Can dogs Eat Onions?

Onions are one of the most widely used vegetables throughout the world. It is used in almost every kind of dish we make and has a long shelf life too. 

We already know that birds can eat vegetables and fruits, and most of you will be thinking that onion, being a vegetable, is also safe for them. But if you have a pet dog at home and want to offer some bits and pieces of onion to your feathery friend, should you do it?

Birds like dogs can eat whatever you give them, and they do not know what is best for them. Therefore, it is your responsibility to feed them the right food, and this is why you should understand whether or not dogs can eat onions. 

Is Onion Safe For dogs?

No, onions are extremely toxic for dogs and other avian creatures as well. This yummy vegetable is only considered healthy for humans. Even a minor amount can be deadly for dogs. 

Onion contains sulfur compounds, which are vital for humans but opposite in the case of dogs and other animals. Other than onion, garlic is also toxic for dogs because of the compound “thiosulfate.” 

Why Are Onions Toxic For dogs?

Onion contains a substance called “thiosulfate,” which dogs cannot digest. If this substance builds up in the body, it causes hemoglobin, carried by the red blood cells, to create clots. These clumps lead to the rupture of red blood cells.

When these red blood cells are damaged, it creates an anemic condition, and the body does get enough oxygen to perform bodily functions. 

The degree of severity of symptoms depends upon the amount of onion your dog has ingested. Some breeds may face severe issues even after eating a little amount while others won’t. If your avian friend is eating onion for a more extended period, it will create the same issues as a one-time dose will. 

Symptoms Of Onion Toxicity In dogs

The amount of onion that is toxic is equal to 0.5% of your dog’s weight. You might not see the symptoms suddenly, but during 3-4 days, you will notice the effects of eating onion in your dog:


This can be a good symptom as your feathery friend cannot digest the food and has puked immediately in this way. The harmful substance will not enter their digestive system and will not be a life-threatening condition for them. 

However, if the vomiting does not stop and continues throughout the day, take your pet to the vet immediately. 


If your dog has diarrhea, it means they have more water droplets than the stool components. If you want to examine other symptoms of diarrhea, observe their beak and eyes for some discharge.

Diarrhea can cause your pet to become sluggish, and you will notice puffed-up feathers, excessive sleeping, and low activity throughout the day. If this condition is not cured on time, it can lead to dehydration 


Vomiting and diarrhea automatically lead to lethargy in pets. The reason is that when water is expelled from their body in a large amount, it creates a condition of dehydration.

Not only the above reasons, but your pet might be feeling some other digestive issues, which isn’t letting them perform their fun tricks actively. If you suspect that your pet has eaten toxic food and do not see any other symptoms except for weariness, do not take it lightly and contact a vet immediately. 

Breathing Issues:

Thiosulfate is a toxic substance that can also cause breathing problems in severe cases. If you are not sure what breathing issues look like, avian creatures. Have a look below:

  • Open-mouth breathing
  • Tail dipping with each breath
  • Coughing
  • Clicking, rattling, or gasping sound

Change In Color Of Gums: 

Your vet can quickly examine this one. If dogs have pale or bluish gums, they are most probably suffering from onion toxicity. However, you can look for such changes too.  

What Other Foods Are Toxic To dogs?

If you want to develop a friendly relationship with your avian friend, it is recommended that you eat with them. However, apart from onion, some other foods should not be shared with them at any cost. 

  • Avocado – It is harmful due to a substance called “persin” that kills fungus in plants. If your bird ingests it, it can cause death. 
  • Caffeine – Can increase heart rate, causing arrhythmia and hyperactivity. If not treated on time can cause death.  
  • Chocolate – It contains “theobromine,” which is a toxic substance for the majority of animals, including dogs. Even a small amount of chocolate can be deadly.
  • Garlic – Just like an onion, it also contains “thiosulfate,” which also causes the same effects and symptoms as onions. 
  • Xylitol – It is an artificial sweetener that is okay for humans to consume but can cause low blood sugar, also known as hypoglycemia, and liver damage. In severe cases, it can cause death. 

Which Foods Are Safe For dogs?

Above we discussed the unsafe forms of food for dogs, but there is a variety of human food suitable for dogs. Look at the list below:

  • Apple
  • Mangoes
  • Peaches
  • Asparagus
  • Bell peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Black beans
  • Green beans


dogs make great pets and are intelligent birds. One can never be bored around these feathery pets. Owning a pet comes with great responsibility, and not just because you love your dog doesn’t mean you should give everything you eat.

