Garlic for Dogs: Home Remedies and Safety Issues

Fleas and Ticks  

5 star (16) 
Share your thoughts with our readers
Write a review

Posted by Miles (Oceanside, California) on 06/16/2008
5 out of 5 stars

I use to have a German Shepard, and every year around summer time he would become infested with fleas. Flea/tick shampoo was pretty much useless, as I would have to bathe him with it 4-5 times before all the fleas were gone. However, the eggs would still live on, so a week later he would be infested all over again. I had enough so I took him to the Vet, who strangely gave me garlic pills to give him. He told me most Vets don't recommend it, but he has been giving his dogs garlic for years and they've lived healthy lives. My dog hated it, and it was very difficult to get him to swallow it(even if I put it in the back of his throat, or wrap it in a treat). So I started chopping cloves daily and mixing it with plain white rice(the chopped garlic sticks to the rice so he has to eat it). About a week later, I started to notice more fleas! The only side effect I saw(or smelled) was a bitter smelling flatulence. Every year, around mid-May, I would chop cloves and mix it with rice daily. My neighbor said I was "killing" my dog slowly, but his dog always was sick or had some kind of problem, and he would feed her as much RX pills as your average American family takes(needless to say that's a lot). Of course, his dog died, and it was very sad because he thought synthetic man-made pills wasn't the reason. His exact words were something like "she was an unlucky dog". She never even got to see 10, she died at 9 years old from complications, and they had to put her down. However, my dog lived to see 17, and every time I would take him to the vet they would tell me how healthy my dog was, how healthy his coat looked, and they could never find worms. I only gave my dog garlic daily between May-August, so maybe excessively giving them garlic might lead to anemia. However, I don't believe that since some of my friends give their dogs garlic daily year-round and they're healthy. I now have a year old Boxer, who like many Boxers, has minor digestive problems. When he was a pup he would vomit alot and get diarrhea. He also started getting fleas(not nearly as bad as my Shepard) around 6 months, so I started the garlic treatment with him too. To my surprise not only did it get rid of the fleas, but it cured his digestive problems! I thought the garlic might give him diarrhea, but I wanted his fleas gone so I took a chance. I couldn't believe it, he no longer vomited or had diarrhea after feeding him cloves daily with a cup of white rice. I can honestly say garlic is NOT fatal or even harmful to dogs. Whoever published that statement that it is, was probably just trying to market a new pill for dogs, or doesn't want you to know that $2 a month will cure/treat symptoms that most vets charge $200+ for. Last time I checked, I never heard of anyone getting negative side-effects from natural medicine, but how many negative side-effects are there in your prescription and OTC medicines? Exactly! So to all you "experts" who wanna tell me that some world-renown vet said it's harmful, save your breath. I really don't care. I've seen the results, and it continues to work for me and my dog, and that's all that really matters.

Replied by Bethanie
Charlotte, NC

You just gave me the perfect way to feed garlic to my dog. He loves rice so I know he'll eat it. I've been researching on the internet. We always have trouble with fleas during the summer here. I can give him a pill...or I can put stuff on his back. Last time i put the stuff on his back I noticed that within thirty minutes his skin had turned bright red. This really worried me and since then I've been considering how to get rid of fleas without putting poison on my dog. I oiled him with a tea tree oil otc mixture (not pure tt oil, but diluted) this evening and will give him this as well. He has a recurring worm problem because of the fleas so we'll see if this helps him at all. Thanks for the tip.


Replied by Janis
Renton, US

Another solution for fleas is brewers yeast tablets. I buy the human kind and some dogs even like the taste of it.If they wont just eat the brewers yeast pill you can crush it up and put in their food. Fleas hate brewers yeast.

Replied by Cynthia
5 out of 5 stars

You know, garlic powder works just the same with killing fleas. I've been doing this with my oldest dog and now my little pup and the fleas start die down

Posted by Kathy (Cypress, TX) on 06/13/2008
5 out of 5 stars

To keep fleas off my 70 lb. dog, I juice fresh raw garlic and add 1/8 teaspoon of it to a raw egg yolk. He eats it joyfully. NO MORE FLEAS. Fleas hate the smell of garlic. I may carefully increase the amount of garlic juice some in the future because he is 70 lbs. He eats his food joyfully. He also loves greens such as Alfalfa powder, Wheatgrass powder, Barley powder, etc. Dogs need greens too!

