Can dogs have garlic?

April 13, 2012

Would you give garlic to your dog if you know that ingestion of large amounts of onions is bad for the pet as it can result to the development of hemolytic anemia? Garlic and onion after all belongs to the same family. Can dogs have garlic? Most dog owners would hesitate, more so if they are aware of the long list of human foods that must not be given to the pet. Garlic is certainly on this list. However, because the health of the dog is of prime importance, dog owners would have conflicting views given that this amazing seasoning that enhances the taste of everyday dishes has natural health benefits. When administered properly, garlic would be a superb additive that will make the dog food so much healthier. Yes, I will allow my pooch to have garlic!

Garlic is an inexpensive food additive that has significant positive effects on the dog’s multiple organ systems. Garlic enhances the secretion of gastric juice that aids in the digestion and promotes the development of friendly bacteria in the dog’s digestive tract. This pungent bulb acts as immune booster of dogs with low immunity by supporting the production of white blood cells. Diabetic dogs are greatly benefited by regular consumption of the right amount of garlic as it helps maintain the ideal blood sugar level. Raw, cooked or dried, garlic reduces cholesterol and triglycerides and aid in the detoxification necessary to purify the liver. Garlic has antimicrobial and antifungal properties. The Allicin component found in the root bulb has healing properties. Because of its healing property, crushed garlic will heal wounds, boils and skin disease after about a week of application. Garlic contains selenium, a powerful antioxidant that activates the enzymes that slow down the growth of cancer cells.

Garlic effectively reduces parasite infestation. Garlic has a pungent smell that when ingested will be emitted through the pores and sweat glands. Fleas, ticks and mosquitoes’ sense of smell is over 10,000 times more sensitive than humans. You may not be able to smell the very personal garlic cologne of the dog but these parasites will surely be affected and would immediately scamper from the skin and fur of the dog. There will be no need to use the messy flea powder to eradicate the parasite infestation. You simply need to include a small amount of garlic to the dog’s home cooked meal.

Garlic has been highly valued for its medicinal purposes for thousands of years. Allium Sativum, commonly known as garlic has been used by the Egyptians, Babylonians, Romans and Chinese for its natural healing properties. In spite of this fact, garlic is listed as one of the human foods that should not be given to dogs. What makes garlic hazardous to the pet’s health?

Both garlic and onion contain thiosulphate, an extremely dangerous toxin that causes hymolitic anemia. Although the thiosuphate content of garlic is not as highly concentrated as the toxin found in onions, garlic would still be dangerous if the dog is allowed to ingest two or three bulbs of garlic everyday or to eat about 50 bulbs of garlic in one setting. This means that the risk on the health of the pet would depend on the amount of garlic ingested. Hemolytic anemia causes the dog to be sluggish when the red blood cells are prematurely destroyed. Dogs with hemolytic anemia will vomit, have breathing difficulties, have discolored urine and diarrhea and sustain liver damage. Garlic powder or crushed garlic simply used as an ingredient to the home cooked dog food will not have hazardous effect on the pet. The small quantity of garlic that was ingested will not remain in the body as it will be promptly excreted. Garlic, in this case will just make the dog treat healthier and taste great.

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