dog eating garlic

In November 2000, several researchers from Hokkaido University published a study concluding that dogs should not consume garlic as it has the potential to cause hemolytic anemia.

However, a key limitation of the study was the large amounts of garlic fed to the dog’s understudy, and as we all know, too much of something can be dangerous.

So, if my dog ate garlic butter, would it be safe? I would say it depends on the amount of garlic in the garlic butter and how much is consumed by the dog.  Other concerns from dog owners might be dog eating bananas, ice cream, chocolate, or other human food.

Dangers Of Garlic In Dogs

Garlic is classified under the Allium family. Like many other members of the Allium family, garlic contains thiosulphates and disulfides that can be toxic to dogs. Garlic is said to be five times more potent than other members of the allium family, such as onions, leeks, and chives.

Can Dogs Eat Garlic?

When toxic amounts are ingested, these compounds can cause gastrointestinal problems, respiratory issues, hemolytic anemia, Heinz body anemia, and/or methemoglobinemia.

In each of these conditions, red blood cells are affected and do not function properly. For example, with hemolytic anemia, red blood cells are destroyed faster than they can be produced.

As a result, the body is not able to function as it should due to insufficient oxygen circulation, according to The John Hopkins University

Is Garlic Bad For Dogs?

Dog owners have always assumed that garlic, even in small quantities, is toxic to dogs. Many pet owners actively deny their dogs any foods containing garlic to ensure that it does not harm the dog’s health.

For the most part, this is true. Garlic can be extremely toxic to dogs. However, just like other herbs and vegetables, small-vet recommended doses of garlic can be extremely beneficial to your dogs’ health. 

Caution: Please consult a veterinarian before giving your dog any products that may have garlic. 

Properties of Garlic

According to an article by Dan Washburn, garlic can be very beneficial. It is a herb that is rich in various properties and offers several benefits when consumed. They are listed as follows:

  • Garlic contains high levels of minerals such as phosphorus, sulfur, zinc, potassium, calcium, magnesium, manganese, selenium, germanium, amino acids, and inulin. It also contains high levels of vitamins such as Vitamin A, C, and B-complex. 
  • It contains body warming properties. Due to its pungent nature, garlic as a herb can move energy upwards and outwards towards the body’s surface improving circulation and warming up the body. It has an affinity for the lungs, large intestine, spleen, and stomach. 
  • It aids in body detoxification. Due to its affinity for the digestive tract, garlic can assist in the elimination of harmful bacteria, therefore, balancing out the digestive system. 
  • It assists in nutrient assimilation and waste elimination. Garlic is also helpful in assisting the dog to assimilate any nutrients in the digestive tract to the bloodstream while at the same time assisting in the elimination of waste that may be present in the digestive tract. 
  • It enhances liver function by assisting in the breakdown of wastes before they enter the bloodstream. 

Health Benefits Of Garlic To My Dog

With the consumption of garlic in correct doses, a dog can attain the following health benefits. 

  • Garlic has antiplatelet properties which prevent the formation of blood clots 
  • It has anti-cholesterol properties that aid in reducing dangerous plaque build-up within the arteries, therefore, preventing cholesterol buildup. 
  • It also acts as a vasodilator by widening the blood vessels 
  • It has anti-tumor properties
  • It stimulates the lymphatic system, assisting in waste elimination and promoting the development of a healthy liver
  • It boosts the body’s immune system by assisting blood cells in the elimination of harmful microbes
  • Its antibiotic and antifungal properties which prevent the dog from contracting illnesses and infections
  • It has antiparasitic properties that act as a pest repellant. Although it does not kill parasites such as ticks and fleas, the bitter taste of bitterness deters biting from such parasites. 

How Much Garlic can I give my Dog?

In a response to a worried dog owner, Dr. Peter, a veterinarian, stated that dogs need to consume at least 15-30g/kg for you to be concerned about toxicity.

In her article, “Can dogs eat garlic?” Anna Burke puts this information into perspective by noting that one clove bought from the supermarket weighs between 3 and 7 grams so your dog would have to eat a lot of cloves to get sick.

However, the type, weight, and health history of your pet should also be considered as some dogs may get an adverse reaction even to the smallest quantities of garlic. 

Additionally, one also has to consider the amount and uniqueness of certain proteins and other elements in the dog’s blood.

These elements may have a significant impact on the amount of garlic the dog can consume. Hence, before you give your dog any garlic, seek to advise from a professional as some dogs may react differently to the same doses of garlic, even when they are the same breed. 

