Can Dogs Eat Garlic? Risks and Alternatives

Discover the potential dangers of feeding garlic to dogs and explore safe alternatives in this informative article.


3/23/20242 min read

shallow focus photography of white shih tzu puppy running on the grass
shallow focus photography of white shih tzu puppy running on the grass

Can dogs eat garlic? It's a common question among pet owners, and one that deserves careful consideration. While garlic may seem harmless to us, it can pose serious health risks to our canine companions. In this article, we'll explore the potential dangers of feeding garlic to dogs, the signs of garlic toxicity, and what to do if your furry friend ingests this pungent plant growing in your garden or stored in your kitchen.

So, Can Dogs Eat Garlic?

While garlic may add flavor to our meals, it's best to keep it away from our four-legged friends. Garlic contains compounds (thiosulfate) that can be toxic to dogs, particularly in large quantities or with prolonged exposure. Even small amounts of garlic can cause gastrointestinal upset. Large amounts of garlic (bulbs and bulbs and bulbs!) can lead to red blood cell damage, and in severe cases, lead to organ failure.

What Happens When Dogs Eat Garlic

When dogs consume garlic, it can lead to a condition called garlic toxicity, also known as allium toxicity. This can result in symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, weakness, pale gums, elevated heart rate, and difficulty breathing. In severe cases, garlic toxicity can be life-threatening and require immediate veterinary attention.

Signs of Garlic Toxicity in Dogs

Signs of garlic toxicity in dogs may vary depending on the amount ingested and the dog's size and health status. A tiny spec of minced garlic that falls off your chopping board isn't likely to be huge cause for concern. However, eating a whole clove or two could be a problem. Common symptoms include gastrointestinal upset (vomiting and diarrhea), weakness, lethargy, pale gums, increased heart rate, and difficulty breathing. If you suspect your dog has ingested garlic, seek veterinary care immediately.

What to Do If Your Dog Eats Garlic

If your dog consumes a good dose of garlic, it's essential to act quickly to minimize the risk of toxicity. Contact your veterinarian or an emergency animal hospital immediately for guidance. They may recommend inducing vomiting, administering activated charcoal to absorb toxins, and providing supportive care to manage their symptoms.

Dog-Friendly Food Alternatives

Fortunately, there are plenty of safe and nutritious alternatives to garlic that you can offer your dog! Opt for dog-friendly herbs such as parsley, basil, and oregano to add flavor to their meals without the risk of toxicity. Additionally, consider incorporating fruits and vegetables like apples, carrots, and green beans as healthy treats or meal toppers. For a tasty pre-made treat, these Chicken Jerky Curls are a great choice!


Can dogs eat garlic powder?

No, garlic powder is just as harmful to dogs as fresh garlic, containing the same toxic compounds that can lead to garlic toxicity.

Can dogs eat garlic bread?

No, garlic bread is off-limits for dogs due to its high garlic content, which can cause garlic toxicity. Not that you'd want to share any of your delicious garlic bread anyway!

Can dogs eat garlic salt?

No, garlic salt should be avoided as it contains concentrated amounts of garlic, which can be toxic to dogs.

Can dogs eat garlic butter?

No, garlic butter is not safe for dogs as it contains garlic, which can lead to garlic toxicity.

How much garlic can dogs eat?

Even small amounts of garlic can be toxic to dogs. It's best to avoid feeding garlic to your dog altogether.