How Poisonous is Garlic?

Dear Dr. Barchas, I called my vet because my 20 lb. Boston/Pug ate a piece of garlic from a baked clove, and I knew that...


Dear Dr. Barchas,

I called my vet because my 20 lb. Boston/Pug ate a piece of garlic from a baked clove, and I knew that Garlic wasn’t good for her. He told me something about it causing bleeding somewhere and I guess I didn’t understand him, he said I could induce vomiting but he didn’t think it was needed.

He also said it could cause problems later on in her life, that is if I understood him right, can you please give me your advice on it? Not because I don’t trust my vet, I do, but because I didn’t fully understand what he was telling me. I guess I was just worried enough
that my mind was wandering as he talked! Thanks so much. Linda and Beanie 🙂

Oregon Coast

Garlic is theoretically poisonous to dogs and cats. In practice, it doesn’t appear to be very toxic. This is especially true in dogs.

Onions and garlic contain oxidizing agents that affect the blood. Onions and garlic do not cause bleeding. However, especially in cats, oxidizing toxicity can lead to a type of anemia called Heinz body anemia.

Fortunately, most cats don’t find onion and garlic palatable. And most dogs do not suffer toxicity from garlic unless they eat it frequently.

Linda, I don’t think you have much to worry about. I am not aware of any long term consequences that your dog may suffer from eating a single clove of garlic.

I have one additional comment. Induction of vomiting is potentially risky. It can lead to accidental inhalation of vomit which can cause fatal pneumonia. Pug-nosed breeds such as Boston Terriers and Pugs are at especial risk for this complication. I don’t recommend causing pug-nosed dogs to vomit unless they have eaten something that is extremely toxic. A clove of garlic definitely does not fit the bill.

7 thoughts on “How Poisonous is Garlic?”

  1. My puppy is 4 months old and is 6 kg, he ate a bit of garlic powder(arround the size of a 2 cents euro coin). he vomited like around 10 min after he ate it. will he be ok ? he ate normaly after, pooped and played normaly.

  2. my French Bullgod just ate a full clove of garlic…i don’t even know how this happened but i can smell it on his breath?? he is 7 months old will he be ok?

    1. Hi Amanda —

      Thanks for reaching out! Please contact a vet ASAP with any medical concerns. Hope your doggie is feeling okay!

  3. Hello, my dog ate 1 clove of boiled garlic. Will she be okay as I’ve read about the toxicity of garlic for pets.
    She’s about 35 pounds

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