Are onions bad for dogs? How much onion can a dog eat and have a toxic reaction?


Do not give your dog at home onions. I always thought that this was common knowledge that everyone knew, however, what I didn't expect was the number of dog owners who would use their own experiences as an example to refute others. In fact, talking about toxicity out of dose is a hooligan thing to do. You have a big dog and then eat a small piece of onion, and a teddy eating the same amount of onion, the results are different. Let's talk today about why onions are very dangerous for dogs, and what are the symptoms of their poisoning and first aid methods?

I. Why onions are poison for dogs

The deadly factor in onions is the n-propyl disulfide
Onion poisoning is caused by the reaction of n-propyl disulfide contained in the onion with the blood-red blood cells in the dog, a condition that causes acute hemolytic anemia. In addition to onions, this substance is also found in leeks, garlic, and other similar plants.

Why does it cause poisoning?
The n-propyl disulfide causes the oxidation of hemoglobin in the dog's body to form Heinz's vesicles, which the dog's reticuloendothelial system, in turn, eats up as an invasive substance. As a result, dogs can show signs of toxicity, and according to research, Shiba Inus and Akita are less resistant to this convenience, so owners need to be aware.

II. Symptoms of onion poisoning in dogs

Vomiting and diarrhea
Because it takes time for dogs to digest onions, vomiting and diarrhea symptoms in dogs do not occur immediately after eating onions, but within a few hours of eating them.

Symptoms of anemia

Because onion poisoning can cause hemolytic anemia, dogs may show signs of anemia, such as feeling tired, having loose skin, and having white gums.


Hematuria occurs when broken red blood cells are mixed into the urine and eliminated together. This is near-sauce-colored hemoglobinuria. When a dog has problems due to onion poisoning, hematuria will follow.

What is the maximum amount of onions a dog can eat?
According to the results of the trials, the conclusion of 15g / kg body weight is usually the most acceptable for everyone. Of course, this result is based on laboratory tests in an ideal environment. In real life, it is likely that there will be different results depending on the dog's body type. The best-case scenario is to not allow your dog to eat onions. Never be confident that you can control the dose and let your dog take the risk.

Of course, there are anecdotal reports that dogs can get poisoned just from eating raw onions. As long as they are cooked, there is no problem. However, this idea is wrong. The substance that gives dogs symptoms of poisoning, n-propyl disulfide, is not destroyed by heating. So, raw or cooked, onions are dangerous for dogs.

What should I do at home?
First of all, we need to check the dog's mouth for any onion that has not been swallowed and clean it out. At the same time, the owner can try to have soapy water and diluted hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting in the dog, these actions are to avoid the dog to digest more onions, and to reduce the symptoms of dog poisoning. After this, what the owner should do is contact the vet and recall the approximate time the dog swallowed the onion and whether there was any chance of accidentally ingesting it. This information may be able to help the doctor save the dog. Also, we may need to take pictures of the dog's blood and urine as well as the vomit for reference and for the doctor to view.

What should I do at the vet?
Onion poisoning is irreversible. If the ingestion is short, use vomiting and gastric lavage for first aid. If it has been ingested for several hours, blood tests should be done to see how the dog is doing and then medication should be used to treat the anemia and jaundice. In severe cases of anemia, consider blood transfusions, vitamin E, vitamin C or steroid administration can be used to relieve the anemia.

Onions are poison for dogs, so if your dog swallows an onion by mistake, what should the owner do for first aid?
Dogs, generally do not like to eat raw onions. Most onion poisoning is caused by mixing onions with fresh food or by accidental ingestion. As owners, we should not wait until our dogs have actually eaten onions before considering what to do. Usually, you must put these harmful foods in a place where they are not freely accessible to your dog to avoid accidents due to accidental ingestion. If necessary, consult your vet and follow his instructions.

Are onions bad for dogs? How much onion can a dog eat and have a toxic reaction?

Three, why should dogs not eat onions?

Official explanation.

According to experimental research, onions contain a sulfide that is broken down into many types of disulfides after passing through the dog's gastrointestinal tract. These disulfides can reduce the activity of enzymes in the dog's red blood cells, and when this enzyme is lacking, the hemoglobin in the dog's red blood cells will produce Heinz vesicles, which will then dissolve the red blood cells and cause the dog to have an acute hemolytic reaction.

Layman's explanation.

Dogs eat onions, and onions inside the sulfide will dissolve the blood inside the red blood cells, we know that the role of red blood cells is to give the dog body blood production, and oxygen delivery, without red blood cells, the dog's body will have problems.

What are the symptoms of dogs after eating onions?

Typical symptoms.

