Can Dogs Eat Garlic? Is Garlic Bad for Dogs?

The aroma of roasting garlic is one of the best scents in the culinary world, capable of drawing you in no matter where you are. Garlic is one of the most typical ingredients in favorite dishes around the globe and is featured in cuisines worldwide. 

 Research suggests that garlic holds several medicinal benefits for humans apart from its delightful taste. This information makes it pretty natural for dog parents to wonder: “Can dogs eat garlic?

This guide delves into the delicious garlicky aroma to understand the answer to “Is garlic safe for dogs?” and what you should do if you have a garlic dog: one that loves garlic as much as humans! 

Can Dogs Eat Garlic Safely?

Can Dogs Eat Garlic? Is Garlic Bad for Dogs?

Unfortunately, the answer to “Can dogs eat garlic?” is a big NO. Scientific evidence suggests that the relationship between dogs and garlic is not a good one since dogs metabolize particular foods differently than humans. 

The Merck Veterinary Manual suggests that garlic and all other members of the allium family – which also includes onions – contain quantities of thiosulfate, which can be harmful to dogs but not humans. 

Thiosulfate is one of the significant reasons for garlic toxicity in dogs, as it can cause oxidative damage to red blood cells. This may, in turn, cause hemolytic anemia. 

The most common symptoms of hemolytic anemia include the following:

  • Fast breathing 
  • Pale mucous membranes 
  • Dark colored urine 
  • Jaundice 
  • Lethargy 
  • Weakness 

Garlic toxicity in dogs can also result in various symptoms of gastrointestinal complications, such as:

  • Dehydration 
  • Vomiting 
  • Depression 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Abdominal pain 
  • Loss of appetite 

Is Garlic Consumption Bad For Dogs?

May it be raw or cooked, garlic is bad and toxic for dogs. Severe dog garlic poisoning can inevitably result in death if left untreated. 

Leeks, onions, and garlic all belong to the same plant genus: Allium. Although dogs are not allergic to plants in this particular genus, the plants contain thiosulfates and N-propyl disulfides. When metabolized by a dog’s body, these compounds can cause considerable damage to its red blood cells. 

Large garlic consumption can adversely affect red blood cells’ ability to transport oxygen to tissues. Disruption of the absorption and delivery of adequate oxygen supplies can cause further hemolysis or red blood cell destruction. 

Can Dogs Eat Garlic? Is Garlic Bad for Dogs?

Garlic is also a gastrointestinal irritant for dogs that can cause diarrhea and vomiting. Even if your dog eats garlic in small quantities – as little as 2 grams per pound of your dog – it is likely that your pet’s stomach will exhibit observable changes. 

For reference, each garlic clove weighs about 5 grams on average, and a medium-sized dog weighs around 25 pounds. Therefore, your dog would require medical treatment if it ate about 50 grams of garlic: approximately half a garlic bulb or ten cloves. 

What Are The Advantages Of Garlic Consumption In Dogs?

Can Dogs Eat Garlic? Is Garlic Bad for Dogs?

Certain studies show some benefits of garlic for your dog’s health, which are as follows:

  • Prevents cholesterol buildup by acting as an anti-cholesterolemic 
  • Helps stimulate the lymphatic system to eliminate wastes from the body 
  • Prevents the formation of blood clots 
  • Has particular anti-parasitic, antibiotic, and antifungal properties
  • Widens blood vessels by acting as a vasodilator 
  • Prevents tumor formation 

Research also shows some other benefits of garlic for dogs. One of them is very common: garlic for dog fleas and as a tick repellant. 

It is widely used throughout the USA as a primary weapon against the war on fleas as its metabolism can bring traces of garlic on the dog’s natural skin coat. This scares away the ticks and fleas. 

However, traces of garlic appear only a few weeks after your dog consumes small quantities of garlic. Therefore, make sure you start the garlic intake well in time for bug season. 

A few clinical trials that studied the anti-cancer effects of garlic concluded that consuming garlic may help fight cancer in dogs. Eating small amounts of garlic may prove beneficial in combating rectum, colon, stomach, and lung cancer. 

This is because the compounds in garlic can augment natural killer cells and improve immunity against infections. The natural killer cells can, in turn, eradicate cancer cells and pathogenic bacteria. 

The Hazards Of Garlic Consumption In Dogs?

Garlic, a member of the Allium genus, is toxic to dogs. Garlic powder for dogs is as dangerous as raw garlic, even more in some cases, as it contains several other seasonings as well. 

