Can Dogs Eat Garlic? Unleashing the Secret Ingredient 2024

Can Dogs Eat Garlic? Safe Treat or Toxic Threat? 2024

Last Updated on April 1, 2024 by themubbi63

Your pet might be attracted to the strong scent of garlic. It’s only natural for dogs to be attracted to all kinds of food that aren’t strictly good for them. But is garlic bad for them? Well, opinions on that vary. There are all kinds of websites and an array of information available on the internet. Everyone has a different view to give. So let’s find out if garlic really is bad for dogs.

Is Garlic Bad for Dogs?

The thing is that there was a study done in 2000 which showed that garlic (like other members of the Allium family – onion, shallots and leeks) were toxic for dogs. These plants have a lot of thiosulfate, a compound that is bad for canines but not for humans. (After all, our metabolic systems are quite different.)

Thiosulfates can cause damage to the red blood cells and cause a kind of anemia called hemolytic anemia. This can lead to severe sickness and even death. Thus, you can see why most pet owners would be wary and most websites would say that garlic is bad for dogs.

Having said that, garlic does have some good properties. It can help with the prevention of cholestrol and stop tumors from forming. However, the amount of garlic that is safe for a dog to ingest is low.

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How Much Garlic is Toxic for Dogs?

Research says that it would take around 15 – 30 g of garlic per body weight of a dog to produce harmful effects on the dog’s blood. At the same time, one clove of garlic is around 5 g. Suppose you have a 75 lb golden retriever. The amount of garlic the dog would need to eat to have a bad reaction is immense. Definitely, you shouldn’t be feeding your dog entire heads of garlic!

The misunderstanding from the study that was done also pertains to the amount. People panicked on reading a summarized version and stopped giving their dogs garlic at all. However, the actual conclusion of the study was that a large amount of garlic given over a short period of time could produce adverse effects on the red blood cells of a dog.

One clove of organic garlic, freshly peeled and chopped into your pet’s food shouldn’t have much effect. But it’s best to consult your vet before taking this step.

Can Dogs Eat Garlic Salt?

No, they shouldn’t. Garlic salt or garlic powder is a highly concentrated amount of garlic. It can definitely have adverse effects on the stomach lining of the dog. If you’re not giving your dog fresh garlic, then garlic powder or garlic salt is definitely out of the question.

Can Dogs Eat Garlic Bread?

No, they shouldn’t be eating garlic bread, no matter how much they might want to. Apart from garlic, garlic bread also contains large amounts of butter, oil, salt and cheese. All of these things are bad for your furry companions. It’s best to keep dogs away from human food in general.

Do Dogs Need Garlic Supplements?

Some people do say that some amount of garlic is necessary for dogs for a variety of reasons. Garlic contains necessary components such as zinc, sulfur, potassium, phosphorus, amino acids and vitamins. Low doses of garlic can be good for your pet. Thus, some people might recommend garlic supplements. But always consult a vet before opting to give your dog such supplements.

Additionally, some dog food does have garlic added to it. The amount is regulated and the food has been tested to make sure it won’t have toxic results. Thus, you can give your dogs pet food that has garlic added into it.

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Does It Keep Away Fleas?

It’s a well-known dog parent belief that the taste of garlic changes the composition of your dog’s blood and makes them less attractive to fleas. Fleas also just prefer weaker dogs – the old, the sick, the young. If your dog is healthy and robust, you’re unlikely to have a really serious tick problem. 

Believers of the garlic deterrent theory think it’s important to start feeding your dogs slightly ahead of tick season for the build up to have effect.

If you don’t want to experiment with garlic, several pet-friendly anti-tick medications do exist. You should talk to your vet about what is best to give to your dog.

Garlic Toxicity in Dogs

After all of that, if your dog does ingest too much garlic, there might be trouble. What if you’ve taken your eye off your pooch for a moment and they’ve devoured an entire head of garlic? What are the signs that you should look out for and what should you do?

The symptoms of garlic toxicity in dogs can be varied:



Lack of coordination



Pale gums

Increased heart rate and panting

Excessive salivation

Red/brown urine

If your dog is suffering from any of these symptoms, you should contact your vet at once. This is very rarely a life-threatening illness but you might have to keep your dog hydrated and give them medicines to deal with the vomiting. A blood transfusion might be necessary in an extreme case.


The truth about garlic and dogs? It can be tricky! While garlic has some potential benefits, large amounts can be toxic. Stick to small, occasional bits of fresh garlic and consult your vet before making any changes to your dog’s diet. Remember, prevention is key! Keep your dog healthy and happy with vet-approved flea and tick prevention methods.


My dog ate some garlic bread! What should I do?

Don’t panic! The amount in bread is usually low. Watch for symptoms like vomiting or lethargy. If concerned, contact your vet immediately.

Are garlic supplements safe for dogs?

Maybe! Garlic contains beneficial vitamins and minerals, but proper dosage is crucial. Always consult your vet before giving your dog any supplements

Can garlic actually repel fleas?

It’s a popular belief, but not guaranteed. While some dog parents swear by it, fleas target weaker pups. Consult your vet about safe and effective flea prevention methods.

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