Garlic (Allium sativum) has been utilized for centuries as a culinary herb and a medicinal remedy for various health conditions in both humans and animals. In this research-based article, we delve into the health benefits of garlic for dogs, its therapeutic properties, recommended dosages, and safety considerations. We will also address the misconception surrounding garlic's toxicity and provide evidence-based references to support our findings.
The Nutritional Composition of Garlic.
Garlic belongs to the Allium family, alongside onions, chives, leeks, and shallots, and it is renowned for its numerous nutritional compounds. Rich in inulin, amino acids, sulfur, zinc, potassium, and phosphorus, garlic also contains essential vitamins such as A, C, calcium, magnesium, manganese, selenium, germanium, and B-complex vitamins. However, it is the presence of bioactive ingredients like Allicin and Ajoene that contributes to garlic's medicinal reputation.
How Garlic Benefits Dogs:
Garlic's pungent properties impart a warming effect on the body, promoting improved circulation and benefiting the lungs, large intestine, spleen, and stomach. Furthermore, garlic aids in detoxifying the body by supporting beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract while eliminating harmful bacteria. It is particularly beneficial during fall, winter, and early spring to detoxify and balance the digestive system. Additionally, garlic enhances liver function, assisting in the breakdown of waste products and promoting nutrient assimilation.
The Therapeutic Value of Garlic for Dogs.
Numerous studies suggest that garlic offers a wide range of Wealth benefits for dogs. It has shown potential to prevent blood clot formation, lower cholesterol levels, widen blood vessels, inhibit tumor development, and stimulate the lymphatic system to facilitate waste removal. Raw garlic and garlic extracts are recognized for their antimicrobial, antiseptic, and antibiotic properties, with garlic often used as an anthelmintic (deworming agent) for pets.
Misconceptions about Garlic Toxicity.
Over the years, garlic's reputation has been tainted by confusion with its close relative, onions, which contain higher concentrations of thiosulphate and can cause Heinz body hemolytic anemia in dogs. Studies have shown that proper dosages of fresh garlic do not pose significant risks to dogs, and garlic's potential health benefits outweigh any potential harm.
Onion is part of the allicin family of garlic, and it's reputation for triggering Heinz body hemolytic anemia (because of its higher concentration of thiosulphate) garlic was paired together and said to be toxic. Garlic does not contain the same thiosulphate concentration as onions. In fact, in garlic it is barely traceable and readily excreted. “In the testing of onions and garlic on (the dog’s) blood cell oxidation, onions have about 15 times the ability of garlic to damage red blood cells,” states nutritionist Dr. Dave Summers.
Recommended Dosages and Precautions.
When incorporating garlic into a dog's diet, it is crucial to use fresh garlic and adhere to appropriate dosage guidelines.
* Garlic at 15 to 30 grams per kilogram of body weight has been demonstrated to have adverse effects on dogs in studies.*
Who would actually feed such amounts to a human not to mention a dog?
Pregnant dogs can consume garlic safely, but small quantities are advised to start with smaller doses as it can affect the taste of thet milk.
Contrary to misconceptions, research evidence suggests that garlic is safe and beneficial for dogs when given in proper doses. A 2000 study at Hokkaido University, which used excessively high doses of garlic extract, raised concerns about garlic's safety. However, a subsequent study in 2004 reversed these findings and highlighted the benefits of allicin in promoting immune functions and preventing cardiovascular diseases. Further research in 2018 explored the long-term oral administration of aged garlic extract and observed no adverse effects in dogs.
Garlic, when used appropriately, delivers many health benefits to dogs, including immune support, detoxification, and possible protection against various diseases. Fresh garlic in proper doses are generally safe and do not pose significant risks of thiosulphate-related toxicity. As with any dietary supplement, it is crucial to follow recommended dosages and consult with a animal health professional before introducing garlic or any new ingredient into a dog's diet. By understanding garlic's therapeutic properties and using it responsibly, pet owners can harness its potential benefits for their canine companions.
1. Summers D. “Understanding
Garlic”. IndigoPetz.com or
October 10, 2013.
2. Lee KW, Yamato O, Tajima M,
Kuraoka M, Omae S, Maede Y. “Hematologic changes associated with the appearance of eccentrocytes after intragastric administration of garlic extract to dogs”. Am J Vet Res. 2000 Nov:61 (11): 1446-50.
3. Chang HS, Yamato O, Sakai Y,
Yamasaki M, Maede Y. “Acceleration of superoxide generation in polymorphonuclear leukocytes and inhibition of platelet aggregation by alk(en)yl thiosulfates derived from onion and garlic in dogs and humans”. Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Graduate School of Veterinary Medicine, Hokkaido University, 060-0818 Sapporo, Japan, 2004.
4. Riviere Jim E, Boothe Dawn M,
Czarnecki-Maulden Gail L, Dzanis David A, Harris Patricia A, Hendriks Wouter H, Kirk Claudia A, Warren Lori K, Lewis Austin J, Arieti Ruth S. “Safety of Dietary Supplements for Horses, Dogs, and Cats”. Committee on Examining the
Safety of Dietary Supplements for Horses, Dogs, and Cats, The National Academy of Sciences, 2008.
Lee KW, Yamato O, Tajima M, Kuraoka M, Omae S, Maede Y. Hematologic changes associated with the appearance of eccentrocytes after intragastric administration of garlic extract to dogs. Am J Vet Res. 2000 Nov;61(11):1446-50.
Yamato O, Tsuneyoshi T, Ushijima M, Jikihara H, Yabuki A. Safety and efficacy of aged garlic extract in dogs: upregulation of the nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) signaling pathway and Nrf2-regulated phase II antioxidant enzymes. BMC Vet Res. 2018 Nov
A general guide only for safe dosage of natural garlic.
• 4.5 to 6.5 kgs – ½ clove
• 9 to 18 kgs – 1 clove
• 20 to 31 kgs – 2 cloves
• 34 to 40kgs – 2½ cloves
• 45 kgs + – 3 cloves.
Garlic can also be used as a Flea and tick repellent for your dog. The truth of the matter is that fleas prefer weakened animals – the very young, the very old, the sick, and the unhealthy. A flea issue on a healthy, immunologically robust dog is an infrequent occurrence. Most Volhard Dog Nutrition feeding pet owners go their whole life without seeing a single one.
Garlic may help you fight fleas and ticks if you feed it to your dogs during flea and tick season. It takes a couple of weeks for garlic to build up in your dog’s natural coat oil, so start feeding it before the bug season starts. Garlic is often used to repel ticks in pets, as research suggests it has anti-tick qualities in humans. The sulfur in the raw garlic eliminates those pesky insects by excreting through the dog’s skin. It takes a couple of weeks before working, so it’s recommended to start feeding small doses of garlic before the tick season starts.