Hazards of garlic consumption can be especially severe for certain dogs, primarily because of their lower glutathione levels and higher red blood cell count. 

Garlic poisoning can have several undesirable consequences. It can cause gastrointestinal problems and damage to red blood cells, leading to symptoms such as respiratory problems, abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. 

Certain researchers and people believe that small quantities of garlic can be beneficial to dogs, but there is a need for more research to label it a safe practice explicitly.

Just as human metabolism is different, dogs have different metabolism as well, making some more vulnerable to garlic poisoning and its adverse effects than others. 

Some research claims garlic can be advantageous in keeping ticks and fleas away from your dog and can also prove beneficial to a dog’s overall health because of its anti-bacterial properties. 

However, safe garlic consumption for dogs is yet to be proven; thus, the risk of toxicity persists. If you suspect that your dog ate garlic, it is best to take them for a consultation with your veterinarian, even if they do not exhibit any symptoms. 

Which Dogs Should Not Eat Garlic And Other Allium Root Vegetables?

The following dogs should steer clear of garlic and all other allium genus vegetables, including onion:

Anemic Dogs 

Dogs suffering from anemic conditions should steer clear of garlic and all members of the allium genus of vegetables. 

Dogs with Lupus 

Lupus is an autoimmune disorder that causes a dog’s immune system to begin attacking its own organs and tissues. Contrary to popular belief, lupus also affects dogs as much as humans. 

Japanese Dog Breeds 

Japanese dog breeds, such as Japanese Chins, Spitz, Akita, and Sheba Inu, are more vulnerable to garlic poisoning or toxicity. 


Puppies produce red blood cells when they are 6 to 8 weeks of age. Therefore, they should not be given garlic or any vegetables from the allium family under any circumstances. 

Other Garlic-Related Questions

Can Dogs Eat Garlic Bread?

Can Dogs Eat Garlic? Is Garlic Bad for Dogs?

Garlic bread is highly likely to catch your dog’s attention as much as it would of any human, but that does not make it a right fit for your pet. Garlic bread contains large amounts of oil, cheese, herbs, butter, and, of course, garlic, making it unsuitable for your dog. 

Garlic bread is also unnecessarily high in calories and fat without offering any nutritional benefits for your dog. Therefore, it is wise not to let your dog nibble on garlic bread, no matter how much it whines for a bite. 

Can Dogs Eat Garlic Powder?

Garlic powder is a more concentrated form of garlic, meaning that even small quantities of garlic powder can have toxic effects on your dog. Most of the toxicities noted in dogs are caused by garlic used in such forms in food options. 

Can Dogs Eat Garlic And Onions?

All parts of the onion plants are unsuitable for dogs, may it be the leaves, flesh, juice, or processed powder. Whether powdered or fried, cooked or raw, onions and all vegetables in the allium family – including garlic, chives, leeks, and shallots – are toxic for dogs. 

Can Dogs Eat Garlic Salt?

Garlic salt contains concentrated amounts of garlic and has been known to cause considerably adverse reactions in dogs, even when consumed in small quantities. All popular garlic seasonings, including garlic salt, garlic powder, and minced garlic, can prove toxic to dogs, so it is better to avoid them altogether. 

Can Dogs Eat Garlic Seasoning?

Dogs cannot eat garlic seasonings, even in small amounts, as they contain concentrated quantities of garlic and several other compounds, which can be toxic to dogs and cause adverse reactions. 

Can Dogs Eat Chicken Broth With Garlic?

Chicken broth is rich in garlic, onion, high sodium amounts, and additives, all of which are abundant in chicken broth. Therefore, ensure that the chicken broth you choose for your dog is organic, low sodium, and non-GMO. 

Can Dogs Eat Garlic Chicken?

Chicken may not necessarily be toxic for dogs, but the added garlic can make it difficult for them to metabolize. Although the metabolism rate for different dogs may vary, it is advisable not to give your dog garlic chicken. 

Is orange chicken full of garlic too? find out here!

Can Dogs Eat Garlic For Fleas?

It is typical for people in the United States to feed dogs garlic for fleas and ticks. The sulfur in garlic can be excreted from the dog’s skin, keeping it safe from flea or tick attacks. 

Although this seems to be a benefit, it is not garlic’s most beneficial attribute, as the threat of garlic toxicity still persists in dogs. 

Can Dogs Safely Eat Garlic For Fleas?

Some pet parents think that garlic consumption can help with flea control. The yet-to-be-tested theory is that if a dog eats garlic, it changes the natural taste and odor of the pet to the fleas, thereby making the dog an undesirable or non-appetizing host for fleas. 

