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Are Onions Toxic To Dogs? All about Onion Poisoning in Dog?

Has it ever happened that you decided to share a tidbit with your dog while you were eating? While dogs tend to have a propensity towards human food, it might be worrisome in a few cases. While dogs can eat most of the food humans consume, a few might create some trouble. One such ingredient would be onions. Onions have been found over the years to cause a variety of ailments in dogs. Here we take a deeper look at the issue of can dogs eat Onions. 

Onions are a common ingredient found in many human dishes, but did you know that Are onions toxic to dogs? While most people are aware that onions can cause digestive problems in humans, few people realize that onions can be toxic to dogs as well. Here, we’ll discuss the potential dangers of onions for dogs and explore the use cases of onion toxicity in canine health. We’ll also look at some tips on how to keep your dog safe from onion toxicity.

Can Dogs Eat Onions?

How much onion is toxic to dogs? An onion, from its roots to its stalks, is toxic to dogs in all its components. Onion powder is no less problematic and is present in a notoriously wide range of human foods your dog may like to consume. You may ask will a small amount of onion hurt my dog? If your dog has consumed about 100 grams of onion per 20 grams of its weight, its body will start to react to it. This is a serious cause for concern, as just a few grams are enough to cause severe symptoms of toxicity in your pooch. 

Symptoms of Onion Poisoning in Dogs

  • You may suddenly find your dog exhibiting signs of lethargy. They would spend a lot of time trying to sleep off the discomfort. 
  • Since dogs cannot digest onions, they may throw up items with traces of them. This leaves your dog feeling very weak and unable to function as normal. 
  • Onions can cause severe indigestion in your pet, they might also have symptoms of heaving, and their stomach might look bloated. They are most likely to reduce their food consumption in this case. 
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  • A sign that most pet owners fail to notice unless it is too would be the blood draining from the gums. If dogs get a toxic shock, their gums tend to pale visibly.
  • If the poisoning from onions gets severe, dogs might even pass out. This happens when the body cannot cope with the changes anymore and, in this case, needs immediate attention. 
  • If you think my dog ate onions, one sure-shot way to tell would be to look at its urine. Due to toxins in the dog’s body, the urine changed color to a reddish tint. 

Why are Onions Bad for Dogs?

Wondering why are onions bad for dogs and what happens if a dog eats onions? Onions are known to contain potentially harmful elements in it. There is a principle called N-propyl disulfide that attacks blood cells. This attaches itself to blood cells and breaks the red blood cells. Since these cells are responsible for containing hemoglobin and nutrients for the body, a sudden drop in their number can cause dogs to suffer from anemia. This creates a breakdown in the red blood cells by acting as a strong reducing agent. 

It can easily attract the free oxygen molecules from the atmosphere and attach them to the blood cells. This excess oxygen makes it cumbersome for the red blood cells to move throughout the body. Sometimes the immune system can mistake these enlarged cells for invaders and release the trigger of antibodies. In either case, the red blood cells drop sharply in number, cutting off a lot of the oxygen and nutrient flow within the body. The destruction of red blood cells in this process is called hemolysis, and the anemia that results is hemolytic anemia. The entire process is quick and gets done in a matter of minutes.  

Causes Of Onion Poisoning In Dogs

  • Dogs might have nipped off some bits of freshly growing onion from pots and the garden. 
  • They have ingested human food, which contains onions in them. 
  • They chewed on a container of dried onion powder and accidentally licked up some of it. 
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  • Some breeds might also be more susceptible to onion poisonings, such as the Shiba Inus and Akitas. 
  • Sometimes in rare cases. Dogs might also have a zinc deficiency which further enables hemolytic anemia. Some drug treatments can also exacerbate onion toxicity in dogs. 

What Happens If A Dog Eats Onions?

  1. The first step to determining if hemolytic anemia is occurring would be getting a blood test. Blood tests will show the actual numbers regarding cell count and health. 
  2. Further diagnosis can also be done using a urine analysis. If your dog suffers from anemia, then a high amount of hemoglobin will be in the blood.  
  3. Other tests like the Heinz red blood smear test can also be done. These generally show results through a visual comparison of the blood cell levels. 

