A dog with a concerned expression looking at garlic, indicating it's toxic for dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Garlic?

No, dogs should not eat garlic. Garlic is toxic to dogs and can cause severe health problems. Even small amounts can lead to serious complications, including damage to the red blood cells, which can result in anemia. Garlic is more concentrated than onions, making it even more dangerous to your furry friend.

A photo of Stefan Stumpfl, the co-author of this article.

By Stefan Stumpfl, in collaboration with Dr. Ali Raza.

Updated on Jul 9, 2024

Did You Know?

Garlic contains thiosulfate, which is toxic to dogs and can damage their red blood cells.




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Feeding Frequency


Allergic Risk


Why is Garlic Bad for Dogs?

Garlic contains compounds called thiosulfates, which are harmful to dogs. These compounds can damage their red blood cells, leading to hemolytic anemia. Symptoms of this condition include lethargy, pale gums, and weakness. Severe cases may require blood transfusions, so it’s crucial to avoid feeding your dog garlic.

How Much Garlic Can Dogs Eat?

Ideally, zero. Even a small amount of garlic can cause toxicity in dogs, particularly for smaller breeds. The threshold for toxicity can vary, but it's best to avoid feeding garlic entirely. Remember, it's not worth the risk.

Common Misconceptions

Many pet owners think garlic can help repel fleas or boost their dog's immune system. While these beliefs have some roots in folklore, the risks of garlic toxicity far outweigh any potential benefits. It's better to consult with a vet for suitable alternatives.

Similar Toxic Products

Garlic isn't the only food that poses a danger to dogs. Here are some other items you should keep out of their reach:

  • Onions: Also contain thiosulfates, causing similar health issues.
  • Chives: Part of the same family as garlic and onions, equally toxic.
  • Leeks: Another member of the allium family, posing similar risks.

What to Do If Your Dog Eats Garlic?

If you suspect your dog has eaten garlic, contact your vet immediately. Don’t try to induce vomiting or treat the dog yourself. Fast action is crucial. Your vet may induce vomiting or give activated charcoal to prevent further absorption of toxins.

Signs and Symptoms of Garlic Poisoning in Dogs

Look out for these symptoms if you think your dog has ingested garlic:

  • Lethargy
  • Pale gums
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased heart rate

How Long After Eating Garlic Will a Dog Get Sick?

Symptoms may appear within a few hours to a couple of days after ingestion. Keep a close eye on your dog and monitor for any changes.

When to Contact Your Vet for Advice?

If your dog shows any of the listed symptoms or if you know they've consumed garlic, contact your vet immediately. Early intervention can make a big difference.

How to Treat Garlic Poisoning in Dogs?

Treatment usually involves:

  • Inducing Vomiting: To remove any remaining garlic from the stomach.
  • Activated Charcoal: To absorb toxins.
  • IV Fluids: To prevent dehydration and support the kidneys.
  • Blood Transfusions: In severe cases of anemia.

What are Healthy Alternatives?

Here are some safe and tasty treats for your dog:

  • Carrots: Crunchy and full of vitamins.
  • Blueberries: Antioxidant-rich and low in calories.
  • Pumpkin: Great for digestion and dogs love the taste.


Garlic is a no-go for your furry friend. The risks of toxicity and severe health complications far outweigh any supposed benefits. Always consult with your vet for dietary advice tailored to your dog's health needs. When in doubt, keep garlic out!