It is not safe to say that giving dogs garlic for fleas is safe because no scientific proof can corroborate the existence of such a reaction on a dog’s coat. 

Instead of choosing the risky option, opting for the safe prescription medications available to help control flea attacks on your pet is advisable. You can consult your veterinarian to determine the most suitable type for your pet. 

Can Dogs Die From Eating Garlic?

Garlic poisoning is rarely fatal for dogs, but your pet may require medical support to stay comfortable. If you suspect your dog ate garlic, you should consult your veterinarian immediately. 

The vet may prescribe intravenous fluids to keep your pup hydrated and may also advise certain medications to prevent and control vomiting. Your dog may have to undergo blood transfusions in severe cases. 

Can Dogs Eat Cheesy Garlic Bread?

No, dogs cannot eat cheesy garlic bread for several reasons, the primary of which is the presence of garlic in the recipe. Even trace quantities of garlic found in garlic bread can prove harmful to your dog. 

Cheesy garlic bread also contains large amounts of cheese, butter, oil, and sodium content, which is unsuitable for your dog as it is a source of excessive fat and zero nutrients. 

Can Dogs Eat Minced Garlic?

No, dogs cannot eat minced garlic, just as they cannot eat fresh or powdered garlic. Certain compounds in garlic, such as thiosulfate, can bring about undesirable symptoms in your pup.

Can Dogs Eat Ginger And Garlic?

Dogs can eat ginger in minute quantities, which may even benefit their overall health. Studies indicate the positive effects that ginger can have on canines, but that does not include garlic. 

It is advisable to give your dog small quantities of ginger only and steer clear of garlic, as the latter can prove toxic for your pet. 

Can Dogs Eat Garlic Cloves?

No, dogs cannot eat garlic cloves because of the excess of thiosulfate present in them. Additionally, larger garlic cloves can also pose a serious choking hazard to dogs, especially if your pup is smaller in size. 

Can Dogs Eat Garlic Breadsticks?

Dogs can munch on bread or breadsticks in moderation, but only when they do not contain harmful ingredients such as garlic. Wheat and plain white bread are typically safe for dogs, provided they do not suffer from related allergies. 

However, garlic bread or breadsticks are unsuitable for dogs as they can cause gastrointestinal complications and induce vomiting and diarrhea. 

Can Dogs Eat Fresh Garlic?

Be it fresh, minced, or powdered, dogs cannot eat garlic because the compounds present in them can be toxic to their bodily processes. 

Can Dogs Eat Food Cooked With Garlic?

No, dogs should not be given food cooked with garlic since it is dangerous for their health. This is one of the primary reasons experts vote against giving dogs leftovers from human food, as most meals contain garlic in one form or the other. 

Can Dogs Eat Olives And Garlic?

Dogs can eat plain olives, but avoiding giving them olives marinated in garlic, oil, or other similar spices is better. These compounds can prove toxic to dogs and affect their health, even when olives are safe for them to eat. 

Can Dogs Eat Garlic Butter?

Garlic and butter are both unsuitable food options for dogs as they can cause pancreatitis or gastrointestinal complications because of the high-fat content in butter and the harmful compounds present in garlic. 

Can Dogs Eat Raw Garlic?

Raw garlic is a gastrointestinal irritant for dogs and can induce diarrhea and vomiting. If ingested in large quantities, it can have a severely toxic effect on the blood, especially red blood cells, and hamper its ability to transport oxygen to tissues adequately. 

Can Dogs Eat Garlic Supplements?

Despite the adverse effects of garlic toxicity, some experts suggest garlic supplements for dogs as a flea and tick preventive and part of their natural wellness plan.

This contradiction can be quite confusing since studies that cover garlic as a health supplement for dogs have failed to show persistently positive results. 

Although small quantities of garlic may work for some dogs, you should keep the known risks of garlic toxicity in mind because there is no conclusive evidence.

It is wise to consult your veterinarian before offering garlic supplements to your dog since an inaccurate dose can have dangerous effects on your pet. 

What Is Garlic Poisoning?

Like other Allium genus members, garlic contains compounds such as thiosulfates and disulfides, which can prove highly toxic for dogs. Therefore, garlic poisoning refers to the undesirable symptoms that may result if a dog eats garlic. 

Ingestion of garlic also causes conditions such as hemolytic anemia, methemoglobinemia, and Heinz body anemia, all of which can cause considerable damage to red blood cells. 

Therefore, the compounds found in garlic can cause your dog’s red blood cells to become highly fragile and ultimately burst during circulation. 

