Garlic for Dogs: Home Remedies and Safety Issues

Is It Safe?

55 User Reviews
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Posted by Veronica (Epping, Victoria Australia) on 02/04/2015


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
(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)

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

Replied by Theresa
(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

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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.

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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.

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Posted by Orion (Alden, New York) on 07/14/2012

I hate to burst the bubbles of people who are posting that garlic in a dog's diet will cause their blood cells to burst. That is silliness that borders on hysteria. I can say that I personally have had several dogs who have far out lived what the "experts" claim is old for a healthy dog of their breed. These dogs were fed in part the evil "people food" which contained garlic, onions, salt and anything else that we are told is bad for dogs. Dogs have been around much longer than commercial dog food and they will be long after we're gone. They are resilient and benefit from a variety of foods. As long as your not dumb and overdose them on one thing, or get them so fat they can't walk, then giving them a varied diet like they would have in the wild is a good thing. If you want to believe your vet then expect your dog to live the 8 or 9 years they predict. My dogs lived 13 healthy and happy.

Replied by Tami
(Mocksville, Nc, Usa)

OK... I have a chiwawa/pekingese male with tapeworms... Been diagnosis by a vet already, he is about 20lbs and yes he is overweight but we are working on that. Anyways, I tried tobacco but not sure if I am giving him enough, I'm worried I'll give him to much so I quit with that. I have garlic cloves in the frig but with so much different information I dont know how much to give him or even if I should. He was treated but the vet, did'nt work, vet said bring him back, well I want to try other treatments. I am also thinking about the food grade DE, but would need a dosage amount. Any current information on how to deal with these tapeworms would be greatly appreciated. I'm just scared I'm gonna hurt the little guy...HELP!!!

Replied by Ta'leeyiah
(Marina, Ca)

So glad to hear your wise words you are so right, my dogs eat pretty much everything we eat and I cook with garlic. Thank you for your post. It is so sad how our vets want us to use unnatural products on our pets. And frown on the natural remedies saying they don't work when they do. I guess it's all about that pharmacy money..

Replied by Ann

I have had many dogs. Mostly German Shepherds, Pyrys and now a Rottweiler. Have always used Dene's garlic capsules. They have never had fleas and with one Pyry lived longer because of it. As all his siblings died at about 3 years old. I always tell my vet that I am giving it to my dogs. Not one of them has even made a comment to say not too. Ann

Replied by Suseeq
(Sydney, Australia)

Ann, I also give my dogs garlic. I give my dogs a supplement which is endorsed by a vet which has garlic 5x a week. As a kid my dog ate onions which were given with the table scraps and lived to a ripe old age, no harm done.

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Posted by Msmoneypenny (New Haven, Ct) on 06/26/2012

Garlic is indeed healthy for dogs in moderation. Many high-end dog foods have it as an ingredient, holistic veterinarians recommend it. Just don't overdo.

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Posted by Lydia (Fresno, California) on 02/22/2012

Please help I have 1 almost 2 month puppy he is a poodle terrier mix so he is very tiny. I read online garlic is very good for dogs so I gave him a piece and now I'm freaken out cause I did more research and its saying they can die. WHAT DO I DO? PLEASE HELP cause I'm very low on money and I need to have my best friend live.


Replied by Tamarpalm
(St Paul, Alberta, Canada)

I have been giving my dogs garlic for years - but not everyday, and not tons of it. I also have big dogs - not little ones. I have read in many places that were natural sources and they do mention that garlic can decrease the number of red cells. It stated that puppies can NOT rebuild their red blood cells quick enough to handle garlic. It also mentioned that when one used garlic on an adult dog, that a couple of times wasn't bad when followed with a break to let them rebuild their blood supply.

With smaller dogs I would be very careful, and with puppies I would pass. I have had amazing almost miraculous results with garlic with my dogs as well as my sheep and goats, but always I have relied on moderation. There is lots of information on herbal and natural remedies for animals in book form. Their is also lots of other options if garlic isn't for you or your dog. Sometimes, less is more.

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Posted by Debi (Bayonne, Nj Usa) on 01/07/2012

Please be careful using garlic for your pets. My dog suffered bad allergies so I began cooking her food with onions and using garlic for fleas; in those days there were no guidelines. Well, she died of kidney failure; that is when I learned dogs cannot have onions or garlic. She trusted me to take care of her, I didn't know better, now you do.

There is always one pet that stands out over the others in our lives, she was it and I short changed her life.

