Can Dogs Eat Garlic? Is Garlic Safe For Dogs?

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Can dogs eat garlic? Maybe you’ve wondered this if your dog tried to sneak a taste while you were mincing some garlic in the kitchen as part of preparing your evening meal. If humans can eat garlic, can dogs safely eat it too?

The short answer is no, dogs shouldn’t eat garlic. While garlic is often touted as conferring lots of health benefits to humans, it is considered to be toxic to dogs by most sources. However, most dogs would have to consume a fairly large amount of garlic to feel sick.

Although some sources suggest that garlic may be safe and beneficial for dogs in moderation or can even be effective as a flea preventative, there are safer and less controversial healthy foods and methods of repelling pests for dogs. You should discuss your dog’s diet and pest prevention with your veterinarian.

Here’s what you need to know about garlic and dogs.

Why Is Garlic Bad For Dogs?

While garlic is a staple in cuisines all around the world, humans and dogs metabolize garlic in different ways. As part of the allium family, along with onions and chives, garlic is considered to be toxic to dogs. The Pet Poison Helpline estimates that garlic is actually five times as potent as onions.

The science behind garlic being toxic to dogs involves the presence of thiosulfate, which can damage the animal’s red blood cells. If damage to the dog’s red blood cells continues, it can cause a condition called hemolytic anemia.

When a dog suffers from hemolytic anemia, some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Breathing too quickly
  • Jaundice
  • Feeling weak and lethargic
  • Passing urine that’s much darker in color than usual

Beyond cases of hemolytic anemia, some of the other frequent symptoms of a dog eating garlic include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Upset stomach
  • Dehydration
  • Vomiting
  • Losing their appetite

What Should I Do If My Dog Eats Garlic?

Little puppy American pit bull Terrier in Studio

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While garlic is considered to be toxic to dogs, it’s worth noting that the likelihood of a canine displaying symptoms of garlic poisoning will be closely linked to the amount of garlic they eat.

The American Kennel Club estimates that a dog would have to eat between 15 and 30 grams of garlic for every kilogram of their body weight to bring about symptoms. A standard clove of garlic, for comparison, usually clocks in at somewhere between three and seven grams.

The size of your dog will also factor into how severely eating garlic could affect them.

So if you notice that your dog has scarfed down some garlic, try and figure out exactly how much they’ve eaten, and then monitor their behavior and look out for any of the common symptoms listed above. If in doubt, call your veterinarian and follow their advice.

Has your dog ever eaten garlic? Did they feel sick afterward, or were they fine? Let us know in the comments below!

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