Garlic, a widely used flavoring, with its medicinal uses, is taken to prevent and treat lots of diseases for a long time. It’s undeniable that garlic promotes good health in humans. Garlic has antiseptic, antibiotic, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties. In humans, it can lower blood pressure and prevent blood clotting. Also, it can aid in the formation of good bacteria in the digestive system. But the question remains, “Can Dogs Eat Garlic?”
Despite most people claiming on the internet that garlic is bad for dogs, this isn’t the case. Any food fed without moderation can cause hazards in your dog, and this is true not only for dogs but for every living being. This means that dogs can eat garlic, but only if fed in moderation. However, we recommend you don’t try feeding any garlic to dogs. According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, garlic and other members of the allium family, including onions, contain thiosulfate, which is toxic to dogs. Most pet parents are still unsure if garlic is toxic to dogs or not. Check our article to verify it yourself.
Is garlic good or bad for dogs?
Many websites on the internet claim that garlic is toxic to dogs. But is it true? Well, they are partially correct. Certain breeds and species are more sensitive, including cats and Japanese breeds of dogs like Akita and Shiba Inu, but the reason is unknown. Some experts believe it is because of a high red blood cell count and low levels of glutathione and potassium, which is hereditary in these breeds. The reason behind why garlic is toxic to dogs and other animals is because it contains thiosulfate. While thiosulfate doesn’t cause many problems for humans when ingested, it is toxic to dogs. This is because thiosulfate destroys an animal’s red blood cells and causes hemolytic anemia.
Some dogs are more prone to garlic poisoning, and some aren’t as susceptible. However, if fed moderately, garlic is known to improve digestion and skin, even in dogs. Garlic is safe for your dog, as long as you feed your dog in moderation, but there are some cases you should be aware of:
Always consult your veterinarian about what to feed expectant mother dogs. Garlic also changes the taste of breast milk, so avoid feeding it to nursing dogs.
Feeding garlic to puppies less than six months is also not recommended. Puppies eight weeks or less don’t produce new red blood cells, so never give them garlic.
- Specific Breeds:
Akitas and Shiba Inus are more sensitive to the hemolytic effects of oxidants such as N-propyl disulfide found in garlic, so feeding garlic to these specific breeds is a big NO!
- Drug Interactions:
Garlic can interact with several types of medications. You need to be wary if your dog is on drugs for insulin, antacids, high blood pressure, blood thinners, Chemotherapy, and Heart problems. Also, since garlic affects blood clotting, it is best to avoid it two weeks before any scheduled surgery.
How much garlic will be sufficient (without any risks)?
The amount of garlic you feed your dog primarily depends on their weight and age. With puppies, you should avoid feeding them any at all, and so is true for older dogs with weak digestion. To calculate the amount of garlic your dog can eat, just use this rule of thumb:
- Small Breed Dogs: 1/4 – 1/2 tsp of garlic powder or one to three small cloves of garlic.
Medium Breed Dogs: 3/4 – 1 tsp of garlic powder or four to five small cloves.
Large Breed Dogs: 1-1.5 tsp of garlic powder or six to seven small cloves.
If your dog is on medications, consult your vet about whether they can eat it or not. Each dog is different and reacts differently to foods. So, a little trial and error may be necessary. If you notice sudden diarrhea or vomiting after you’ve given your dog garlic, don’t give it again! Call your vet immediately and explain the situation in brief.
Can I feed my dog garlic bread and garlic supplements?
Garlic bread usually contains large amounts of butter, oil, cheese, and herbs other than garlic that can upset your pooch’s stomach. It also contains lots of calories and fat, so it would be better not to feed your dog any garlic bread.
“What about garlic supplements?” It is unclear if garlic supplements work as a flea and tick preventive. Some sites believe that giving your dog garlic supplements helps prevent tick and flea, whereas some don’t. If you do decide to feed your pup a garlic supplement, consult your vet.
Still, it is better not to feed them any garlic from jars and capsules. Fresh, organic garlic in small amounts is always recommended.
Garlic toxicity symptoms in dogs
Too much garlic can cause Heinz body anemia. Symptoms of anemia include:
- Pale mucous membranes
- Rapid breathing
- Dark-colored urine
Still, the first symptoms you should check out for are:
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal pain
Can eating garlic kill dogs?
If you feed garlic to your dog in a moderate amount, you have nothing to worry about. According to AKC, it takes approximately 15 to 30 grams of garlic per kilogram of body weight to produce harmful changes in a dog’s blood. An average clove weighs between 3 and 7 grams. So, your dog would have to eat a lot of garlic to get really sick. But if they do eat a large amount, then sadly, yes, death is possible.
My dog ate quite a large amount of garlic. What do I do?
In case your dog ingests a large amount of garlic, rush him/her to a vet as fast as you can. Garlic poisoning is rarely fatal in dogs, but they might need some supportive care. Your vet might recommend intravenous fluids to keep him/her hydrated and may try to induce vomiting. In severe cases, a blood transfusion might be necessary.
So, can dogs eat garlic? In a nutshell, yes, dogs can eat garlic and enjoy the health benefits of garlic, that is if fed in moderation. Always regulate your dog’s intake, no matter what the food, and consult your vet before feeding something new to your pup. It’s generally not recommended to feed your dog garlic, but if you do, don’t feed them too much.
For more information on potentially harmful vegetables, your dog should avoid eating, check out similar articles here.