Garlic is a popular spice that has been used for centuries to flavor food. It can be found in many dishes around the world and is said to contain medicinal properties for humans.
But what about garlic for dogs? Is garlic safe for dogs? There are a lot of mixed opinions on the subject. Some people say that too much garlic can kill or make your dog seriously ill, while others swear by its ability to de-worm and repel fleas in dogs.
The truth is that garlic may have various benefits on humans but is generally considered unsafe and highly toxic for dogs. Below is everything you need to know about why garlic could be bad for dogs.
Why Is Garlic Bad for Dogs?
Although garlic might have a few benefits for dogs when consumed in small amounts, too much of it can be poisonous. As a member of the allium species, garlic contains a chemical compound known as n-propyl disulfide that is very toxic and can lead to death in dogs. This chemical destroys your dog’s red blood cells through oxidation leading to hemolytic anemia- a condition that can be fatal in severe cases.
Signs and symptoms of hemolytic anemia in dogs that have ingested too much garlic include weakness and lethargy, rapid breathing, jaundice, and passing urine that is darker than usual and has a strong odor. These symptoms may take a few days to appear.
Garlic also contains an ingredient called thiosulfate which can cause gastrointestinal disturbances such as stomach irritation, vomiting, and diarrhea when ingested by dogs.
How Much Garlic is Too Much for a Dog?
As mentioned before, garlic can be beneficial and poisonous to a dog depending on the amount consumed and the dog’s weight. However, it can be challenging for the average person to know what counts as too much.
A study done by the National Center for Biotechnology Information determined that for every 2 lb. of body weight, anything between 0.5-1 Oz of garlic could lead to harmful side effects in dogs. This means a typical Labrador Retriever weighing 85 pounds would have to consume more than 150 cloves of garlic to experience the toxicity.
When to Completely Avoid Garlic in Your Dog’s Food
As we have said, feeding your canine friend with small amounts of garlic now and then Is garlic safe for dog and is it often beneficial? It’s believed that garlic can help de-worm and repel fleas in dogs, boost immunity, lower cholesterol, and promote liver functions. It also has a strong antibacterial effect.
However, if you are going to use garlic as a food additive for your dog, make sure that it is only added occasionally since too much of this spice can be toxic or even fatal.
There are also instances where you should avoid feeding your dog with garlic altogether. These include when your dog has a history of allergies, is anemic, has lupus, or is pregnant. Additionally, puppies below two months are very delicate and should not be fed food containing garlic either.
As you can see, garlic can be both beneficial and toxic to your dog(s), and it all comes down to how much is ingested. It is recommended that you do not feed your dog too much garlic and avoid it when possible to ensure your dog’s safety.
But no matter how careful you are, accidents do happen. On the off chance that your dog does ingest too much garlic and starts showing any of the signs mentioned above, it is important that you contact a veterinarian as quickly as possible to avoid any long-term damage.