Can Dogs Eat Garlic?

Garlic is such an indispensable ingredient in human cooking, and its medicinal properties and extensive health benefits may lead you to wonder if the opinions about whether garlic is toxic for dogs are accurate. 

If you have ever found yourself wondering – can dogs eat garlic? 

This article will explore the topic in detail so that you can come to your conclusions and decide whether or not you want to feed garlic to your dog.

not safe for dogs to eat

No, your dog shouldn't eat garlic. 

Garlic is toxic to dogs. Garlic belongs to the Allium family (which also includes onion, chives, and leeks) and are poisonous to dogs. Garlic powder & garlic salt seasoning are not safe either.

  • What is garlic?
  • Is it safe for dogs to eat garlic?
  • How much garlic is toxic to dogs?
  • Treating garlic toxicity in dogs
  • Can garlic be good for my dog?
  • How to feed garlic to your dog
is garlic safe for dogs

What Is Garlic?

Did you know that garlic is a member of the lily family, along with onions, shallots, and leeks? It grows underground in the form of a bulb. 

The edible cloves are contained and covered with an inedible white paper-like skin.

The intense flavor of garlic makes it a trendy ingredient in cooking, being indispensable in the cuisines of many different cultures. 

It has extensive health benefits for humans and can be incorporated into both cooked and raw dishes. 

Humans have used garlic for its medicinal properties for thousands of years, to help prevent and treat many different illnesses.

Related Topic: Can dogs eat Pizza?

Is It Safe For Dogs To Eat Garlic?

Garlic is considered to be about 5 times as potent as onions and leeks, both of which are part of the Allium family, along with garlic, and said to be toxic to dogs and cats. 

When looking online, however, you may find some contradictory information. 

Natural health advocates often promote garlic as a beneficial supplement for dogs. So in this article, we will present both sides of the story.

Garlic and the other members of the allium family contain something called Thiosulfate, and it is this that is considered unsafe for your dog. 

This is because it causes the breakdown of blood cells, which leads to hemolytic anemia.

How Much Garlic Is Toxic To Dogs?

The good news is that your dog would have to eat a lot of garlic to get sick—approximately 15 to 30 grams per kilograms of body weight. 

When you consider that single garlic cloves from an average supermarket bulb weigh between 3 and 7 grams, it can help to put things into perspective. 

Of course, it depends on the individual dog as well as some dogs are more sensitive than others.

If you are concerned about the adverse health effects of garlic, don't be too worried if your dog occasionally consumes food that has been cooked or prepared with garlic. 

If, for example, your dog eats a slice of garlic bread, they are more likely to experience an upset stomach from the other harmful ingredients than the garlic itself. 

Garlic bread usually contains high amounts of butter, oil, herbs, and often cheese, all of which may aggravate your dog's digestive system. 

Garlic bread is also a high carb and high-calorie food with absolutely no nutritional benefits for your dog. 

You are feeding human foods like this as treats regularly can cause your dog to put on weight and lead to other health problems.

garlic is unsafe for dogs

Treating Garlic Toxicity In Dogs

Overdosing in garlic consumption rarely leads to garlic toxicity in dogs, it may be the long-term effects that have a more negative impact on your dog's health than an accidental binging spree on garlic bread or other high-garlic human food.

If you are concerned about your dog and they are showing signs of illness, you should take them to see a veterinarian to be on the safe side. 

Your vet can help your dog to feel more comfortable, for example providing intravenous fluids for hydration and medications to control vomiting.

If the case is severe and your dog is suffering from hemolytic anemia, they may require a blood transfusion.

Can Garlic Be Good For My Dog?

While feeding garlic to your dog requires some caution, there are also many beneficial things about garlic.

  • Garlic can be an anti-platelet, meaning that it prevents the formation of blood clots.
  • Garlic is also a vasodilator, meaning it widens the blood vessels.
  • It can decrease the build-up of cholesterol
  • It helps to remove waste by stimulating the lymphatic system
  • Garlic is a powerful antibiotic, antifungal and antiparasitic
  • Garlic has also been known to prevent the formation of tumors.

Did you know that garlic could be used as a very useful and natural flea and tick repellent? 

It takes a few weeks to build up in the natural oils of the dog's coat, but if you feed it just before the bug season begins, it does a great job of keeping them off your dog during flea and tick season. 

The trick is not to bathe your dog with lots of soapy cleansers, as these will strip the coat of natural oils.

Related Topic: Can dogs eat spinach?

If you want to introduce garlic and other natural health ingredients and foods into your dog's diet, it can be a good idea to work with a qualified holistic practitioner to help guide you in the right direction for your dog's health.

Garlic belongs to the Allium family

How To Feed Garlic To Your Dog

Allicin is an essential ingredient found in garlic, formed from a combination of two enzymes that are found separately inside the garlic cloves:

  • Alliin – This first enzyme is a non-volatile and odorless sulfur amino acid.

  • Alliinase – When the first enzyme comes into contact with this second one (i.e., when the garlic clove is cut or chewed), they become allicin, which is a pungent and volatile sulfur compound, and also the smell and taste we know so well.

Because allicin is so unstable, it will convert into other compounds it not stabilized during manufacturing. Heat, for example, can have a massive impact. 

This means that if you choose to feed dried garlic, it is crucial to get garlic that has not been heat-treated.

Unfortunately, not all dogs will readily eat fresh raw garlic. Even when added discretely to their meals, they can detect the taste and aroma a mile off! 

You may have more luck with pure cold-pressed garlic oil, often available in gelatinous capsules.

A low dose will be required at first, building up to the recommended treatment for your dog over a couple of weeks.

Suggested dosages:

  • A whole crushed clove for large dogs per day, or half a teaspoon equivalent if feeding cold-pressed powder or granules.
  • Half a clove for medium-sized dogs, or a quarter teaspoon of powder or granules
  • A quarter clove for small dogs, or a pinch of powder or granules.

Ongoing daily dosages are not recommended, so give your dog a break, or if you are treating a seasonal condition, gradually decrease dosage once the dog has improved and is maintaining improvement.

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It can be very confusing to have two conflicting viewpoints on whether garlic is safe to feed to a dog or not. How do you know what is best for your dog? 

Nobody wants to do their dog any harm after all; we all want what is best for our pets. 

If you are curious about the health benefits of garlic for dogs, why not continue doing your research and find out what other people are saying about their own dogs' reactions to garlic? 

And if you want to try your dog with garlic, start slowly and observe your dog, see any improvement or adverse effects. 

Don't forget that all dogs are different, and some may take garlic better than others. 

At the very least, get the opinion and advice of not only your veterinarian but also some holistic practitioners who may be able to offer you the reassurance and information you need.

can dogs eat garlic
(Last Updated On: April 29, 2021)

I'm a self-employed blogger, life-long pet parent, and lover of dogs. I have always loved animals, especially puppies. So when my family got our first dog 15 years ago, it was love at first sight. We named her Sassy because she was so small, cute, and had a sassy personality! Once we got her home, I wanted to know everything about caring for her, so I researched online. Eventually, this led me to create the PUPPYFAQS website, where I write about nutrition, health, and care of puppies and the latest news in the world of puppies. In my spare time, I volunteer at my local shelter, which is run by volunteers who are passionate about helping homeless dogs find their forever homes. If I'm not working or volunteering for dogs, you can find me spending time with my family, friends, and my puppy. I have been writing professionally online since 2009. In addition to PUPPYFAQS, I also write for several other pet-related publications.

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