They say that a good recipe always starts with an onion and some garlic. If you fall into this camp, your recipes are bursting with flavor and you rarely get any complaints about your food. While garlic is a staple in a lot of delicious recipes, you need to keep your garlic and the food it’s prepared with far away from your dog.
Is Garlic Safe for Dogs to Eat?
Garlic in any form is not safe for dogs to consume. Whether it’s raw, cooked, pureed, chopped, or roasted, it’s always toxic to dogs. Garlic is a member of the Allium family; other plants belonging to the Allium species are onions, shallots, and scallions.
There are a lot of foods and medications that canines just can’t break down like humans can, and garlic is one of the biggest ones on that list. If you know that onions are toxic to dogs, then you’ll be surprised to hear that garlic is actually significantly more toxic than onions.
Garlic contains sulfoxides and sisulfides, and when a dog ingests these, their red blood cells become damaged and eventually rupture. This disease is known as hemolytic anemia and it can be fatal to dogs if it isn’t treated.
Garlic is most potent in powder form and can cause more problems than fresh garlic. Garlic powder and salt are found in a lot of pre-made foods, so if you’re feeding your dog human food as a treat, you definitely need to read the labels carefully. Baby food is commonly recommended by veterinarians for dogs who are ill and have no appetite, but many meat-based baby foods contain garlic powder as a main ingredient.
Signs of Garlic Toxicity
Symptoms of garlic toxicity start relatively small, but the symptoms can progress quite rapidly. Stomach upset is the first symptom to appear because the sulfoxides and sisulfides cause an inflammation of both the stomach and intestines. This inflammation can lead to vomiting or diarrhea, but it almost always causes extreme stomach pain.
Because garlic causes the red blood cells to rupture, your dog will become weak and easily tired. This is because red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body. If there isn’t enough oxygen circulating through the body, then the dog will become fatigued very easily. They’ll become winded after minor exercise or be reluctant to move because they can’t breathe well.
A dog’s gums should be a healthy bubblegum pink color, but when the red blood cells start getting destroyed, their gums will become pale. If you notice your dog’s gums are now abnormally colored, you need to get them to veterinarian as quickly as possible.
Treating Garlic Toxicity
If you suspect garlic toxicity, your veterinarian will run bloodwork on your dog to see if there is any anemia present. They’ll also look at the red blood cells under a microscope to look for evidence of the toxicosis. Treatment is mostly supportive.
If the dog stops eating the garlic, the body will stop destroying the red blood cells. The dog may need IV fluids and plenty of rest until they’re able to oxygenate probably. If the anemia is severe, the dog might need oxygen therapy until they have enough red blood cells.
Very severe anemia might require a blood transfusion because the body can’t produce enough red blood cells to get the body’s supply caught back up. This can greatly extend a dog’s hospital stay, not to mention increase the bill. If you suspect your dog has eaten garlic in any form, consult with your veterinarian right away to find out what you should do.
Garlic should never be given to your dog. If your recipe has even a small amount of garlic in it, you should keep your food to yourself. Small amounts of garlic over a period of time can lead to an eventual toxicity, so it’s best to use extreme caution with the foods you’re giving your dog.
Hi, I’m Jacob. I’ve been a professional blogger for over 6 years and in that time I’ve written countless blogs that have reached millions of people. I am a DVM by profession but all you need to know is that I LOVE DOGS!
SDO started way back in 2015 on a whim. I’d read a couple of dozen blogs online while searching for the best products for my pup and the amount of misinformation online from unqualified sources giving potentially harmful advice shocked me. Then suddenly it hit me, hey, I can do this too! And I can do this RIGHT! Without even knowing what a blog was or how it makes money. I jumped right in to share the years of knowledge I have of dogs with the world.
Within a few months I realized that people were reacting extremely positively to my blogs. My website had taken off and I would receive countless emails from happy dog owners telling me how my website was a God-send for them and their pups were doing so much better after they followed my advice. I would get so many questions as well, and in my attempt to consolidate and answer all the questions I would get from my readers, my blog has evolved to the website you see today. Over the years I encouraged my good friend Tina who is also a DVM to share her experiences and better guide the people who read us. By the Grace of God we now reach close a million people a year and we get such a warm feedback on how we have made life easier for new dog owners all over the globe.
As a dog owner only you would know the feeling you get when you come home at night and you pup is there at the door wagging their tail in sheer joy. The bond a person and their dog share can not be explained in mere words. Yet dogs are like children, and they need to be cared for and trained, and that’s why Smart Dog Owner exists, to give you the precise and exact information that you seek about your dog. No matter how minute that detail is, chances are we will be there to help you out! As someone who has raised 7 of her own dogs. Jacob will always help you out.