Like blackberries or tunas, there's been a lot of debate whether garlic for dogs is poison or medicine. When I was growing up, garlic was considered a tasty additive for finicky dogs. It was also considered to be a great way to repel fleas.
Well science has come a long way and we now know the answer to the question, garlic for dogs: poison or medicine? Or do we?
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Garlic for Dogs - The "Pro" Garlic Camp
The debate over garlic really began with a scientific study done by the Hokkaido University in 2000, which tested four dogs with high levels of garlic for seven days straight. At the end of the study, the test dogs did show signs of toxicity in their blood.
Of course, the pro garlic camp refutes the studies saying per their body weights (around 40 pounds). The dogs were given the equivalent of 20 cloves of garlic each.
"This is enough garlic to make anyone sick!"
So is garlic safe in small amounts?
The answer to this is "yes," but the garlic should be organically grown and fresh from the husk. A good quality supplement may also be given to your pet, but be sure to read the information thoroughly to make sure it contains only healthy ingredients.
The dosage amounts are also variable depending on the size of your dog. Here's a quick guide to feeding your dog fresh garlic:
- 10 to 15 pounds - 0.5 of a clove
- 20 to 40 pounds - 1 clove
- 45 to 70 pounds - 2 cloves
- 75 to 90 pounds - 2.5 cloves
- 100 plus pounds - 3 cloves
Even those these dosages can be given based on your pet's weight, remember the more garlic you give your dog, the greater the chance of stomach upset (gas/diarrhea). If you choose to give garlic to your dog, be sure to start out slowly and rotate the days you feed it to help your dog adjust to this ingredient.
If you are feeding your canine companion a garlic supplement, be sure to follow the dosage directions carefully.
Benefits of Garlic for Dogs
The folks that believe in garlic for dogs tell us of its many beneficial properties. Garlic is high in:
- Amino acids
In addition, garlic does contain many vitamins and minerals including:
- Vitamins A and C
- B-Complex vitamins
Benefits of feeding your dog garlic according to Dogs Naturally
2. May Lower Risk of Cancer. Studies are being done to see if garlic may reduce the development of certain cancers in dogs.
3. Detoxifies the Liver
4. Fights Infections Lowers Blood Cholesterol and Triglyceride Levels
5. Can Prevent Blood Clots
Garlic for Dogs - When to Avoid
Even though garlic may be healthy for some dogs, there are times when you should avoid giving this substance to your canine. These include:
- Pregnant and nursing females
- Akitas and Shiba Inus
- Other Drugs/Supplements
It's never a good idea to give your pregnant female anything off her regular diet. In addition, garlic will change the taste of the breast milk.
Giving garlic to puppies under six months of age can actually make them anemic because they do not produce enough red blood cells. Under a year old, cut the dosage to half.
These breeds are more sensitive to the properties found in garlic which could cause them to become anemic.
If your dog is on any medication or other supplement, be sure to ask your vet before giving garlic as it can interact with other substances.
Check out this YouTube Video for the pro usage of garlic for dogs.
Garlic for Dogs - The "No" Camp
According to PetMD, garlic contains a chemical property called N-propyl disulfide. This compound has the potential to damage the oxygen-carrying hemoglobin found in red blood cells.
The potential danger is these blood cells can rupture (making them useless) and be cleared away from the body at a greater pace. This leads to anemia (hemolysis) and possibly red or brown urine. Once this occurs, the pet may experience organ damage or failure and even death.
What Are the Symptoms of Garlic Toxicity?
If your dog has been poisoned by garlic (or onions) he/she may experience the following symptoms:
- Pale Gums
- Ataxia (lack of coordination)
- Excessive Drooling
- Increase heart or breathing rate
- Red or Brown Urine
Of course, if your canine shows any of these symptoms, get him/her to your veterinarian immediately for treatment.
Check out this YouTube Video on the "no's" to garlic for dogs.
Garlic for Dogs: Poison or Medicine?
As you can see there are two very different camps of opinion when it comes to garlic for dogs. As a pet parent you now have to ask yourself what you feel comfortable doing with your canine companion. If you choose to feed your pooch garlic, be sure to follow the details of doing so properly on NolongerWild.com to avoid toxicity.