Garlic for Dogs: Home Remedies and Safety Issues

| Modified on Dec 09, 2022
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Garlic as a natural remedy for dogs is at once very successful and very controversial for pet owners. Garlic for dogs as well as for human health is an excellent antibiotic and immune booster. It can stop and prevent infections, has been known to ward off fleas and ticks, and can be used for a variety of infectious skin ailments.

Caution: However, many dog owners and some vets advise against the use of garlic, as it may create toxic metabolites and/or cause certain serious allergic reactions.

Natural Pet Remedies: While nothing has been conclusively proven one way or another on the use of garlic as a home remedy for dogs, cautious and limited use seems best. Long-term use seems the most likely reason garlic may sometimes be unhealthy for dogs. Though in some dogs no ill-effects may ever be seen, and in other dog breeds no use of garlic may be entirely safe. Use caution, but don't disregard the potential of this effective natural cure for dog ailments.


2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Gwendolyn Villavaso (Los Angeles, Ca. 90034) on 09/23/2016

I have used garlic on my daschund mix terrie 6 years old for a long time. She had allergies bad. Even her skin turned black. The garlic has really helped her a lot. She is healthy. I will continue using the garlic.

Replied by Linda

Garlic does get rid of all worms in your dog, I agree. Home remedies are safe, inexpensive and work. You just have to keep at it. It's not a one day thing. Fixed income and have been trying that and adding organic a.c.v. in order to expel worms from my dogs..

Posted by Marene (Adelaide, South Australia) on 04/23/2007

My kelpie/border-collie suffered badly from an allergic reaction to grasses in spring, scratching her itchy skin until she had sores and needed vet treatment (cortisone, I think). Having suffered all my life with sneezing and runny nose in spring, . I had begun taking a horseradish and garlic capsule twice daily which cured me. So I began giving it to my dog, twice daily during spring and once daily for the rest of the year like me. She had no more trouble with itchy skin, or fleas and lived to be 16, suffering only from arthritis in the last couple of years. My new pup is only 5 months old and scratches regularly but not badly yet. I am wondering how old she should be before giving her the same capsules.

Replied by Diamond

Kelpie/boarder collie. Why not wait until your new dog adjusts to it's new environment? Then just try one item at a time? I was thinking of trying garlic for my very itchy dogs, they are small dogs so I give them less than half garlic every other day, I also read that most any thing especially garlic can become very toxic if taken too often.

Good Luck with your new family member.

Replied by Diamond

I need to retract my comment I made about giving my pet garlic, it was a one time deal when I read an article about thin skin things such as onions and or garlic/ Not good....

Replied by Anie
(New York)

Check out Dogs Naturally Magazine, they do a great article on garlic, one would have to eat a lot of garlic to cause issues. We have given all of our dogs garlic without issue. We have mostly used powdered and cooked garlic in their food, I have had no luck getting them to eat it raw, also remember in the wild dogs usually get their other nutrients other than raw meat from the stomachs of their prey or fermented foods to the ground. Also see Dr Becker at Mercola.

Article by Lisa S. Newman, Nd

8 User Reviews
5 star (3) 
2 star (1) 
1 star (2) 

Posted by Ladybee (Oklahoma Ciy, OK) on 06/28/2007

Garlic, the Facts, by Lisa S. Newman, ND, Ph.D.

"When it comes to your pet's health, do you want to follow facts or fears? Unfortunately, garlic has come under attack. This is primarily as a result of garlic's close cousin onion's reputation for triggering hemolytic or "Heinz factor" anemia (where circulating red blood cells burst) through its high concentration of thiosulphate. With onions, a single generous serving can cause this reaction. Garlic simply DOES NOT CONTAIN THE SAME CONCENTRATION of this compound! In fact, it is barely traceable and readily excreted (not stored in the body).

Despite this fact, garlic is falling victim to mass hysteria spread through the internet. Yes, there are 51,174 sites devoted to warning about the "toxicity" of garlic, this hysteria has even prompted the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center to place a warning on garlic although there is little scientific data to back this claim other than the fact that thiosulphate is also found in garlic. Yet, there are also over 400,000 sites still proclaiming its benefits, many of them from reputable holistic veterinarians who have widely used garlic in their practice for many years! How can an herb suddenly turn so bad?!

There is no doubt that onion, due to its concentration of thiosulphate, will cause Heinz factor anemia. In addition, as stated by Wendy Wallner, DVM, "Onions are only one of the substances which can cause Heinz body anemia. Other substances such as Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and benzocaine-containing topical preparations can also cause Heinz body anemia in the dog." The latter probably accounts for many cases as it is prevalent in creams often recommended for allergy-suffering pets due to its ability to numb the itch. It is absorbed through the skin and builds up in the blood stream. This other substance is likely to have been involved in cases where garlic was suspect.

