Garlic for dogs is a hotly debated topic among dog lovers, and I’m glad to have done my research on it!
You’ve probably all seen lists of human foods that are OK to share with our pups, and those that aren’t.
I created one of those lists myself, and listed garlic in the “not safe to share” category, along with onions. Obviously, that was before I learned that it’s safe AND beneficial to feed to our pups.
How I Learned That Garlic Is Safe For Dogs
I once went to pick up some more of Dr. Harvey’s grain-free Premix Veg-to-Bowl I had been using for my pups’ raw meals. The store happened to be out of it, so I searched for similar products and found a bag of Sojos’ pre-mix.
It wasn’t until I was home that I noticed that it contained garlic. I was confused when I saw that ingredient since I had been under the impression that it’s toxic for dogs.
However, I figured that the brand wouldn’t include a toxic ingredient in its food, and started doing some research.
While I did, I came across a tweet by Darwin’s Natural Pet Products. They’re a raw dog food brand I’ve ordered from on and off since 2015 when I made the switch from kibble to raw dog food:
The article Darwin’s linked to was written by Dr. Deva Khalsa for the magazine Dogs Naturally. Dr. Khalsa has practiced a blend of holistic & traditional veterinary medicine for over 25 years.
Fun fact: I received my certificate as a raw dog food nutrition specialist from Dogs Naturally Magazine in early 2020!
What Convinced Me That Garlic Is Good For My Dogs
I am not going to summarize her article here, but I do recommend you head over there and ready it yourself!
I just want to share which part of it I found convincing enough to add the dehydrated pre-mix Sojos, which contains garlic, to my pups’ raw dog food.
She explained that a 75 lb dog would have to eat 5 complete heads of garlic (or 75 cloves of garlic) in each meal before experiencing adverse effects on his red blood cells.
A 10 lb dog would experience side effects after having eaten half a head of garlic (i.e. 6-8 garlic cloves) in each meal.
Feed Your Dog Garlic In Moderation
So the rule of thumb is to let our dogs consume garlic in moderation in order to reap its health benefits. This makes sense to me, as moderation is key in so many aspects of both K9 and human lives.
In moderation means this: you can feed your dog 1/3 of a teaspoon of garlic per 10 lbs of body weight per day.
Now, I don’t know how much garlic is in the 2 lb bag of Sojos pre-mix, but since it appeared towards the very bottom of the ingredient list (15th out of 17 ingredients), I felt that it must be safe to consume. And it was!
The ingredients on any bag or can of dog food are always listed in descending order, meaning that the first few ingredients are the most prevalent ones in the respective food.
Update 2019: Sojos updated its formula and no longer adds garlic. For a list of dehydrated dog food mixes that contain garlic, see the bottom of this blog post.
Did you know? The reason provided by those claiming garlic is toxic to dogs is that it contains thiosulphate. It’s a substance that can cause liver damage & death when consumed in large quantities.
Benefits Of Garlic For Dogs
Garlic has anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, and anti-cancer benefits for dogs.
Allicin is the major biologically active component of garlic and responsible for the plethora of garlic’s health benefits. However, Allicin only occurs in crushed or finely chopped garlic, but not in the untouched clove.
I was delighted to learn that garlic also helps prevent flea infestations, which works quite nicely in combination with my natural pet insect repellent Anicura.
Just FYI, I no longer use chemical pest preventatives on my dogs since Missy’s cancer scare which prompted me to make the switch to raw dog food in the first place.
How To Feed Garlic
There’s two easy options to serve garlic to your pup.
You can either top their meals off with some freshly chopped or crushed garlic, or you can feed a food that has garlic on its ingredient list.
When not to feed garlic
As with everything in life, there are a few exceptions to the rule.
Since garlic can interfere with certain medications, don’t feed it if your dog is on immune suppressants, heart medicine, chemotherapy, blood thinners, insulin, antacids, and high blood pressure meds.
Freeze-dried dog foods with garlic:
Dehydrated dog foods with garlic:
The Honest Kitchen’s base mix Kindly. That’s their grain-free veggie, nut, and seed base mix.
The Honest Kitchen’s whole grain turkey dog food.
Garlic For Dogs: Bottom Line
Garlic has a plethora of health benefits for dogs and can easily be added to dog food.
Are you a brand who makes freeze-dried or dehydrated dog food that adds garlic? Let me know and I’ll add you to the list!
Please leave your comments or questions in the section below the post!