Why You Should Never Let Your Dogs Eat Onions

Why Onions Are A Big No-No For Dogs

We all want to keep our pets as healthy as possible. And while that usually means exercise, playtime, and regular visits to the vet, it also means making sure they are eating a healthy diet. When it comes to dogs, feeding them the right food isn’t enough.

Since dogs are curious animals, they can find themselves in the pantry, digging through our food. While this might not cause harm all the time, they can sometimes end up eating food they shouldn’t and getting sick. And one of these foods is onions.

Yes, onions are very dangerous for dogs to eat. To help you understand why we’ve created a comprehensive guide to why onions are bad for your dog and why you should keep them away from your pet at all costs.

Read on to learn more.

Can Dogs Eat Onions?

The answer to this is a hard no. Onions and everything in the allium family including garlic, leeks, shallots, and chives are very harmful to dogs. And since they are staples in most kitchens around the world, it’s easy for dogs to come into contact with them and start eating the onions. As much as possible, make sure to keep the onions in your kitchen out of your dog’s reach to keep them safe from the toxic food.

Why Are Onions Bad for Dogs?

The reason onions are bad for dogs is that they contain N-propyl disulfide, which attacks and harms the red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body and remove carbon dioxide, so if they are damaged or reduced, this can have some significant consequences for your dog.

Onions aren’t the only herb that contains N-propyl disulfide. Every single member of the allium family contains the toxin. In small amounts, it barely has an effect on dogs. However, some dogs are more sensitive to it than others, which is important to keep in mind. You can avoid the risk of onion poisoning in dogs by keeping them away from the ingredient at all times and making sure it is never mixed in with their food.

What Can Happen If My Dog Eats Onions?

There are a couple of things that can happen if your dog eats too many onions. As mentioned earlier, onions contain a toxin that can damage the red blood cells and have severe effects on your pets. The following are just some of the conditions and symptoms your dog may exhibit after eating onions;

  • Decreased appetite
  • Frequent urination or reddish urine
  • Lethargy and weakness
  • Pale gums
  • Fainting

At times, your dog may also start vomiting if they have ingested onions to expel the toxin from their body. On top of that, there’s also a chance that your dog will develop hemolytic anemia after eating onions, which is why it’s crucial to keep a close eye on what your dog is eating.

What Parts of the Onion Are Toxic to Dogs?

Sadly, every single part of the onion plant contains N-propyl disulfide, this means that whatever part of the plant or herb your dog eats, they are at risk of damaging their red blood cells. The stems, leaves, juice, flesh, and skin of the onion are toxic to dogs. In fact, onions are even toxic to dogs when they are in powdered form.

So, when giving your dog food, make sure to take a close look at the ingredients. There is a large number of different foods out there that have onion powder in the ingredients. If ever you notice onions or onion powder listed as an ingredient in food, it can be toxic for your dog so make sure to keep your pet away from it at all costs.

What Do I Do If I Catch My Dog Eating Onions?

If you catch your dog eating onions, the best thing to do is call the vet. You can tell the vet exactly what happened and then they will give you the proper advice on what to do. Your vet knows your dog and all its quirks, so they will be able to give accurate and useful advice that can keep your dog from experiencing adverse effects and reactions.

On top of that, make sure to observe your dog closely. If they start exhibiting symptoms such as vomiting, lethargy, or any other of the symptoms listed above, schedule a visit to the vet immediately, especially if the symptoms don’t go away after 24 hours.


There’s nothing wrong with feeding your dog and puppies food from your kitchen and pantry. However, keep in mind that dogs have a much different body than humans, so they will react differently to certain foods. And one of the most toxic foods for dogs in your kitchen might be onions, which we use in a whole lot of different dishes.

To keep your pets as safe as possible, make sure to keep them away from onions and any other members of the allium family as this may cause certain health complications down the line.

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