Why Should Dogs Not Eat Onions

N-propyl disulfide is a poisonous substance found in onions. This substance makes red blood cells degrade, which makes dogs anemic.

The poison attaches to the oxygen molecules in your dog’s red blood cells, causing oxidative damage to the cells. This decreases the red blood cells’ capacity to transport oxygen and deceives your dog’s body into believing that the blood cell is an outsider. Hemolysis, the process by which red blood cells are destroyed, causes hemolytic anemia.

Can my dog be harmed by a small amount of onion?

The fact that it doesn’t take much for dogs to experience major health issues makes onions and other alliums harmful. Typically, a dog becomes toxic when they consume more than 0.5% of their body weight in onions at once.

Simply said, a dog can easily become poisoned by ingesting even a small amount of hazardous allium foods like onion, garlic, or other. A small amount of onion may not harm a 150-pound mastiff, but it can have major health effects on a 10-pound dog, such as a chihuahua. The greater the hazard, the smaller the dog. Knowing what kinds of human food your dog can consume without becoming sick is crucial because while some human meals are good for dogs, others can be harmful to their health.

Suppose my dog ate some onions?

Bring your pet to the veterinarian right away if they consumed onions or garlic and now have red or brown urine, are weak, are panting, or are breathing more quickly than usual. They could require IV fluid support, a blood transfusion, and additional oxygen to get through this. Keep in mind that it may take a week for some of these symptoms to appear!

Can dogs consume food that has had onions in it?

Leeks, scallions, onions, and garlic

Due to their aromatic and flavor-enhancing qualities, we adore incorporating all of these into our culinary masterpieces. The most hazardous plant family for our dogs is this one, though. Perhaps a small amount can put our canine friends in danger and even lead to their demise.

Let’s examine onions in more detail to learn why they are so harmful to our canines.

The Onion

The allium family of root vegetables includes onions. Leeks, chives, scallions (also known as green onions), shallots, and garlic are also.

All onions—white, yellow, and green—can make your dog sick with onion toxicosis. All onion parts, including the leaves, flesh, skin, and juice, are harmful to your dog whether they are cooked or uncooked.

Dogs of Japanese ancestry, such as Akita and Shiba Inus, are more vulnerable to onion toxicosis, according to the ASPCA.

Here’s what happens if your dog eats onion

The hazardous chemical substance in onions is known as n-propyl disulfide. Hemolytic anemia results from the harm it causes to red blood cells.

How it works is as follows:

N-propyl disulfide is a sulfur chemical that can be found in all parts of allium family plants. Dogs lack the enzyme needed to metabolize it. Everything is fine, and you’d think they’d just dump it out, wouldn’t you? No, once it enters your dog’s body, this little chemical is toxic.

The hemoglobin protein, which carries oxygen in the blood, is specially attached to this sulfur molecule by the dog’s red blood cells. When that occurs, the red blood cells experience oxidative damage, which impairs their ability to effectively transport oxygen throughout the body. On a blood smear, they really form clumps called heinz bodies, which are the telltale symptom of onion poisoning (under a microscope, it appears as a purple glob on the red blood cells).

In your dog’s body, a conflict starts. They battle to exterminate Heinz corpses, which they perceive as invaders. Do not forget that they are the red blood cells that are currently viewed as the adversary. The breakdown of red blood cells is a process known as hemolysis.

If not stopped, the conflict continues. Red blood cells are being lost more quickly than the body can make them, and those that are made have shorter lives. When your dog’s body isn’t getting enough oxygen to keep its organs and systems functioning, it swiftly spirals into a severe anemic condition.

Although they can start right once, symptoms typically show up a few days after intake. Onion poisoning manifests as:

  • Lethargy
  • Continent pain
  • diminished endurance or possibly fainting during or after exercise
  • reduced appetite
  • White gums
  • elevated respiratory or cardiac rates
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Inability to coordinate (ataxia)
  • tainted urine

Is there any amount of onions that’s safe for dogs? Short answer: No.