Depression, shortness of breath (because of the rupture or reduction of red blood cells, the oxygen-carrying capacity of the dog's body decreases, the dog will suffer from hypoxia, they will protect themselves by reducing exercise, increasing the breathing rate)
Darkening of urine or blood in the urine (after the red blood cells rupture, they are excreted through urine, so it will change the color of the dog's urine, depending on the severity of the disease, soy sauce, dark yellow, bright red)
Conjunctiva, gums, visual mucosa pale (because the dog has hemolysis, it will produce anemia, especially when the dog urinates blood seriously, the visual mucosa changes are more obvious)
Common symptoms.

Onion poisoning can cause gastrointestinal symptoms in dogs, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and occasionally visible blood in the stool.
There is some clinical chance of jaundice.

How do we confirm the diagnosis of onion poisoning in dogs?
First, we need to make a comprehensive judgment based on the dog's symptoms of blood in the urine, then by detailed questioning of the owner, the food situation, in vitro deworming, and when combined with the following laboratory tests

Blood count.

Decreased total red blood cell count
Decreased hemoglobin
Reduced erythrocyte volume
After centrifugation of the blood, it can be found that the plasma is no longer clear and bright in color, but turns brownish-red.
Blood smear.

A large number of ruptured red blood cells can be seen
Heinz microsomes may be seen
Urine routine.

Increased urine specific gravity
Increased urine red blood cells (ruptured red blood cells)
Change in urine color
Biochemical tests.

Common indicators of change are elevated total bilirubin
Occasional elevation of liver indicators (ALKP, ALT)
Other biochemical indicators generally do not change much at the beginning

Note the difference with other hemolytic diseases, such as common drug poisoning (symptoms are usually more acute, there will be no Heinz microsomes), leptospirosis, blood protozoa, etc.. (worms are visible inside the blood smear)

How should we treat onion poisoning in dogs?
If a dog is found to have eaten onions, then the first thing to do is to use hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting in the dog so that it will vomit out the onions it has eaten and then do the next step of treatment. (The dog has eaten the onion for about 3 hours, the emetic has an obvious effect)

Give the dog oxygen to ensure normal breathing and avoid death caused by a lack of oxygen.
Use antioxidants, vitamin B complex, vitamin C, vitamin E, etc., to restore the normal function of red blood cells.
Use diuretics to get the broken red blood cells and hemoglobin out of the body as soon as possible.
Because anemia can lead to inadequate blood supply to the liver and may cause liver damage, use drugs such as hepatic de to protect the liver. (After cure, it is recommended to continue taking some oral medications to protect the liver)
Routine symptomatic treatment and supportive therapy (antiemetic, antidiarrheal, regulation of body acid-base balance, energy supplementation)
Give the dog blood transfusion therapy, when the dog's hemoglobin and red blood cell ratio is less than 20% is recommended to take blood transfusion therapy, and also if the dog is acute bleeding, then blood transfusion therapy is also recommended. (The transfusion dose is usually 20 ML/kg, but it is recommended that adjustments be made based on body weight and blood loss)
When the dog is treated with blood transfusion, it is recommended to use glucocorticoids to reduce the chance of rejection.
After the dog is cured, be sure to adhere to 5-7 days of oral antioxidants (vitamins are fine)

Fourth, how much onion can a dog eat and have a toxic reaction?

The dose of onion poisoning for most dogs is 15-25g/kg, but this also varies depending on the dog's constitution. The earliest foreign research data shows that 5g/kg of onion can cause poisoning in dogs.
So it is recommended that you do not try to eat onions for your own dog, maybe someone else's dog ate 25g without poisoning, and your dog ate a bite will lead to poisoning.

Warm tips.
Onions belong to the lily family onion plants, dogs, in addition, do not eat onions, but also do not eat other onion vegetables, such as common leeks, garlic, and onions, if you can not tell which vegetables belong to this category, then you can use a stupid way, is to smell with the nose, because this type of vegetables inside and sulfide, there will be a special choking nose smell, so we encounter The actual fact is that you can find a lot of people who are not able to get a good deal on this.
After the dog onion poisoning, as long as the owner is sent to the veterinary hospital in time, the cure rate is still relatively high, it should be noted that chronic onion poisoning, if not found in time, can lead to liver and kidney damage in dogs.
The sulfides in onions are more stable when exposed to high temperatures, so cooked onion vegetables should also not be given to dogs.

Onion can not prevent the dog's cold, but also can not prevent the dog's rich disease (diabetes, hypertension, etc.), only regular immunizations for dogs, regular deworming, providing a balanced diet, as well as scientific and healthy feeding management, is the best way to prevent dogs from getting sick, so we must pay attention to the dog's diet health in general, do not give them to eat, fried vegetables, chicken bones, onions, and other foods to avoid unnecessary harm to them.
  • Category:Dogs feeding
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  • Release Date:2022-06-17 16:52:46
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