Dog Care

Can Dogs Eat Garlic? Why It's Never Okay To Feed Your Dog Garlic

Can Dogs Eat Garlic? Why It's Never Okay To Feed Your Dog Garlic

Written By Amica Graber

Apr 11, 2017

Can dogs eat garlic? The answer is no. Garlic, along with other alliums like onions and leeks, is extremely toxic for dogs.

Garlic is one of the few foods, along with chocolate, onions and macadamia nuts that are pure poison for pets. 

Why Garlic Is Poisonous To Pets

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Although alliums have been used as a health food for humans for generations, pets cannot properly digest the enzymes that are present in the allium family. If a dog or a cat eats garlic, it causes something called “hemolytic anemia,” a fatal condition in pets. Hemolytic anemia can cause red blood cells within your pet’s body to burst, causing death.

Eating garlic can also cause gastroenteritis in pets, causing the stomach and intestines to become inflamed.

If your dog or cat eats garlic, take them to a vet at once. Because garlic is such a versatile ingredient, it’s commonly found in a range of foods. Some of these include:

  • Pizza

  • Pasta dishes

  • Asian dishes

  • Dips

  • Soups

  • Stews

  • Salads

  • Dressings

  • Seasoned meats

Always double check the ingredients if your pet eats something unexpected. Obviously, anything like garlic bread, garlic salt, and other garlicky side dishes should be kept well away from your dog. 

How Much Garlic Can A Dog Eat?

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So, how much garlic is dangerous for dogs? Unfortunately, even a small amount of garlic can be completely toxic for pets. Although garlic is smaller than other members of the allium family, it’s far more intense.

In fact, by some estimates, garlic is up to five times more potent than an onion: 15g of onion has been enough to induce the symptoms of hemolytic anemia in dogs. As little as one clove of garlic, or a teaspoon of garlic powder, can be toxic to dogs.

If you suspect that your dog has recently consumed garlic, watch out for the following symptoms, and seek veterinary assistance as soon as possible:

  • Lethargy

  • Weakness

  • Pale gums

  • Lack of coordination

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

It’s also advisable to keep hydrogen peroxide in your doggy first aid kit. If your dog has recently eaten garlic, give your dog hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting. In general, the measurement is roughly 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds. Remember, inducing vomiting only works if your dog has eaten something toxic in the past two hours. If it’s been longer than that, you may just be causing more damage.

Even if you’ve successfully induced vomiting in your dog, it’s still a good idea to follow up with a trip to the vet, just to be safe. 

What About Garlic For Flea Prevention?

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What About Garlic For Flea Prevention?

Unfortunately, the internet is rife with well-intentioned dog owners advising others to feed their dog garlic or garlic supplements for reported health benefits — including flea prevention. The claim that garlic can help dogs is absolute bunk.

Garlic will not work as a flea deterrent, nor does it contain health benefits for your dog. Garlic is pet poison, and if you intentionally feed your dog garlic, you’ll need emergency veterinary assistance immediately.