Is Garlic Safe for Dogs?

Is Garlic Safe for Dogs?

It’s great when pet owners ask questions, because it shows they genuinely care about the well-being of the animals in their care. One of the questions we get asked a lot is, “Is garlic safe for dogs? Why do you have it in Stay Loyal food?”

Many pet poison sites list garlic as a toxic food that you should not feed your dog, along with chocolate and grapes. However, if you dig deeper, and follow the bunny trail down the path of research and homeopathic canine herbalist who specialize in these types of foods, you will find that while this statement can be true, it is grossly overstated.

The statement “too much of a good thing is bad” is true of almost everything we put into our bodies. Too much water can kill you. Potassium is used for lethal injections. Yet both are essential for life – we need water to keep our bodies hydrated and potassium keeps the heart pumping.

In regards to toxicity, the same can be said of garlic. A study done by Interdisciplinary Toxicology was done to figure out just how much of popularly labeled toxic foods – chocolate, caffeine, grapes, raisins, onion, avocado, macadamia nuts, xylitol, alcohol and garlic – your dog would need to consume to start seeing signs of toxicity.

Their conclusion? “Garlic is considered to be less toxic and safe for dogs than onion when used in moderation.” They were feeding 5 grams of garlic per kilogram of body weight each day to the dogs during the trial. That’s a LOT of garlic. Take a 30-kilogram dog, you would have to feed that dog 150 grams of garlic in one day, which equates to almost 21 cloves of garlic (assuming the cloves weigh about 7 grams). And, even at that high amount, the dogs did not develop hemolytic anemia, which is one of the main concerns about feeding garlic.

Obviously, you don’t want to feed your dog this much garlic and have him be at risk for anemia. But you don’t eat 5g of garlic per kilogram of your own body weight a day, either.

However, it’s definitely safe to feed your dog a little each day, and very beneficial!

Garlic Benefits

Rita Hogan is a canine herbalist who has been feeding her dogs garlic for years, her pug is 16-years-old and going strong with this daily dose of garlic.

One of the main reasons many herbalists give their dogs garlic is because it acts an internal flea and tick repellant that is much safer than the chemicals you buy at the pet store.

But it does so much more than that! Garlic also helps the liver detoxify and boosts the immune system. Garlic is known to help with bacterial, viral and fungal infections, things dogs frequently suffer from. Garlic can also lower blood cholesterol, reduce fat build up in arteries and even help prevent blood clots!

So Why is it in Stay Loyal?

At Stay Loyal, we are dedicated to providing a holistic dog food diet that, along with fresh fruit and veggies and meaty bones, will give your dog the best nutrition to live a long and healthy life. As you read above, garlic has many wonderful properties that not only keeps every day pests and problems away, but can help prevent big, potentially fatal problems like blood clots and liver problems. Instead of having to chop and crush fresh garlic daily for your pet, we’ve made it simple by adding it to their kibble. It’s just one more way we are making sure we are feeding the “whole dog” for balanced nutrition from the inside out.

If you wanted to add a bit of fresh garlic to your dog’s food, say when he is fighting a fungal infection or kennel cough, for an extra boost, the following is a good guideline from The Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats by Dr. Pitcairn:

5 to 7 kilograms: 1/2 clove

9 to 18 kilograms: 1 clove

20 to 32 kilograms: 2 cloves

34 to 40 Kilograms: 2.5 cloves

45+ kilograms: 3 cloves

(One clove equals Approximately 7grams)

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19 Comments

  1. So if the saying everything in moderation is true, what about using. 1/2 TSP onion a couple of times per week in their diet? Or has onion toxic qualities that should not be ingested even in minute quantities?

    1. Hi Christine, So a little onion here and there wont effect them. I wouldn’t be adding it on purpose. Here is some solid information about how much onion is need to cause issues. “Consumption of as little as 5 g/kg of onions in cats or 15 to 30 g/kg in dogs has resulted in clinically important hematologic changes (Cope, 2005). Onion toxicosis is consistently noted in animals that ingest more than 0.5% of their b. wt. in onions at one time. A relatively high dosage (600–800 g) in one meal or spread apart over a few days can damage red blood cells and cause haemolytic anaemia accompanied by the formation of Heinz bodies in erythrocytes.” i got it from here–> https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2984110/#S0021title

  2. I want to thank you Robert for the articles you spend time researching and composing. Some of them I already have knowledge on but, on those I don’t, I find very informative and interesting.

  3. This was very interesting, with the onion aspect mentioned we have Duke some left over casserole which had onion in it not much but it was enough to give him a tummy ache.
    Keep up the great blogs, love reading them.
    Kathy

  4. Thanks so much for this article!!! As a foster carer I often get asked about garlic a lot and, personally, include it in much of my dogs food

  5. A great article as it is something that we just didn’t really think about. very careful with other things like onion but never really gave garlic a thought.

  6. I did notice garlic on the label but I read enough to know that it’s all in the amount as Robert says. The way some sites go on about some foods is misleading for sure. For example some say not to feed their pet apple. But it’s only the seeds that are a problem.
    I’m putting my trust in Stay Loyal and love reading the articles presented in my emails.

    1. Hi Nancy, thank you for your vote of confidence. Still i like people to always go out and do their own research and use common sense as well because these days with the internet its hard to filter through all that information.

  7. Hi Robert, I be just read your article about the benefits of garlic to a dog’s diet. The recommendation is 1/2 clove for a dog weighing under 9 kgs. Is that everyday with their meal? And how is it added, ie raw, crushed, chopped?
    Banjo has 1/2 cup of stay loyal everyday, so is he actually getting enough garlic?

    I also read recently that you suggested adding avocado to diets. That is also on the toxic foods list for dogs that should be avoided. I used to give Banjo avocado all the time till I discovered that information many years ago! Is it ok yo give him avocado as well?

    Regards,

    Janelle Lett

    1. Hi Janelle, So you can give the Garlic every day. I would crush it and mix in with food. I leave the garlic for times where my dogs may have health issues like being flat or lethargic. Or a flea infestation has hit. If they are healthy and happy its not necessary. But you can give it if you like.

      So the avocado in the last article got me a lot of emails. I had to back and double check everything. So the meat of the fruit is not toxic to dogs but the plant and the skin has a toxin in it. This Toxin is not toxic to dogs or cats but very bad for birds and cows, sheep etc. So i believe that’s where the thinking of avocado being bad for dogs came from. So if you like you can add a little to Banjo’s food. It supplies good fats and Vitamin E. That said if you feed Stay Loyal Banjo will have more than enough of those from the food. Again its your decision.

  8. Thank you we often have spaghetti bolognaise iverlwft overs and I have not given to my girls as it has garlic, spring onions & onions in it… I was sure a little wouldn’t hurt them as they are small dogs approx 6kgs. I’ll feel my way with this next time I cook maybe make them a separate batch with only a small amount of garlic.

  9. Growing up on a farm, we had alot of flies. Garlic is fed to the horses and the dogs as a natural fly repellent (AND IT WORKS). We never had any side effects and all our dogs were fed home cooked or raw with a teaspoon or two of crushed garlic in the mix. A mix of dog food we made raw or cooked was enough to feed one collie for a week or several collies for a few days.
    Even now I live in the city I still feed garlic in a cooked meal once a week for my Spaniel.

  10. Another good article , and good to have the info . l have been feeding a small amount of garlic to my dogs for about 50 yrs , Had several people advise me against it , never had a problem , but good to know the facts , thanks Stay Loyal .

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