For centuries, as long as humans have been using herbs, garlic has been a primary remedy turned to in a majority of cases. For as long as people have been using garlic, they have also been feeding it to their animal companions. Its properties have proven far reaching, easy on the body and safe to use. In the past fifty years, during the rebirth of holistic medicine in the United States, garlic has been in the forefront. Every text that I have researched on herbal health which mentions pet care has recommended it, especially for its incredible anti-parasitic and anti-septic properties. In my own experience, garlic has also benefited pets with cancer, diabetes, liver, heart and kidney disease, uncontrollable staph infections and a host of other conditions, as well as been a staple in my recommended preventative protocols. It has been widely used by hundreds of thousands of pet owners with no reported negative side-effects - except its effect on their animal's breath - until now. This is the point; garlic has suddenly become a "suspect," not proven the culprit. Do not let mass hysteria determine a holistic care program for your dog or cat. Follow hundreds of years of "proven use" rather than recent "suspicions" in regards to this miracle herb, as garlic is known to be. As with anything, do use garlic in reasonable doses, and do know that you can trust history over hysteria.


Since 1982, Dr. Newman has been a world renowned pioneer in the field of natural pet care. The author of nine books."

Replied by Frank
(Kingston, Ny)

Hello Doctor,
All I know is that I gave my two dogs pieces of steak that had garlic seasoning on them and here were their symptoms:

Vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, and both of them had asthmatic attacks. I didn't know garlic could do this either, but now I am convinced! ... Unless the seasoning I used had onions, too, but was not listed for some reason. I've heard that garlic does have a similar compound that is in onions and it depends on how it is fixed. Raw garlic and onions are very toxic, as well as the dried bulbs.

Sincerely, Frank Moretti

Replied by Bb
(Atlanta, Ga Usa)

Garlic is not harmful to dogs. Onions are toxic. I have used powdered & fresh garlic for my dogs for decades without any reaction. The "mix" you used must have had other ingredients that caused the ill effect.

Replied by Deirdre
(Alton, Ia)

Garlic making dog sick. Could it be msg or a autolyzed yeast extract that made the dog sick?

Replied by Jeannie
(Dalton, Georgia)

Last night my pup she weighs 3 pounds got on the table and ate a huge bulb of garlic. She had stomachache (gas) and had some really bad breath, that was 10 hours ago and shes ok. But it scared me to death. All my life I have herd garlic was good to rid your pet of pests now its poison. I looked on line called my vet and no one would tell me what to do for my pet. She still has a tummy ache but shes playing so I believe shes gonna be ok.

Replied by Gerald
(Columbus, Ohio Usa)

Garlic is ok for a dog, in small doses (like a single clove) But a entire bulb would make anyone sick!

Replied by Amy
(Columbus, Oh)

People just because you have a computer doesn't mean everything you read on there is true. I can google anything and there is always 2 sides. Just because it came from National Geographic doesn't me they are the end all be all of knowledge. If you paid any attention to her article you would see that although the chemical that is in onions is also in garlic but a substantially smaller amount. Any almost non existent amount is in garlic. Before you just make posts like they are FACT do a little more digging. There is too much ignorance in the world.

Replied by Dan
(Paris Crossing, In)

You Are So Right Amy!! People Don't Look Up The Fact's , It's to Easy To Get The Heresay............. Don't Be Ignorant! State The Fact's!!

Replied by Seattlesbestemily
(Seattle, Wa)

If you think garlic is more dangerous for your dog than pesticides you've got bigger problems than a few fleas!!! Garlic works. I've used it for five years on my dog and she's never had fleas... Plus she gets complimented on her coat regularly. Don't be silly... Trust centuries of use over 20 years of chemical company propaganda!

Replied by Debby
(Atascadero, Ca)

We have a 7 pound Chiwawa (can never remember the correct spelling) with fleas. I would like to start giving her garlic. How much and how often should we give it to her? Should I use whole garlic, or can we use powder? Should I be concerned about additives in garlic powder? Could I put the correct size piece of garlic in a piece of cheese? Thank You for your Assistance, Debby

Replied by 5 Pooches Home
(Houston, Tx)

I have 2 chis and I give them plenty of garlic. Never had a worm or fleas. I give 2-3 cloves (medium size) each day. Never had a problem.

I am against garlic powder as that's not the real thing and is a processed food that has been chemically or mechanically altered. Plus it has other things that is no good. Always try to give your pooches the most natural earthy foods.

My chis also eat 100% home cooked meals. You can also give coconut oil in addition. Good for coat and joint problems and prevents OBESITY & diabetes in dogs. Buy a high quality one that is organic or expeller pressed.

Also for fleas as well as skin, after giving your chi a bath with a MILD BABY SOAP FREE SHAMPOO you should massage a good layer of oil on your baby all over - use coconut oil or almond oil or NEEM OIL (available at Indian grocery stores or internation isles or health food store). For skin conditions, NEEM OIL is the best. Mix with coconut or almond oil if you like. Oil is good for dog's skin as it prevents fleas, environmental toxins, pollution, dirt from getting into your dog's skin and thus protects the body as our skin is the biggest absorbing organ. Hope this helps!

Replied by Debby
(Atascadero, Ca)

Well, I'm sorry I don't know what a chis is. How big is it. My Chiwawa is about 7 pounds. I've read a few things about garlic being toxic for dogs, so I want to be sure I'm not giving her too much, but of corse want to give her enough to be effective. So how much for a 7# dog?

