There are such varying opinions about whether dogs can eat garlic. In fact, it can be quite confusing figuring out if garlic is good or bad for dogs, or even downright dangerous and poisonous. Some experts say that garlic is extremely toxic to dogs, while others say that your dog can have small amounts of garlic (e.g. in garlic bread) for its health benefits. Let’s explore if it is safe for dogs to eat garlic and how much they can have before it turns toxic.
Is Garlic Toxic To Dogs?
While very small amounts of garlic can be okay for dogs, it is highly recommended by most experts that you never give any garlic to your dog. Yes, some people do recommend garlic supplements to help combat fleas, but this is something that must be done very carefully, and only under the supervision of your veterinarian.
Dogs do not metabolize food in the same way that we do, and this includes herbs such as raw and cooked garlic, garlic salt, garlic powder, and all variations. Garlic comes from the allium family, which also includes onions and is considered to be toxic to dogs.
Foods in this family contain the compound thiosulfate, which is safe for humans but toxic to dogs. This compound can cause oxidative damage to red blood cells leading to hemolytic anemia.
Symptoms of this illness include:
- Rapid breathing
- Pale mucous membranes
- Discolored urine
In addition to these symptoms, dogs can develop garlic poisoning, which may cause gastrointestinal upset, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, dehydration, depression, and loss of appetite.
Garlic Poisoning: What To Do and How To Treat
Dogs do have a tendency to get into things that they shouldn’t, especially when it comes to any food that happens to be within their reach. If you think that your dog has ingested a small amount of garlic, you likely have little to worry about.
Studies show that in order for dogs to have garlic toxicity, they must ingest between 15 and 30 grams of garlic. Since a clove of garlic averages about 3 to 7 grams, it is unlikely that your dog is going to eat enough to cause them any harm. If your dog happens to steal a bite of pizza or garlic bread, it likely isn’t going to hurt them.
Of course, it is still best to keep an eye on them to make sure that they aren’t displaying any of the above symptoms. If puppies get into garlic, they probably won’t eat enough to make them sick. But, as with adult dogs, it is important to watch for symptoms and contact your vet immediately if they start to display symptoms.
No, Dogs Can’t Eat Garlic
If your dog has gotten into large amounts of garlic somehow, contact your vet right away. Garlic toxicity is not usually fatal, but it can make your dog very sick.
The vet may recommend that your dog be given intravenous fluids for hydration, and prescribe medication to keep vomiting at a minimum. In some instances, your vet may even need to conduct blood transfusions if your dog has eaten a very large amount of garlic.