What's the deal with Garlic?

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Crash- Dynamite

Live up to your- Name!
Barked: Thu Jun 9, '11 6:16pm PST 
I have done a bit of research but you guys are usually the best source of information....

Some sources say Garlic is Toxic, same as onions. But others say it's fine. Plus I see a lot of Store bought dog treats with Garlic in the ingredients.

So, what is your opinion on Garlic in a dog's food or treats?

I'm- Tiggerriffffic!!- !!!
Barked: Thu Jun 9, '11 6:23pm PST 
it depends on the amount and the size of the dog. garlic can be used to treat certain conditions. I would ask the vet first. i used to give my missy garlic to help with yeast infections in her ears. she lived to be over 16 and i gave her two pills a day for years.
i wouldn't just feed it to them raw though. a lot of foods can be toxic, however most would take high amounts to do anything. better safe than sorry. always ask a vet, just call and they will tell you.

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
Barked: Thu Jun 9, '11 6:26pm PST 
All the plants related to onions have the same chemical that can cause anemia in dogs. Garlic has less of it than onions do. It builds up in the system. Different dogs tolerate differing amounts of it.

There is a study linked from this page.

I have no problem using a bit occasionally but not on a regular basis.


I am the Sock- Bandit!!!
Barked: Fri Jun 10, '11 6:23am PST 
Garlic is fine for dogs in moderation. As you've already noticed, it's in many high quality all natural dog treats and foods. Dogs love the flavor of garlic.

I'd compare your dog's body weight to a dosage chart to be safe, though.
Audrey- Hepbull

I am not dumb, I- am ignoring you.
Barked: Fri Jun 10, '11 7:36am PST 
Garlic is very safe to give to dogs. It is a cousin to onions, and the concentration of thiosulphates in garlic is not comparable to the amount in onions. It does not have enough to cause Heinz Body Hemolytic Anemia, unless your dog eats HUGE quantities at once. You don't have to worry about cumulative effects because red blood cells are constantly being produced by the dog's body: It produces sufficent amounts to replace any the thiosulphate may have destroyed.

Garlic for dogs info

Vaccine free- -Disease free- goes pawinpaw
Barked: Fri Jun 10, '11 8:40am PST 
Every organization that has reviewed garlic says it's nontoxic. (not that I ever blindly trust the government orgs but in this case it does disprove the random websites saying garlic kills) For example the AAFCO which classifies all foods and products that dogs eat has garlic as nontoxic and safe. I give my dogs a clove each every day this is going on the 4th month. They do get regular bloodwork (for a bunch of reasons why not because i feed garlic) and RBC's are perfect. Garlic has so many other benefits, like cancer fighting immunity boosters, that all I see are benefits from freshly crushed garlic when it's given in the right amounts for dogs by weight. I know I'm repeating myself but if you hadn't read me say this before, the LD 50 (means the level of toxicity that will be for half of the dogs) is NOT reached at all in chronic or acute use if following Dr. Pitcairn's garlic dosages.

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
Barked: Fri Jun 10, '11 8:51am PST 

To determine whether dogs given garlic extract developed hemolytic anemia and to establish the hematologic characteristics induced experimentally by intragastric administration of garlic extract.

8 healthy adult mixed-breed dogs.

4 dogs were given 1.25 ml of garlic extract/kg of body weight (5 g of whole garlic/kg) intragastrically once a day for 7 days. The remaining 4 control dogs received water instead of garlic extract. Complete blood counts were performed, and methemoglobin and erythrocyte-reduced glutathione concentrations, percentage of erythrocytes with Heinz bodies, and percentage of eccentrocytes were determined before and for 30 days after administration of the first dose of garlic extract. Ultrastructural analysis of eccentrocytes was performed.

Compared with initial values, erythrocyte count, Hct, and hemoglobin concentration decreased to a minimum value on days 9 to 11 in dogs given garlic extract. Heinz body formation, an increase in erythrocyte-reduced glutathione concentration, and eccentrocytes were also detected in these dogs. However, no dog developed hemolytic anemia.

