Dog Care 101 Tip #208: The Truth About Garlic
There are many debates among dog owners—how to train, what to feed, health and medical care—but one controversy hangs around one particular herb. Garlic. Is it safe for your dog? Why are some dog owners adamantly against it while others tout the power of garlic? BestBullySticks will lay down the facts!
Garlic is an herb, grown in cloves and is a part of the Allium family. This family also includes onions and shallots, which are well known to be highly toxic to dogs. This is why concerned doggy moms and dads are wary of using garlic. Garlic has also been used as a natural remedy for years in both dogs and humans and appears as an ingredient in many dog foods. So what’s the deal? Use Garlic or No?
Garlic contains compounds called propyldisulfide and thiosulphate, which taken in large doses can cause red blood cells to burst, which is called hemolytic anemia. Signs of too much garlic ingested include shortness of breath, lethargy, elevated heart rate, diarrhea, vomiting and other gastrointestinal problems. Yes, garlic can be toxic, but is it always?
Garlic has been used for its medicinal qualities for thousands of years. It has antifungal and antibacterial qualities as well as boosts the immune system and cardiovascular health. This is why many food manufacturers and treat makers use garlic in their formulas for your dog.
A highly popular reason to give dogs garlic is for pest control, including fleas, ticks and mosquitoes. There are two reasons this is thought to work. One is that garlic changes pH levels in your dog’s blood making it undesirable to any unwanted pest. It’s also suspected that when garlic metabolizes, it moves through a dog’s skin, which also might deter an insect. There is no conclusive evidence that this does work, but many dog owners swear by this method.
The truth is: it all depends on your dog.
Garlic is only truly toxic to your dog in large quantities comparative to your dog’s size. The toxic qualities of garlic may appear after prolonged feeding or supplementing as well, even if given in small doses. However, many dogs receive frequent garlic treatments and never show any symptoms of garlic toxicity. Supplementing and feeding your dog garlic may have more to do with individual sensitivity to the herb. However, we suggest talking to your vet if you have any questions about feeding your dog garlic. At BestBullySticks we frequently post dog treat recipes with garlic as an ingredient. However, garlic as an ingredient is easily taken out if you don’t feel comfortable feeding your dog any form of garlic.
We know it’s not much of a definite answer, but we hope that you consider both sides of the garlic debate when you think about supplementing garlic into your dog’s diet. And as always, talk to your vet first!
Do you feed your dog garlic? Tell us your thoughts on this controversial herb.
For an everyday great all natural dog treat, give your dog a safe and healthy bully stick!