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Why You Should Avoid Giving Garlic To Your Dog

by Louise W. Rice

Garlic roasting in the kitchen is one of the most recognizable scents out there. For many of us, it brings memories of amazing home-cooked meals and recipes. However, while garlic is a favorite ingredient for humans, it can be toxic to dogs, and experts highly discourage feeding garlic to your dog.

As dog owners, we strive to keep our pups as healthy and active as possible. And while regular walks, training, and exercise can help, your dog’s diet plays the most prominent role in their overall health. So, when buying or preparing dinner for our dogs, we need to make sure only the best and healthiest ingredients are included.

And while many pet owners are familiar with the fact that garlic is toxic to dogs, many of them ask the question, “how toxic is garlic to dogs?”.

The answer to this question varies, but to help you get a better hold of your pet’s health, we’ll go through all the reasons why you shouldn’t give garlic to your dog.

Read on to learn more.

Why You Should Avoid Giving Garlic to Your Dog

Here are some of the key reasons you should keep garlic away from your dog as much as possible.

Garlic is Part of the Allium Family

You should not feed garlic to your dog because it’s part of the allium family. Allium includes many common herbs and ingredients humans use in their dishes, such as onions, scallions, and chives.

The main compound that can harm dogs in garlic is thiosulphate. Thiosulphate can be found in most members of the allium family and is known to damage a dog’s red blood cells. Red blood cells play a significant role in a dog’s health, and damaged cells can spell many problems.

Garlic Can Cause Health Issues in Dogs

When a dog eats too much garlic, the results can be disastrous. There are some studies that show that just 15-30 grams of garlic per kilogram of a dog’s weight can cause severe damage to their red blood cells. On top of that, some dogs are more sensitive to garlic than others and can have adverse reactions in smaller doses or in toxic doses that have been spread out over a couple of days.

When dogs’ red blood cells are damaged, they can get lethargic, develop jaundice, rapid breathing, and more. Vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite are other common symptoms of garlic poisoning in dogs.

How Much Garlic is Toxic to Dogs?

As we mentioned earlier, 15-30 grams of garlic per kilogram of your dog’s weight is considered a toxic dose. Since one clove of garlic typically only weighs between 5-7 grams, it would take a whole lot of the herb to poison your dog. However, even if the doses are spread out between a couple of days, it can still be toxic and cause harm to your pet.

Remember, some dogs might be more sensitive to garlic than others. So, there might be some dogs out there who start feeling sick and developing symptoms with much smaller doses. So, we always recommend keeping garlic away from your dog as it’s hazardous.

Are Garlic Supplements Good for Dogs?

There are many enthusiasts out there who claim that garlic supplements are good for dogs. In fact, there are even some studies to back it up. Certain garlic supplements for dogs have shown that they can help them develop more antioxidants.

However, this is largely debated by professionals. There isn’t enough conclusive evidence out there to say that garlic supplements are good or bad for your dogs. So, if ever you plan on giving your dog a garlic supplement, always consult your veterinarian beforehand.

Your vet should be well acquainted with your dog and easily be able to tell whether or not garlic supplements are the right option. On top of that, it’s always crucial to get a professional’s opinion and recommendation for different supplements.

Which Dog Breeds Shouldn’t Eat Garlic?

There are some dog breeds more susceptible to garlic poisoning than others. This includes the Shiba Inu and Akitas. These Japanese dogs are more sensitive to the effects that garlic has on their body. The compound N-propyl disulfide is an oxidant known for its hemolytic effects on animals, which can severely affect certain Japanese breeds.


So, while it might be a great way to add a kick and flavor to human food, you should try to keep garlic away from your dogs as much as possible. As for garlic supplements, we always recommend consulting your dog’s vet before introducing anything new to their diet.

If you notice that your dog is vomiting, lethargic, and exhibiting other symptoms after consuming garlic, call for a vet immediately. It’s best to catch garlic poisoning early, so bring your dog to the vet for treatment as soon as you can. And to avoid situations like this, make sure to keep the garlic in your kitchen far away from your dog.

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