Also, she's a pretty "picky" eater, so I'm thinking it may keep her from eating her food, or she'll eat around it. If that happens, would it be OK to just "hide" it in a chunck of cheese; she loves cheese.

Thank you for all your other helpful information, very helpful.

You wouldn't know of any natural methods to get rid of them in the yard. We usually have very heavy freezes here, but haven't had them for a few years and I'm thinking that's why we're having such a flea problem. I really don't want to use chemicals in our yard, but may have to resort to that if this doesn't work :( Any suggestions?)

Thank you, Debby

Replied by 5 Pooches Home
(Houston, Tx)

By 'chis' I mean chihuahuas! I have 2 girls who weigh around 5 and 6 pounds.

Yes you can give her garlic anyway she likes. Commercial dog food is bad and maybe your dog is telling you she doesn't like it. If you can, try giving her freshly made homemade food. After a while you won't need any flea control coz when dogs eat homemade diet they have no odor inside or outside so no fleas find them interesting enough to come around. I have 5 dogs and all of them eat homemade and are all vegan. I give them brown rice with bunch of beans and veggies and they love it! No surprise NONE of them have fleas ever or any health or skin condition.

Also you can make your own flea spray and just spray on her while going outside.

1. In big bowl of water (3-4 cups), put in some lemon rinds and bring to boil.

2. Add 3-4 cloves.

3. 3 tablespoon apple cider vinegar. Turn the stove off when its warm enough.

4. If you like, you can add some essential oil like lavendor, tea tree or eucalyptus or neem oil.

5. Let the mixture steep over night. Cover it.

6. Put in spray bottle. Use.

For yard and house, use diatomaceous earth.

Plz. don't use chemicals. Our pets play, lick, lie, jump and relax on the floors and carpets and it goes directly in their skin and in their body when they lick themselves.

You can eaily give her 2 cloves of garlic each day. My chis are smaller and they eat 3-4 cloves each day easily!

Always know it NOT the mother nature's food (grown on earth's soil) that is the problem. Its the commercial dog food that is BAD and thus causes reactions to natural foods or what not! Thus the good thing gets bad publicity like garlic and avocadoes! When will people realize that its the deadly dog food they have been feeding their pet that's causing a reaction??

Good luck! Hope this helps.

Replied by Linda
(Citrus Springs, Florida, U.s.a.)


Just wanted to mention here... on using that diatomaceous earth, make sure its food grade! The other one is very dangerous to use around our animals. Linda

Replied by Debby
(Atascadero, Ca)

I was affraid to give my little Mitzi the garlic because of some of the testimonies about it causing long term bad effects. I called my vet and she said that a lot of her customers say they use garlic, but she couldn't tell me how much. I sure hope this helps as my poor dogs (We also have a very large Boxer, Spanky :) are just miserable.

Thank you for taking the time to give me all this helpful imformation... I'm going to try it... We, Mitzi, Spanky, my husband and myself, Debby, sure hope it helps :)

Blessings to You and all your little 4 legged friends! Debby

Replied by Tshona
(Scottsdale, Az)

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.

Replied by Mary Robbins
(Red Bluff, California)

Hey I been giving my 5 dogs garlic since they were all 6 weeks old I would never give them that much garlic I cut the garlic cloves in to little cubes and then they each get one cube a week. You don't ever want to overdose on anything- a little goes a long way. Theres no need to be giving them a lot because it may work or it may kill them. Too much of a good thing for any dog is very, very dangerous. Just a little bit, never more. It's like feeding fish- you never want to give them more just a little pinch of fish food and there set. Same thing when your giving dog garlic and no, never use garlic on a pregnant dog- it will make the milk toxic for the puppys. I learned that the hard way.

Replied by Garlicisnotsafe
(Springvale, Me)

I trust the AVMA more and they clearly state that foods containing garlic should not be fed to dogs! Stop telling people it's safe! See for yourself, the research has been done! Some people have had their dogs die because of garlic! This is so irresponsible on your part!

Replied by Ajoy
(New Delhi, India)

I have been feeding garlic to my six year old Labrador. Till date no problems. I suspect that in West where processed food is the norm; unlike in India; other ingredients, especially preservatives and food additives are the cause of poisoning/bad health in dogs.

Instead of, processed food here is what I cook once and give it for 10 meals (twice a day, for five days)

. Parboiled/Brown Rice - 250g

. Cut vegetables and scraps/peels - pumpkin, bottle guard, cabbage, potato peels etc - 1/2 kg

. Garlic paste (ground at home) - 1 tablespoon

. Turmeric - 1 teaspoon

. Animal Fat (100g) or Vegetable Oil (2 table spoons)

. Mince meat or offal (if any) - 200g

Cook the mixture in a pressure cooker and divide it into containers. Refrigerate the containers and give one each meal.

