why can’t dogs have garlic

why can’t dogs have garlic


Why Can’t Dogs Have Garlic?

Understanding Your Dog’s Dietary Needs

As a caregiver for your canine companion, you might often wonder about the foods that are safe for your pet. After all, your dog’s dietary needs differ significantly from your own. Dogs have a set of specific nutritional requirements that are met by their traditional diet of meat and dog-specific foods. Introducing human foods, such as garlic, may not always be beneficial.

The Effects of Garlic on Dogs

Now you’re wondering, why can’t dogs have garlic? The answer lies in a compound found in garlic called thiosulfate. Thiosulfate is harmless to humans but toxic to dogs. It can cause a condition called hemolytic anemia, where your dog’s red blood cells are destroyed. This can lead to many health complications, even death.

Consider the following effects of garlic on dogs:

  1. Gastrointestinal upset: Garlic can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs.
  2. Anemia: As mentioned earlier, garlic can lead to hemolytic anemia in dogs.
  3. Damage to red blood cells: Garlic causes oxidative damage to a dog’s red blood cells, leading to their destruction.

The Misconception About Garlic’s Health Benefits

Some dog owners believe that garlic has health benefits for dogs, just like it does for humans. While garlic does have antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties, these benefits are overshadowed by the potential harm it can cause to dogs.

Garlic’s supposed benefits vs. the risks it poses to dogs:

Benefits Risks
Antibacterial properties Gastrointestinal upset
Antiviral properties Anemia
Antifungal properties Damage to red blood cells

Spotting Garlic Toxicity in Dogs

As a caregiver, it’s crucial to be aware of the signs of garlic toxicity in your dog. These may include:

  • Lethargy
  • Pale gums
  • Rapid breathing
  • Weakness
  • Vomiting

If you suspect your dog has ingested garlic, seek veterinary help immediately.


Q: Can a small amount of garlic hurt my dog?
– A: Even small amounts can be harmful. It’s best to avoid garlic altogether.

Q: Are there any dog breeds that can tolerate garlic?
– A: No, garlic is toxic to all breeds of dogs.

Q: What should I do if my dog accidentally eats garlic?
– A: Seek veterinary help immediately.

Q: Are there any safe alternatives to garlic for dogs?
– A: Yes, there are many dog-friendly foods that can boost your pet’s health. Consult with your vet for suggestions.

Remember, as a caregiver, it’s your responsibility to ensure the safety and wellbeing of your canine companion. Avoiding potentially harmful foods like garlic is one way to do that.