Garlic for dogs

Is garlic toxic for your dog? or is healthy? Contradictory information exists on whether garlic is good or bad for dogs

Some dog enthusiasts swear by garlic as a health supplement and flea repellent for dogs while others claim its toxins can cause anemia, bleeding, and even death in dogs

In this page, you will find well-researched information on garlic for dogs which I hope will help clear up some of the confusion you may have about garlic.

Garlic (Allium sativum) has been used for thousands of years for medicinal purposes. Sanskrit records show its medicinal use about 5,000 years ago, and it has been used for at least 3,000 years in Chinese medicine. The Egyptians, Babylonians, Greeks, and Romans were known to have harnessed the healing properties of garlic as well. According to the Whole Dog Journal, small amounts of garlic not only act as a natural flea repellant, but garlic can be used for its wonderful antifungal and antibacterial properties. It also promotes the production of white blood cells thereby acting as an immune booster for dogs with low or compromised immunity and may benefit dogs with diabetes by helping reduce blood-sugar levels.

What makes garlic so great for dog health problems? Allicin appears to be the active component in the root bulb (cloves) of the garlic plant which trigger its healing properties. Allicin is formed when alliin, a sulfur-containing amino acid, comes into contact with the enzyme alliinase when raw garlic is chopped, crushed, or chewed. Heating garlic will lessen the medicinal capabilities, but naturally dehydrating it won’t. That is to say the garlic used in a nutritional supplement, or garlic found in one of our pet food mixes is simply raw garlic that has been crushed and dehydrated.

However, garlic should NOT be fed to pets with a pre-existing anemic condition or to those scheduled for surgery. Also, young puppies before six to eight weeks of age should NOT be given garlic because they do not begin reproducing new blood cells until after 6-8 weeks.

Dr. Pitcairn (author of The Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats) recommends the following amount of fresh garlic for dogs, according to their size:
  • 10 to 15 pounds - half a clove
  • 20 to 40 pounds - 1 clove
  • 45 to 70 pounds - 2 cloves
  • 75 to 90 pounds - 2 and a half cloves
  • 100 pounds and over - 3 cloves

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