We incorporate onions in almost every dish. If you have a dog around you, ensure that these avian creatures do not pick up on such dishes. Raw and cooked forms of onions are harmful to dogs. Just because onions are cooked, does not mean they lose the sulfate compound. 

It would be best if you did not leave your dog out of the cage unattended because they might roam around and pick leftovers from your food, and it might contain toxic compounds that may hurt your poor bird. 

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can dogs eat onions

You might be a new dog owner or might have owned one for years. You might have fed them a lot of things, but you have never fed your dog any onions to date. Now you are curious if onions are good for them or not. Lets us find out:

There have been many dog owners who have fed them onions and given an okay report about it. They have said that their dogs like the onion and have given them no problems if any. However, some are concerned about them being toxic.

Onions are in no circumstance you should ever be feeding to your dog. They are toxic to them. If you feed it to them a few times, they will have digestive problems like diarrhea. However, if you increase the quantity and start feeding it more, then you might have other serious problems to worry about. 

The toxicity from the onion comes from a compound called n-propyl disulfide. This toxic principle is also present in other plants that grow in bulbs like garlic as well. Hence well, stay away from these plants.

However, you can do very well by feeding your dogs a myriad of foods that are not only safe for them but also give them a lot of nutritional benefits. 

things to feed your dog:

Tuttles are generally very low maintenance and do not need much in the way of feeding. You mostly have to steer clear of toxic foods, animals, and insects, but other than those, you have many things you can feed your pets. An example of toxic plants can be onions; toxic animals can be frogs, which release toxins from their skin as they are being chewed to bits, and toxic insects can be stinging caterpillars, which java stinging hair attached to poison sacs. These foods are an absolute no your dog and can sicken and kill them.

Things like milk and cheese are also banned for dog consumption as dogs are lactose intolerant, and they can have digestive problems because of the absence of the enzymes required to break down the dairy products.

dogs are generally either herbivores and omnivores. Omnivores derive their food from plants and animals, while herbivores get their foods only from plants.

Hence here are the types of food you will generally want to feed your dog. 

processed commercially available dog feed:

The easiest thing you can do if you have a dog and want to buy them something to eat without the need to research different foods and their toxicity levels is to just go to the supermarket or your vet and ask to buy some dog food. These items are specifically designed to feed dogs, and you cannot go wrong in any way. These foods can either be dog pellets or frozen fish foods. All you have to worry about is to avoid overfeeding your dog. You can guess when it is full by just observing its mannerisms when it stops showing more interest in your food offering.


All dogs can dig into vegetables. Adult dogs specifically enjoy themselves some veggies. Typically an adult dog should have upwards of 80% of its meal be based on vegetables while the other 20% can be proteins. You can feed them almost anything as long as it is green. There are some vegetables from the summer squash like cucumber and zucchinis that do not do much and do not fulfill their dietary needs as well, so they should be given very sparingly. You should also avoid any greens that come from bulbs like onions and garlic as they are toxic to your dog and can cause serious problems for them.


Fruits are also a good source of nutritional benefits for your dog. You can give them almost any fruit from the season or otherwise, and your dog will be happy to have a slice. However, steer clear of oranges, lemons, or any other food that has citric acid inside of it as it can give them digestive problems.


When dogs are in the sea, they also sometimes dig into the clams and shells of mollusks. These shells have calcium inside of it, which helps in the development of their bones. However, not all dogs will eat mollusks as this depends on their species type and food preferences. 


You can also let your dog flex their predator muscles by throwing live feeder fish into its habitat. This can be a stimulating exercise for them, and they will be pleased to do it as well. dogs will mostly swallow the fish whole, but you can throw in smaller cut pieces as well.


There are also a lot of worms and insects your dog can eat. As a rule of thumb, you can feed your dog some insect fish bait. These insects are a good source of proteins for them. However, do steer clear of any insects that have poison sacs attached to them.

how often should you feed your dog:

You should feed your dog according to their age. You can classify dogs into three age groups mostly.

  1. Juvenile dogs that are under 18 months are to be fed at least once a day. They should be given a lot of proteins to aid in their bone development. You should, however, introduce vegetables into their diet as well.
  2. Young Adult dogs that are over the age of 18 months should be fed twice a day. This is where you tone down the protein intake and introduce them to more vegetables.
  3. Older adult dogs can be fed once every three days. Their diet should be 80 percent vegetable and 20 percent proteins.


To conclude, I hope you understand why onions are not a good thing to feed your dog. They are very toxic for your pet dog. However, you have a lot more options for your dog to feed, which can be given to them safely.

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