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According to the famous ancient Greek physician Hippocrates, garlic is considered one of the oldest medicinal foods consumed by humans. Many of these health benefits have been confirmed by modern scientists and health practitioners.
However, there has been debate and disagreement over whether garlic is poisonous to your dog. Well, to remove all doubt, garlic yes Toxic to your dog’s health.
In this article, we’ll discuss several reasons why garlic is unsafe for your dog, the risks of feeding garlic to your dog, what to do if your dog eats it, and other food substitutes for garlic.
Reasons Garlic Is Unsafe for Your Dog
it is a member of the onion family
Garlic is one of the plant species belonging to the Allium genus. Allium plants are known for their characteristic smell due to the compound allicin they contain.
Allicin is an important chemical compound found in garlic and plants in the Allium family, such as onions, chives, and leeks. In humans, allicin is widely known for its medicinal properties on the gastrointestinal tract and digestive processes.
However, in dogs, allicin can be very unstable and convert to other compounds that can make your dog very uncomfortable. Heat reduces allicin production and instability, but it doesn’t make it less toxic to your dog.
Garlic contains thiosulfates, which are known to be one of the reasons why garlic is highly toxic to dogs’ health. Humans have an enzyme in their gut that can digest thiosulfate without ill effects, but dogs don’t.
Thiosulfate is toxic to dogs because it causes clots in the hemoglobin, which is responsible for transporting oxygen in the dog’s body.
Clumping causes less oxygen and nutrients to reach your dog’s tissues. Your dog will appear pale, weak and lethargic due to lack of oxygen and energy.
This is the main toxic ingredient in garlic. N-Propyl Disulfide is an oxidant, and red blood cells (RBC) in dogs are more susceptible to oxidative damage.
This is because there are more areas in the dog’s blood where oxidants can bind. When N-Propyl Disulfide binds to your dog’s RBCs, your dog’s body’s immune system recognizes the attachment as a foreign object and destroys the RBCs to remove the foreign object.
This is called hemolysis – red blood cells are destroyed and cause hemolytic anemia.This will be explained in more detail later in this article
How much garlic is considered toxic to your dog?
Garlic intake is measured in grams per kilogram of body weight. It takes about 15-30 grams of garlic to cause damage to your dog’s blood.
To illustrate further, an average fresh clove of garlic weighs around 3-7 grams, so your dog would have to eat around 4-5 cloves to get sick.
However, this doesn’t mean you can safely feed your dog small amounts of garlic. Some dogs are naturally more sensitive to garlic toxicity. Therefore, eating garlic in small amounts can also cause problems.
Also, did you know that garlic is five times more poisonous than onions? And according to studies, onion poisoning has been found in animals that eat more than 0.5% of their body weight at one time.
Since garlic is more concentrated than onions, if your dog ingests even less than 0.5 percent of his body weight, it can still cause garlic poisoning.
In short, you should no Feed your dog any amount of garlic.
Can You Feed Your Dog Garlic Supplements?
As mentioned earlier, there is a lot of controversy about whether garlic and its supplements are recommended and good for your dog’s health. However, don’t get confused.
Research shows that giving your dog garlic supplements has no consistent positive results. So, while it might be fine to give your dog a small dose of garlic supplements, there are no conclusive positive results to support its benefits.
However, the risks of feeding garlic to dogs are well known. So you should never give your dog garlic supplements.
Also, if you decide to feed your dog some garlic supplements, check with your veterinarian first. Your veterinarian will help you develop the correct feeding plan for your dog.
Is Garlic Bread Safe?
Garlic bread is a delicious treat that most people will love, and it’s likely to get your dog’s attention. So, can you give your canine friend some garlic bread? The answer is no. “
Garlic bread contains lots of butter, oil, cheese, and herbs that, in addition to garlic, can cause gastrointestinal distress in your dog. It’s also high in calories and fat, making your dog prone to obesity and other health problems.
Risks of Feeding Garlic to Dogs
As mentioned earlier, garlic is toxic to your dog’s health. So, what should you do if your dog has eaten garlic?
If your dog eats too much garlic, he’s at risk for hemolytic anemia. This is due to the compound n-propyl disulfide, which binds to red blood cells and causes them to rupture, as described above.
Rupture of red blood cells before maturation (120 days) causes the bone marrow to prematurely release red blood cells that cannot transport oxygen normally.
When this continues, your dog’s total red blood cell count decreases, which can lead to anemia. This can be fatal if not treated early.
If too much garlic is ingested, your dog could become severely dehydrated. This is a side effect of ingesting garlic; even humans are advised to constantly rehydrate after consuming garlic. You may notice that your dog starts drooling and panting. Make sure it gets enough water to stay hydrated.
Dogs with sensitive stomachs are prone to stomach upset after eating garlic. This is because dogs lack all the enzymes needed to fully digest garlic. The accumulation of undigested residue can lead to an upset stomach.
What should you do if your dog eats garlic?
Signs of garlic poisoning in dogs are:
- Garlic breath (a characteristic garlic smell in the mouth, confirming that it ate some garlic)
- pale gums
- stomach ache
- Discoloration of urine
- increased heart rate
If you notice any of the above symptoms, your next course of action should be to take your dog to the veterinarian for proper treatment.
Garlic poisoning is rarely fatal, so there is no need to cause serious panic, but your dog must be admitted to intensive care as soon as possible.
Your veterinarian may give your dog activated charcoal to help flush out toxins and prescribe additional medications to control vomiting, diarrhea, and some other symptoms.
Also, your veterinarian may recommend keeping your dog on IV fluids to keep him hydrated. In extreme cases, your dog may require a blood transfusion.
Other Foods You Should Avoid Feeding Your Dog
Garlic isn’t the only food that can be toxic to your dog’s health. You also should not feed your dog the following foods:
You can find a list of other unsafe and even toxic foods here. AZ Animals regularly updates this list to help our readers make informed decisions about their dog’s diet and health.
Healthy Alternatives to Garlic for Your Dog
There are many healthier garlic alternatives you can feed your canine friend. The foundation of their diet should be a high-quality dog food. If you need to offer your dog some fruit or vegetable options, we encourage you to try any of the following:
Garlic and anything that contains garlic can be poisonous to your dog. We recommend the healthy alternatives listed in the previous section. However, be sure to consult your veterinarian before trying a new treat or food for your canine friend.
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