Now, many years later, we have a dog who is now old so I don't want any harmful chemicals to keep the fleas away. I use garlic but not internally; I purchase a cheap garlic powder from the grocery store and rub her down with it, it works. Some don't like the odor, more importantly neither do the fleas. Best to you all with your loving pets.

Replied by Be Well
(New Orleans, La)

Remember... you are talking about garlic being dangerous, but it's the onion that causes the problem.

Replied by Ruby
(Birdsboro, Pa Usa)

If you are rubbing your dog down with garlic powder they are still ingesting garlic. They groom themselves, they inhale it, n the skin absorbs much of what is put on it... Just FYI.

Replied by Tammy

Your dog is still ingesting it when he/she licks herself, a tiny bit won't harm a dog as long as it's just a pinch or 2

Replied by Melisse Clark

My friend's 9 m-o King Charles Cavalier was given lamb with some garlic in it. She didn't eat much but she's been passing watery, blood-stained stools for 12 hours & crying. It's now been 24 hrs since she's eaten & the diarrhoea has stopped but she still looks sorry for herself. Very avoidable! I'll be feeding her plain boiled rice for now.

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Posted by Liv (Nsw, Australia) on 10/05/2011


Replied by Teri In T Town
(Tacoma, Wa, Usa)

Have you ever read the ingredients in dog food? I used to feed my dog one of the very high end foods my vet sold, and listed right there in the ingredients is garlic. This food explained what each ingredient was for, and under garlic... Immune booster. So, I suspect it is like most things in that something beneficial can become toxic at higher levels. Vitamin D is toxic at very high doses, but very essential. Warnings exist because a few dogs have died after eating massive amounts of garlic. (Vitamin D used to have all sorts of warnings for decades)

A few days of a little garlic in my dog's food and all signs of the tapeworm are gone. Thanks Earth Clinic! Love this site.

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Posted by Fiona (Kingston, Ontario) on 09/26/2011

I just called my vet. Chopped garlic/fresh garlic is toxic to dogs and can cause kidney failure even with one dose. Please discuss your pet's health with a professional and do not rely on the internet for your dog's health and welfare. They deserve better!

Replied by Renee
(Mountain House, California)

Garlic pills are ok for dog but not fresh garlic.

Replied by Healthymom
(Glennville, Ga)

Whenever we have a problem like this we follow the money trail. Vets have no benefit from telling owers to give their pets garlic instead of buying "flea medication" They won't tell you vaccines have horrible consequences, they won't tell you that flea meds and other meds have side effects, like kidney failure!

I used garlic on my dog for whipworms successfully, when a natural cure is said not to really exist. Not to mention, Drs, I'm not sure about vets, CANNOT reccomend supplements to patients without being a risk for losing their license! This information is first hand from an MD. And if we look at Drs that have gone against conventional medicine often pay a steep price. The internet, for all you claming the internet is not a good source of information, is the BEST place to find truth, because we are not getting it from Drs and we are definitely not getting it from the mainstream media!! We are lied to everyday people, wake up!

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Posted by Whistleblower (Portland, Maine) on 09/12/2011

Hold it right there. Put the garlic down! Garlic has a remarkable amount of uses for humans but DO NOT FEED GARLIC TO DOGS!!!!! Garlic breaks down dog's red blood cells leading to anemia and possibly kidney failrure from leaking hemoglobin!!! Check this fact out on any veterinary website or textbook. Shame on you Earth Clinic for suggesting it without doing your research!!

Replied by William
(Glendale, California)

We are garlic product mfgrs and work with a major university - here are facts that we should all know:

There exists NO university, Official Laboratory or scientific study showing that normal amounts of garlic to be harmful to dogs. None. Even the vets have never submitted scientific proof of their statements that you should not feed garlic to dogs.

Holistic vets recommend garlic - Dogs For The Deaf organication feeds garlic extract to their dogs daily.

We use science, not rumors in saying that garlic in moderate amounts is good for dogs in many ways. If you believe that garlic is harmful to dogs - submit your science along with your statement please.

Garlic Valley Farms, Inc.

Replied by Cathy
(Houston, Tx)

I have used garlic in the past with great success. However, I have never known a safe or appropriate dose. When I asked my Vet I was given the same answer many of you have. Since my American Bulldog is my service dog I complied with my Vets orders. All of the expensive flea remedies did not work. Further I could see a sluggishness in my dog that was not present when he was on garlic. Therefore, I would like go back to a natural treatment. Can anyone advise me of a dosage that would be safe?

