Garlic is one of the most popular and healthiest vegetables for humans. Eating garlic has many benefits for us. This amazing veggie lowers cholesterol and reduces blood pressure. Besides this garlic lowers the risk of heart disease, improves the immune system, memory, skin, bones, etc. But, is garlic bad for dogs?
We use fresh garlic in the kitchen all the time. So, you’d think that one of the healthiest veggies in the world and the benefits of garlic would also be healthy for our furry friends. But, is it really the case? Here’s the truth!
Is Garlic Bad For Dogs?
Garlic is part of the Allium Sativum Family and is not safe for dogs! Actually, it’s poisonous even in small amounts. Garlic contains disulfides and thiosulphates, compounds that are toxic to dogs.
When your dog eats garlic, these compounds get absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract and change into reactive oxidants, which will damage your dog’s red blood cells.
As a result, several health conditions can occur including Heinz body anemia, methemoglobinemia, and hemolytic anemia.
Garlic is bad for dogs, especially in powder form. Also, cooking garlic seems to intensify the poisonous effects it has on dogs.
Even vegetables that are safe for dogs to eat become toxic if you cook them with garlic or use garlic as seasoning.
Can it really be safe in any way?
There are some experts and holistic veterinarians that argue garlic is safe and even beneficial to dogs in small quantities. However, there is a risk in feeding your dog even those safe garlic doses.
Of course, every dog is different and every dog metabolizes garlic more or less effectively. Therefore, the risks far outweigh any potential benefits.
Symptoms Of Garlic Poisoning In Dogs?
The most common cause of garlic poisoning in dogs is table scraps seasoned with garlic powder or dog garlic bread crumbs.
Also, your dog could eat wild garlic or garlic from your garden when outside. In this case, you won’t realize something is wrong until your dog starts showing signs of garlic poisoning.
It can take a couple of days before symptoms occur. How severe the symptoms will be, depends on your dog’s weight and how much garlic he ate.
But, in some cases, if not treated, garlic poisoning can be fatal for dogs.
The most common symptoms of garlic poisoning include:
- Pale gums
- Blood in urine
- Yellow eyes and skin
- Breathing issues
- Elevated heart rate
- Abdominal pain and cramps
What To Do If Your Dog Eats Too Much Garlic?
All of this sounds scary. But what if your dog ate garlic. What do you do then?
Firstly, ensure your dog doesn’t eat any more garlic and call your vet. Tell him what happened in detail. Don’t hide how much garlic your dog ate. Be honest! If your dog ate a lot of garlic, he needs to know and act immediately.
The main goal is to remove the toxins from the dog’s system as soon as possible. Usually, the vet will give your dog an injection which will cause vomiting.
When your dog stops vomiting, the vet will give your dog activated charcoal to clear any residual toxins. Activated charcoal sticks to toxins and prevents their absorption into the bloodstream.
In severe cases of garlic poisoning, dogs need a blood transfusion, oxygen therapy, and supportive treatment.
Can I feed my dog garlic supplements?
Despite garlic’s toxicity, some dog owners are still using dog garlic supplements. Since there were no proven continuous positive results in the use of garlic for the health benefits of any dog, you should always ask a veterinarian for a recommendation on this subject.
A word from veterinarian
I don’t want to lie to you. Garlic poisoning is very serious because there is no cure. Your vet can do his best, but still not be able to help your dog. All your vet can do is soothe symptoms that occur.
If your dog is healthy and your vet treats him right after eating garlic, his chances are good. You don’t have to worry.
But, if you don’t treat garlic poisoning, if you ignore all symptoms, your dog might actually die. After large garlic ingestion, clinical signs should be visible right away.
So, don’t give garlic to your dog. And secondly, act quickly and get to your vet as soon as possible if your dog ate even few grams of garlic.
If you can’t get to a vet then call a pet poison helpline !
Commonly Asked Questions
What dog breeds are more sensitive to garlic?
There are some dogs that are more sensitive to garlic. For example, even small doses for Japanese dog breeds like Shiba Inu, Akita and Japanese Spitz could lead to medical conditions.
Scientists still don’t know why these breeds are most affected by garlic. However, one theory suggests that the hereditary high red blood count and low levels of potassium and glutathione are the cause of hypersensitivity.
On the other side, a Labrador Retriever should eat 152 cloves of garlic before it could have toxic effect. As you can see, kilograms of body weight surely play a huge role.
Can garlic kill a dog?
Garlic can kill a dog! If they eat a lot of it.
The fact is, garlic is poisonous to dogs. The prognosis of garlic poisoning depends on the amount that your dog ate, the dog’s body weight and overall health as well as how soon they were treated.
If the treatment started immediately or shortly after ingestion, the prognosis is generally good and the dog will recover. However, your dog ate garlic and you don’t know until severe symptoms show, then this could kill your dog.
Npropyldisulfide found in cloves of garlic can cause oxidative damage to red blood cells. Later on, you will see symptoms of anemia, so be careful and avoid use of garlic around your puppies and adult dogs.
Does garlic powder kill worms in dogs?
Now, I will say it one more time. Garlic is bad for your dog! So, don’t listen to holistic vets that use garlic as a dewormer.
There is no conclusive evidence that garlic is an effective anthelmintic nor does it give any health benefits. Some people talk about removing or reducing blood clots but that is also a long shot. Remember, even small amounts of garlic can be toxic to your dog. There is no point in risking your dog’s life when you have safe deworming medicine available.