If you’re a first-time dog owner, one of the first things you need to learn is to include the food that is safe for your pet. And in the minds of most dog owners, garlic is a huge no-no.
It’s common knowledge for a lot of pet owners that your dog shouldn’t eat garlic. This rings true whether it’s cooked, raw, mixed in with their food, or was put in there by accident. However, there has been a recent rise in garlic-based supplements and products designed for dogs.
This may seem like a huge contradiction, and that’s because it is.
Currently, the jury is mixed when it comes to feeding garlic to dogs. There are even some people who claim that garlic offers a wide range of health benefits to dogs and pet parents should consider adding the ingredient to their diet.
So, we’re going to try and settle the debate. We’ve done the research and read multiple sources to find out whether garlic can be safe for dogs, and if so, how much can dogs eat garlic, so you can get a clear-cut and definitive answer to the question, “Can dogs have a bit of garlic?”
Is Garlic Safe for Dogs?
The general consensus for most pet parents and even vets is that garlic isn’t safe for dogs. The reason for this is that garlic, along with all other members of the allium family such as onions, chives, and shallots contains a toxin known as thiosulfate.
While thiosulfates are generally harmless for humans, it’s a completely different story for our canine companions. This is because the thiosulfates in garlic and other members of the allium family attack the dog’s red blood cells.
Since the red blood cells are responsible for carrying oxygen to the areas of the body, it’s crucial to your dog’s health that they function properly.
With all that said, some dogs may be able to have more garlic than others. There has been some evidence to suggest that certain breeds like the Shiba Inu and Japanese Spitz are more sensitive to garlic poisoning. However, the exact reason for this is unclear.
On the flip side, there are some studies that suggest small amounts of garlic are fine for dogs. So, there are some people who believe that there’s no problem when feeding their dogs garlic, as long as it’s in controlled doses.
But for most vets, the risks outweigh the benefits, which means that it might be best to keep your pet away from garlic as much as possible.
How Much Garlic Is Too Much for Dogs?
The jury on the exact amount of garlic that is poisonous for dogs is still out there. This is because there are many factors that determine this such as your dog’s age, size, weight, and even breed.
On top of that, each dog is different, so there may be some dogs who can tolerate more garlic than others for no obvious apparent reason. Since the amount of garlic that’s too much for dogs can vary greatly and is sometimes hard to predict, it’s best to keep the ingredient away from your pets.
With that said, the estimated amount of garlic that’s toxic to dogs is between 15-30 grams per kilogram of bodyweight. This may seem like a large amount of garlic since a single bulb only weighs around 5-7 grams.
Generally, the answer to this question is no. Still, in some cases, there are dogs that could potentially benefit from eating a small amount of garlic. However, before doing this, you need to consult your vet.
Every dog is different, but your dog’s veterinarian is familiar and knows your dog’s needs and body. So, they will be able to determine and advise you on whether or not garlic will be safe for your dog and how much of it you can add to their diet.
With that said, the general rule is that you need to start slow. So, always give your dog a little bit of garlic at first to see if they like it and if their body has any negative reactions. And from there, you can start making the appropriate adjustments depending on how your dog reacted.
For most cases, we recommend keeping your dog away from garlic. While there may be some evidence that suggests potential benefits to feeding your dog small amounts of garlic, there is still a significant risk involved.
So, if you don’t have your veterinarians express words that garlic is safe for your specific pet, you may not want to try adding it to their diet. With that said, there’s no harm in asking your vet if you can try feeding your dog a bit of garlic.
From there, the vet will be able to give you a recommendation on whether or not it’s safe and how much garlic would be good and healthy for your dog.