Replied by Jean
(Nashville, Ga.)

I like Earth Clinic very much. It is a place that anyone can go to get information from a variety of people. On a variety of subjects.. My opinion is : for people that say ( shame on you Earth clinic) are just fearful of what you can't see. No one suggest you do anything. IT is a place you can get other peoples opinions. What you do with it is up to the individual. So stop blaming Earth Clinic & be thankful we have this website. I am! I use it from people who has had alot of experience on the subject I need to know about. Jean

Replied by Much Relief

I thank you for your factual post. This will be the 2nd year I have used fresh garlic to rid my dogs of flea's and other possible parasites. These 2 summer's have been the 1st flea free summers. We have used all the major vet brands of flea meds. None of which worked to completion (we live in the country). I do however mix this garlic with white rice. Given @ 1/2 cup with 1-2 cloves (depending on size and type of garlic) every other day mixed in with dry dog food. I am not precise in measurements as well my dogs are large & medium. While I appreciate moderation in all that we do, for my dog's garlic has been a blessing. For those worried, I imagine you could allow for understanding that just like humans, all dogs are different and while it may work for my dog, it may be harmful to your dog due to a possible allergy or otherwise?.?. We get in a robotic frame of mind when we want answers. You were concerned so you searched for answers. If the first answer was unsuccessful - keep searching. Our world is full of answers!

Thank you to those who help us in our search for answers outside the realm of pharmaceuticals!!! Your work is appreciated!

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Posted by Ken (Malinalco, Mexico ) on 06/29/2011

This garlic issue is indeed questionable - at least for dogs which, (according to the authorities) can be killed by it. Many years ago, my sister's dog was diagnosed with kidney and liver failure and consequently to be euthanized. My sister protested and went on to cure her beloved pet with raw meat mixed with garlic and olive oil at every meal. The dog went on to live another 6 years and after a few months was jumping like a puppy. In this case, garlic was definitely not toxic but part of a miraculous cure invented by a young girl of 12.

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Posted by Vicky (Melbourne, Australia) on 06/02/2011

Until you have your dog dying from anemia - you will not understand - do NOT feed your dogs, especially NOT cats - garlic or onions. People with dogs that have not died from being fed raw garlic or garlic powders are playing a waiting game, they are taking a few years off the life of their dogs, with the toxic affects of garlic on the animals internal organs.

I'm all for natural products for your animals, but not playing BINGO with you animals life. It scares me so many people happy to blindly follow the crowd on these sites.

If only it was that simple - everyone would be doing it! It certainly is cheaper yes, (until you get the vet bills). My preference is not use all the drugs that vets recommend, but garlic is DANGEROUS for dogs, & I would hate anyone to go through what I did with my poor little dog, thank god she survived - $10,000 later.

Replied by Mary Ann
(Slidell, Louisiana)

To Vicky from Melborne.... I have been using yeast and garlic tables off n on for years.. Recently my Dobie needed surgery that couldn't be done because her blood wouldn't clot after 1/2 hr. The vet attributed this to Von Willebrands disease but I wonder if it could be the garlic tablets... Are you familiar with this?

Replied by Brent
(Atlanta, Ga)

"... but garlic is DANGEROUS for dogs, & I would hate anyone to go through what I did with my poor little dog, thank god she survived - $10,000 later."

With all due respect, would you care to scan and upload all your dog's relevant medical records, including all lab analyses/reports, which surely demonstrate, beyond reasonable doubt, that garlic was the sole culprit of all her problems? :)


Replied by Betsy
(Kingman, Arizona)

Reply to Mary Ann from Slidell LA 6-13-2011. Garlic is a natural blood thinner. Just like any natural supplement or vitamin, ya just don't wanna over do it. An old down-home Vet once told us, that garlic is good for getting rid of fleas and scratching because of fleas...

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Posted by Danielle (Memphis, Tn) on 05/08/2011

I sprinkle garlic powder on my dog's food every morning and have never had any problems. It gives it an extra taste that they like and I have never had any problems with fleas on them. I even have a friend who works at a shelter and does animal rescue work and she not only takes garlic supplements herself to protect her when she's working with the animals come in but she also adds it to the food of the shelter animals. I think there are so many people out there that are against holistic medicine that they bash things without knowing if they truly work or not.

A few months back I was fostering a German Shepherd who was a heavy HW positive and it was going to be several months before he could begin treatment. I got online and found a wonderful holistic treatment and within the first week, his appetite had increased dramatically along with his energy level and his coat. He went for his 1st treatment about a month later and when he was tested, the vet said that they had never seen anything quite like it, but the baby heartworms were dead and there were only a few adults left.