Replied by Janet
(Opelousas, Louisiana)

I just wanted to post my take of the AVMA article link that was brought up in NAY of giving garlic to dogs. First of all, I checked that link and there isnt much on there as to what they did. Also, it only states 4 dogs were given 1. 25 ml of garlic extract/kg of body weight (5 g of whole garlic/kg) and 4 dogs were the control dogs. My big question is how much did each dog weight. From everything that I have read concerning this issue, I would have to guess they researchers used very small dogs... The ones who couldnt handle garlic in this amount once a day for 7 days. To me, this is like saying that a sugar substitute WILL cause cancer in humans like it does in overdosed rats. My complaint about this research is that anything scientific is usually done in triplicate, no where does it state that this was done in triplicate. I'll continue to give my dogs garlic... After 10 years... If it hasnt hurt or killed them I reckon its not going to. I would like send thanks for this garlic article... I am sure it has helped answer a lot of people's questions.

Replied by Anonymous
(Menominee, Michigan)

I would also like to respond to "NAY" (dtd 9-23-11). The AVMA article stated that the dogs were super-dosed. They were given approximately 5g of garlic per kg of weight. This is about one clove of garlic. If the dogs averaged about 20kg (roughly 40 pounds), then the dogs were given about 20 cloves of garlic a day! Who wouldn't have a reaction to a dose that high? On top of all of that, the article, written in 2000, was so vague in detail there is no way to come to a logical conclusion about the "scientific data. " Moderation and education people.

Replied by Matthew
(Lawrence, Kansas, Usa)

I'd like to also add that not only was there no testing done in triplicate, or even duplicate, but every scientific paper I've ever even glanced at was longer than the one in that link to the AVMA study. Also, giving 5g/ kg of garlic is like giving 1oz/ lb of sugar to a human. You're going to induce major reactions very quickly. Everything has the potential to produce bad, severe or even terminal results if the dosage is high enough!

I wasn't even aware that there was a debate about this. I just wanted to know if garlic was bad as I put it in the broth I'm making out of turkey leftovers and when I strain the veggies out I'm giving them to the dogs :)

Replied by Mrsfluffurs
(Port Richey, Fl, Usa)

Question: I have read several posts about garlic pills. 2 out of 3 of my dogs will not eat the garlic in their food, I have also tried to hide the garlic in people food but they caught on. It doesn't matter if I use fresh or powdered garlic, they won't eat it. I have 1 tea cup Pomeranian, about 5lbs, a regular size Pomeranian, about 15lbs, and a terrier mix, about 20lbs. The garlic pills I have are the pearl kind with the garlic oil inside. The bottle says garlic oil 2000mg and on the back in the supplement facts box it says: amount per softgel:order less garlic oil 100:1, then under percent of daily value: 20mg. Under that the bottle states:(equivalent to 2000mg of fresh garlic bulb).

I have no idea how many mg are in a clove of garlic. These numbers seem high to me. I don't want to overdose my dogs and cause them harm.

Those of you that give your dogs garlic pills or soft gels how much do you give them? What does your bottle say as far as mg? Are my soft gels safe for my babies? I would really appreciate any help. We just lost one of our dogs last week. She was bitten by a snake. She was 16 yrs old. I wish I knew about the benefits of garlic before, maybe she would still be with us. I have 4 special needs children that we adopted, and the dogs have played a HUGE role in the children's therapy, I want to prolong the lives of my other 3 dogs, I can't bear to lose another dog and it's been absolutely devastating for the children. So if anyone knows if it's ok to give the dogs garlic in pill or softgel form and if so how much. Thank you very much.

Replied by Dogma
(Honolulu, Hawaii)

Garlic is good for dogs but only in small amounts. Many vets and articles say no to garlic because there is potential to overdose = heart failure. You ARE trying to give way too much and likely, even the dogs know it. As we should listen to the wisdom of the children, we should do the same for our pets! And ourselves, obviously your intuition is warning you. Yes, those doses will likely kill them. They hardly need more than a little sliver for their size - for immune boosting, pest repellant, etc.

What are you giving it to them for, I wonder.

Find a holistic vet you can work with. They might suggest something better or a combination of things depending on your needs. At the least they would give proper dosage. You don't have to have one in your area - many of them will do phone consults. Your job is just to find one that you respect and trust to give you advice on natural remedies specific for your dogs. Organic Raw garlic is best - maybe hide a little sliver in a bit of organic beef? A dog who won't take something you hand them for no reason might take it if you get them to do a trick and the put it out as a treat which the usually take so quickly there is little time for investigation.

I'll check back to see if you have any more questions. In the mean time, take those pills yourself - sounds like you should be boosting your immune system with a house full of loving souls that need you!

Replied by Philip
(Rancho Cucamonga, Ca/ Usa)

Check this website it will show you the effects of garlic in the stomach, scientifically tested tnx

Replied by Lb
(Houston, Tx)

I wanted to comment on the AMVA article. I didn't read it and won't waste my time. My thoughts are this. What the heck? Why in the world would the researchers of that article super-dose and intentionally KILL dogs? They should be held accountable for intentionally killing animals because it sounds like that's what they set out to do and that's just exactly what they did! It's a good thing their study wasn't done in duplicate or triplicate! No one in their right mind would give anyone this quantity of garlic. Very, very sad to think about this.

Replied by Mark

After spending almost 2000 at the vet, I found simply feeding my German Shepherd salmon, rice, turmeric, and yes garlic did the trick.

Replied by Suseeq
(Sydney Australia)

Mark, what did you cure your dog from?

