What Happens If a Dog Eats Garlic?

March 21, 2022

Adopting a pet is a huge responsibility. The second you sign the papers for a new dog, you are then responsible for their health and safety. That’s why it’s very important for pet owners to keep their dogs away from any ingredients that might be potentially harmful to dogs.

And one of these ingredients is good old garlic. Garlic is a staple in most people’s kitchens, and while we use it in many of our dishes, it may not be the best option for dogs.

There is evidence that suggests that garlic is toxic to dogs. On top of that, many experts recommend to pet owners to keep garlic as far away from their pet as possible. That way, you eliminate the risk of your dog having a negative reaction to the herb.

So, what happens when a dog eats garlic? Read on to learn about why garlic is toxic for dogs, what happens when dogs eat garlic and some more information you need to know to keep your pet safe.

Is Garlic Toxic for Dogs?

Yes, garlic is toxic to dogs. In fact, the entire allium family is considered toxic for dogs. So, this includes onions, chives, shallots, and other herbs that are similar.

On top of that, it isn’t just the garlic bulbs that are bad for your pet either. The entire garlic plant is toxic to your pet and can cause a wide range of symptoms and reactions. So, if you have garlic, onions, and other plants of the like in your home, try to keep them as far away from your dog as possible.

Why Is Garlic Toxic to Dogs?

The main reason garlic and other members of the allium family are toxic for dogs is a compound known as thiosulfate. Thiosulfates are a toxin for dogs that are generally safe for humans.

These toxins attack the dog's red blood cells. And if your dog eats too much, it can lead to a load of different problems. Additionally, some dogs are more sensitive to thiosulfates than others, which is why most vets recommend keeping your pet as far away from garlic as possible.

What Happens When a Dog Eats Garlic?

The reason garlic for dogs is a bad idea is that the thiosulfates attack and damage the red blood cells. These cells are responsible for bringing oxygen to the body and play a crucial role in the way your dog’s body operates. And since garlic damages these cells, it can lead to a host of problems.

In mild cases of garlic poisoning, dogs will usually have an upset stomach and other gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting, diarrhea, and more. Additionally, your dog may show signs of lethargy, rapid breathing, and discolored urine.

In more severe cases, garlic poisoning can lead to hemolytic anemia, an elevated heart rate, jaundice, pale mucous membranes, and more. So, if your dog ate garlic and is exhibiting any of these symptoms, this could be a sign of something serious, and vet attention is needed.

How Much Garlic Does a Dog Need to Eat Before Getting Sick?

This can vary from pet to pet. Remember, each dog has a different digestive and bodily system. So, there may be some dogs who have a higher tolerance for the thiosulfates in garlic while others might be more sensitive. Additionally, the size of your pet will play a big role in how much garlic they can eat without feeling adverse effects.

Since there are many variables at play, it’s always best to keep your dog away from garlic. That way, you eliminate the risks altogether and you no longer need to watch your dog’s garlic consumption closely.

However, the general consensus is that 15-30 grams per kilo of your dog’s body weight are too much garlic. This is a whole lot of garlic and most dogs won’t ever end up eating that much.

But again, you never know if your dog will be more sensitive to garlic and thiosulfates. It’s never a good idea to play with risk regarding your pets, so we recommend that owners should never feed their dog's garlic.

What Should I Do If My Dog Eats Garlic?

If you catch your dog eating garlic, the first thing to do is to stop them from eating more. From there, all you can do is wait. If your dog seems fine after a couple of hours and shows no signs of garlic poisoning at all even after a day or two, then they are fine.

However, if they are exhibiting any of the symptoms mentioned above, something serious could be happening. In these cases, we highly recommend bringing your dog to a vet as soon as possible.


You are in charge of your pet. So, you have to make sure that they only eat food that is safe and healthy for them. 

Garlic is known to be toxic for dogs and can cause a wide range of different symptoms, which is why we highly recommend keeping the herb away from your dog as much as possible.

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