Can Dogs Eat Garlic? A Toxic Threat For Dogs

Are you a fan of garlic as much as me? I love to add it to many of the dishes, sauces, and salads that I make.

Maybe a lot of you don’t like the smell you have after eating garlic but even that can’t beat how beneficial garlic is for our health. If you are worried about the smell, I have shared with you a trick for you in the section of Facts, thank me later.

There is much evidence that it can beat the common cold or help with cholesterol and blood pressure.

But unfortunately, the situation with garlic and dogs isn’t the same. Garlic is part of the allium plant family and all veggies from this family are more or less toxic for dogs.

So, can dogs eat garlic? The answer isn’t simple. Before a few years, it was like no garlic no matter in what amount is used, it is toxic for dogs. Now things started to change. But for that change, keep reading.

Information About Garlic

Garlic is a species of flowering plant and it is a part of the Allium family. The closest relatives to garlic are onion, shallot, leek, Welsh onion, and Chinese onion.

Garlic was cultivated in Mesopotamia for at least 4 000 years and did you know that well-preserved garlic was found even in the tomb of Tutankhamun? This vegetable was consumed by Greek and Roman soldiers.

It has been used as a traditional medicine in many countries around the world. in 2016 were shown evidence that actually garlic intake lowers the chances of stomach cancer.

I am sure that many people around the world have fought cold by eating garlic and honey. Or at least I was doing it, hehe. And I can guarantee that it WORKS.

Can Dogs Eat Garlic?

Garlic can’t be toxic to us, humans. But the metabolism of dogs works differently than ours.

A few years back everyone was saying that dogs can’t or even shouldn’t eat garlic. Nowadays, there are already new researches that show that a certain amount of garlic can’t cause toxicity in dogs.

But there are some dogs that are really sensitive to this vegetable, so they shouldn’t eat it at all.

Why dogs shouldn’t eat garlic?

Because garlic contains a component that can cause damage to red blood cells. Garlic powder should be avoided completely.

Make sure that you don’t add garlic powder to dog food and treats. Don’t give your dog leftovers that may contain garlic or garlic powder.

How Much Garlic Is Toxic to Dogs?

Garlic contains thiosulfate, which damages red blood cells, and then out of a sudden, you may find that your dog has hemolytic anemia that can be fatal. Some dogs may also show signs of an upset stomach as their GI tract isn’t used to this new type of food.

But garlic is toxic when used in big amounts. The usual weight of a garlic clove is between 3 and 7 grams. A study shows that:

Garlic extract was administered intragastrically (1.25 ml/kg of b.wt. (5 g of whole garlic/kg) once a day for 7 days).

So as you can see it will take a lot of garlic to be eaten to turn into a toxic threat for your dog.

For example, if given in moderation, garlic is much less toxic than onion. But this still doesn’t make the garlic safe at all.

Signs of Garlic Toxicity

Garlic toxicity can cause:

  • abdominal pain
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • nausea
  • respiratory problems
  • anorexia
  • anemia
  • dehydration
  • collapse
  • weakness
  • pale gums
  • liver and spleen inflammation

Hemolytic Anemia

Hemolytic anemia is a life-threatening condition, where the immune system instead of fighting infections, is fighting the red blood cells of the dog. That leads to a very low count of red blood cells – a condition known as anemia. It can also make it easy for dogs to form blood clots in the lungs and brain.


  • rapid breathing
  • weakness
  • colored urine
  • pale mucous membranes
  • lethargy
  • collapse
  • jaundice
  • vomiting
  • fever.


How to understand if my dog has hemolytic anemia or some other disease?

Hemolytic anemia is diagnosed easily by a test called PCV (Packed Cell Volume). If the result comes in the range of 35-55%, everything is fine and your dog doesn’t have this type of anemia, but if the result is less than 35%, then your dog has this life-threatening condition.


There are some treatments like drugs to suppress the immune system but in many cases, dogs need hospitalization and blood thinners. Some dogs get well by the medicine but rare cases end up fatal.

Garlic Toxicity Treatment

The most important thing is to be sure that the toxin, in our case garlic, is out of the dog’s body. It can happen in two ways inducing vomiting or by giving your dog activated charcoal. But these two actions should be done only by your vet, not by you. If these two ways don’t work your vet will flush the toxins out.

Probably for speed recovery your dog will ask you to change the dog’s diet. Your dog will need different amounts and types of nutrition.

Almost all dogs that are healthy and get garlic poisoning, recover fast and completely. You shouldn’t worry and just keep giving the medicine and follow the instructions that your vet had given.

Can Dogs Eat Garlic: Fun Facts About Garlic

  1. Crushing garlic cloves induces the release of enzymes that trigger the creation of sulfur compounds that are responsible for the pungent and long-lasting odor of garlic.
  2. Garlic can thin the blood similar to the effect of aspirin.
  3. Drinking lemon juice or eating a few slices of lemon will stop bad garlic breath.
  4. There are more than 450 types of garlic in the world.
  5.  2/3rd of the world’s garlic is produced in China!
  6. Muslims are not allowed to go to mosques right after eating garlic. This law is based on several hadiths.
  7. Nepal’s Deepak Sharma Bajagain holds the world record for eating the most garlic cloves in a single minute. He ate 34 cloves. 

FAQs: Can Dogs Eat Garlic

Can dogs eat garlic bread?

Garlic bread contains garlic but also some large amounts of oil, butter, and herbs. All these in combination can cause serious problems for your dog. It can get an upset stomach and a bloated tummy, and by this meal, for sure the dog will get the intake of so many unnecessary calories.

Can dogs eat garlic supplements?

Consult with your vet as garlic supplements are a serious thing to consider.

Can dogs eat garlic leaves?

Dogs shouldn’t eat this part of garlic.

Can dogs eat garlic stems?

Dogs mustn’t be fed garlic stems.

Can dogs eat garlic powder?

Absolutely, no. Garlic powder and onion powder are the most toxic seasonings for dogs.


If you can skip the garlic in your dog’s food, it will be better. As dogs’ digestive system is different than humans’ and garlic turns out to be toxic.

Garlic toxicity can lead to anemia – a life-threatening disease. Don’t let your dog eat human food that contains garlic or garlic powder.

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Desislava Asenova
Desislava Asenova

Desi is a dog-lover and proud parent to Daisy, her sweet and sassy Chihuahua. She's always been fascinated by the different diets and eating habits of different animals, and she's especially interested in how food affects a dog's overall health and happiness.

When she's not busy writing about dog food, Desi enjoys pampering Daisy with long walks and playtime in the park. She's also an avid home cook and loves coming up with new recipes for her and Daisy to try out together. She's excited to share her passion for dog food and help other pet owners find the best food for their fur babies.

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