Replied by Diamond

"Frank M." What you gave your dog was salt with a garlic scent, that is a poison to any animal and over time even to humans. I believe these comments target the"Real" fresh garlic. Therefore I start my dogs off with a very small piece of fresh garlic every other day because they are small.

Some times saving money is well worth the effort for our pets and there is no guarantee that vets.are 100% fool proof. While doing numerous web searches to find the correct treatment/s we should know what is good and what isn't.

Good Luck with your journey.

Replied by Diamond

5 Pooches: Your messages are the best, very straight forward and to the point. How-ever, Neem oil on a pet's fur is not good as they tend to lap their fur constantly and Neem oil is like taking hot sauce and pouring it in your mouth or even worse.

Good Luck/love your posts.

Replied by Diamond

Debby/Ca. Again I am sorry for past comment and hope to retract the statement on and about giving my dogs garlic where I later found it is in fact poison to our pets.I have in the past found that probiotics are by far better for dogs only in very small moderations where it has helped my pets, I now still have the same dog that is very close to a 100 yrs.old, she is blind, an going deaf, she still gets around an loves to play. But needless to say garlic salt is poison to people what do you think it does to animals? I have watched animals live out in the wild for years, and this is what they do in order to eat & survive, they pick rubbish barrels and sniff the food, if it cannot be eaten by humans neither will an animal eat it. I said this to say, we as humans need to be more aware of what we DO give our pets." When in doubt(?) Do nothing....

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

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Garlic For Dogs: Poison Or Medicine?

By Rita Hogan

If you look at any dog-centered poisonous plant list garlic is there. Don't fret! You have nothing to fear and everything to gain.

· I'll set your mind at ease by telling you how to properly prepare garlic for dogs for maximum health benefits, and how much you can safely feed your dog.

· First, here's why garlic is such a wonderful plant …

Garlic's Properties

· Garlic is high in inulin, amino acids, sulphur, zinc, potassium and phosphorus. It also contains vitamin A, C, calcium, magnesium, manganese, selenium, germanium and B-complex vitamins.

· Garlic's pungent energy warms the body. Pungent herbs move energy upwards and outwards to the body's surface, improving circulation. Garlic also has an affinity for the lungs, large intestine, spleen and stomach.

· Garlic helps detoxify the body. It supports beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract and eliminates harmful bacteria. I use it in the fall, winter and early spring as a detox and to balance out the digestive system.

· As a liver enhancer, garlic breaks down wastes before they enter the bloodstream. It also helps your dog assimilate nutrients and eliminate wastes through the entire digestive tract.

· Garlic is high in sulphur and fructans (inulin and oligofructose). Fructans can cause digestive upset in dogs suffering from leaky gut, inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome. When undigested fructans ferment in the small intestine, they cause bloating, gas and constipation. Your dog's digestive system needs to be healthy before you feed her garlic.

Note: If you've made it this far, you're likely one cool cat with a solid interest in your dog's health. Stick around, there's more. But before you go, add your email belowand we'll send you this free pet food analyzer you can try at home. Here's what to do:

1. Grab your pets food bag or can

2. download the free analyzer

3. Analyze your pet's food ingredients and know which foods to steer clear of and which are the good guys

Garlic's Actions

Here are some ways garlic helps keep your dog healthy:

· Prevents the formation of blood clots (anti-platelet)

· Decreases cholesterol build up (anti-cholesterolemic)

· Widens blood vessels (vasodilator)

· Helps prevent the formation of tumors (anti-tumor)

· Stimulates the lymphatic system to remove wastes

· Antibiotic, antifungal and antiparasitic

Garlic has other uses in addition to these health benefits.

Flea And Tick Repellent

Garlic may help you in the war on fleas and ticks if you feed it to your dogs during flea and tick season. It takes a couple of weeks for garlic to build up in your dog's natural coat oil, so start feeding it before the bug season starts.

I don't bathe my dogs too much during flea and tick season. One good soapy wash and you'll have to start the build-up process again. To avoid this, use a Castile soap for bathing, or use cornstarch or Fuller's Earth as a dry shampoo (but use these sparingly … you don't want to dry out your dog's coat too much).

When using garlic as a flea and tick repellent, feed each day for two weeks, then twice a week for maintenance.

Garlic And Cancer

Garlic for dogs has shown promise with cancers of the colon, lung, stomach and rectum. The compounds in garlic increase immunity and enhance natural killer cells. Natural killer cells destroy pathogenic bacteria and cancer cells.

While there are few clinical trials studying the anti-cancer effects of garlic, the National Cancer Institute reports that several population studies show an association between increased garlic intake and reduced risk of several types of cancer.

The Importance Of Fresh Raw Garlic

My clients always ask, “can I use the pre-chopped garlic in the jar?” or “How about the peeled whole clove garlic in the bag…it's organic?”

My answer is always NO.

When I say fresh, raw garlic I really mean fresh, raw, organically grown garlic … the kind that stays in the husk until 10 to 15 minutes before you feed your dog.

Buy garlic that's produced in the United States, preferably grown locally or in your own garden. Make sure you know where your garlic comes from. All garlic isn't created equal.

For example, Chinese garlic consistently tests positive for unsafe levels of arsenic, heavy metals and chlorine. Don't risk your dog's health by using it!