Posted by Rod (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) on 05/20/2008
5 out of 5 stars

My two dogs, a five year old and an eleven year old always have had Garlic for repelling fleas and thicks, digestion and overall good health. The big pharmaceutical companies don't want people to know this, but do your research on the net. Garlic is great and cheap, but also uncommon sense tell us to be cautious with anything, allergies to just about anything can occur.

Posted by bruce (Hunstville, Al, USA) on 07/02/2007
5 out of 5 stars

I feed my dog Garlic for tick defence. I have been feeding my dog ( 3 yrs old) Garlic shavings for about a year to defend against ticks. He is a neutered collie type. I have not encountered any adverse effects and he is sharp and lively. The ticks he picks up seem to fall off more easily after this diet - I presume they don't like the taste it leaves in the blood. Not sure why it works but I think it makes him more healthy as well.

Posted by Tom (Providence, RI) on 04/14/2007
5 out of 5 stars

I have given each of my two dogs (retriever family, 2 and 5 yo) a clove of freshly pressed garlic every day in their dinner. They are never sick. They do Not have fleas and I DO NOT USE commercial flea/tick products which are carcinogenic and neurotoxins, and the dogs are doing great. I have not had their red blood count tested and perhaps I should. Another ? for the holistic vet I guess.

Posted by Gavin (Killarney Vale, N.S.W. Australia) on 03/10/2007
5 out of 5 stars

I have fed my Dingo cross bred 1 clove of garlic thinly sliced in his nightly bowl of dry food for 3 weeks so far to cure flea infestation. I have tried both top brand remedies available in Australia, (Frontline & Advantage) to no avail.The dog laps it up and the fleas have gone. No side effect so far. He does not smell like an Italian restaurant, however his coat is also very shiny. Is this too much as I have heard that Garlic is both good & bad. Most reports of bad seem to come from Vets who would lose money by not selling/promoting their sponsored product.

General Feedback  

5 star (1) 
1 star (3) 
Share your thoughts with our readers
Write a review

Posted by Lisa1 (Chula Vista, Ca) on 01/13/2013

This site has been a Godsend for me and my dogs. Thank you from us all.

Posted by Diamond (Salisbury, Usa) on 06/18/2011
1 out of 5 stars


I didn't even have to read this whole message of a seasoned garlic salt. That in itself is only a substitute, it has all artificial seasonings as well as salt that can an will do serious harm to an animal, unless it's very small amounts of sea-salt. It's always best to do your(our)foot work before giving any animal what we eat, thats why we are always in the drs. office feeling like we have fallen apart. I did many web searches before I found this site; I do my very best to keep my animals safe & well. Good luck

Replied by Charliedog
San Diego, Ca

I've had three dogs that all lived over 14 years. My current dog, a funky mix of lab, retriver, and kangroo. I feed him dry food, always a full bowl, and he eats when he's hungry. His teeth are super white and the vet is imprerssed with how healthy he is. He dosen't beg when my daughter and I are eating. On sundays I give him Cesar wet dog food, funny but it gives him a consept of time (in a way). Bottom line is treat your dog like your best friend (unless you don't like your best friend) c u

Posted by Estelle S. on 09/06/2008

To whom it may concern at this site!! i have been researching garlic as a natural treatment for worms in my dogs . when i came upon a website it gives a section on testimonials. as you read them , they all appear to have come from your site. it seems to me this website should be aware of the website because it's selling a product .. some of the people doing this research might come across your site and then theirs as i have and then assume you are supporting or backing their product , because you have the same testimonials.. something to look into and check out... signed: estelle, a newcomer interested in true research...

EC: Thanks, Estelle. We were shocked when we visited the website and found the following page:

The entire page was plagiarized from Earth Clinic. Pathetic way to sell products, no? We have requested that they remove our copyrighted content immediately.

Replied by Jeff
Millville, NJ USA

This link no longer works...perhaps they got the message and removed the page!

EC: They did indeed, within 48 hours of receiving our email. People really don't want the search engines to ban their websites or their registrar to be notified, so in most cases they will respond quickly.

