Garlic for Dogs: Home Remedies and Safety Issues

Is It Safe?

55 User Reviews
5 star (39) 
1 star (16) 

Posted by Anne (Chicago, Illinois) on 08/02/2007
1 out of 5 stars

This is in reply to a recent post about feeding dogs and cats garlic. Garlic and onions, both members of the allium family, are toxic to dogs and cats -- even if the garlic and onions are cooked. As yet it is not known what level is toxic. Please google to find the warnings and there are many.

Here's an excerpt from just one recent article about this:

"Some pets can develop a liking to the flavor or the aroma and become intoxicated.

"They contain an organosulfur compound that causes the toxicosis and is readily absorbed through the GI tract in pets. Cooking does not reduce the potential toxic effects unfortunately.

"The toxic mechanism of the onion involves oxidation or breakdown of the red blood cells. This, of course, results in a decrease in the oxygen carrying capacity of the red blood cells. Ultimately there is an impaired delivery of oxygen to the tissues due to a severe anemia, or lack of red blood cells....

"Signs usually appear within a 24-hour period of consumption, but may occur out several days. Pets seem depressed, have shortness of breath, a rapid heart beat, seem weak and show intolerance to exercise and to cold. They may go off their food, have abdominal pain, diarrhea and their breath may smell of garlic....

"Whether or not your pet survives will depend upon how quickly supportive care and correction of the physiologic problems occurs. Stopping the source of exposure of course is a must, and getting a good and quick diagnosis is essential.

An excerpt from another link: "In the last five years, more and more toxicity studies are being conducted on garlic and all seem to indicate that it, too, can pose serious health risks when fed to cats and dogs.

Replied by Sara

I appreciate your concerns about garlic but I have done EXTENSIVE research on this matter and it has been proven that garlic in dogs (I do not know about cats) can be helpful in dogs. Also the amount you have to give a dog to be harmful is extremely HIGH almost impossible. Something like 20 raw cloves a day. There are charts on various sites that tell the amount based on weight I give both my lad and pit raw garlic every other day and it has helped with worms and skin issues including mites. So I encourage all to research and read available information. This is something that is very inexpensive easily available that can help your pet if you have limited funds.

Is It Safe?
Posted by Zoe (USA) on 06/26/2007
5 out of 5 stars

Hi, in answer to many garlic-for-dogs questions, here's what a holistic veteranarian told me, about a week ago: a small amount of garlic has many benefits for dogs. A dog of ten pounds can eat up to a HALF a clove a day, and a large dog can eat a whole clove a day, with no adverse effects. But NO more than that! For the person with the 7.5 pound chihuahau, i'd go with a quarter clove, just to be on the safe side. I personally also use a bit of garlic powder in my dog's homemade dog food, just for flavor. Check the ingredients before you buy any particular brand. Btw, i also use baby food veggies, and Earth's Best brand is free of any onions in many flavors. The green beans, peas, and carrots have no onion. They're just the veggie and water. Everything's organic. Just check the label to be sure, or check out their website. Other than that, i use brown rice, a meat source, eggs, vegetable oil, kidney beans, TUMS (no vitamin D added, and unflavored) for calcium, and top everything off with a doggie multi-vitamin. I sometimes add cheese, as well. Not processed cheese food, but real cheese. I have one very healthy, happy dog!

Is It Safe?
Posted by Sue (Cobb, California) on 06/20/2007
5 out of 5 stars

Just heard the report recently regarding Do Not Give your dogs Garlic... Well! I've been giving Max my 8 year old cocker spaniel garlic every day of his life. I prepare his food each week and add approximately 2-3 cloves of crushed garlic for taste. He is a very healthy, robust 8 year old. So I have to refute this finding.