Before Giving My Dog Garlic

Before issuing garlic, or any product containing garlic for your dog to consume, consider the following factors:

  1. Vet’s opinion on the matter. Before you start your dog off on a new diet that contains garlic, consider the medical opinion of your vet.
  2. Weight of the dog. The weight of the dog will help you determine the amount of garlic that is safe for your dogs’ consumption, against the recommended amount. 
  3. Health history. If your dog has a pre-existing history of anemia and/or lupus, do not give them anything that contains garlic. 
  4. Age. According to Washburn, puppies cannot produce blood cells until they are around 6-8 weeks old. Hence, if your dog is below this time frame, do not give them anything that contains garlic. 
  5. Dog Breed. Some breeds are more sensitive to garlic than other breeds. For instance, The Akita, Shiba Inu, and the Japanese Spitz have a higher risk of experiencing negative symptoms towards garlic than other dog breeds. 
  6. Current body status. This just refers to the nature of the body. Has the dog been ill recently and is it fully recovered? Also, is the dog pregnant? Garlic can change the taste of breast milk; hence, avoid feeding it to nursing dogs. 
  7. Medication being taken. Ensure that the dog is not under any medication as Garlic can interact with several types of medication. For instance, Immunosuppressant’s, heart medications, chemotherapy drugs, blood thinners, insulin, antacids, high blood pressure drugs. 

What Are The Warning Signs For Garlic Toxicity In Dogs?

When a dog consumes amounts of garlic that are harmful to its health, a pet owner can expect the development of unusual behavior that would indicate something is wrong with the pup.

After consumption of any food containing garlic, the dog may be having problems digesting garlic, or with certain elements within garlic such as N-propyl disulfide which damages its red blood cells. If the following symptoms are observed after eating garlic, seek medical help immediately:

  • Dark urine 
  • Pale gums 
  • Increased heart rate 
  • Abdominal pain 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Vomiting
  • Blood in the urine (Hematuria)
  • Bad Breath
  • Collapse
  • Drooling
  • Lethargy
  • Liver and spleen Inflammation
  • Seizures
  • Trouble Breathing
  • Weakness
  • Jaundice
  • Irritation and Inflammation of the stomach and intestines

What About The Smell Of Garlic… Do Dogs Like It?

Dogs have a very strong sense of smell and can sniff out individual scents from a mile away. Garlic, on the other hand, has a very strong pungent smell that is not appealing, to be honest.

It, therefore, does not come as a shock to know that dogs do not find the smell of garlic appealing. They can smell it from a mile away and would rather stay clear of it at all costs. 

How, Then, Can I Feed My Dog Garlic?

If you have settled your mind and decided to feed your pup garlic, ensure that it is not in powdered form. Although garlic in any form, whether buttered, baked, seasoned, or fried can be as equally dangerous as raw garlic, it is important to ensure that your dog does not consume powdered garlic as this is the most dangerous of them all.

However, if you intend on feeding your dog garlic, mixing it in with another dish so that the smell and taste are not as strong is the trick for feeding your dog garlic. 

Treatment Plan For Garlic Poisoning In Dogs

When you suspect that your dog may be having garlic poisoning, consultation from a vet will typically involve induced vomiting to ensure that the garlic is forcefully ejected from the dog’s system and the gastrointestinal tract is cleared. You can also administer activated charcoal which will bind the poison and help to detoxify the body.

If all these measures are unsuccessful, then the vet may need to admit the pup and insert a drip with a saline solution to flush out the toxins in their system.

Added IV fluids, oxygen therapy, a blood transfusion, and iron medication may be administered where the dog had developed anemia.

Is Pizza Crust With Garlic Bad? 

Just like garlic bread, the presence of garlic in the pizza crust can be harmful to your dogs’ health.

Additionally, other ingredients such as sugar, butter, oil, and herbs that your dog may not be able to digest properly are present; this can lead to an upset stomach, increased calories leading to weight problems, increased cholesterol, respiratory issues among other problems associated with disruption of a balanced diet. 

Can My Dog Eat A Garlic Knot?

Consumption of a garlic knot should not be a problem as the content of garlic in the dough will most probably be minimal. However, consider the factors listed under “Before Giving my Dog Garlic” . . .Also, if the dog has some mild gastrointestinal upset and no other symptoms listed above, do not be alarmed. 

Can My Dog Have Dog Supplements?

According to Anna Burke, there are many websites which are advising dog owners to give their dogs garlic supplements as a form of parasitic control against fleas and ticks.

Most owners may opt for supplements; however, it is wise to note that the remedy has not had consistent results in the past, and with the known risk factors, it is better to consult a veterinarian before embarking on such a treatment plan. 

Thank you for stopping by hope the article was helpful if you’re looking for more human foods that dogs can eat such as bananas, chocolate, fruits or ice cream feel free to check them out. or if you looking for other dogs’ stuff such as nylabone we got you covered.

By Retriever Pets

I'm a dog expert and nutritionist. I help people choose the best food for their dogs and make sure they're getting the nutrients they need. I also offer advice on obedience training, exercise, and everything else dog-related. Follow me for tips on keeping your furry friend happy and healthy!