Can Dogs Eat Onions?
Dog Food

Can Dogs Eat Onions?

Human recipes are often incomplete without onions, which give our food delicious flavors and aromas. With the amount of onions we consume, you may have wondered, “Can dogs eat onions?” If yes, we have news. Onions and dogs do not go well together. Onions are poisonous for your dog and can even be fatal if consumed in large amounts. 

In this article, we delve deep into understanding why onions are so toxic to dogs, how to go about if your dog eats onions, and recommendations on safe alternatives to this vegetable. 

Can Dogs Eat Onions?

Onions are toxic to dogs and must not be consumed. All parts of the onion and its plant are poisonous for our canine companions. It also includes its leaves, flesh, powder, and juices. You must avoid offering your dog any type of treats, which have onions. Also, prevent them from going into areas with onions.

Are Onions Bad for Dogs?

Yes, for dogs onions can be deadly. This vegetable is highly toxic to dogs and should be kept away from them to prevent onion poisoning. 

Onions belong to the genus Allium and have a toxic compound called N-propyl disulfide, which is poisonous for dogs. It causes damage to the red blood cells and leads to their breakdown and wreckage, known as hemolysis. It typically results in anemia and red or brown urine discoloration. In anemia, the red blood cells cannot carry oxygen to some crucial organs.

How Much Onion Is Toxic to Dogs?

The amount of onion that would be toxic to your dog depends on their body weight and other factors that make them more susceptible to onion toxicity. Dogs with concurrent diseases like diabetes, anemia, or liver disease, Japanese dogs (Akita, Shiba Inu), and dogs on medications may be more prone to onion toxicity. 

According to PetMD, the amount of onions around 0.5% or more of your dog’s weight (about 3.5 ounces of onions per 44 lb of a dog’s weight) can cause onion poisoning. This tells us that even a small amount of onion can be toxic to dogs.

Symptoms of Onion Toxicity in Dogs

If your dog ate onion, the clinical signs may appear within a day or two. The symptoms you should look out for onion toxicity include:

  • Weakness/Lethargy

  • Vomiting

  • Pale gums

  • Reduced appetite

  • Diarrhea

  • Red or brown urine

  • Increased heart rate

  • Fainting

  • Abdominal pain

  • Increased respiratory rate

Get your dog immediately checked by a veterinarian if they show any of these symptoms. 

Treating Onion Toxicity in Dogs

If your dog has eaten onions, the first thing to determine is how much onions they consumed. If the amount of onions or food containing onions is large, immediately take your dog to the vet. 

The treatment of onion toxicity depends upon the diagnosis, which includes clinical signs, medical history, and examination of the blood sample under the microscope. If your veterinarian finds the formation of Heinz's body on a blood smear of hemolytic anemia and symptoms mentioned above, it means your dog has onion toxicity. 

According to an article by the VCA Hospitals, if your dog ate onions within a few hours of treatment, they may induce vomiting to decontaminate their body from onion toxicity. When the vomiting stops, medical-grade activated charcoal may be administered to strap any more toxins. If the condition worsens, your dog may get hospitalized for a blood transfusion or IV fluids. 

Safe Alternative to Onions

Your dog shouldn’t eat onions, but various other vegetables are safe alternatives to onions, such as cucumber, carrots, and green beans. You can offer these healthy vegetables to your dog as treats because they are a great source of vitamins and fiber. 


All forms of onions dogs should avoid, which is why you must prevent your dog from eating foods having onions or their powder. More often, dogs recover and don't have any difficulty in the long run if they consume only a small amount of onions. However, large amounts of onion consumption can be fatal. So, look out for your dog and stop them running off to onions or foods with onions.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Is garlic toxic to dogs?

Yes, garlic is toxic to dogs because it contains a compound called thiosulphate, which causes damage to their red blood cells. 

Can dogs eat cooked onions?

No, dogs should not eat onions, whether raw or cooked. Cooking them does not affect how poisonous they are.

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