With all the health benefits associated with garlic in humans, it is perfectly normal for any dog owner to wonder, “can dogs eat garlic?” And if so, is it safe? Unfortunately, the answer is not as simple as yes or no.
When used in small quantities, garlic is safe for dogs. As a matter of fact, garlic can have some health benefits for dogs when consumed in small controlled amounts. It also contains some vitamins and minerals, so it might not hurt if your dog ate a little bit of garlic once in a while.
On the other hand, ingesting large quantities of garlic can be toxic for dogs, and it is best to avoid feeding your dog more than a small pinch of garlic at a time. It’s also worth noting that some dogs can be allergic to garlic, so it’s best to monitor your dog for any adverse reactions after consuming garlic.
As you can see, there are two sides to the garlic coin, so to speak. And it all depends on the amount of garlic your dog consumes. Below is an overview of the risks and benefits of garlic for dogs.
There is no denying that garlic can have some serious side effects on your dog when consumed in large amounts. A high intake of garlic can lead to hemolytic anemia- a condition that develops as a result of the destruction of red blood cells. This is because garlic contains N-propyl, a toxic chemical that causes oxidative damage on red blood cells in dogs.
If your dog ingests large quantities of garlic, it may also experience symptoms like diarrhea and vomiting as a result of the chemical causing oxidative stress on the digestive tract. In dogs, other signs of garlic poisoning include dehydration, depression, excessive drooling, rapid breathing, jaundice, loss of appetite, weakness, and lethargy.
In order to avoid any adverse reactions from eating excessive garlic, it is best to keep your dog’s consumption of garlic on the low side. The more garlic your dog ingests, the more likely they are to experience adverse reactions.
The Health Benefits of Garlic for Dogs
Dogs can only metabolize very small amounts of garlic. This means that your dog can only enjoy the benefits of garlic when the intake is small and controlled.
The main benefits of garlic for dogs include increased immune response, improved cardiovascular function, and a reduced risk of certain types of cancer. Other health benefits include enhanced liver function, reduced cholesterol levels, improved digestive health, and reduced infestation by ticks and fleas.
The garlic plant is also rich in vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, Manganese, Potassium, and Zinc.
If your dog displays any allergic reactions even after eating small amounts of garlic, it is best to avoid garlic altogether. In addition to causing allergic reactions, garlic may also aggravate certain conditions in dogs like lupus and anemia.
Pregnant dogs and puppies below two months may also experience adverse reactions from eating garlic. The same goes for dogs taking certain medications such as blood thinner or anticoagulants. If you are not sure whether it is safe for your dog to eat garlic, it is best to ask your veterinarian.
If your dog has eaten a significant amount of garlic and is displaying symptoms of garlic poisoning, it is best to contact your veterinarian for assistance.
In most cases, garlic poisoning is rarely fatal. But your dog might still need rehabilitation. Your veterinarian will first assess the severity of your dog’s condition to determine the best course of action.
To find out more, read Spot & Tango blog to find out if garlic is bad for dogs.