Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Is it safe to give garlic to dogs?

Medical science says garlic is poisonous to dogs, but are they referring to the same garlic remedy that’s been used in treating dogs by holistic vets for decades? In ancient India's Sanskrit records its medicinal use dates back to about 5,000 years ago, and it has been used for at least 3,000 years in Chinese medicine. The Egyptians, Romans, Greeks, and Babylonians, were known to have harnessed the healing properties of garlic as well.

How can an herb with so much medicinal history suddenly develop such a bad reputation?

Despite its healing qualities, Garlic contains a compound named thiosulphate. In extremely high levels thiosulphate can be a dangerous toxin that can cause hemolytic anemia in dogs. In the research studies the animals were given large concentrations of the isolated substance to produce the effect. This is not a reference to normal ingestion or moderate dosing.

In yet another scientific study the effects of garlic products, including dehydrated raw garlic powder, dehydrated boiled garlic powder and aged garlic extract, on the gastric mucosa of dogs were determined using three commonly sold preparations, raw capsule garlic powder caused severe mucosal damage, including erosion. Boiled garlic powder also caused inflammation and reddening of the mucosa, whereas aged garlic powder did not cause any undesirable effects. Among the garlic preparations, Aged Garlic Extract could be the most suitable form, particularly for long-term use. Aging in particular may be the most effective method to eliminate the toxic effects of raw garlic. The safety of enteric-coated garlic products was also studied. Direct administration of pulverized enteric-coated products on the gastric mucosa caused reddening of the mucosa in test animals (dogs). When an enteric-coated tablet was administered orally, it caused loss of epithelial cells at the top of crypts in the ileum in the intestinal tract. Enteric-coated garlic products by pass the stomach and deliver garlic directly into the intestine, which is not a traditional route for garlic intake in any species!

When used in moderation, garlic can be a healthy supplement. Garlic can be used to stimulate and support immune function, trigger gastric juices for better digestion, encourage the growth of friendly bacteria, and prevent infections. Garlic reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer as well as improves blood sugar regulation and promotes detoxification.

Historic use of garlic as a condiment and herb has always been via oral ingestion and not via direct delivery into the stomach or intestines, in the form of a concentrated, standardized surprise! The safety of such delivery systems for garlic is unknown not to mention totally unnatural!

For centuries, garlic has been a primary remedy relied upon in a majority of cases. For as long as people have been using garlic, they have also been feeding it to their animal companions. Empirically, its medicinal properties have been strongly proven, along with its safety of use.

In the United States for the last 50 years, garlic has remained in the forefront of holistic medicine. Every text written by the founding fathers of holistic veterinary medicine recommended it, and revere its incredible anti-parasitic and anti-bacterial properties. Research shows, garlic has also benefited animals with cancer, diabetes, liver, heart and kidney disease, skin/staph infections, ear infections and a myriad of other conditions. It has grown to be a staple in preventative protocols for pets. For years it has been safely used by thousands of companion animal owners with no reports of negative side-effects - up until now. All of a sudden; garlic is an offending "suspect," without being proven the offender. The majority of people are allowing mass hysteria to determine a holistic care program for their dog or cat.

There are over 51,000 sites on the web devoted to warnings about the "toxicity" of garlic, even though there is little scientific data to back the claim other than the fact that thiosulphate is found in garlic. Yet, there are also upward of 4000,000 internet sites, many of which are reputable holistic veterinarians who have widely used garlic in their practice for many years! In regard to this miracle herb and its hundreds of years of "proven use" I would recommend trusting history over mass hysteria and half truths any day.

How To Safely Give Garlic To Dogs

If you are going to give your dog garlic in the form of a commercial supplement, for safety, we recommend the protective non-burn use of an odor-free, aged extract, such as "Kayolic Aged Garlic Extract." The suggested dose for dogs is: Small dogs receive 1/2 capsule Aged Extract daily, with the dosage increasing with the pet's size, ranging up to 2 capsules given in a split dose, depending on the dogs weight. If you are going to give your dog garlic in its raw state the dose is 1/2 to 1 small minced/pressed clove daily, mixed into a meal.


Pet Remedy Charts are tools that help you easily learn to use herbs, homeopathy, flower remedies and acupressure for dogs, cats, horses and birds. Developed by Lorelei Whitney, M.H., D.Hom. to enable anyone to treat their pets at home. To find out more about natural healing strategies for pets go here:


  1. Great info. I've learnt a lot about garlic here.