What Are Garlic Poisoning Symptoms In Dogs?

The most common symptoms of garlic poisoning in dogs are as follows:

  • Exercise Intolerance 
  • Abdominal Tenderness 
  • Increased Respiratory And Heart Rate 
  • Cramping 
  • Drooling 
  • Anemia 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Bad Breath 
  • Depression 
  • Hematuria (Blood In Urine)
  • Ataxia (Lack Of Muscle Coordination)
  • Dehydration 
  • Collapse 
  • Jaundice (Yellow Eyes And Skin)
  • Generalized Weakness 
  • Vomiting 
  • Hepatosplenomegaly (Spleen And Liver Inflammation)
  • Dyspnea (Trouble Breathing)
  • Nausea 
  • Seizures 
  • Pale Gums 
  • Brown Or Red Urine  

How Can You Treat Garlic Poisoning In Dogs?

The treatment of garlic poisoning in dogs depends upon the kind of symptoms your dog is exhibiting upon reaching the hospital and the amount of garlic consumed. 

It is likely for a veterinarian to artificially induce vomiting if the consumption was within the past two hours, as it allows the removal of the stomach contents. The vet would most likely also administer activated charcoal to remove any toxins that may not have been removed by vomiting. 

The vet may also prescribe standard urine and blood tests to ensure that no signs and symptoms of toxicity are present, including liver damage, electrolyte abnormalities, and damage to the blood cells. 

If your pet exhibits advanced symptoms of garlic toxicity, your vet will hospitalize your dog and undertake oxygen therapy or blood transfusions to help your dog recover. 

The initial prognosis is suitable for dogs treated within a few hours of garlic consumption or exhibiting mild toxicity symptoms. However, dogs with advanced signs may require a more guarded prognosis, but they, too, generally recover with suitable medical attention. 

How Can You Treat Garlic Poisoning In Dogs At Home?

Although it is advisable to visit a veterinarian if your dog shows symptoms of garlic toxicity, you can also help your dog recover at home.

You can discuss the necessary at-home care your pet would need with a vet, who can instruct you on the particular dietary requirements that can help your dog recover quickly. 

You may also have to impose particular exercise restrictions on your doggo for the first few days or weeks of garlic poisoning, depending upon your pet’s symptoms and level of poisoning. 

Your vet may also remind you to guard your garden to keep your pup away from potentially hazardous plants and advise you to keep your household trash secure and out of your pet’s reach. 

How Long Does It Take For Dogs To Recover From Garlic Poisoning? 

Garlic poisoning may be a severe condition, but it is rarely fatal. Most dogs recover entirely after proper treatment, but the recovery period may depend upon the level of garlic poisoning. 

You can take your dog home once your vet approves adequate toxicity removal and provides instructions on caring for your pet at home. 

According to your vet’s instructions, you may have to continue your dog’s medication for about two weeks. Make sure to follow up with your veterinarian and take your dog to the veterinary clinic for a repeat blood test to ensure proper recovery. 

How Much Garlic Can I Give To My Dog?

Regarding toxicity, garlic is about five times more concentrated than onions. The rule of thumb for onion toxicity dictates that consumption of as less as 5 grams per kilogram of onions in cats and 15 grams per kilogram in dogs can have clinically proven adverse effects on red blood cells. 

Scientific studies also indicate that onion toxicity occurs in animals that consume more than 0.5% onions of their body weight in one go. Onion toxicity can provide a good idea of how much garlic dogs can eat. 

Since garlic is even more concentrated than an onion, amounts smaller than the onion toxicity statistics can cause negative results: as little as one garlic clove can cause toxicity in smaller dogs. 

However, it is crucial to note that the toxicity level of consumed garlic can depend upon various factors, including breed type, weight, and previous health history. Nonetheless, you should consult a veterinarian immediately if you suspect your dog ate garlic. 

How Much Garlic Can Be Toxic to Dogs?

Scientific studies indicate that around 15 – 30 grams of garlic per kilogram of your dog’s body weight can cause dangerous changes in their blood. To get some perspective, the average clove of supermarket-bought garlic weighs between 3 to 7 grams. 

Therefore, your dog would have to consume a large amount of garlic to get severely sick. It is vital to note that some dogs may be more sensitive to garlic than others, and spread-out consumption of a toxic dose of garlic can also cause serious problems. 

This calculation means that if your dog accidentally eats a small amount of garlic, it will not likely exhibit severe symptoms of toxicity. But you may still have to get a general check-up to ensure everything is okay. 

What Would Happen If My Dog Eats Garlic?