It only takes.05% of your dog’s body weight in onions for them to be toxic, if they happen to get into the onions one day and munch down. That’s about one little onion for a 45 pound dog. Consider the implications for a little Yorkie!

The fact that hemolytic anemia can slowly and over a long period of time accumulate in the blood is what makes it so terrifying.

Consider giving your dog a tiny portion of the egg bits or quiche you eat for breakfast every day, which may contain onions or onion powder. Then you eat a hamburger for lunch (the fluids from the raw or grilled onions get on the bun and the beef), and your dog sneaks a mouthful. You serve your dog a piece of steak for dinner along with onion rings or sauteed mushrooms and onions. His body begins to become poisoned. Onion toxicosis symptoms will eventually appear.

Time is of the essence when you notice symptoms with any amount of onion, but especially with onion powder and garlic powder, which are more effective than the actual onion. Additionally, keep in mind that garlic is more harmful to dogs than onions and should never be given to them in any form.

How is onion poisoning treated?

You should take your dog to the vet right away if you think they may have eaten an onion or even just a portion of one! Keep in mind that when eating onions, time is of the essence.


The veterinarian will also request blood work to check for Heinz bodies on the red blood cells and a urinalysis to look for elevated hemoglobin levels in the urine. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Helpline is open 24/7 to help you if you have any questions.


Up until the situation is resolved, your dog will stay some time in the veterinary office under close observation. The majority of dogs will recover quickly from minor onion poisoning, but more serious cases may take longer.

Pet insurance can be useful in situations like these, allowing you to concentrate on your dog’s health with less concern for the cost of the vet. As a result, Pumpkin provides “Best In Show pet insurance” to provide you peace of mind in the event that your dog need medical attention.

The fact that cats are more likely than dogs to develop onion toxicosis is fascinating. A few years ago, the toxicity of onions to cats increased. Veterinarians frequently utilize baby meals to get cats to eat again after they stopped eating. They determined that the problem was caused by onion powder, which was present in the infant food. Thankfully, onion powder is no longer present in infant food.

The bottom line for dogs and onions

Your dog should not consume any onions, whether they are raw, cooked, dried, powdered, juiced, or any other variety (yellow, green, white, etc.) in your meal. Possibly a small amount given frequently is extremely concerning because it can accumulate in their blood over time and result in serious anemia and even death for your cherished canine companion.

There is no safe amount of onion for dogs; instead, the toxicity levels depend on the dog’s size, age, breed, and general health. A little dog might have a harder time getting away with an onion than a large dog. Onions, however, should never be given to dogs in any form, including in human food. The problem is that while simpleonions or any other allium family member may be fine for us dog parents, they are a strict NO for dogs.

widely available.

Raspberries Dogs can indeed consume raspberries. In moderation, raspberries are acceptable. They are great for dogs because they contain antioxidants. They are high in fiber, manganese, and vitamin C but low in sugar and calories. Raspberries have anti-inflammatory properties that can benefit aging joints, making them particularly beneficial for senior dogs. Even so, your dog should only consume up to a cup of raspberries at a time because they do contain trace amounts of xylitol.

Strawberries Yes, strawberries are edible by dogs. Strawberry fiber and vitamin C content is high. They also contain an enzyme that, when consumed by your dog, can assist in whitening his or her teeth. Give them sparingly because they contain sugar.

Dogs should stay away from tomatoes. While tomatoes’ ripe fruit is typically regarded as safe for canines, the plant’s green parts are poisonous due to a compound called solanine. To be safe, it’s better to avoid tomatoes altogether even though a dog would need to consume a significant amount of the tomato plant to become ill.

Watermelon Dogs can consume watermelon, yes. Watermelon flesh is safe for dogs, but it’s important to remove the rind and seeds first since they can result in intestinal blockage. It is rich in potassium, vitamins A, B-6, and C. As 92 percent of a watermelon is water, it’s a great way to help keep your dog hydrated during the scorching summer months. (These days, you can even find dog treats that taste like watermelon.)