In addition to being a delicious addition to many recipes, garlic is widely believed to provide humans with several health benefits. Dogs, on the other hand, metabolize foods differently than we do—what’s good for us can be toxic to our dogs.
Feeding garlic to dogs is a controversial topic among many dog owners. Some think of it as an all-natural medical aid, while others think of it as pet poison. So, what’s the truth—is garlic good for dogs, or should it be avoided at all costs? The truth is that it’s a lot more nuanced than you may think!
How Much Garlic Can Dogs Eat?
A quick internet search about safe foods to share with dogs will likely result in warnings to stay away from garlic and other alliums due to their toxicity to pets. However, in small doses, garlic can actually be a healthy supplement for dogs.
Too much of anything, no matter how healthy, can become a problem. Moderation is key. Studies have found it takes approximately 15 to 30 grams of garlic per kilogram of body weight to produce harmful changes in a dog’s blood. For reference, a clove of garlic generally weighs between 3 to 7 grams.
This means that dogs weighing between 10 to 15 pounds should have no more than half of a clove per day. Dogs between 20-40 pounds can have a full garlic clove. Those between 45-70 pounds can consume two cloves, and dogs weighing 75 to 90 pounds can have two and a half cloves. Dogs who weigh 100 pounds or more can have three full cloves, but it’s best to stop there.
If you’re unsure about the correct garlic dosage for your dog, we recommend leaning on the smaller side for safety’s sake.
Benefits of Garlic for Dogs
Garlic can provide many benefits for your pooch. Some perks of feeding this antibiotic, anti-fungal, and anti-parasitic ingredient to your pooch include:
Natural pest repellent. It’ll take some time to build up, but eventually fleas, ticks, and mosquitos will find your dog too garlicky for their taste.
Immune system boost. Garlic is known for increasing immunity in humans and dogs alike, which can be helpful for both treating existing health issues and keeping issues away altogether.
- Doggy detox. Garlic can provide a boost to the liver, gut, and heart. It helps the liver get rid of toxins, gets rid of harmful bacteria in the digestive tract, and can also reduce fat build-up in the arteries.
That being said, only feed your dog fresh, raw garlic (unless it’s an ingredient included in dog food and treats). Stay away from powdered or pre-chopped, jarred garlic to ensure peace of mind knowing exactly which ingredients you’re giving your pooch.
Additionally, garlic should only be given to full-grown dogs. Puppies don’t start producing new red blood cells until they’re six to eight weeks old, so they should not be consuming garlic at all. Be cautious with pregnant or nursing dogs, too.
What Happens if My Dog Eats Too Much Garlic?
When it comes to garlic, less is more. It’s worth reiterating that moderation is crucial. Too much garlic, and those health benefits can quickly turn into health concerns.
If your dog eats too much garlic, he can experience digestive issues such as vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite.
In more serious cases, garlic can cause damage to the red blood cells. If your dog has consumed too much garlic and is showing signs of lethargy or respiratory issues, contact your vet for assistance or call Pet Poison Helpline (855-764-7661).
If feeding garlic to your dog feels like too big of a risk, that’s completely fine. It’s best to stay on the cautious side! When in doubt, stay away from potentially toxic kitchen ingredients and stick to commercial products specifically formulated for dogs. If you’re still concerned, consult with your vet to determine whether the product in question is safe for your dog and his individual health needs.
Garlic in Pet Honesty Products
Pet Honesty’s Flea & Tick Defense Chews contain garlic (along with brewer’s yeast and coconut oil). These chews are vet-reviewed and have been formulated by experts to provide a safe, chemical-free pest repellent. These delicious, hickory-bacon flavored soft chews contain just 250 milligrams of garlic each.
Please note that our flea and tick prevention soft chews are designed to act as a supplement to pre-existing pest prevention medications, rather than a replacement.