My Dog Ate Onions What Should I Do?

Reviewed By Kyoko •  Updated: 09/12/22 •  3 min read
Dog Severe Toxicity Level
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Dog Ate Onions

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People seem to either love or hate onions; there’s really no in between! Does your dog also like onions? If you love onions and have a dog, there are some things you need to know about these yummy bulbs.  What happens if a dog eats onions? That’s what we’ll review in this article.

Has your dog eaten onions? Are you worried the onions could make your dog sick? If so, you’ve come to the right place. We understand it can be scary when your dog eats something like this.

We’ve put together information about onions and whether they can make a dog sick. Let’s get started!

It is strongly recommended to contact a Pet Poison Helpline or your veterinarian.

What are Onions?

Onions have a scientific name, and it’s Allium cepa L. These yummy foods are part of the Allium family and are related to garlic, leeks, shallots, and more. Onions are classified as vegetables and are bulbs that contain wonderful flavor, and they’re packed with nutrients.

Humans have been enjoying onions for thousands of years and are also appreciated for their medicinal properties, too. This edible bulb can be used in a broad range of dishes. They’re very versatile and can be baked, boiled, fried, braised, grilled, roasted, sauteed, and more.

While onions are safe for most people, what about dogs? Can dogs eat onions?

Onions & Dogs

Unfortunately, onions are toxic to dogs. The problem is that onions contain compounds called organosulfur. These compounds cause oxidative damage to cells, mainly red blood cells. The compounds cause cells not to function properly or die. These change the red blood cells’ appearance and cause a type of anemia.

In addition, the organosulfur compounds in the onions can also damage the liver and kidneys, too.

Toxic levels of onions are difficult to establish as each dog’s system is unique. It also depends on the amount of onion eaten, the dog’s size, and weight. However, it may only take about 5 grams per 10 lbs of body weight to be toxic to most dogs.

Symptoms of Onion Toxicity in Dogs

You may notice these symptoms if your dog eats onions:

If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, call the vet immediately. This is an emergency.

Onion toxicity can kill a dog and is a very serious condition. It’s imperative to call the vet.

Treatment of Onion Toxicity in Dogs

The vet will try to decontaminate your dog’s system by inducing vomiting or using activated charcoal. They may also use a method called gastric lavage. The goal is to remove the toxins from your dog’s body.

Next, the vet will offer supportive treatment for symptoms as they arise. If your dog is severely anemic, he may need a transfusion. He will probably also need an IV for fluids and to administer other medications. Your fur baby may need to be hospitalized until he’s in stable condition.

The best prognosis is for dogs that receive prompt medical attention after eating onions. In addition, it’s a good idea to keep all onions out of your dog’s reach. Prevention is always the best medicine!

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Kyoko is from a family of 3 and moved to New York with her parents and siblings when she was 13. Kyoko is fond of spending a great amount of time with pets, specifically her beagle Luna and cat Missy. Her boyfriend often complains that she spends too much time giving attention to their animals. Kyoko has written dozens of articles concerning pets and is aiming at owning a pet shop one day!

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