So, again, just to be clear: use fresh, raw, organic garlic whenever you're supplementing or feeding garlic for dogs. Nothing from a jar!

Why is this important? It's because you need active enzymes and whole plant synergy to get the true benefits of garlic.

· Raw garlic contains two enzymes: allinn and alliinase. When you crush, mince or chop garlic, these enzymes combine to create the enzyme allicin. Allicin is the active medicinal ingredient in garlic that gives it those antibiotic, anti-cancer, antiviral and antioxidant properties.

· When you feed raw garlic you're getting highly effective whole plant medicine and nutrition. A plant's effectiveness doesn't come from the action of any single chemical. Garlic extracts don't provide the hundreds of chemical constituents working together as they do in a plant. For example, the Kyolic aged garlic extract that you can buy at health food stores doesn't contain any allicin.

Concerns When Using Garlic For Dogs

Garlic is safe for your dog when you feed it in appropriate amounts as I'll explain later. However, there are some cautions.

Pregnant Dogs

Always be cautious with any medicine or supplement for pregnant dogs. Consult your holistic veterinarian when feeding garlic to expectant mothers. Garlic also changes the taste of breast milk so avoid feeding it to nursing dogs.


Don't give garlic to puppies under six months. Puppies eight weeks or less don't produce new red blood cells so never give them garlic. For puppies aged six months to a year, you can be cautious and feed half the regular dose.

Breed Specific Issues

Veterinary herbalist Susan Wynn warns against giving garlic to Akitas and Shiba Inus. These breeds are more sensitive to the hemolytic effects of oxidants such as N-propyl disulphide found in garlic. Consult your holistic vet if you have concerns about your dog's breed related risks.

Drug Interactions

Garlic can interact with several types of medications. Here's the short list:

· Immune suppressants

· Heart medications

· Chemotherapy drugs

· Blood thinners

· Insulin

· Antacids

· High blood pressure drugs.

Don't use garlic if your dog is on any of these drugs.

Since garlic affects blood clotting don't use it two weeks before any scheduled surgery.

Why Garlic Scares People

Conventional veterinarians panic when you tell them you're feeding garlic to your dog.

Don't do that – it'll kill her! is a typical response.

That's false.

Garlic related deaths are practically non-existent compared to the number of deaths that frequently-prescribed drugs like Rimadyl cause.

Here's an excerpt from Veterinary Pet Insurance's website:

“In general, garlic can be more concentrated than an onion, ” says Dr. Justine Lee, a veterinary emergency critical care specialist and author of two popular books on pets. “It's actually considered to be about 5X as potent as an onion.” Consider the rule of thumb when it comes to onion toxicity: 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. According to scientific studies, onion toxicosis is consistently noted in animals that ingest more than 0.5% of their body weight in onions at one time.* 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.”

Wow! That's quite a scary warning. My sixteen-year-old pug should have died when he was two.

Research Caused The Misunderstanding

The reason for this misleading information is that most research studies base their findings on the effects of garlic extracts, excessive dosages and unnatural delivery methods. Researchers rarely use fresh garlic for dogs because it's difficult to measure variances in whole plant medicine. Evidence-based research doesn't know what to do with the “food as medicine” paradigm.

One study in particular helped create garlic's reputation as a food that can harm your dog. This study by K W Lee et al fed 5 grams of garlic per kilo per day to the dogs.

That's an excessive amount. It means you'd need to feed about four full heads of garlic (or 60 cloves) to a 75 lb Golden Retriever, or 23 grams of garlic (6 to 8 cloves) to a 10 lb dog, before they'd experience any adverse effects.

Definitely don't feed this much!

Garlic contains thiosulphate, the chemical responsible for causing Heinz body hemolytic anemia. This type of anemia causes oxidative damage to red blood cells that shortens their life. Red blood cells oxygenate tissues. Hemolytic anemia causes a decrease in these cells, which can lead to sickness and even death. Symptoms of hemolytic anemia include diarrhea, loss of appetite, lethargy, pale gums, rapid breathing and dark urine.

Want to avoid hemoytic anemia? Feed the right kind of garlic (by now you know that means fresh) and the correct dosage.

Proper dosages of raw garlic don't contain high levels of thiosulphate. Bone marrow continually produces red blood cells. This means your dog would have to receive an excessive dose over a long period of time – or an extremely large dose – to cause death.

How To Prepare Garlic For Dogs

Mixing allinn and alliinase forms allicin, the active medicinal ingredient in garlic.

Peel the cloves then mince, chop or crush your fresh garlic and let it sit 10 to 15 minutes before use. Allicin degrades quickly, so use the garlic immediately after the “sitting” period for maximum benefit. I measure and chop up my garlic and set my timer for 10 minutes. Measure out the right amount of garlic for your dog's body weight and mix it into her food.

How Much Garlic Should You Give Your Dog?

For consistency and exact dosing, I use a measuring spoon. Clove size differs so using cloves as a measurement is subject to interpretation.

Using a level measuring spoon, feed the following amount per day, according to your dog's weight.

