Is your dog a fan of everything they shouldn’t eat? Do they keep peeking in the onion basket and try hypnotizing you into feeding them one? If so, you might wonder, “can dogs eat onions?”

The answer is BIG NO. Onions may be a part of human’s every other cuisine but for the furry buddies? Not so much. We have covered all the risks, signs of toxicity, and super healthy alternatives for you.

So let’s get started!

Are Onions Bad For Dogs?

Yes, they are toxic.

Onions have a compound named “N-propyl disulfide,” which leads to severe and deadly anemia in dogs. If we go into the details, each red cell in your dog’s body carries oxygen, and this particular compound damages it (study). This situation can happen even with a small bite of onion.

To bring in the figures, a dog, like a chihuahua that weighs 5 pounds, cannot consume over 5 grams of onions (toxicity calculator). And do you know how much an onion weighs? It’s 100 grams!!! 

Onion is nothing but a recipe for disaster for dogs. Of course, it also depends on the size of the dog, as larger dogs may have more tolerance to some amount of toxin. As a responsible dog owner, if you know your dog ate onion, you should immediately contact your veterinarian. It is not advisable to compromise your dog’s health over a “guessing game” of how much onion they ate or not. 

You MUST NEVER feed your dog any amount of onions or human foods that contain onions, like pasta or other dishes. If you have a bag full of onions, you can simply hide it away from your dog’s clever nose before they sniff and hunt. 

Symptoms of Onion Poisoning in Dogs

Onions are one of the human foods that are not toxic to dogs and cats. If your dog ate an onion, you should immediately seek veterinary attention. Until then, you should observe your dog for showing signs of onion poisoning. Here are some of the symptoms that you can expect from your dog:

  1. Anemia
  2. Nausea
  3. Lethargy
  4. Breathlessness or Rapid breathing
  5. Fever
  6. Abdominal pain
  7. Burning sensation in the throat
  8. Ulcers in mouth and stomach

Are There Any Benefits?

Even though onions may have a few nutrients that can help your dog’s health, their allium toxicity cannot be compensated with a few pros. So here are the nutrients and benefits that worked as our criteria to find THE PERFECT alternatives for your doggo!

  1. Vitamin B
  2. Vitamin C
  3. Potassium
  4. Low fat

And that’s all! So, compromising your dog’s health for a few benefits is unfair! 

a dog next to a kitchen counter laden with various vegetables such as onions, potatoes, leek, and onion

Alternatives of Onions For Dogs

To help you with the alternatives, below are some delicious human food treats you and your dog can enjoy together. Also, they all have the same nutritional value as the onions!

Here you go!

1. Seafood

When serving your dog seafood, our first preferences are crabs and scallops. They both are rich in nutrients essential for a dog’s well-being. Crabs are packed with vitamin B and potassium, while scallops are a great source of Vitamin B12. If you maintain moderation and precautions in mind, these two can beat the flavor of onions.

2. Coconut flesh

Unless you feed your dog coconut oil in heavy amounts, this treat can be a game changer for you and your dog. The coconut flesh not only contains healthy fat but also benefits your dog with lots of vitamin C. These qualities make them a perfect alternative to onions. 

3. Lettuce

Another excellent alternative to onions for dogs is lettuce. This green veggie is packed with the powers of vitamin C, Potassium and also it is low in fat. They have a similar texture to the onions, making them extra pleasurable for our furry friends. 

4. Celery

Lettuce, move ahead and talk about another green veggie – celery. They are also rich in vitamin C, potassium, and very little fat. Celery is perfect for training treats as it can keep your dog hydrated. 


Our final thoughts on “can dogs eat onions?” is a HUGE NO. Onions are highly toxic and deadly to dogs. This can also depend on the personal tolerance of the dog, but if you see your dog chewing on one, then you must immediately call your veterinarian. 

We do not recommend that you play with home remedies, as it can worsen the situation for your dog. Rest, if you are disheartened that your dog cannot get the benefits of onions- you can also look up the TASTIER, HEALTHIER, and SAFER alternatives!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can dogs eat cooked onions?

No. Dogs should not eat cooked or raw onions as they are toxic to dogs. Cooking by any method will not make onions safe for dogs. You should strictly avoid serving even one bite of onions to your dog.

How much onion is toxic to dogs?

Generally, it depends on the dog’s size, but in the case of onions, we do not recommend giving even one bite of onion to dogs. A chihuahua who weighs 5 pounds cannot have over 5 grams of onion, while a German shepherd (70 pounds) may tolerate an onion. However, it would be best not to compromise your dog’s health; instead, serve them alternative foods with the same nutritional value.

Can dogs eat onions and garlic?

Dogs cannot and should not eat onions or garlic in any amounts whatsoever. They both are highly toxic to dogs and can even be fatal if not cured on time.

Will a small amount of onion hurt my dog?

Yes. Any amount of garlic, as little as 0.01 grams, can harm a dog like a chihuahua. You should ensure that your dog does not sneak in an onion and eat it secretly, as if not cured on time, the toxins in onions can be deadly to dogs.

What other types of onions can harm dogs?

All types of onions, including chives and green onions, are toxic to dogs. Theta ll belong to the same Allium family. They all have the same toxins like Thiosulfate and N-propyl disulfides, which also makes human foods like garlic extremely deadly to dogs.

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