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Can I Give Garlic To My Dog
Why do some say garlic is not safe for dogs?
It seems like every day I read a new hub or read a comment warning about the danger of giving garlic to dogs. The comments are usually written by the same people who warn us that spiders are crawling in our mouths at night. If you do not want to use garlic on your own dog I think that is your choice. The problem I have is with the people telling others not to feed garlic because they read somewhere on the internet that garlic is dangerous.
So is garlic safe for your dog?
The main problem with garlic is one of PR; garlic does not have a good ageant. It is a member of the Allium genus so it is related to onions and thus has a small amount of a substance (n-propyldisulfide) that is able to cause damage to red blood cells.
Even onions are only mildly toxic and a dog would need to eat over 0.5% of his body weight to begin developing Heinz body anemia. A big dog would need to eat an entire onion, day after day, to even begin to show symptoms, and it is unlikely you could even convince most dogs to eat this much. A dog would need to eat a lot more garlic than that. Dogs can do some strange things, though, so it is not impossible, just very unlikely.
Proper Dose And Administration Of Garlic
Most of the natural veterinarians who work with garlic and holistic health recommend giving a clove of garlic for each 10 to 30 pounds of weight. The author of The Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats recommends half a clove for a ten pound dog and a whole clove from twenty to forty pounds. The doses are not exact, and the recommendations vary quite a bit. Several recommend taking a few days off a week. None of them have seen any negative side effects, however, and at these small doses will not.
Garlic can be used to improve the function of the immune system. It may help to prevent cancer in that way. It can help fight infections, lower cholesterol, improve liver function, and even prevent blood clots.
Garlic is best known for its use in the control of flea infestations. The exact mechanism is not known but it may cause an odor to be released that the fleas do not like. For some reason it works a lot better when given with brewers yeast, a vitamin B supplement, so garlic may also have some properties that enhance that vitamin.
There was one study done by some veterinarians in Japan. Dr.Lee and his fellow researchers decided that garlic was toxic so they gave a large dose and monitored the results. None of the dogs developed anemia. Therefore they decided to recommend no garlic be fed to dogs. Do you think they would get away with that type of conclusion if they were investigating a big industry? How about “coffee causes anemia”. They study it, determine it does not cause anemia, and then decide to recommend coffee no longer be consumed anyway.
Which drug companies market garlic?
Garlic cannot be trademarked by one of the large drug companies, cannot be given ten year exclusive distribution rights, cannot even be labeled and sold exclusively by the big pet superstores. It is a poor misfit that has many uses but no corporate sponsors.
Since the compound in garlic that is responsible for many of its properties (allicin) is unstable when exposed to air most holistic veterinarians recommend it be used fresh, within three hours of chopping or pressing.
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There are several forms available that are easier to use.
Crushed garlic is available here but is probably not as good as fresh garlic.
Garlic powder would probably not be good for the same reasons, but I have no clinical data to back this up.
If your dog does not like eating a fresh clove, you will need to mince it and mix it in with the food.
Dogs usually love the taste (dog food manufacturers sometimes use it for that reason) but my dog does not like it unless it is mixed with her food.
Garlic is a safe and effective ingredient to improve your dogs health.
© 2012 Dr Mark