How Are Dogs Treated For Onion Toxicity?

  • If the dog throws up quite often, there is a severe threat of dehydration. In this case, they may be administered intravenous fluids to improve the condition. 
  • On the other hand, if the dog is having difficulty throwing up and shows signs of discomfort, then inducing it would be recommended. Most vets recommend giving the dog a few pieces of activated charcoal to lower absorption rates within the stomach. This helps to hurl out any undigested bits of food. 
  • If anemia has already been set in motion, the vet will try to halt the process by providing the dog with a diet low on oxidants. Remember that this is a remedial step and not one to improve levels of red blood cells in the body. 
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  • In some extreme cases of dog onion poisoning, the pup can be fatally ill. This generally manifests itself when the dog faints. In such cases, an external oxygen supply is provided. This carries on for some time till the bone marrow becomes capable of producing healthy red blood cells again. 

How to prevent onion toxicity in dogs?

  • Remember to keep an eye out on dogs when they are rummaging in the garden. Chances are they might accidentally chew on some of these.
  • Try not to feed your dog any human food. Even if it is made without onion, spices and other condiments may contain slight traces of onion. 
  • Look for ingredient lists mentioned behind cans and boxes containing food. Even a small dose can turn out to be lethal.
  • Do not provide your dogs with any baby food or supplement. These tend to contain high doses of onion in them as well.

What Vegetables Can Dogs Eat?

Want to know what vegetables can dogs eat? We got the answer to the question, Can dogs eat onions, from what we’ve seen above. Now, let us learn the safer alternatives i.e., vegetables for dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Broccoli?

Can dogs eat broccoli? Yes, these make for perfect bite-sized meal options for your dogs. They are rich in fiber, Vitamin C, and low-fat content. These can be given in small quantities, either raw or boiled.  

Can Dogs Eat Carrots?

Can dogs eat carrots? Carrots are some of the most popular snacking options for dogs. These are great for strengthening their teeth and can be eaten in any form.

Can Dogs Eat Green beans?

Can dogs eat green beans? Yes, not many may know, but green beans are great for your dog’s health. They contain high amounts of Vitamin A and are good for their eyes.

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Can Dogs Eat Celery?

Can dogs eat celery? For a crunchy treat, try giving your dogs a piece of celery. These are rich in antioxidants and also contain high levels of water.

Can Dogs Eat Peas?

Can dogs eat peas? Yes, peas are a great option to mix into dog food. They can easily be consumed, and all variants are safe for consumption.


Potatoes make for a staple dietary choice not just for humans but for dogs as well. Make sure you boil them rather than giving them raw.


Like peas, they can be mashed into dog food and given to pets. It is important to boil sweetcorn first, then remove it from the stove.

Can Dogs Eat Cabbage?

Can dogs eat cabbage? Yes, do not be afraid to feed your dog some cabbage. Though they might cause gassy reactions in small quantities, they are safe.

Can Dogs Eat Cucumber?

Can dogs eat cucumber? These are a perfect alternative if your dog needs to shed some weight. Full of minerals, dogs love to chew on them.

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Can Dogs Eat Beets?

Can dogs eat beets? Known for having high antioxidants, beetroot help canines develop better skin and fur and provide ample amounts of magnesium.

Can Dogs Eat Kale?

In addition to being a superfood for dogs, kale is also an excellent source of nutrients. So can dogs eat kale? Yes, in small amounts, they help dogs develop their immune system and facilitate better eyesight. 


While it might be difficult to coax your pet not to partake in a portion of your meal, sometimes it is a good idea to desist from doing this. Onions are one of many food items that are unsafe for canine consumption. Apart from this, many other processed elements in human foods are also harmful to their health. Just keep an eye out on what your dog is consuming, and immediately rush them to seek medical attention in case of any issues.