Dogs and Onions

Dogs and onions simply do not mix (unless, of course, we're talking about hot dogs!).

Onions, as well as its sister food garlic, contain sulfoxides and disulfides, which can break apart red blood cells and cause anemia (low red blood cell count). These are highly toxic foods for dogs.

dogs and onions hot dog with onions

All parts of the onion are toxic (as is onion powder).

Consumed in large enough quantities, onions and garlic can result in severe anemia and may even require a blood transfusion. If not treated by a veterinarian, onion and garlic poisoning can be fatal.

It is not known how large a quantity of onions or garlic must be consumed to be toxic, however, your dog might not display any outward signs of onion toxicity even if he has ingested a dangerous amount. Therefore, it is important to act quickly, even if you do not think your dog is having a reaction.

If your dog has eaten onions or garlic, induce vomiting.

To induce vomiting, you can give your dog an oral dose of household (3 percent) hydrogen peroxide at the dosage of 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight. You can repeat this every 15 – 20 minutes up to three times, while you are transporting your dog to the veterinary facility.1

Syrup of ipecac should NOT be used to induce vomiting in your dog unless advised by your veterinarian, as it can be dangerous for dogs.

Do not induce vomiting if your dog is having trouble breathing, is unconscious, is having a seizure or has had bloat.

In all cases, immediately take your dog to your veterinarian or the nearest veterinary emergency facility for treatment.

1Source: American Red Cross Dog First Aid Safety Series Vol. 2

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If you feel your pet has ingested a toxic substance, call an animal poison control center, such as the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (888-426-4435) or the Pet Poison Helpline (800-213-6680) immediately. Your pet's life depends upon it!

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