Posted by Jonathan Shiloka on 05/26/2005
5 out of 5 stars

Garlic is a broad spectrum antibiotic, destroying both gram-positive and gram negative bacteria. Unlike chemical antibiotics that kill off the millions of friendly bacteria that your body needs, Garlic only kills the bad guys and even promotes and increases your healthy bacteria. It is also a very potent, anti-viral which really makes it a specific for colds, influenza and upper respiratory infections. Garlic is also a powerful anti-fungal and literally destroys any antigen, pathogen and any harmful or disease causing micro-organism that can hurt you.

Garlic contains at least 200 different compounds, many of which are said to be useful for dogs. Garlic lowers blood pressure, accelerates the breakdown of waste matter from cells, and may even act as a mild flea repellent. Horseradish is a potent herb for the sinus and lungs. It opens up the sinus passages and increases the circulation there, where, most doctors agree, the common cold and influenza often starts. Cayenne and Ginger are like a blast to your body's circulation. This powerful tag team will unblock anything, anywhere! So just imagine, you have the two strongest herbs to kill EVERY germ known and the three most powerful herbs to blast them around your entire body. Apple Cider Vinegar helps maintain healthful blood sugar levels that are already in the normal range in the body. Apple Cider Vinegar also helps to kill Germs, Viruses, Molds & Bacteria.

Some Internal Benefits are improved digestion & assimilation, relieves arthritis & stiffnes, removes artery plaque and helps remove body toxins. A few external benefits are promoting a youthful body, helps maintain healthy skin, helps prevent dandruff, baldness and balances scalp pH, and soothes tight, and aching muscles & joints.

Dosage: 1-4 dropperfuls in a shot glass. First timers may want to mix this dosage half an d half with water. Whether you dilute it or take it straight, gargle with it for a minute and then swallow.

1. Start this Procedure on the NEW Moon.
2. Take 1 part - FRESH chopped ORGANIC Garlic Cloves (Anti-Bacterial, Anti-Fungal, Anti-Viral and Anti-Parasitic), 1 part - FRESH grated Ginger Root (Circulation - Extremities), 1 part - FRESH grated Horseradish Root (Circulation - Head), and 1 part - FRESH chopped Cayenne Peppers (HOTTEST Habenero available - Super Blood Stimulant). NOTE: Part EQUALS Volume, NOT Weight in this Tincture Method. Use a Blender to chop up each of the Ingredients VERY FINE!
3. Find a Glass Jar large enough and fill it 3/4 FULL with these Ingredients.
4. Fill the Glass Jar to the Top with RAW Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (_______'s or Spectrum Naturals).
5. Let it sit until the FULL Moon (15-16 Days) or the NEXT NEW Moon (28-29 Days - OPTIMAL).
6. Shake it as MANY times during the Day as possible.
7. Top it off with MORE Vinegar, when NEEDED.
8. Strain this Mixture through an UNBLEACHED Coffee Filter.
9. Take at least 1 oz. 3 times per day (drink, add to food or Squirt directly in mouth), when your Dog has a Any Virus(careful not to touch mouth of dog or person while squirting medicine in mouth so-as not to cross-contaminate.

Replied by Heather
Somervlle, AL, USA

I heard of this remedy that It would get rid of worms and fleas, and prevent them. I have a 8th month old German Shepherd and recently I found worms In his bowel movemont. I gave him about 2oz of garlic juice with his dog food. He had no problem eating It to my suprise. It's been about a day since and I'll give him more for about two days. Hopefully It will get rid of his worms. Any suggestions?

Replied by Must Read For Itching/supposed Allergy Dogs
Portland, Oregon

Garlic is covered well here but you're all missing a condition more and more dogs and people are seriously ill from. So many of you describe severe itching and food allergies etc, and one had blood in stool, etc. Absolutely go read about Candida Albicans overgrowth. It is a yeast we and dogs have normally in our bodies but goes out of control after antibiotics or with poor diet or chemical exposures and then turns into a systemic lifelong seriously dangerous fungus. Please please read:

Note that in humans it's responsible for serious issues many of us are dealing with like fibromyalgia, IBS, leaky gut, blood in stool. It can be deadly but most often just causes constant recurring yeast infections on the skin and leads to mange etc.


My whole family and dogs have suffered for years and we all show different symptoms but it's all the same cause.

