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Is Garlic Bad for Dogs? Everything You Need to Know

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Garlic is a unique spice that has been in use for thousands of years across many cultures thanks to its sweet flavor that makes it a great food additive.

However, that is not the only reason why garlic is so popular.

According to various studies, garlic has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties that may help improve numerous health conditions in humans.

It’s also a great source of nutrients and is capable of reducing cholesterol and blood pressure while also boosting immune function and bone density.

With all this in mind, it is easy to wonder if garlic would have the same benefits when given to dogs?

According to various sources, small amounts of garlic may have immense health benefits for dogs.

However, garlic is bad for dogs when ingested in large quantities and could lead to serious health problems or death in some rare cases.

The science behind this comes from the fact that garlic has various chemical compounds which dogs can only metabolize in small amounts.

If these compounds exceed a certain level, they become toxic and could lead to serious side effects.

Read on to find out how much garlic is safe for your dog and the potential risks associated with ingesting too much of it.

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How Much Garlic Is Safe for Dogs?

Garlic can turn from being beneficial to harmful depending on the amounts consumed.

Dogs who ingest no more than one or two clovers per day are unlikely to experience any adverse effects.

On the other hand, dogs that consume large quantities of garlic in one sitting can suffer from severe adverse side effects.

The general rule of thumb is that 0.5 to 1 ounce for every 2 pounds (or equivalent) body weight should be enough in one day.

However, this can vary from dog to dog due to factors like genetics and individual tolerance level.

Dog Welsh Corgi prepares mushrooms for dinner with onion and garlic.

Garlic Poisoning in Dogs

Consuming too much garlic can lead to gastrointestinal problems or damage to red blood cells in dogs.

These can result in symptoms like weakness, lethargy, diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite, stomach pains, and dehydration.

Garlic poisoning is potentially fatal in extreme cases where the dog ingests enough garlic to cause hemolytic anemia or liver failure.

If your dog is pregnant or has an underlying problem that may be aggravated by ingesting garlic, it is best to avoid it altogether.

Some dogs may also be naturally allergic to garlic.

Benefits of garlic in Dogs

Just like with humans, small amounts of garlic can have a variety of health benefits for dogs.

They include:

  • Improved Immune System: Garlic helps boost the red blood cells leading to improved ability to ward off diseases and infections. This is especially true in dogs with repressed immunity.
  • Improved Cardiovascular Health: Garlic contains certain chemical compounds which can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels and reduce the risk of heart disease in dogs.
  • Digestive Support: Garlic is excellent for digestion, thanks to its natural antimicrobial and antibacterial properties.
  • Improved Liver function: Garlic is a strong detoxifying agent that aids in the elimination of toxins from the body through the liver.
  • Repelling Pests: The smell and taste of garlic can help make your dog less appealing to pests such as fleas and ticks.

german shepherd sitting in wild garlic field

Final Thoughts

Garlic can be a great source of beneficial nutrients for your dogs.

But you have to be careful not to overstuff them as too much garlic can be toxic.

If you notice that your dog is exhibiting any symptoms of garlic poisoning after ingesting garlic, it is important to consult your veterinarian as soon as possible.

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