Can dogs eat garlic? Is garlic good or bad for dogs? It seems to be an age-old debate that so many dogs owners like you and I have battled with two very different opinions out there and people seem to either be in one camp or the other which can be very confusing when all you want to do is give your dog the very best you can for their health.

The truth is… garlic CAN be amazing for your dog! In moderate and regulated amounts.

No one ever seems to settle on the truth of it all and so we decided to do our research with help of some of the worlds best vets to put an end to one of the biggest answered questions for owners

Can Dogs Eat Garlic?

Can Dogs Eat Garlic?

So where did the rumours come from that garlic was bad for dogs? Is it because garlic is part of the onion family? And onions are known for being toxic for dogs?

Well according to the Innovative Veterinary Care website, Almost all the evidence against garlic for dogs comes from a 2000 study at Hokkaido University.2 Four dogs were each given 1.25 ml of garlic extract per kg of body weight for seven straight days. For example, if the dog weighed 50 pounds, he would be given approximately 25 large raw garlic cloves. None of the dogs showed any outward toxicity symptoms, but there was an effect on their red blood cells, even though at these highly-elevated doses none of the dogs developed anemia. We believe that foods containing garlic should be avoided for use in dogs, the researchers stated.

However, a study published by Chang, et al in 2004 clearly showed that allicin is beneficial to mammals’ health and there was no report of hemolytic anemia in spite of the high concentrations of garlic provided during the study. In contrast, the maximal aggregation percentage returned to the control level at 1mM of all(en)yl thiosulfates in both canine and human platelets, rather than remaining high enough to be a problem as originally thought. This encouraged the scientists to reverse their earlier 2000 recommendations against garlic for dogs and actually recommend garlic to promote immune functions and prevent cardiovascular diseases

What are the health benefits of garlic?

  • Garlic is full of nutrients  such as amino acids, zinc, potassium, vitamin A, C, calcium, and magnesium just to name a few
  • It is an active tick and flea repellent
  • Garlic has a warming effect on your dog body and plays a very important role in improving circulation
  • Your dog’s immune system receives a boost thanks to garlic’s natural ability to assist the blood cells in fighting off unhealthy cells
  • Garlic helps in detoxifying
  • Helps the liver to eliminate toxins from the body
  • Being full of antimicrobial and antibiotic properties, garlic is a powerful antidote for bacterial, viral, and fungal infections
  • Garlic can prevent blood clots from forming
  • It can help lower blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels
  • It can widen blood vessels allowing for better flow and circulation
  • Garlic can reduce fat build-up in arteries
  • Helps to minimise the formation of tumours
  • Boosts the lymphatic system to eliminate waste

The number of health benefits your dog could get from garlic as you can see is amazing. By introducing just in a small amount of garlic to your dog’s diet you are enabling their body to perform at its best. Therefore helping your dog live their happiest and healthiest lives possible.

Can dogs eat garlic?

When should dogs not eat garlic?

When given to dogs in the right amounts, garlic has fantastic health benefits for dogs…for so many reasons!! However, that said it is not recommended for puppies under six months old or pregnant/nursing dogs. In terms of breeds according to Dr Jean Dodds Japanese dog breeds are more sensitive to garlic so we would recommend you request a blood test from your vet before feeding garlic.

How much garlic is too much for dogs?

And according to world-renowned vet Dr Deva Khalsa, the average retriever would have to eat over 75 cloves of garlic daily to reach anemic levels. Watch the video below for more information.

How much garlic should I feed my dog?

For those dogs that can have garlic, our friend Dr Karen Becker from Mercola Healthy Pets recommends ” 1/4 teaspoon of for every 15 pounds of dog. A dog under 15 pounds (lbs) would get about 1/8th teaspoon.

If you usually measure your dog in kgs and not lbs then please note that 1kg = 2.2lbs

When does garlic become dangerous for dogs?

When our dogs consume too much garlic it can cause damage to the red blood cells often leading to anemia which can be toxic.

Signs your dog might have garlic poisoning include:

  • Drooling
  • Nausea
  • Mouth sores
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea and loose stools
  • A lack of energy
  • Stomach pain and tenderness
  • An elevated heart and respiratory rate
  • Weakness
  • Unable to exercise
  • Episodes of collapsing
  • Pale gums

If your dog is showing any of these symptoms please stop giving them garlic straight away and consult with your vet.

Can dogs eat garlic?
How much garlic should you feed your dog?

What is the best way to feed your dog garlic?

Organic and raw garlic is the best way you can feed garlic to your dog.

The quality of the garlic does matter but also you should never feed dogs garlic or supermarket bought in a jar as this can be toxic to dogs due to the way it is processed.

Some homeopathic events and nutritionists recommend peeling your garlic clove and then crushing it with the back of a knife before chopping it finely and adding it to your dog’s food.

Are there any garlic supplements which are safe for dogs?

If you aren’t a fan of fresh garlic and would like to look for a ready-made dog-friendly supplement Frank & Jellys recommends Garlic and Fenugreek Powder by Animal Health or Dorwest do some great supplements. It contains all the nutrients and health benefits of raw and natural garlic with the added benefit of fenugreek for a nicer flavour and a powder form for ease of use. However, we would suggest fresh raw garlic over a garlic supplement. 

Conclusion: Can Dogs Eat Garlic?

If you’ve been thinking of incorporating garlic into your dog’s diet, then please know that it IS safe in small dosages and actually extremely beneficial to your dog’s health. As long as your dog is over 6 months of age, not pregnant or a Japanese breed.

However, all dogs are different so it is recommended that you start with a small amount and start incorporating it to your dog’s diet slowly and stop if you see any signs that it doesn’t agree with your dog.

Fresh organic garlic is best. Please do not use garlic powder or garlic out of the jar as it can be toxic. If your budget does not allow for garlic please still try to use fresh garlic from the supermarket.

Have you tried garlic in your dog’s diet? What kind of results or improvements did they experience? Or did you always think it was bad for your dogs but will consider giving it a try now?

We’d love to hear about it your views in the comments below now having read the article.

Further Reading

If you want more proof that garlic is good for your dog to have a read of this article by Dr Lisa Newman – an internationally renowned natural pet care pioneer.