Onions are food taste enhancers that have been used for thousands of years worldwide. Onions are not only used as a cooking ingredient but for its medicinal values as well. Aside from being a cooking ingredient, onion was proven to have medicinal properties that cures cough, colds and bacterial infections. People suffering from heart ailments, diabetes and osteoporosis are advised to include onions in their diet. Onions has capabilities to lower cholesterol levels as well as high blood pressure. Bad breath is the only bad effect of onions in humans however; this cooking ingredient has toxic effects on our canine friends.

Because dogs are well loved pets, it has become a habit of pet owners to share with the pet whatever they are eating. This well meaning act though can have dangerous effects on the health of the pet. Although humans and dogs are claimed to have similar genetics, some human foods can make man’s best friend ill. Onions is one of the human foods that should not be given to dogs as it can cause hemolytic anemia.

Raw, cooked, dehydrated or powdered – onions in any form should not be given to the dog. The toxic effect of onion to dogs is dose dependent. Being dose dependent, effects of onion toxicity may not be manifested at once if the dog eats small amounts so that an unknowing pet owner will continue giving the dog onions until the accumulated toxicity severely affects the dog.

The theosulphates substance found in onions cannot be digested by dogs as our furry friends do not have the enzyme necessary for the substance to undergo metabolism. The reaction of the undigested theosulphate with oxygen will oxidize the hemoglobin resulting to the destruction of the red blood cells. The red blood cells contain the protein molecule hemoglobin whose main function is to carry oxygen to all the cells and tissues of the body. This function is impaired when bubble-like clumps are formed in the red blood cells when hemoglobin is oxidized.

These clumps called Heinz bodies will eventually rupture so that less oxygen will be delivered to the vital parts of the body. Premature destruction of red blood cells results to a condition called hemolytic anemia where the weakened dog vomits and have diarrhea. The dog will have bloodied urine, increased heart rate and breathing difficulties. There are times when an owner has to be cruel to be kind to the dog. Although hard to do it is necessary to ignore the pleading looks of the pet. Resist the urge to give the dog onions!

Read all about why dogs can’t eat onions and first aid for dogs at Sarah’s Dogs.

| RSS feed for comments on this post

Comments are closed.