Although you know the answer to “can dogs eat garlic” is a no, what if your dog accidentally consumes garlic?

If your dog consumes large quantities of garlic, rush to your veterinarian instead of waiting for signs of illness to appear.

Certain garlic toxicity symptoms can get delayed for a few days and may require extensive treatment if not dealt with immediately. 

You should contact a veterinary consulting service, a veterinarian, or poison control if your dog eats garlic.

These veterinary professionals can determine if the amount of garlic your dog consumed requires medical treatment or if it can be dealt with through at-home treatment. 

Your dog may not exhibit symptoms if it eats less than one clove of fresh garlic or a small piece of chicken cooked with garlic.

You may only need to monitor your pet’s diet and exercise regime for a few days after intake and keep an eye out for any unusual symptoms. 

Nevertheless, it is wise to consult a veterinarian to ensure that your pup does not need any additional treatment.

Although you can treat your dog at home through treatment procedures such as induced vomiting, it is recommended not to do so because of the potential side effects risk of procedures not performed under veterinary supervision. 

What Are Some Alternatives To Garlic For Dogs?

There are various safe and delicious food options that you can give your pup instead of garlic. You can offer your pup a healthy treat by feeding them safe amounts of dog-safe vegetables and fruits rich in nutrients, such as the following:

  • Sweet Potatoes 
  • Apples 
  • Cucumbers 
  • Blueberries 
  • Carrots 
  • Strawberries
  • Watermelon 

Why Do Some Dog Foods Contain Garlic?

Although the answer to “Can dogs eat garlic” is a big no, some dog foods contain trace amounts of garlic in their ingredient list. 

Besides the potentially toxic compounds, garlic contains several nutritional components, including vitamins, amino acids, phosphorus, sulfur, potassium, and zinc. Garlic can be advantageous to your pet’s health at exceptionally minute doses. 

That is why some dog foods contain trace quantities of garlic and have been tried and tested by food manufacturers to ensure that there are no observable toxic effects. 

It is important to remember that manufacturers and experts time have tested these dog foods time and again, and them containing traces of garlic is not the same as feeding your dog garlic at home. 

Bottom Line

Despite the several health benefits garlic has for humans, it does not make a safe food option for dogs. Garlic contains toxic compounds, such as thiosulfate, that can interfere with the normal gastrointestinal functioning of your dog and damage red blood cells in the process. 

Now that you know the answer to “Can dogs eat garlic?”, it is advisable to keep food leftovers and all other meal options that contain garlic away from your dog and feed it several healthy and safe garlic alternatives. 

Frequently Asked Questions About “Can Dogs Eat Garlic?”

Question: Can dogs have garlic?

No, dogs cannot have garlic in any shape, size, or form as it contains harmful compounds that can interfere with your dog’s regular gastrointestinal and blood circulatory system. 

Question: Can dogs eat small amounts of garlic?

Some dog parents believe dogs can eat small amounts of garlic to keep fleas at bay. However, no scientific evidence can corroborate the safety of small amounts of garlic consumption in dogs, so it is better to keep your dog away from everything that contains garlic. 

Question: How much garlic should I give my dog a day?

It is advisable not to give any garlic to your dog at all, as it can affect the normal functioning of its body processes even in small quantities. 

Question: Is garlic harmful to dogs?

Yes, garlic is quite harmful to dogs as it can hinder the normal functioning of their gastrointestinal functions and damage red blood cells, ultimately affecting the amount of oxygen their blood can carry and transport. 

Question: Are dogs allergic to garlic?

Answer: Dogs are not necessarily allergic to garlic, but its compounds can prove toxic to dogs. 

Question: Can I feed garlic bread to my dog?

It is advisable not to feed garlic bread to your dog as it contains garlic – which is toxic for dogs – and several other ingredients – including butter, cheese, and oil – which contain unnecessary amounts of fat and very low nutrients. 

Question: Can I feed my dog garlic supplements?

Some experts believe garlic supplements can help dogs combat flea and tick attacks. However, it is advisable not to give garlic supplements to your dogs due to a lack of conclusive evidence. 

Question: What happens if my dog eats garlic bread?

Your dog is most likely to be alright if it eats a small amount of garlic bread. However, it is advisable to get your pup checked by a veterinarian to ensure it is not suffering from garlic toxicity.

Jackob Evans

Hi, I’m Jacob. I’ve been a professional blogger for over six years, and in that time, I’ve written countless blogs that have helped millions of people worldwide. A DVM by profession, I have treated and cured thousands of dogs, if not millions.