ONION TOXICITY IN DOGS

 

Many pet owners know that there is a fairly long list of foods that are dangerous for their dog to eat. With all the information out there, sometimes things might get overlooked, or people may not know what is true or not.

We looked into the onion, since there has been some debate about it. This is largely due to some dog food and treats being made with small amounts of garlic, a related food. There is misleading information out there suggesting that since onions are in the same family, they are therefore safe for dogs to eat.

This is NOT true. Onion, in all forms, whether raw, cooked, dried or mixed into food, can harm your dog. Additionally, due to the fact that the cockapoo is a fairly small breed, it does not take much onion to begin seeing symptoms of onion toxicity.

If your cockapoo were to ingest onion, you may not see any symptoms right away, or if it was a small enough amount, you may not see any symptoms at all. But onions affect the red blood cells in your pup, which can later lead to anemia. If you brought your cockapoo to the vet and it was determined that he had anemia, he would need a blood transfusion. This is scary stuff, I know, but if we don’t tell our readers, they may make the bad mistake of not paying attention to the ingredients that their cockapoo eats!

There are some dogs whose owners might give them baby food, whether as a treat or because they are sick, or otherwise can’t digest food easily. Something very important to realize is that some baby foods now contain powdered onion for flavor, and yes, this could create onion toxicity in your cockapoo. Another mistake that an owner might make is with spaghetti sauce or any kind of table scraps. Onion is often cooked into meals for humans, which most of us think tastes very delicious. Well, your dog thinks the same thing, and he doesn’t know that the onion in that spaghetti sauce or the lasagna you made could make him very sick, or even be fatal if he eats too much.

So what happens when a dog eats some onion? The effect is called onion toxicity or toxicosis. Dogs have a hard time digesting onion, and when it has entered the body, it begins affecting the red blood cells. The red blood cells will then not be able to carry the needed oxygen to the dogs body and you may see your cockapoo become very lethargic, weak, little to no appetite, trouble breathing (or breathing very quickly), and he may have diarrhea or vomiting. The onions makes the blood cells get what are called Heinz bodies, or small changes to the red blood cells that affect their structure and can cause them to rupture sooner than they should, leaving less time for new red blood cells to replace them. This is how the dog could become anemic.

The good news is that this is not commonly fatal. If you are careful with what you feed your cockapoo, and you know what your pooch has gotten in to, the onion toxicity can be treated and you should be able to take your pup home from the vet in as little as one day. If you are careful to watch what your cockapoo eats, chances are you might never experience a problem like this. But we here at Cockapoo Crazy want to make sure all our readers are informed, so you can act quickly if there is ever a chance that this has happened to your fur baby.

One more side note for cat owners: onion toxicity can also effect cats in the exact same way and due to their smaller size, a cat would need to eat much less to be affected!

Now, back to garlic. The prevailing science and wisdom is that garlic may be okay (and possibly healthy) in very small quantities. However, our recommendation and that of the ASPCA, is┬ájust don’t feed your dog garlic. It is not something that your dog has to have, anyway. If you are unsure, or feel you simply must give your dog a treat or food containing garlic, make sure to get more information from a trusted veterinarian or nutritionist.