Can Dogs Have Garlic?

Written by Teresa Eckert

Can my dog have garlic?

No.  Do not give your dog garlic. 

Garlic and other plants in the allium family contain thiosulfate and disulfides that are  toxic to dogs. When feeding your dog, do not give them food that contains garlic, onions, chives, shallots, or leeks. Be mindful not to feed items such as garlic mashed potatoes, blended soups, pasta sauce, pizza,  other items that may contain garlic or garlic seasoning. 

This includes fresh, dried and powdered forms of garlic. 

Garlic is not the same concentration toxic compounds as onion gram by gram. It's more concentrated than onions. According to Dr.Ahna Brutlag (Pet Poison Helpline): “From a toxicity perspective, garlic is approximately 5 times more concentrated than onions.

According to a peer reviewed toxicology brief, allium poisoning can be the result of one large consumption and also regular repeated smaller doses. This means that if you feed small amount of clove of garlic to a dog on a daily basis for a period of time it can lead to poisoning.  

Symptoms of garlic poisoning 

If you see your dog has any of these symptoms after eating garlic, take your dog to the vet immediately: 

  • Pale gums 
  • Diarrhea
  • Weakness
  • Lethargy
  • Fainting
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Disorientation
  • Vomiting
  • Dark Urine
  • Jaundice
  • Dehydration

All of these symptoms are visible, there are also non-visible side effects from garlic poisoning. Garlic poisoning can lead to hemolytic anemia.

What is hemolytic anemia?

This is a disorder where the red blood cells are destroyed faster than they can be made. 

Just like in humans, red blood cells carry oxygen to all part of a dog's body. Made in the bone marrow, red blood cells help remove carbon dioxide from the body and transports it to the lungs for your dog to exhale.

According to an article on VCA hospitals, with hemolytic anemia the red blood cells get destroyed and the number of red blood cells produced is lowered, this can lead to a range of negative symptoms that can affect a dog's overall health and lifespan. 

What Other Plants are part of the allium family?

These plants all have thiosulfate and is toxic to dogs and should not be fed to your dog. 

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About the author

Teresa Eckert

Teresa is a co-founder of Golden Retriever Love and is the fur-mom to Annie the Golden Retriever and Remi the Chocolate Lab. Teresa enjoys spoiling her pups and occasionally writing some great content for us on this blog!