What Parts of the Onion Are Toxic to Dogs?


If you’re a dog owner, you’ve probably been wondering what food you can feed your pup. After all, maintaining a healthy and balanced diet is crucial in ensuring your dog is in tip-top shape all the time.

But if you’re trying to figure out which foods in your kitchen would be fit for your pup, make sure to avoid onions at all costs. Onions can be very toxic to dogs and could potentially cause a fair amount of health complications along the way, so whatever you’re feeding your pet, make sure onions are not one of the ingredients.

At this point, you might be wondering what parts of the onion are toxic to dogs. Spot & Tango says that all parts of the onion plant are toxic to dogs, which is very important to know as a pet owner.

In this guide, we’ll be explaining why onions are toxic for dogs and some of the complications that may arise if they end up eating onions. Read on to learn more.

Why is Onion Toxic for Dogs?

Onions are toxic to dogs, along with everything else in the allium family. The allium family includes herbs like garlic, shallots, and chives, so all of these ingredients should be kept away from your pet at all times. The reason the allium family is toxic to dogs is that it contains a toxin called N-propyl disulfide, which can damage the red blood cells of your dog and lead to trouble along the way.

All of the members of the allium family contain N-propyl disulfide, which is why you should keep your dog away from these plants as much as possible. And sadly, when it comes to the onion plant, all of the components contain N-propyl disulfide, which means that your dog can’t eat any part of it. This includes the leaves, fruit, stem, and all the components of the plant.

So, if you’re growing onions at home, make sure to keep the plants in a place that your dog can’t reach to avoid accidental poisoning.

What Happens if My Dog Eats Onions?

If your dog only eats a small number of onions, then there’s usually nothing to worry about. However, make sure to still observe your pet to make sure they aren’t exhibiting any of the symptoms of onion poisoning.

N-propyl disulfide causes oxidative damage to the red blood cells, which are responsible for carrying oxygen to different parts of the body. When your dog’s red blood cells are damaged, this can lead to problems like hemolytic anemia. However, this only happens when they consume a large number of onions in a certain timeframe.

Other symptoms of onion poisoning in dogs are the smell of onion breath, diarrhea, and vomiting to expel the onion from their stomach. If your dog is experiencing tiredness, lethargy, red color in their urine, drooling, or an elevated heart rate, this could be a symptom of severe onion poisoning and needs to be taken seriously. Here are a couple of symptoms of severe onion poisoning that you need to watch for in your dog;

  • Pale gums
  • Weakness
  • Collapse
  • Poor appetite
  • Exercise intolerance
  • A lack of coordination
  • Unusual panting

What Do I Do If I Catch My Dog Eating Onions?

If you catch your dog eating onions, stop them from eating them right away. From there, it’s best to keep the onions away from your dog as much as possible. After that, make sure to keep an eye on your dog and make sure they aren’t exhibiting any of the symptoms above.

If they show some of the lighter symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea, that’s no reason to panic just yet. This could just be a sign of their body trying to expel the toxin. If your dog didn’t eat too much, chances are that the symptoms will go away in 24 hours. So, make sure to observe your dog for that long and if the symptoms go away after that time, then there’s no reason to worry.

However, if symptoms persist or they’re exhibiting some of the major symptoms of onion poisoning, schedule a trip to your vet immediately. If your dog is experiencing severe onion poisoning, your vet will know exactly what to do and administer the appropriate treatment.

Even if your dog isn’t exhibiting severe symptoms, make sure to inform the vet that they ingested onions. That way, your vet is aware of the situation and can also advise you on what to do while observing your dog.


As pet owners, our dog’s health is a top priority. And a lot of the time, that means paying close attention to the diet and everything that they’re eating. So, when checking out the ingredients in your dog’s food, make sure that onions are not present in the list. 

Additionally, make sure to keep all your onions and onion plants out of your dog’s reach at all times to prevent onion poisoning and the other symptoms that come with it.


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