5 lbs TM tsp

10 lbs â…“ tsp

15 lbs ½ tsp

20 lbs â…” tsp

30 lbs 1 tsp

I use garlic in the fall, winter and early spring, while some people use it all year. When feeding garlic for health, I recommend feeding garlic every other week. Work with your holistic practitioner to find the most effective garlic supplementation schedule for your individual dog.

A Last Word On Garlic For Dogs

Everything in nature can be toxic in certain amounts. Common salt can kill and so can water. Yes, garlic for dogs may be dangerous when fed improperly, but that shouldn't keep you from using it now that you know how to do it safely.

Don't think you can get the dosage right? Don't want to mince, chop or crush garlic throughout the week? Don't have time to let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes before use?

Then don't feed garlic to your dog. It's that simple.

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

The table did not appear correctly

5 lbs - feed one sixth teaspoon

10 lbs - feed one third teaspoon

15 lbs - feed one half teaspoon

20 lbs - feed two thirds teaspoon

30 lbs - feed one teaspoon

Replied by Peter O.

Wait a minute: I just read the AVMA research, and they said they gave the dogs the equivalent of 5 grams of garlic per kilo of body weight - that is about 20 cloves of garlic (per day! ) for a medium-sized dog, and that's a crazy amount that would make even a human sick!! The recommended dose is about ONE clove for a dog 20-40 kg. If you take a large dose of ANYTHING, it could kill you, so the AVMA test seems to be fundamentally wrong.

Replied by Faith

I've been giving garlic in small amounts to my pets for years. Are you sure it wasn't gmo steak? See, Genetic Roulette: The Gamble of our Lives on you tube.

Replied by Elle

I had a small terrier for 17 years and sprinkled garlic on his food resulting in no fleas or tics. Same with the lab I had for 15 years.

Replied by Arlene

I just want to throw in my two cents about garlic. I have always had German Shepherds. Back in 2007 I had a GS pup and had him on a heartworm pill. Each time I gave him the pill, he would vomit and over several months I saw him and sicker and sicker. Ok enough of these pills so thru my neighbor who was a Ft Lauderdale K9 officer, he told me about a company in Maryland that sells garlic tabs. I don't want to say their name but they do have a following. Anyway I put the dog on the garlic tabs. He had no fleas or ticks or heartworms and of course the vets were not enthusiastic about this. He lived to almost 15 yrs old and died from old age. Circumstances drastically changed in my life and I left Ft Lauderdale and relocated to a semi rural area. Lots of wooded acreage.

In February of this year I got another GS pup and of course I continued with the garlic tabs. Recently I saw him scratching a lot and I thought perhaps I should change his food and he does like to play in the dirt. I brush him everyday. I couldn't see any fleas so I didn't think much about it. The last few days he didn't seem right so yesterday I took him to the vet. Imagine my horror when vet said he has a major flea infestation and ticks and I was unable to see them because his coat is so thick. We had to wait a few minutes for the heartworm test and all I could think was he has heartworms if he has fleas and ticks. The garlic failed me. I was faithfully giving it to him everyday and extra because of the mosquito population in this area. Thank God he did not have heartworms. The vet shaved some of his fur off and placed it on a paper towel where I saw all these fleas and flea poop. OMG!

I had no choice but to put him on these heartworm pills. The treatment for heartworm is incredibly expensive and what the poor dog has to go thru is horrible and they might not survive. I read an article on Dr Mercola site that where garlic fails is that heartworm is in the blood not the digestive tract. In closing, garlic failed.


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Catherine (Leeds, United Kingdom) on 05/28/2007

My 13 yr old Scottish Terrier developed cancer in his mouth which spread to his jaw bone. The vet treating him removed it and said that it would probably give him another month or two at best. I began feeding him porridge oats with a wheatgrass shot on a morning and adding finely chopped raw garlic to his evening meal. I believe this slowed down the cancer considerably. He seemed as happy and fit as ever for another 8 months before I had to make the decision to have him put to sleep but on his final day he still went on a 3 mile walk with me and was running around and eating snacks.

Cysts and Tumors

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Charlotte (South Africa) on 01/04/2017

Hi, I have a boerboel, Jessie. She had a black growth on her ear that just got bigger and bigger, I started to smear ordourless garlic, which is 4 times stronger. Is now healed completely and nothing has grown back for 6 months now. Due to her age she developed a tumor on her back, I started again, on and off 3 capsule every 3 days, and its shrinking, still busy with her treatment. Did have to shave the area a bit,


1 User Review
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Posted by Jessica (Phoenix, Arizona, USA) on 06/22/2007

My 25# Cocker Spaniel tried to eat a, Arizona Bark Scorpion (Centruroides exilicauda) (The worst kind in North America) last night. She and the Scorpion survived the encounter, but the antivenom for these Scorpions is not recommended for dogs. So, rather than wait for her to develop symptoms that may be treated; (seizure, muscle tremors, breathing and digestive difficulties) I gave her Garlic to fight the poison from the Scorpion. It is believed that the thiosulfates that are toxic to dogs (the can cause the red blood cells in the body to burst) also fight the venom itself. My hope is that the thiosulfates will fight the venom before affecting her blood cells. Right now she is unusually sleepy, but otherwise there have not been any other signs of toxins (Garlic or Venom).