Garlic will mask symptoms but not cure this problem by itself, and this is becoming very very common all the sudden due to all the crap in both our foods, all the hormones and the antibiotics and steroids allmost all meat on the market is loaded with.


I am not in any way affiliated with that site I just found the cure to all our ills and wanted to let the word start spreading. Please pass this info around even if you don't include the link to that site.

Replied by Kristen
Guess, British Columbia, Canada
1 out of 5 stars

Teenage girl here saying that I would never feed my dog garlic.
Some dogs may have built up better immune systems and just an ability to eat generally anything but all dogs are different and I'd never do anything so risky and because I haven't and I haven't let my parents do that either I would completely disagree with feeding your pets garlic.

Reasons, garlic = thiosulphate = hemolytic anemia = liver damage, vomiting, diarrhea

My dog being feed things I tell my parents not to, but then they do, and then comes vomit and diarrhea and stinky farts and they come ask me whats wrong and I ask them what they've feed her.

I wouldn't trust too many other doctors and vets "looking out only for the care of their patients". It seems that nowadays more and more people of these people were taught how not to get sued and keep their customers, little loopholes, law and logic flaws. Not everyone but alot more have just been thinking just about business. I wanted to be a vet to help other people and their animals. To be part of a community, to be there for those who were in need. BESIDES, I wouldnt suggest such things so vaguely. Other owners may have different values of what "alot" or "frequent" or "often" or "large quantities" Would you cook it? Would you prepare it in any way? How cooked? Boiled, fried, baked, raw?

"Our readers offer information and opinions"
"Please consult with your veterinarian " "Only your Veterinarian can provide you with advice on what is safe"

Replied by Diamond
Salisbury, Usa


Replied by Big Lou
Durban, South Africa
1 out of 5 stars

My vet has always advised me to give my dogs garlic, but after losing my beloved Natouk (White Timber Wolf/Malamute) to Lymphatic cancer (and spending a small fortune on Chemo). After been given the bare fact by a highly qualified Oncologist I realized I killed my Natouk by slowly poisoning it with garlic. It did not happen overnight, it took years as garlick kills like diabetes, slowly. Don't be fooled, it's too late for Natouk, but I can save my other dogs!!!

Replied by Huskypat
Canaan, Ct Usa

I have used Brewer's Yeast with Garlic tabs since 1972 and have not had a flea ot tick on any dog. I know ticks are around because I occasionally get one stuck in my head or neck - lol. I have had 7 dogs that have passed on - and all lived past 10 years of age with hardly any health problems - my last one to be put down was my lab Millie - she was 13 years and 8 months old - her sister Mollie turned 14 in August and is still going strong - missed Millie but now has a new 8 year old pal named Benji and Mollie is bouncing around like a puppy - sleeps a lot, but when awake she is bounding down the hallway, running out the dog door and rolling around on the living room carpet - sleeps on her bed next to mine or on the futon or couch. She has enjoyed life from what I have seen and I have never taken any of my dogs to the vet more than for an annual checkup. But, the brewer's yeast with garlic tabs (available at stores that sell dog supplies or online) is given according to weight. I highly recommend it.


5 star (1) 
Share your thoughts with our readers
Write a review

Posted by Matoni (Buffalo, New York) on 12/08/2009
5 out of 5 stars

I recently started using minced fresh garlic on my 6 month old collie for fleas, heartworm. This was recommended by a friend whom is very knowledgeable on animal care. Just use very little (minced) from fresh garlic bulb, 5 times a week. You might want to use an eye drop of Black walnut from a health store to get rid of fleas with the garlic. Hope this helps.

Replied by Doglover
Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia

I would like to share my experience with you. My dog a Min Pin, female always had been a healthy dog without fleas ot ticks. We took her to a garden one day just to let her run around. When we returned she was her usual self, but the following day she started scratching. Whenever she does that, I always add a pinch of turmeric that I ground myself to her food. I did these for two consecutive days and on the third day, we found an onslought of dog ticks on the wall next to her bed. That's when we realised she had ticks from the garden. We then searched her for more and removed all the remaining ones.

