Can Dogs Eat Garlic? Healthy or Harmful effects of Garlic in Dogs

Can dogs eat garlic?- Harmful or healthy?

Garlic, a widely used flavoring, with its medicinal uses, has been 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 necessarily 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. 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, but first, let’s talk about the advantages of garlic in humans.

Also, check out: Can Dogs Be Vegan?


Benefits of Garlic in Humans

Health benefits of garlic on humans- garlic cloves
Credit: StreetSmart Kitchen

Garlic belongs to the genus Allium and is closely related to the onion, scallion, chive, leek, and shallot. It has been used throughout history for culinary as well as health benefits. The medicinal value of garlic is the reason it is used for several conditions associated with the blood system and heart. It is also used today by some people to prevent lung cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, stomach cancer, rectal cancer, and colon cancer. We have listed some of the benefits of garlic below:

  • Garlic is highly nutritious but has very few calories.
  • It is known to boost the immune system’s function, which helps in combatting sickness, including the common cold.
  • The active compounds in garlic can reduce blood pressure.
  • Consumption of garlic improves cholesterol levels, lowering the risks of cardiovascular diseases.
  • It contains antioxidants that may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia.
  • It might improve athletic performance, considering that it was given to Olympic athletes in ancient Greece to enhance their performance.
  • The sulfur compounds in garlic have been shown to protect against organ damage from heavy metal toxicity.
  • It can help females in estrogen production.
  • Diallyl sulfide, a compound in garlic is a potentially powerful antibiotic and was found 100 times popular in fighting the Campylobacter bacterium, according to a study published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy.

Overall, garlic is beneficial to humans. For thousands of years, garlic was believed to have medicinal value, and now it has been confirmed.

Is garlic good or bad for dogs?

Is garlic safe for your dog? - dog looking at garlic cloves
Credit: Dog Food Genius

Now, the question remains, “Can Dogs Eat Garlic?” 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. 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 them in moderation, but there are some cases you should be aware of mentioned below:

  • Pregnancy:

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.

  • Puppies:

Feeding garlic to puppies under 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 fat 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, don’t use it two weeks before any scheduled surgery.

What caused the misunderstanding that garlic is toxic?

The reason why garlic is considered toxic to dogs is that most research studies base their findings on the effects of garlic extracts, excessive dosages, and unnatural delivery methods. The study by Lee et al. fed 5 grams of garlic per kilo per day to the dogs, which is a little extreme. Garlic contains thiosulfate, which, when taken too much, can cause Heinz body hemolytic anemia. It causes oxidative damage to red blood cells, shortening the pup’s life. Proper dosages of raw and organic garlic don’t contain high thiosulphate, meaning dogs can enjoy the benefits of garlic, only if fed in moderation.

How much garlic will be sufficient (without any risks)?

How much garlic is ok for your dog?- Wooden spoon with garland of garlic.
Credit: StockFood

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. If your dog is on medications, consult your vet about whether they can eat it or not. According to dogsnaturally, Using a measuring spoon, feed the following amount per day, as per your dog’s weight:

  • 5lbs: 1/6 tsp
  • 10lbs: 1/3 tsp
  • 15lbs: ½ tsp
  • 20lbs: 2/3 tsp
  • 30lbs: 1 tsp

Be sure to cut the cloves into small pieces so your dog can swallow them easily.

Can I feed my dog garlic bread and garlic supplements?

Can dogs eat garlic bread? -Garlic bread
Credit: NDTV Food

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 a 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

Symptoms of Garlic Toxicity in Dogs. - Garlic Cloves
Credit: Insider

Too much garlic can cause hemolytic anemia. Symptoms of anemia include:

  • Pale mucous membranes
  • Rapid breathing
  • Lethargy
  • Weakness
  • Jaundice
  • Dark-colored urine

Still, the first symptoms you should check out for are:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal pain
  • Depression
  • Dehydration

Can eating garlic kill dogs?

Can eating garlic kill dogs? - Dog staring at garlic and onion.
Credit: Pinterest

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.


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