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Can dogs have garlic?

Updated on June 29, 2010

Is garlic harmful to dogs? Can dogs have garlic? Dog owners have conflicting beliefs about the effects of including garlic to the dog’s diet. Garlic is included in the list of human foods that must not be given to the pet. The list has created awareness on what should be and what should not be given to the dog. Pet magazines, internet articles and newsletters show how this pungent bulb can harm the pet. However, it will be noticed that dog food suppliers advertize garlic supplements for dogs. What do you think? Should you or or should you not give the dog garlic. Moderation would always be the key given that large amounts of garlic would be harmful to the dogs while daily consumption of small amounts of garlic would give the dog loads of healthful benefits.

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Garlic toxicity

Onion should not be given to the dog because it contains a high concentration of thiosulphate which causes hemolytic anemia, a condition where the circulating red blood cells prematurely burst. As garlic and onion comes from the same family, garlic was also deemed to be dangerous to the health of the dog. The Animal Poison Control Center has warned against the inclusion of garlic in the dog’s diet as garlic was proven to contain thiosulphate. But unlike onions, garlic does not have the same high concentration of the compound. One generous serving of onion would cause the dog to vomit, have diarrhea, experience breathing difficulties and loss appetite. These are the symptoms of hemolytic anemia. Thiosulphate in garlic, unlike in onion is barely traceable. What was ingested by the dog will be promptly excreted. Garlic becomes poisonous if the dog has ingested large amounts; let’s say about 50 bulbs of garlic in one setting. This is very unlikely given that the smell of garlic makes it not so appealing to the dog. Thus garlic is commonly not considered a threat to the health of the pet.

Garlic’s healing properties

Garlic has been used by humans for centuries because of its healing properties. As canines are considered to be similar to humans in genetics, people have been giving garlic to their most loyal and devoted companions. Garlic has antimicrobial, antiseptic and antifungal properties. This miracle bulb contains allicin, the active compound that activate this bulb’s healing properties.

Natural health benefits of garlic

Garlic triggers the secretion of gastric juices that promotes better digestion and the development of friendly bacteria in the dog’s digestive tract. Garlic was proven to be an effective natural medication for diabetic dogs as it has the capability to reduce cholesterol and triglycerides as well as to regulate blood sugar levels. Garlic is a powerful antioxidant. Its selenium content activates the enzymes that hinder the growth of cancer cells.  

Garlic’s anti parasitic properties

The inclusion of garlic in the dog’s diet would result to the pet’s less than appealing breath. This overpowering smell is the downfall of external and internal parasites as they too cannot stand the garlic smell that will be emitted through the sweat glands and the pores of the pet.

Dog Lovin' Garlic


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