Warning Dog Owners

Wild onions can be found throughout BVS, and especially around and in the Dog Park and nature path.  Please watch your dog carefully! The Association can not spray to kill onions as it would kill all plant growth which is toxic to our lakes and would leave a dirt mess in the dog park.

Are onions toxic to dogs?

Onions contain a toxic principle known as N-propyl disulfide. This compound causes a breakdown of red blood cells, leading to anemia in dogs.

The toxin causes oxidative damage to your dog's red blood cells by attaching to the oxygen molecules in your dog's red blood cells. This reduces the ability of the red blood cells to carry oxygen, and also tricks your dog's body into thinking that the blood cell is an invader. The red blood cell is destroyed in a process known as hemolysis, resulting in hemolytic anemia. 

What parts of onions are toxic to dogs?

All parts of the onion plant are toxic to dogs, including the flesh, leaves, juice, and processed powders. Raw or cooked, fried or powdered, onions and the rest of the allium family (garlic, shallots, leeks, and chives) are harmful to dogs.

Symptoms of onion toxicity in dogs

If you think your dog may have eaten onions, there are a few symptoms of anemia to look out for:

  • Lethargy, Weakness, Decreased appetite, Pale gums, Fainting, Reddish urine

The ASPCA also lists vomiting, elevated heart rate, and panting assigns of onion toxicity.

If your dog is exhibiting any of these symptoms, the best thing you can do to help him is to get him to a veterinarian as soon as possible.