  • pale gums
  • decreased appetite
  • reddish urine
  • fainting
  • panting
  • vomiting, and
  • an elevated heart rate

If you believe your dog has consumed onions by accident, then you will need to contact your veterinarian or nearest emergency clinic ASAP.

Eat All The Things: Food Dog Can Eat

Black dog looking sad with dog bowl on the wall, can dogs eat onions

We already know that the answer to “Can dogs eat onions” is a big “No!”, but what can they eat?

First remember that commercial dog food, though it looks unappetizing to us, is designed to give your dog everything it needs to stay healthy. Snacks should make up no more than 10% of your dog’s diet.

If you do want to add some “human food” to your dog’s diet in small amounts, however, here are some ideas:

  • Cooked rice
  • Cooked potatoes
  • Green beans
  • Cooked pumpkin
  • Boiled chicken
  • Broccoli
  • Bell peppers

Other foods you should never feed your dog include:

  • Chocolate, especially dark or semi-sweet chocolate
  • Tomatoes
  • Grapes and raisins (which can cause kidney failure!)
  • Macadamia nuts

Make Homemade Dog Food: The Ultimate Vegetable Recipe Your Pet Will Love

For a quick and easy dog food recipe that’s packed with nutrients, try cooking 3 cups of rice until very soft, then set aside.

Heat 1 tbsp oil and use it to brown 3 lbs of ground chicken or turkey, making sure it doesn’t clump up.

Add 3 cups of chopped baby spinach, 2 grated carrots, ½ cup of peas and a shredded zucchini, then cook it until all the vegetables have softened.

Once cool, you can feed it to your dog or freeze it in portions for future use. It will last in the fridge for 3 days.

Dog Not Eating Vegetables or Dog Won’t Eat Your Meal? 3 Tips to Help Them Out

  1. When introducing a new food, pretend to eat it yourself. This will make it much more interesting to your dog!
  2. Try mixing the new food into your dog’s existing food, so your dog associates it with food that it knows is tasty.
  3. If your dog is turning down its regular food, try feeding it plain rice and boiled chicken. If it refuses even this then it may be feeling ill, and you should call your veterinarian.

Comparing Apples and Oranges: What Can Cats Eat as Well as Dogs?

If you have pet cats as well as dogs, you’ll know that you can’t treat your dog without treating your cat too! Luckily, snacks like cooked fish, unseasoned cooked eggs, and cooked skinless chicken are all good for both dogs and cats.

Just Food for Dogs: 3 Foods Your Dog Can Eat But Not Your Cat

  1. Dog Food: dog food is specially formulated to give dogs all the nutrition they need, but in large quantities, it can be harmful to cats.
  2. Dairy products: most cats are lactose-intolerant! This includes cheese, milk, and yogurt.
  3. Raw meat: some pet owners swear by feeding their dogs a raw diet, but this can be harmful to cats’ digestive systems.

What do Dogs Eat? 2 Ways to Feed Your Dog Vegetables

As long as they are safe for dogs to eat, vegetables can make a great snack for your dog. Here are a few ideas on how to introduce your dog to new veggies.


  • Chop raw vegetables into bite-sized pieces to reduce the risk of choking.
  • Try smearing raw carrots or apple with peanut butter. Just make sure it doesn’t contain xylitol, which is toxic to dogs.
  • If you have a teething puppy, try freezing apple or carrot sticks and giving them to your pup to chew on to soothe sore gums.


  • Cooked sweet potato is good for dogs, especially older dogs that have problems chewing harder foods.
  • You can give leftover baked potatoes to dogs, as long as they are properly cooled and don’t have oil, salt, or butter on them.

So, Are Onions Good for Dogs? Can Dogs have Onions?

We’ve definitively answered the question, “Can dogs eat onions” with a solid “No!” Onions is toxic to dogs in all forms. But that doesn’t mean you can’t feed your dog other fruits and vegetables as part of a balanced diet

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