So I do believe in the power of holistic treatment!

Replied by Nell
(San Antonio, Texas)

Hi my name is Nell and yesterday I found out my 8yr old schnauzer who weighs 20lbs has heartworms. I cried at the thought of him being sick but even more because of the high costs for treatment that I cannot afford. Please anyone who has dealt with this can you please give me any good home remedies to treat my dog and help me with the dosage since I wouldnt want to overdose him on anything. I really would appreciate any help and advice thank you!!

Replied by Misschris
(Nolanville, Tx)

My heart goes out to you and your darling, Nell. I too live in TX (Ft Hood area) and about a year and a half ago found out that my 2 female dogs had heartworms. They are sisters and about the same age as your baby. I did not want to subject them to the harsh poison treatment and decided to try and find a natural solution. I had started feeding my dogs raw a few months before I found out, because some of them were having continuous skin problems (little did I know that it was most likely due to the heartworm infection, causing their immune system to be severely compromised).

The regimen I use was developed by Hulda Clark. All my dogs get it daily, since it is also recommended as a preventive measure, not only for the heartworms but other parasites as well. I started the regimen in March 2010. I have developed a way of feeding it to them that they readily accept. I have not gotten them re-tested yet, as we are still in the process of detoxifying and building the immune system. I have seen progress, however, and am hopeful. As it is said with herbal treatment, things SEEM to get worse before they get better, but most of all it takes TIME, and one must be consistant.

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Posted by Bill (Dallas, Tx) on 01/18/2011

we have a pyrenees/timberwolf mix , about 135lbs and a lab/pit mix about 70 lbs. both have had a small amount of garlic in their diet since we've had them. they eat twice a day and we give them a sprinkle of garlic for breakfast only. we have never had a flea or tick problem. the only ticks we have ever seen were in georgia and they never attached themselves but fell off on the floor or bed---they fall out of the pines there--

having said that they are super healthy and energetic. their coats are smooth and glossy and we don't smell anything on their breath, their stool is consistant and firm. they get a mix of dry and canned food at every meal and ----hate to say it ----get sunday breakfast with us -bacon and eggs--weekly. moderation is the ticket. don't over do it. make it a normal routine. we do stay away from onions , don't take the chance from my perspective.

Replied by Keish
(Axton, Va)

Hello, It's still not clear to me... The form of garlic you are using, gradulated or powder garlic. Why not fresh? Thanks

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Posted by Dana (Mcewen, Tn) on 11/22/2010

I am responding to the latest posts about giving your dog garlic. Garlic in any form breaks down dog's red blood cells, and large amounts over time can lead to anemia and possible kidney failure from leaking hemoglobin. The reason: Dogs don't have proper enzyme to properly breakdown the compound thiosulphate. If a dog eats 0.5 percent of it's own bodyweight in garlic, it can show signs of poison. In other words, five grams (0.18 ounces) of garlic per kilogram (22 pounds) or two grams (0. 7 ounces) of garlic per pound can mean an emergency trip to the vet! Do not give your dog garlic in any form!

EC: Please read the article by Dr. Lisa S. Newman:

Replied by Dana
(Mcewen, Tn.)

I have read the article about garlic from the the world renowed Dr. Anderson. However I got my information from the world renowed National Geographic. Believe me I always look for alternative things and this is not the only place I've read it because I researched it alot! I know the amount of thiosulphate is not as large in garlic as onions. The dog has to have alot to do damage, thats why I researched the weight. Nothing against any vet or anyone. But their are A LOT of vets I disagree with.

Replied by Jennifer
(Burton, Mi United States)

Dana, I wanted to point out that 1 kg is equal to 2. 2lbs, not 22lbs...

Replied by Joe
(Fayetteville, Nc Usa)

I'm not sure I'm following the math from your recommendation: If a dog eats 0. 5 percent of it's own bodyweight in garlic, it can show signs of poison. That means if my 80 lb. Lab eats 6.4 oz of garlic (80*16 oz/lb=1280 oz. , then 1280*0. 5%=6. 4 oz. ) she can show signs of poison? How much does a garlic clove weigh? About 6 grams, yeah? Then, let's see, there are about 28 grams per ounce so 6.4 ounces equals about 180 grams. I'm no mathemetician, but are ya' saying that I shouldn't feed my lab 30 cloves of garlic? That is a lot of garlic.

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