The constituents of garlic have the potential to oxidize erythrocyte membranes and hemoglobin, inducing hemolysis associated with the appearance of eccentrocytes in dogs. Thus, foods containing garlic should not be fed to dogs. Eccentrocytosis appears to be a major diagnostic feature of garlic-induced hemolysis in dogs."
From http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11108195

I just weighed a large fresh garlic clove, 7 grams. If Max ate 12 of those cloves he would show signs in blood tests in a couple weeks it looks like. If he was using one of the other chemicals that also affects the blood cells he would probably be in trouble.

From the website posted by Aubrey,
"There is no doubt that onion, due to its concentration of thiosulphate, will cause Heinz factor anemia. In addition, as stated by Wendy Wallner, DVM, “Onions are only one of the substances which can cause Heinz body anemia. Other substances such as Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and benzocaine-containing topical preparations can also cause Heinz body anemia in the dog.” The latter probably accounts for many cases as it is prevalent in creams often recommended for allergy-suffering pets due to its ability to numb the itch. It is absorbed through the skin and builds up in the blood stream. This other substance is likely to have been involved in cases where garlic was suspect."

From http://www.healthy.net/scr/Article.aspx?Id=2521

"Garlic is a favorite herb used by many pet owners to control fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and other insects. While many of my clients swear by the ability of garlic to control fleas, and while I have no problem recommending its use, controlled studies have shown garlic to be ineffective as an insecticide. Garlic also has show antimicrobial and anti-cancer properties. Garlic can cause anemia in dogs and cats due to the presence of S-methyl cysteine sulfoxide and N-propyldisulfhide. Therefore, it should not be used in pets with anemia. As a general guideline, 1 clove of garlic per 10 pounds of body weight for dogs (and 1/2 clove per cat) can usually be fed safely each day. If you use garlic regularly (as a general food supplement,) it would be wise to have your pet's blood checked every few months to make sure anemia is not occurring. "

I am not going to give Max garlic supplements. What other substances in combination with garlic, Acetaminophen and benzocaine will also damage his blood?

Vaccine free- -Disease free- goes pawinpaw
Barked: Fri Jun 10, '11 8:59am PST 
Maxwell that study is about giving dogs almost a whole garlic bulb a day. How much did those dogs weigh also? And I keep reading over but I must be missing, how did benzocaine and acetaminophen come in this discussion, is that what Maxwell gets already?(I do see it in quoted but what does it have to do with garlic?)

Edited by author Fri Jun 10, '11 9:01am PST

Audrey- Hepbull

I am not dumb, I- am ignoring you.
Barked: Fri Jun 10, '11 9:14am PST 
garlic extract is not the same thing as whole fresh garlic.

Fresh garlic has more in it than just the chemiclas, part of that weight is the flesh of the bulb.

Garlic extract is a concentrated, condensed version of the chemical components in garlic. You can not compare equal weights of the 2 and get an accurate equal amount of thiosulphate.

ALL those studies you linked to said that it takes MASSIVE doses of garlic to produce the anemia. They also said that garlic concentrate is not the same as fresh garlic. This is from your link:

"Re: should garlic be fed to dogs?

Any opinions on this?

Yes. I believe you can conclude from this "study" that it is not safe to inject huge amounts of garlic extract directly into your dog's stomach.

They used a garlic extract in this study. Would feeding raw garlic to dogs make a difference?

Yes, as would using normal amounts instead of megadoses. The recommended amount of fresh garlic to give to dogs is 1/2 to 1 small clove per 20 lbs of body weight. A clove of garlic weighs around 3-4 mg. Contrast this dosage, which would range from about 1.5 to 3 mg per 20 lbs, to the dosage used in this study (5 grams/kg, which is over 45 grams per 20 lbs, more than 15 times the recommended dosage)."

Garlic, when given at a normal rate, is perfectly safe for dogs.

Edited by author Fri Jun 10, '11 9:24am PST

Audrey- Hepbull

I am not dumb, I- am ignoring you.
Barked: Fri Jun 10, '11 9:33am PST 
Adam, the article I posted said that thiosulphate is not the only substance that can cause anemia in dogs. Acetaminophen and benzocane also can.

The amounts of garlic they gave the dogs in the study were MASSIVE DAILY quanitites of garlic extract, given for 7 straight days. The absolute low red blood count was 9-11 days after the first given dose.

NONE of the dogs developed anemia. The blood counts started going up within 2-4 days of stopping the massive doses.
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