"The enemy of my enemy is my friend.


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by DORIE (Spokane, WA) on 04/19/2007

re; garlic for dogs: my miniature poodle is 12years old. at the age of 7 years old he began having a bleeding problem in his stool. he would not eat whenever his intestines were affected. after emoxicillan and 1800.00 in vet bills my husband and i started putting metamucil in his food. this seemed to lessen the occasions of the bleeding but did not eliminate it. last fall he started having blood in his stool about 3-4 times a week. as a last resort we took him off of store bought food and starting making his food at home. recipe: 1 lb browned ground beef 2cups minute rice after cooking will be 4 cups 1heaping tsp on minced garlic cooked in with the ground beef. 1 15oz can sliced carrots drained and rinsed 1 15oz canned potatoes drained and rinsed.

smash potatoes and carrots with a hand potato masher add rice and beef mixture stir well

my dog has not a bleeding episode since we began this regimen. he is happy energetic and thinks he is still a puppy. plus he loves his food.

hope this is helpful to someone else with similar problems.


4 User Reviews
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Posted by Jack 42 (Clermont, Ga) on 09/02/2016

Do not poison your dogs!!! 1/4 teaspoon Minced Garlic- Mixed with food - twice a week is all you need. During summer or heavy infestation increase slightly. Takes a few days but it works once the garlic is in the blood stream.

Posted by Diamond (Ma., US) on 11/04/2014

Here is some information I would like to share, as I was thinking about this for my dog. Thankfully I did a web search first.

Posted by David (Greenwood, Ms) on 01/15/2013

Has anyone tried or is familar with Allicin garlic vegetarian capsules for a dog?

Posted by Linda (Bethel, Pa. Usa) on 06/14/2011

I have 2 Yorkies under 3 pounds I'm wondering how much garlic I can give them for fleas & ticks and how often. I also live in the Mnt. where we have a lot of problems with fleas & ticks. Thanks for any help you can give.

Replied by Debra Lynn
(Lake Stevens, Wa Usa)

Please research garlic for animals is only beneficial if provided in oil form. No garlic salt-powder-clove etc. I pop a garlic oil 3mg dietary supplement down both the cat & dog once a week. I use BORAX when I need to clean my home, no bug bombs. Wash bedding and vaccum all in one day. Use a pie plate dish with a little water in the bottom a couple drops of dishsoap will attract any fleas if you need to detect or confirm conquest. Yippee its easy 1-2-3

Posted by Linda (San Tan Valley, Az, Usa) on 06/02/2011

First, I would like to say that the recommendations of using 3 drops of hydro. Perioxide and a teasp. of honey worked wonders. I have 2 Cane Corsos and I recently took custody of my females brother who the original owners were not treating very well. He came into our home about 3 weeks ago and just last week (which would have been his second week with us) my female starting this type of gagging every so often every day, so I got online and came across the recommendation and I have to say, this gagging sound is gone. I also read that a dog can be a carrying so I am assuming my guy was a carrier. While treating my female I also treated our guy. Perfect no harsh chemicals. Thank you.

Now I have another ???, while reading this board during my search for KC treatment it was mentioned to give your dog garlic pills odorless ones. So I purchase a bottle of odorless garlic pills 1200 mg, but I am not sure if this is too much. The brand is a respected mfgr. Should I only give once a week, I don't want to hurt my pups, by the way they are both 10 months old and weigh 85 lbs.


Posted by Mannalis (Tulsa, Oklahoma) on 05/22/2010

I have 3 dogs, two of which have ticks and the third fleas. My question is, how much garlic can I give them? and in what form (minced, chopped, oil, etc.) works the best? Thank you! -Manna

Posted by Ilo3sjw (Sparks, Nv, Usa) on 03/31/2010

I was just wondering if garlic or any other natural remedy has to be given raw or if it's ok that we bake them in treats or homemade dry dog food.

Replied by Jacobp
(Atlanta, Ga)

Where do you buy your Garlic Powder, Jean?

Posted by Barb C (Rolla, Mo, USA) on 08/30/2009

I have been wanting to try the garlic for my dogs. My husband picked up galic oil from the health food store today. Is it okay to use garlic oil? And if so how much to put on there food or give orally??? The information would be greatly appreaciated!! Thank you

Replied by Sarah
(Chicago, Illinois)

After my Lab/shep mix died, I was a mess and found out I was killing my best friend slowly. sob.

I found out too late about Fresh garlic and wheat free dog foods .

Over vaccinating dogs = renal failure. Horrible dog food= renal failure.

Frontline Heartgaurd= renal failure.

My surviving dog is a shep/husky and is thriving on a clove of minced garlic mixed into wheat-free dog food, then she gets REAL people food in the form of 'Leftovers': Mashed potatoes, Asparagus, spinach etc...

The fresh garlic clove once every 2 days 1TBLS-ACV (apple cider vinegar) in water bowel has saved me so much money and pain.

My dog is THRIVING on garlic and a bit of ACV. No more scratching.

Replied by Angie
(Litchfield Park, Arizona)

How do you get your dog to take either one? When I put Apple Cider Vinegar in h20 he won't drink and if he smells garlic, same thing.