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Can Dogs Eat Garlic Bread? Vet Approved Facts, Safety Guide & FAQ

Written by: Ashley Bates

Last Updated on April 12, 2024 by Dogster Team

Can Dogs Eat Garlic Bread

Can Dogs Eat Garlic Bread? Vet Approved Facts, Safety Guide & FAQ


Dr. Lauren Demos  Photo


Dr. Lauren Demos

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Maybe you had some yummy garlic bread for supper and your dog stole a bite, or you’re just wondering if you can feed them some. Can dogs eat garlic bread? The short and simple answer is no. Garlic bread is not safe for dogs to consume due to the presence of garlic, which can be toxic to dogs in large amounts. If your dog just stole a bite, they’re probably going to be okay, but they shouldn’t be fed garlic bread regularly. Let’s explore further to understand the reasons behind this.


Why Garlic Is Harmful for Dogs

Garlic, though a flavorful addition to our meals, is unfortunately toxic to our canine companions. This toxicity stems from the substance it contains known as thiosulfate. Thiosulfate is a compound that’s harmless to humans but toxic to dogs. It’s found in all members of the Allium family, which includes garlic, onions, leeks, and chives.

When a dog ingests garlic, the thiosulfate it contains gets absorbed into the bloodstream. Dogs’ bodies don’t have the necessary enzymes to digest thiosulfate. As a result, this compound can cause oxidative damage to red blood cells. The body then removes these damaged red blood cells faster than they can be produced, leading to a lack of sufficient healthy red blood cells.

garlic on a wooden background
Image By: MaisonBoutarin, Pixabay

Signs of Garlic Toxicity

The signs of garlic toxicity in dogs may not appear immediately after ingestion. It can take a few days to a week for signs to start showing.

These can include:
  • Lethargy or weakness
  • Breathlessness or increased respiratory rate
  • Pale or yellowish gums
  • Decreased appetite or complete loss of appetite
  • Vomiting and diarrhea

In severe cases, dogs may collapse or show signs of multiple organ dysfunction.

vet examining a sick German Shepherd dog
Image By: Roger costa morera, Shutterstock

Treatment for Garlic Toxicity

If you suspect your dog has consumed garlic, it’s crucial to contact a veterinarian immediately. Depending on how much your dog ate, they may tell you just to monitor them, or they might want to induce vomiting if the ingestion was recent or administer activated charcoal to reduce further absorption of the toxins. Depending on the severity, your dog may require hospitalization for supportive care and monitoring. This could include fluid therapy, oxygen therapy, blood transfusions, and medications to control symptoms.

Prevention is always better than cure. It’s best to keep garlic and other foods containing thiosulfate out of your dog’s reach and avoid feeding them leftovers or scraps from the table that might contain these ingredients.


Top 4 Risks of Feeding Bread to Dogs

While bread may seem like a harmless treat for your dog, regardless of whether or not it contains garlic, it’s important to understand that it’s not the healthiest choice and can pose several risks.

1. High-Calorie Content and Low Nutritional Value

One of the major concerns with feeding bread to dogs is its high calorie content. While calories are essential for energy, excessive amounts can lead to weight gain and obesity. This is particularly concerning given the rising rates of obesity in pets.

Bread is primarily made up of carbohydrates, and while dogs do need some carbs in their diet, they should come from high-quality, complex sources that provide other nutritional benefits. Unfortunately, bread, especially white bread, is a simple carbohydrate and offers little nutritional value. It lacks the essential proteins, vitamins, and minerals that dogs need for a balanced diet.

Regularly feeding your dog bread could lead to nutrient deficiencies if it starts to replace more nutritionally dense foods. Over time, this could negatively impact your dog’s overall health, leading to problems such as poor coat condition, weakened immune system, and decreased energy levels.

2. Risk of Obesity

Obesity is a serious health issue for dogs, just as it is for humans. Overweight dogs are at a higher risk of developing numerous health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis. Therefore, feeding high-calorie foods like bread on a regular basis can potentially contribute to weight gain and related health issues.

fat chihuahua dog
Image Credit: taro911 Photographer, Shutterstock

3. Potential for Choking

Another risk associated with feeding bread to dogs is the potential for choking. This is especially true for small dogs or dogs that tend to eat quickly without properly chewing their food. Bread can easily ball up and become lodged in a dog’s throat. Even if it doesn’t cause choking, swallowing bread whole can lead to digestive issues.

Additionally, certain types of bread can be particularly dangerous. For instance, doughy or undercooked bread can expand in a dog’s stomach, causing discomfort or more serious health issues.

4. Bread and Allergies

Some dogs might also be allergic to wheat or other ingredients found in certain types of bread. Feeding bread to a dog with a wheat allergy or intolerance can lead to itching, skin irritations, ear infections, and gastrointestinal upset.


Top 5 Safe Alternatives to Garlic Bread for Dogs

1. Dog-Friendly Treats

There are many dog-friendly treats available on the market that are both safe and nutritious for dogs. These are designed specifically for dogs and are a much safer option than human food.

woman feeding her dog a treat seated in stone stairs
Image Credit: Lucia Romero, Shutterstock

2. Homemade Dog Treats

Homemade dog treats made from dog-safe ingredients like peanut butter, pumpkin, or sweet potatoes can be a healthy alternative to garlic bread.

3. Dog-Friendly Vegetables

Vegetables like carrots, cucumbers, and sweet potatoes are safe for dogs to eat and make great treats. They provide nutritional benefits and can help clean your dog’s teeth.

4. Whole Grains

Whole grains such as brown rice or oatmeal can be a healthy alternative to garlic bread. They provide fiber and other nutrients but should be given in moderation.

Homemade brown rice dog food on a feeding bowl
Image Credit: AUKARAWATCYBER, Shutterstock

5. Lean Meats

Lean meats like chicken or turkey can be a good source of protein for dogs. Always cook the meat thoroughly and remove any bones before feeding it to your dog.



FAQ About Dogs and Garlic Bread

Is garlic always toxic to dogs?

Yes, garlic is always toxic to dogs, but the level of toxicity can depend on the dog’s size, the amount consumed, and the type of garlic.

Can a small amount of garlic harm my dog?

Even small amounts of garlic can be harmful to dogs, particularly if they’re consumed regularly over time.

Can dogs eat any type of bread?

Dogs can eat plain, unsalted, and unseasoned bread in moderation, but it should not form a significant part of their diet.

sliced white bread
Image Credit: Gamzova Olga, Shutterstock

What should I do if my dog eats garlic bread?

If your dog eats garlic bread, you should contact a vet for advice, even if they don’t show immediate signs of distress.

Are there any breeds of dogs that are more susceptible to garlic toxicity?

All breeds of dogs can be affected by garlic toxicity. However, smaller dogs and those with pre-existing health conditions may be more susceptible.

divider-dog paw


While it might be tempting to share your garlic bread with your furry friend, it’s best to resist. Garlic is toxic to dogs and can cause serious health problems. Instead, opt for dog-friendly treats or make your own at home with safe, healthy ingredients. Remember, what’s good for you isn’t always good for your dog.

Featured Image Credit: H.Phavee, Shutterstock

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