I then searched through the internet for info after my daughter told me to give her garlic. I then cooked her food with 2 cloves of garlic and a pinch of turmeric. I smashed the cooked garlic together with her food. The following day we found the remaining ticks coming out and some of them had NOT drunk her blood as we found out when we squashed them. Her stomach did bloat a little though, I think garlic does it, but she was fine after that.

Now two days in a week I add two cloves of garlic and a pinch of turmeric into her food. In addition to this , I also add organic virgin coconut oil(2 drops) to her food every alternate day. This keeps her hair glossy and she does not constipate. Never overdose on garlic. And you don't have to give it everyday! But please stay away from ONION. It is definitely dangerous for dogs! Don't give left overs that have been cooked with onion and garlic as you do not know the amount that has been added.

Oh yes! I forgot! Whenever you remove ticks, rub the bite area with turmeric. Get whole dried turmeric and ground them yourself. That way, you get pure turmeric. Hope this helps.

Replied by Richard
Ontario, Canada

In response to Tshona who wrote:

[DEATH REPORTED] 08/25/2011: Tshona from Scottsdale, Az replies: "Garlic IS deadly for dogs. My poor sheltie just died a few days ago from eating 3. 5 ounces of dried garlic he got into. He was totally healthy and fine before that. He was throwing up, became lathargic and with 8 hours was DEAD. I wish I would have know it is toxic to dogs, I would have taken him to the vet and they could have used charcoal on him, blood transfusion to replace the bursting blood cells and/or oxygen treatment. It causes a certain type of anemia and eventually kidney failure."

Tshona: Virtually anything can be toxic if the levels are high enough. Water is actually toxic to humans at 90g/kg body weight. (25 8oz. Glasses for a 150 lb. Person) 3.5 ounces of garlic powder is approximately equal to 30 teaspoons of garlic powder. One EIGHTH of a teaspoon of powder is equal to one clove. So your dog ate the equivalent of 240 cloves of garlic. That amount would likely be toxic to a human as well. Don't beat yourself up over this. With that amount of garlic, and by the time you saw symptoms, it's unlikely a vet could have saved him even if you'd taken him to one.

Garlic is safe. In the correct doses. All things in moderation.

Replied by Holistichelen
St Petersburg, Florida

re: garlic for dogs - I have been using garlic to eliminate fleas on my pups for about 30 years. I started with a brand of garlic - opened the capsules on the food. It was about 3 months and NO MORE FLEAS. I now use a great product that has no excipients in the garlic. My pups will eat the capsule like a snack. 1 am 1 pm and 1 in their food. The more a dog weighs, the more garlic needed. Wire Haired Terrier - about 25#s - 3-4 capsules daily until you know there are no more fleas. Reduce by 1 cap at a time until you find the right dose. I also believe that it helps with heartworms and the heart.


5 star (2) 
Share your thoughts with our readers
Write a review

Posted by Lilly (Margate, FL) on 07/19/2009
5 out of 5 stars

Garlic (__________) cured a bad infection in my dog, 2 capsules at night the infection and swelling was gone by morning. I used the ____ garlic supplement and contunue to give it to her daily. She is a 65lb pit bull that I use to think was allergic to fleas but since she is now flea free, she continues to scratch herself w/her back legs till she tears open the skin, I have an e-collar on her to keep her from chewing holes in her skin but now she uses her back feet and did considerable damage, her neck was dripping blood w/a huge knot the size of an avacado it was so infected I almost took her to the emergency pet hospital but decided to clean it up w/peroxide and neem oil then give her 2 capsules of the ___ garlic extract instead and glad I did because the infection and swelling was gone by morning, I continue to give it to her and even give her fresh garlic when I have it but it has not had any ill effects on her and she does not smell or have foul breath, she scratches lightly every now and again but not to the effect that she was so I will try to take the e-collar off her and see how she does, I also use the neem oil as a flea repellant, it must be working, her bald spots are filling in again.

Replied by Tye
El Dorado, Ca

I would look into the ingredients in your dogs food. It sounds like a food allergy to me. A lot of dogs are allergic to the different grains that are put into commercial dog foods..

Replied by Lyn
San Diego, Ca
5 out of 5 stars

My dog suffered from food allergies, scratching, loose stool, and anal glands which needed to be regularly expressed were some of the symptoms. I finally found a holistic vet who got me to put her on a raw food diet and give her enzymes to ease the transition and sure enough she is no longer scratching, her stool is normal and we have not needed to get her anal glands expressed! I would highly recommend this for all dogs who suffer from food allergies!

