Is Garlic Powder Bad For Dogs?

A lot of people are kind of snobby about garlic powder and onion powder – Katie Lee

We once asked our grandmother whether money really did make the world go around, and she just smiled wistfully at us, shook her head, and replied “No children, money doesn’t make the world go around. Garlic does”.

Looking back, we really shouldn’t have been surprised by her answer, as she was Italian and insisted that the only reason she was still alive was because every meal she made shared one crucial ingredient, garlic. And to this day, we’re still not sure whether she lived as long as she did because she followed the Mediterranean diet to the letter, or whether it was due to the fact that there was so much garlic in her blood, that it acted as some sort of weird biological barrier that kept every infection, virus, and bacterium at bay.

What we do know is that her little dog Milo ate exactly the same food as our grandmother did, and was just as saturated in garlic as she was, and he lived even longer than she did. Which should have, if the laws of nature and evolution had any power over miniature lap dogs, finished him off as garlic, just like onions, in every single iteration and form, is toxic to dogs of all shapes and sizes.

The amount of garlic that Milo consumed during his lifetime should have killed him ten times over but for some reason known only to little dogs who belong to even smaller, elderly Italian women, it didn’t. Milo, it would seem, was the exception to the dogs and garlic rule. 

Garlic – The Secret Canine Killer 

Despite the fact that they go crazy for it whenever they smell it slowly cooking, garlic is almost as dangerous for dogs as onion is. And while it’s not quite as poisonous for canines as onion, the reason garlic is nearly but not quite as bad for your four legged friend as the nations favorite hot dog topping is (it’s true, onions are more popular than mustard and ketchup are), is because they’re both part of the same genetic grouping, the allium family. 

The Allium Family And Dogs 

So what is it about the allium family that’s bad for dogs? Well, it’s all due to a chemical that every member of this plant tribe contains, called Thiosulphate, which ironically is actually pretty good, and healthy for humans. 

Why Is Thiosulphate Bad For Dogs? 

Thiosulphate can, primarily because of the oxidative damage it causes in canine red blood cells, can cause anemia in dogs, which is slightly similar to severe jaundice in humans. It isn’t pretty and can be devastating to dogs. 

Garlic Poisoning  

And while we still have no idea why it didn’t affect Milo, if a dog consumes too much thiosulphate, the cumulative effect can manifest itself as a group of symptoms, which when loosely bunched together under the same umbrella are often referred to as garlic toxicity. 

What Does Garlic Toxicity Look Like? 

Again, it isn’t pretty, but in dogs, it can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dietary distress, gastric upset and can transform a normally happy little pup into a shadow of its former self.

Is Garlic Toxicity The Same Thing As Garlic Poisoning?  

Even though we’ve used the word toxicity to describe it, what we really should have called it was ‘garlic poisoning’, which is essentially what it is, and if left unchecked and untreated can result in your best pal being called to see Saint Peter way before his time. 

Can You Treat Garlic Toxicity? 

Garlic toxicity is very rarely, if ever fatal to dogs, even though it will make them feel so rotten that they’ll probably feel like they’re knocking at death’s door. Our best advice? Don’t even think about trying to nurse your pal through the symptoms of garlic toxicity by yourself, take him straight to your veterinarian. 

How Do You Treat Garlic Toxicity? 

The worst-case scenario will probably involve him having to spend a couple of days in the hospital, hooked up to an IV drip, and being administered antibiotics, But it’s probably far more likely that the vet will discharge him to your care, along with a list of medication 

Garlic Toxicity After Care

You’ll need to try and make sure your dog takes his medication though he won’t feel like eating. And if he doesn’t feel like eating, you won’t be able to hide his medication in his food, which means that you’ll have to administer it the old-fashioned way, and neither you nor your dog wants that to happen. 

So How Much Garlic Is Too Much Garlic? 

Surprisingly, not as much as you might think. Twenty to twenty-five grams of garlic per kilogram of your boy’s body weight is enough to make him incredibly ill or to put it more simply the equivalent of two or three cloves. 

What Happens If My Dog Likes The Smell Of Garlic And Eats Garlic Powder? 

And much as it might seem like it’s one of those things that could never happen, your dog is capable of eating some incredibly nasty and odd things, and if he likes the smell of garlic and he can get to the garlic powder he might end up in the veterinary emergency room. 

Does That Mean That Dogs Shouldn’t Eat Garlic Bread?

Yes. Yes, it does. But it isn’t just the garlic in garlic bread that you need to worry about if you’ve ever fed a piece or three to your dog, it’s all of the other things in it that you fear just as much as garlic.

What Are The Ingredients In Garlic Bread That Are Bad For My Dog?

The bread the butter and salt in garlic bread are bad for your dog, and when they’re coupled together with garlic, it means that every piece he eats could make him bring the garlic bread and everything else that he’s eaten that day back up. 

What Happens If My Dog Does Eat Garlic Bread?

Guess who’ll have to clean that mess up if that does happen and nurse a sick dog at the same time?  That’s right, it’ll fall directly on your shoulders. If we were you, we wouldn’t let our dog eat another piece of garlic bread. 

But What About Garlic Supplements?

We’ve heard the same thing about garlic supplements for dogs that you have, that they help to keep fleas at bay and keep their fur and skin healthy, but the truth is there isn’t any medical or scientific evidence to back these claims up. 

Are The Rumors About Dogs And Garlic Supplements True? 

We searched high and low all over the internet and couldn’t find anything to substantiate those rumors, and if you do the same, you’ll no doubt be confronted by the same disappointing lack of results that we were. 

How Much Garlic Is There In Garlic Supplements? 

Having said that, the amount of garlic in most of the supplements is negligible, so even if you did give them to your dog, they almost certainly wouldn’t make him ill. They won’t do any good either, but they definitely won’t make him poorly. 

Garlic And Dogs – The Last Word

So there you have it, the inescapable truth about dogs and garlic. If you want to make sure that your dog doesn’t end up suffering from even a minor upset stomach that could be related to garlic toxicity, you’ll need to make sure that he stays as far away as possible from the powder, the bread, and anything else that might contain garlic, as you possibly can.