Can my dog eat garlic?

NO, it is not safe to give your dog garlic to eat. Garlic is frequently suggested as a home remedy for flea problems, and this is an example of traditional wisdom being dangerously wrong. Dogs should never be given garlic or people food that has been cooked in garlic. This is for the same reason that dogs should not eat onions (although onions are more toxic) - garlic contains chemicals that kill and damages the dog's red blood cells, and it can cause canine anemia, a serious blood illness. The symptoms of anemia include vomiting, diarrhea, and red colored urine.


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Dogs are a little more likely to get poisoned by garlic because they can be big enough and aggressive enough to eat large amounts of it. You should keep any containers of it well away from your dogs. If you have been feeding your dog garlic, or any food that is cooked in it, stop. Generally the damage is not permanent, because if you stop giving it to your dog its body will be able to return to producing a normal red blood cell count. However, if you see the dog acting sick or displaying symptoms of anemia, you should take it to the vet. Garlic is less toxic than some other foods, so a dog is not likely to have been poisoned if you have only been giving it small amounts, but you should err on the safe side and watch your dog for a week or so to make sure it seems healthy.

You can find examples of safe, natural home remedies for fleas on this page that will not hurt your dog.

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