Can Dogs Eat Garlic?

Nov 3, 2023 | Dogs & Puppies | 3 comments

Garlic – a tiny yet potent bulb with an intense aroma that has graced kitchens and culinary creations for centuries. But what about our furry friends? Can dogs indulge in this flavorful ingredient without causing any harm?

As it turns out, the answer is not as simple as black and white. While garlic has its merits, its relationship with our canine companions is slightly more complicated.

The Allure of Garlic

Ah, garlic – the star of many a dish, celebrated for its distinctive taste and aroma. This herbaceous marvel adds depth and complexity to countless recipes in human cuisine.

Garlic contains nutrients like vitamins B6 and C, manganese, and selenium. It’s even been lauded for its potential health benefits, from boosting the immune system to promoting heart health.

The Canine Conundrum

Now, let’s talk about our four-legged companions. Dogs often nose around our dinner tables with keen senses and curious nature, begging for a taste of whatever delectable morsels we enjoy. But when it comes to garlic, things take a slightly different turn.

Garlic belongs to the Allium family, which also includes onions and shallots. Allium family members contain compounds that can be toxic to dogs, particularly in large quantities.

The chief offender is thiosulfate, which can wreak havoc on a dog’s red blood cells and potentially lead to hemolytic anemia. If left untreated, this condition can result in symptoms like lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, and even more severe consequences.

The Dose Makes Garlic Poison to Dog

Here’s where the situation gets a bit nuanced. While garlic contains thiosulfate, the concentration is much lower than onions, widely recognized as a clear no-no for dogs.

The key factor here is the dose. Just like with many substances, the harm lies in the quantity ingested. A small amount of garlic in a dog’s diet may not necessarily pose an immediate threat. Some holistic veterinarians argue that garlic can offer certain health benefits for dogs when used judiciously.

cats and garlic

Alternatives to Garlic: Healthful and Safe

Fortunately, plenty of safe and dog-friendly alternatives can add flavor and nutrients to your pup’s diet without the potential risks of garlic.

Consider incorporating herbs like parsley, basil, or oregano into your dog’s meals for a burst of taste. Not only do these herbs add a delightful aroma, but they also bring a host of potential health benefits to the table.

To boost your dog’s immune system, look no further than plain, unseasoned cooked meats like chicken or lean beef. These protein sources provide essential nutrients without adding herbs or spices.


Whether dogs can eat garlic is complex in the realm of canine cuisine. While garlic offers potential benefits and has been used by some dog owners, the associated risks should be noticed.

Every dog is different, and their dietary needs vary. While garlic can add flavor to your dog’s dish, it’s wise to explore safer alternatives that can provide both taste and nourishment without uncertainty.


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Can I use garlic to prevent fleas and ticks on my dog?

Yes, some believe garlic’s scent acts as a natural repellent. However, its effectiveness varies, and using dedicated flea and tick prevention methods recommended by your vet is safer.

Are there dog breeds that are more sensitive to garlic?

Yes, some dog breeds, like Japanese Akitas and Shiba Inus, have been reported to be more susceptible to the toxic effects of garlic due to genetic differences in their red blood cells’ structure.

Can I feed my dog garlic for its potential immune-boosting properties?

While garlic has antioxidants, relying solely on it for immune support may not be the best choice. Consult your vet for safer and more effective ways to enhance your dog’s immune system.

What other herbs besides garlic are safe for dogs?

Herbs like turmeric, ginger, and rosemary have potential health benefits for dogs and are considered safe in moderation. Always consult your veterinarian before introducing new herbs to your dog’s diet.

Can I use garlic supplements specifically made for dogs?

While some supplements have controlled amounts of garlic, they may not be necessary if your dog’s diet is balanced. Consult your vet before adding supplements to ensure they are appropriate for your dog’s needs.

Can I cook dog-friendly recipes with a hint of garlic for flavor?

In moderation, a small amount of garlic in homemade dog treats might be safe for some dogs. However, it’s essential to prioritize safety and consult your vet to determine the best approach for your pup.

Is it safer to avoid garlic altogether for dogs?

Considering the potential risks, many veterinarians recommend avoiding garlic altogether. Opt for alternative safe ingredients and discuss dietary choices with your vet to ensure your dog’s health and well-being.



  1. Hriday

    Hey, just checked out your article about dogs and garlic. 😱 Can’t believe some people feed it to their pups! I once gave my rescue dog, Buddy, a tiny piece of garlic bread by accident, and I panicked. He seems fine now, but it scared me. Thanks for spreading the word!

  2. Lexi Ruffington

    This makes me rethink what I share with my dog during meal prep. I usually give her some of my food, but I never considered the potential risks of garlic.

  3. Grace

    Shocked to find out garlic isn’t safe for dogs. I’ve been adding it to my pup’s meals occasionally.

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