Harper Jefcoat
Harper Jefcoat

Can Dogs Eat Onion? No! Read the Hazards!

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6 min read

Can Dogs Eat Onion?

On This Page

  • Can Dogs Eat Onions? Yes or No?
  • Why are Onions Harmful to Dogs?
  • Which Parts of Onion are Dangerous for Dogs to Eat?
  • How to Diagnose Onion Poisoning in Dogs?
  • How to Treat Onion Poisoning in Dogs?
  • Other Similar Foods that are Toxic to Dogs

Dogs are man's best friends. They follow us around, play with us, and even protect us from harm! When we take care of our dogs, it's important to know what they can and cannot eat.

While some foods are good for them, there are certain things that can be dangerous if your dog eats too much of it or eats the food at all.

So, the answer to the question “can dogs eat onion?”, is a definite NO!

Onions hold several health hazards for our canine friends, so it's best not to even take the chance of feeding them any part of this vegetable. Read on below to find out more about the dangers associated with onion ingestion in dogs!

Can Dogs Eat Onions? Yes or No?


Onions are not good for dogs. They are bad for their breath, but they also contain a toxin that can cause serious problems.

Onions contain a toxic chemical called N-propyl disulfide. This chemical can cause red blood cells to break down, which leads to anemia in dogs.

The toxin attaches to the oxygen in your dog's blood cells. So, the red blood cells are not able to carry or transport oxygen throughout the body and make the body think that red blood cells are invasive harmful cells. The bad blood cell is destroyed in a process called hemolysis, which causes anemia.

How Much Onion Will Hurt a Dog?

“Will a little bit of onion hurt my dog?”

Onions are dangerous because if a dog eats too many of them, it can cause health problems. Usually, the problem happens with dogs that eat more than 0.5% of their body weight in onions at one time.

It is easy for dogs to become poisoned by foods that are not good for them. The smaller the dog, the faster it can be poisoned and get serious health symptoms.

Can Dogs Eat Onion Cooked?

“Can dogs eat onions gravy?”

“Can dogs eat onions soup?”

Regardless of the fact whether the onion is cooked or raw, it will still hurt your dog if they eat it. Cooking onions does not reduce the quantity of chemicals in them that are harmful to dogs, so cooking an onion will not make it safe for your dog to eat.

Why are Onions Harmful to Dogs?

Onions can be dangerous for dogs because they contain a chemical called N-propyl disulfide. This is a sulfur compound. It is at the root of why onions are so dangerous for dogs.

Your dog's red blood cells need oxygen to work. When they don't have enough, the cells become damaged and can't work anymore. N-propyl disulfide molecules attach themselves to the oxygen molecules in your dog's red blood cells, making them less able to carry oxygen around the body.

That's bad enough, but this process also tricks your dog into attacking its own red blood cells.

If your dog does not get treatment for this condition, he will have hemolytic anemia. This means that his red blood cells are being destroyed faster than they can be made. Without treatment, he could die.

Which Parts of Onion are Dangerous for Dogs to Eat?

Every part of the onion is poisonous. Even the skin, leaves, and juice are bad for your dog. It does not matter if it is cooked or raw.

It is important to know that all types of onions are not safe for your dog. All types of onions, white, yellow, red, and green, are unsafe for your dogs. The different forms of onion make the onion dangerous.

“Can dogs eat onion powder?”

Onion powder is especially dangerous. The other forms – dried or dehydrated or fried or juiced – put your dogs at risk as well!

Onion powder is used in many foods, including soups and baby food. Dogs are more sensitive to onion powder. If a dog eats one medium-to-large size onion, he might get sick because the onion contains poison for dogs.

The dangerous part is that most dogs would eat an entire bag of onions or an onion casserole if they could.

How to Diagnose Onion Poisoning in Dogs?

Your veterinarian will diagnose your dog by looking at its symptoms and the results of some tests. If the dog has Heinz’s body on a blood smear, onion toxicity can be diagnosed. Onion toxicity is diagnosed if your vet knows that your dog ate onions, and the dog has Heinz bodies on a blood smear.

Symptoms of Onion Poisoning in Dogs

If your dog eats onions, it may get sick. If your dog has onion toxicity, they will have these symptoms:

  • Lethargy
  • Weakness
  • Decreased appetite
  • Pale gums
  • Fainting
  • Reddish urine
  • Elevated heart rate and/or respiratory rate
  • Ataxia (a lack of coordination)

Without treatment, a dog with onion poisoning may experience kidney failure or even die.

How to Treat Onion Poisoning in Dogs?

To make sure your dog doesn’t suffer from onion toxicity, never let them eat onions. If they are already sick from eating onions, you should take them to the vet.

“How do you treat a dog who ate onions?”

The vet may induce vomiting but that is only if your dog ingested onion very recently. They will give them some artificial support until their body produces healthy red blood cells on its own to replace the damaged ones. If it is severe, then your dog may need a blood transfusion.

Your veterinarian might do different things to help your dog. They might give them medicine, flush their stomachs with water, or give them activated charcoal. They might also give them fluids through an IV. The vet will watch the dog closely until he or she starts having healthy red blood cells again.

Other Similar Foods that are Toxic to Dogs

“Can dogs eat onion and garlic powder?”

Onions are a vegetable from the allium family. This family includes garlic, shallots, scallions, chives, and leeks. All these vegetables are dangerous for your dog. In fact, garlic has a higher concentration of N-propyl disulfide than onions, so it is even more harmful to your dog.

“Can dogs eat onion rings?”

“Can dogs eat onion ring crisps?”

Many dog foods have onions, garlic, or onion, or garlic powder in them. Your dog might not eat the whole onion that falls on the floor. But they will eat an onion ring or a piece of breakfast quiche.

However, you should keep all forms of onion, whether raw or cooked, plain or powdered, away from your dog.

Onion - A Death Threat for Your Pup!

Onions are hazardous for dogs. If you give them to your dog, they can get sick or even die. You should get your dog to the vet's office right away if you think that they have eaten onions. You should also keep onion dishes out of reach so that they can't eat them again in the future.

Feeding your dog onions in small amounts can also be dangerous and if you feed them pet food, including onions, that can also have some serious effects on their health!

If you are looking to get an ESA letter for your pet, don't wait any longer.

Get started today and take the first step towards a better quality of life. Contact us now and find out how we can help provide you with the emotional support you need.

If you want to add vegetables to your dog’s diet, there are some other better, safe and healthy veggies to give to your dog;

Harper Jefcoat


Harper Jefcoat

Harper Jefcoat is a dedicated pet enthusiast and expert author at the RealESALetter.com. With a deep-seated passion for animals, Harper brings a wealth of knowledge and personal experience to his writings. Specializing in canine behavior and wellness, he aims to help pet owners understand and care for their furry friends better.

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