Is It Safe?  

5 star (38) 
1 star (16) 
Share your thoughts with our readers
Write a review

Posted by Veronica (Epping, Victoria Australia) on 02/04/2015
1 out of 5 stars


I read this on this is just a small paragraph I copied.

Since garlic is significantly more concentrated than an onion, an even smaller ingested amount will likely lead to toxicosis; as little as one clove of garlic can lead to toxicity in dogs and cats.

It concerns me that you recommend garlic in dog food. Please correct me if I'm wrong but I've read this on a lot of websites.... All I did was Google "is garlic poisonous to dogs! " and they all say a big NO don't feed it to dogs as it's 10 times more poisonous than onions! The only ones who say it isn't are natural websites like yours.

Please give me some proven research to use, but because I love my animals, I would never give them Garlic.

Thank you for taking the time to read this...

Replied by Theresa Donate

Mpls., Mn

Hey Veronica!

You found that "The only ones who say it isn't are natural websites like yours." I suspect the sites you found that were against feeding garlic forgot to mention your dog would need to eat 50 cloves of raw garlic in one sitting to experience the toxic effects they warn about.

This site has contributors who do feed garlic for health and medicinal benefit, and from collective experiences to boot.

Please google "garlic not toxic to dogs" and "myth about garlic toxic to dogs".

You can find answers for *anything* on the internet and if you refine your search just so you will find all kinds of information to support OR not support any argument you wish.

Replied by Diamond
Ma., US
5 out of 5 stars

I think I will agree to this information. I will not give this to my pets for any reasonable doubt.

Replied by Theresa Donate

Mpls., Mn

There have been many warnings about feeding dogs garlic because it contains the same substance that is found in onions, and onions have been directly linked to deaths in dogs. I found this info which may further help explain why garlic is safe to feed most dogs.

The onion connection

The confusion surrounding garlic arises primarily from its close ties to the onion family. Onions have a high concentration of thiosulphate, a substance that can trigger hemolytic or Heinz body anemia in dogs, a condition where circulating red blood cells burst. When it comes to onions, a single generous serving can cause this reaction.

?Onions are only one of the substances which can cause Heinz body anemia, " adds Wendy Wallner, DVM. ?Other substances such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) and benzocaine-containing topical preparations can also cause Heinz body anemia in the dog." Benzocaine probably accounts for many cases of the illness because it is prevalent in creams often recommended for allergy-suffering animals. It is absorbed through the skin and builds up in the bloodstream. In fact, this substance is often likely to have been involved in cases where garlic was suspect.

Garlic itself simply does not contain the same concentration of thiosulphate as onions do. In fact, it is barely traceable in garlic, and is readily excreted from the body.


Replied by Serena
Texarkana Texas

I fed Charlie a SM garlic clove with his hard food and a wennie he wanted more very very 1st dog=cokerspainel poodle mix 16 to 20 lbs. Question did I do good

Posted by Mrsbark (Erie, Mi) on 01/17/2013

Garlic has been listed as a potential cause of immune mediated hemolytic anemia in dogs. This is an incureable, debilitating disease in which the immune system attacks the blood cells. Our imha dog had to have weekly bloodtests, could not be expsed to any potential irritants to her immune system, and had to go onto a steroid regimen that may have cost her her life. I know garlic is in many high quality foods and holistic remedies but the risk, I feel, is too great.

Posted by Nitro (Farmington, Nm) on 08/25/2012

I am writing about the garlic debate for dogs. I just got back from a stop at the health store, looking for a cure to his 9 yr old dogs sensitive skin. Bought some natural flea dog soap and in conversation with the checkout I decided to look into the ingredients in her food looking for corn, wheat or soy as possible allergy culprit. Sure enough has corn and a bunch of other crappy preserves and who knows what else. Well, thought those against garlic may be forwarned - look into your dog food ingredients - we use Purina Dog Chow and one of the ingredients I noticed was Garlic Oil. Not sure where I stand yet on Garlic as I am still collecting my data and doing my research. Just thought you should know Garlic may already be in the food you feed your dog and you dont even know it.