Is It Safe?
Posted by John (Providence, Rhode Island) on 06/10/2007
5 out of 5 stars

OK, so most everyone here, except for the Frontline Sales Woman, have said garlic is good. Dr. Marty concurs, but how much? I have a little munchkin (7.5lbs Chihuahua), who is a animal rescue miracle. She has never eaten dog food, but not because I had a clue. She just refused. She kind of fended for herself prior and most people don't throw out dog food. So I began to feed her boiled brown rice, mixed vegatables and a nice cut of beef or chicken or both. Blended of course. I squirted a bit of vitamin gravy to help her out. As the years passed, I adapted with frozen vegatables instead of canned (ummm sodium)and then organic frozen vegatables. I've sinced added diced garlic (just a little, not SURE) and Salmon oil instead of the Vitamin Gravy. And a joint support liquid in the AM. Needless to say, I don't need a snooze button when my alarm clock goes off.

Is It Safe?
Posted by MrmDeLuca (Phoenix, USA) on 05/05/2007
5 out of 5 stars

When my father was released from the hospital from a possible heart attack, he was put on a strict diet. In keeping with his diet, he would eat baked chicken with heaps of garlic, tomatoes, and onions. My father, hating the food, would always pass it along to his dog. Well this otherwise healthy dog had a seizure one day, for the first time in its life. All three ingredients, consumed in excess, are known to be fatal to dogs. He's never given the dog his chicken again. The dog has never had a seizure since. To my own dog I give only a quarter of a clove every other week with no problems.

Is It Safe?
Posted by Dario (Atlanta, GA) on 04/27/2007
5 out of 5 stars

Well, I figured if garlic is good for me than it should be good for my dogs. We used garlic during war back in Bosnia during winter months as a substitute for "penacilin" not sure if I am spelling it right - but it prevents many problems. I have started my 2 german shepards on garlic and they are doing great no skin problems, fleas, ticks nor mosquitoes either. Garlic makes blood taste different so bolod suckers don't like it. Vets are making money of selling products - of course they will not say no. Anybody who is in sales will know what I am talking about. All i have mentioned is working for me but still do more research if you are not comfortable.

Replied by Anna
(Hollywood, USA)

Hi - I am learning a lot from this blog. I have two German Sheps with bad fleas. Commercial meds don't work and I want to use garlic. But, I don't know how much to give them and how often. Advise, please? Thanks!

Is It Safe?
Posted by Carlos (Concord, California) on 04/05/2007
5 out of 5 stars

My Rottweiler eats daily 4 (abundant) cups of rice, lamb and vegetables dry food, sprinkled with garlic powder and a few drops of olive oil. He will be 10 next month and still jumps 4 feet up to the top of his house! He weighs a healthy 105 pounds.

Is It Safe?
Posted by C. (USA) on 04/04/2007
5 out of 5 stars

I have made a dog food treat for years for my 4 dogs. I mix garlic powder, rice, chicken broth and chicken liver and a tiny bit of canola oil. They never have fleas and always have great blood tests. I have recently read that it causes anemia and am concerned, but my dogs have great blood at 12 years old, so I find that hard to believe they have about 1/2 cup of the above treat daily. I told my vet about the treat and all he said is use low sodium chicken broth. I'm going to ask him again about the garlic. My cat has a tiny bit also nightly. They all love it.

Is It Safe?
Posted by Walter (Marietta, Georgia) on 04/04/2007
5 out of 5 stars

Thanks for posting all the info about garlic. I think it's interesting how the FDA & Vets say not to do so much that as far as I can see does so much good. Thanks, Walt

Is It Safe?
Posted by Belle (Kansas, Kansas) on 03/26/2007
5 out of 5 stars

I heard that you shouldn't give your dog garlic but I've always given my dog garlic every day during summers and she never has fleas or ticks. I give her an odor free supplement made for humans (we take it too) in a glob of peanut butter and she loves it!

Is It Safe?
Posted by Diane (Tucson, AZ) on 03/20/2007
5 out of 5 stars

I've got two nine-year-old mutts who get a clove or two of cooked garlic in their dinner about twice a week. One weighs 35# and the other 40#. They've been eating garlic this way all their lives. Still going strong. It's not a cure for anything. It's a healthy garnish.

