Can Dogs Eat Garlic? Is It Toxic or Safe for Pups?

can dogs eat garlic

Whether you love or hate the smell of it, you can’t deny that garlic adds so much flavor to so many of our favorite dishes. In fact, if your household is anything like mine, garlic finds its way into almost all of my meals. And not just one clove.

But what about our furry friends? Can dogs eat garlic?

Well no. That’s the one meal in my home where there’s no garlic at all. Garlic is toxic to dogs and shouldn’t be part of their diet.

Here’s what you need to know.

The Short: Can Dogs Eat Garlic?

No. Told you it would be short.

Dogs should not eat garlic. Just like onions, garlic is part of the allium family which is toxic to dogs. A compound found in garlic called Thiosulfate breaks down your pup’s red blood cells, causing them to become anemic.

Garlic poisoning can also cause your pup to have an upset stomach, including vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and loss of appetite.

Garlic may have some nutritional benefits for humans (especially if you have a cold) but garlic poisoning in dogs can be very serious and end up with them needing medical treatment.

Why Is Garlic Bad for Dogs?

Garlic, and other veg in the allium family such as leeks, onion, and chives, contain a toxic compound that affects red blood cells. If your pup’s red blood cells are damaged, they won’t be able to transport oxygen around your dog’s body to important organs.

If less oxygen reaches your pup’s organs and tissue, they will become lethargic and tired which could lead to other problems.

Can Dogs Eat Garlic Bread?

Even the small amount of garlic on delicious garlic bread can cause garlic toxicity in dogs. What’s more, garlic bread can contain too much butter and salt to be part of a healthy dog’s diet. It’s best not to give your dog garlic bread. Check out our blog on ‘can dogs eat bread’ to find out everything you need to know.

Can Dogs Eat Raw Garlic?

Ever been told of all the benefits of raw garlic? Like how it can boost our immune systems and even lower blood pressure? Well, it’s not the same for dogs. Fresh garlic is toxic to dogs and they shouldn’t be fed it.

dog at vet

Can Dogs Eat Garlic Powder?

Garlic powder seems to find its way into so many of our favorite foods. It’s sometimes added to french fries, hot dogs, olives, and pretzels. But no, dogs should not eat garlic powder either. All forms of garlic are toxic to our pooches.

But because garlic powder is in so many human foods, it’s really important to check the ingredients on anything you’re thinking of giving to your dog.

Can Dogs Eat Garlic Butter?

Your dog will really want the answer to that to be yes. But, unfortunately, dogs cannot eat garlic butter. Not only is garlic toxic, but butter is full of fat that doesn’t need to be part of your pup’s daily food intake.

Can Dogs Eat Garlic Salt?

I’m sure you can guess the answer to this, but no. Dogs can’t eat garlic salt. Too much salt can be a real problem for dogs, leading to kidney and liver problems as well as dehydration. And of course, salt plus garlic isn’t a winning mixture.

What About Dog Garlic Supplements?

You may have heard or read that garlic supplements are safer for your dog to eat. In our opinion, there’s no need to take the risk. Whilst a small amount of garlic may not cause garlic toxicity, the line can be very faint and it’s easy to pass it.

It’s safest not to feed your dog any form of garlic (including wild garlic), but instead feed them other veggies such as cucumber, broccoli, or beets.

How Much Garlic Can Dogs Eat?

This is a bit of a contested topic amongst professionals. Some think that small amounts of garlic are fine for dogs and may even have some benefits. Others think that feeding garlic to your dog could be dangerous.

In our opinion, it’s best not to take the risk and feed your pup something else! Dogs should be getting all the nutrients they need to stay healthy from canine food (such as fresh dog food) and around 10% can come from healthy human snacks.

garlic with leaves

What Should You Do If Your Dog Eats Garlic?

Accidents happen, but if your dog does eat large amounts of garlic, contact your vet straight away. Your vet will be able to tell you what to do and whether it’s best to bring your dog in depending on when they ate the garlic and how much they ate.

Signs of Garlic Poisoning

If your pup does eat garlic, it’s important you know about the symptoms of garlic poisoning. These include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Panting/increased heart rate
  • Weakness

Contact your vet if you think your dog is suffering from garlic poisoning.

Treating Garlic Toxicity in Dogs

Although potentially fatal if not caught early on, garlic and onion poisoning is very rarely fatal if your dog gets treatment.

Treatment may include making them vomit, intravenous fluids to keep them hydrated, and supportive care. In extreme cases, your dog may receive a blood transfusion.

How to Prevent Garlic Toxicity in Dogs

If your pup eats lots of garlic, you need to call your vet as there’s not much you can do without medical help. The best way to prevent garlic poisoning in dogs is to not give them garlic and keep all garlic and garlic food out of their reach.

Alternatives to Feed Your Dog

So, garlic is off the cards, but don’t worry. There are plenty of other healthy and nutritious fruits and veggies you can feed your dog. A couple of examples are:

Conclusion: Can Dogs Eat Garlic?

However good it smells and however good it tastes, dogs should not eat garlic. Garlic contains a toxic compound that can damage your pup’s red blood cells and cause them to become sick. If you suspect your pup has eaten garlic, contact your vet right away.

There are, however, lots of other nutritious and safe foods to feed your pooch. Have a look at the BarkingTalk Food Page for more snack inspiration!