Is It Safe?
Posted by Staci (Manassas, VA) on 02/27/2007
1 out of 5 stars

Garlic in large quantities can actually cause anemia in dogs. the woman who used garlic for her dog's intestinal parasites was in danger of causing a potentially fatal reaction in her dog. DO NOT GIVE GARLIC TO DOGS!


2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Nicolasm (Edmond, Oklahoma, United States) on 09/23/2010

Garlic for whelping dog

Hi! My dog just had puppies about 4 weeks ago and they all had a very small flea problem, but I'm pretty sure I got that cleared up as far as I can tell.. (lots of bathing the mom and flea combing them all and using ACV on her as well) My dog also seems like she has worms, but I honestly can't tell. I don't have the money to take her to the vet right now. I was wondering if it would be alright to give her garlic since she's still nursing the pups, and if so, would the garlic in her milk also help with any worms that may be present in the pups too? Or what would be a better alternative? DE maybe? Any help or information would be much appreciated!

Replied by Bb
(Atlanta, Ga Usa)

Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is wonderful. Important though you ONLY USE FOOD GRADE/Codex.

Do not use the stuff from the garden shops. It must be marked Food Grade. I give it to my dogs & I add it to my smoothies. We are worm free.

Posted by Susan (Seymour, Tennessee, US) on 03/24/2009

My 1 yo Carolina Dog / American Dingo (Cooter) has been scratching almost since I got him at 7 1/2 weeks. I didn't notice the scratching until after I used a rx flea med on him. I have tried everything for the itching! he was diagnosed with demoditic mites and was treated and follow up was negative for them. but he's still scratching, and biting himself. I would love to quit the rx flea/worm meds and start him on garlic, BUT I almost lost my last dog to heartworms ( which are really bad here in east TN). Is the garlic also a preventivive for heartworms?( I know they r caused by mosquitos which are really bad here too) I have already switched him to a commercial grain-free dry food, tea tree oil & sulfa shampoos, leave in conditioner, ointments, a round each of antibiotics & steroids, human allergy med -which only made him sleepy- not necessarily in that order! And still he scratches & bites himself all over! he weighs about 35 lbs, how much garlic & how often, raw/fresh or dried? Any other ideas????Help!He's driving himself & my family crazy!

Replied by Susan
(Seymour, Tn)
5 out of 5 stars

Update on my CD/AD Cooter and Garlic! I have been using a grocery store brand dried minced garlic in Cooter's food at every meal. I only use a very small amount, about 1/8 tsp mixed in his food. He eats twice a day. I switched him to a holistic vet in Knoxville and made her aware that I used the garlic. She searched him for fleas or flea debris and could not find even a trace of a flea or tick! She has concurred with the amount I'm giving him,and that it is totally working but did remind me of the negative publicity about garlic, just in case! It is now mid-June here in East Tennessee, and the air is full of gnats, flies, mosquitoes and fleas & ticks abound! I have not seen a single one of any of these on Cooter except to buzz by and move on!!!! So My Answer is a resounding YEA! I even started adding garlic to the meats I cook for the Human part of the family, and even though I am usually a mosquito MAGNET, I have only had 2-3 bites this whole year, despite spending alot of time outside in mosquitoY conditions!!!!

Posted by Janice (Bodmin, Cornwall, UK) on 11/30/2008
5 out of 5 stars

my gran used to breed dogs for crufts many years ago, she told me she never brought flea or worm products but used cloves of garlic chopped up and put with the dog food once a month,i was dubious about this old wives tale, but there is always an element of truth in the old tales, ive tried garlic on my four dogs, ages ranging fom 16 down to 5 months, they are all healthy, havent seen no fleas or worms, im a believer.

Replied by Ivy
(Longwood, Fla)

Both my four year old mutts are allergic to flea bites and will scratch and bite themselves raw. I simply give them one small raw clove of garlic daily and coat it in cream cheese or stuffed in a piece of steak and in three days or less, poof, everything is back to normal. The mosquitoes and bugs leave them along too!

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