You’ve probably all seen lists of human foods that are ok to share with our pups, and those that aren’t safe to share. I’ve put together one of those lists myself, and had listed garlic in the “not safe to share” category, along with onions (click below to read my post from earlier this year):
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Did you know? The reason provided by those claiming garlic is toxic to dogs is that it contains thiosulphate, which can cause liver damage & death when consumed in large quantities.
However, I learned that garlic is indeed GOOD for dogs when I came across a tweet by Darwin’s Natural Pet Products (I’ve ordered pre-made raw dog food from them):
The article Darwin’s linked to was written by Dr. Deva Khalsa for the magazine Dogs Naturally (click for article). Dr. Khalsa has practiced a blend of holistic & traditional veterinary medicine for over 25 years.
What Convinced Me That Garlic Is Good For My K9s
I am not going to summarize her article here (I do recommend you head over there and ready it yourselves!), I just want to share which part of it I found convincing enough to feed my pups the dehydrated pre-mix (for feeding raw food) by Sojos, which contains garlic.
Side Note: 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, as I had been under the impression that garlic is toxic for dogs.
Fast forward to a few weeks later when I read the article by Dr. Khalsa in Dogs Naturally.
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.
Moderation Is Key
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.
Now, I do not know how much garlic is present in the 2 lb bag of Sojos pre-mix, but since it appears towards the very bottom of the ingredient list (15th out of 17 ingredients), I feel that it must be safe to consume.
Update 2019: Sojos updated its formula and no longer adds garlic. For a list of dehydrated dog food mixes that contain garlic, see bottom of post.
Side note: 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.
What Makes Garlic So Healthy For Dogs?
Allicin is the major biologically active component of garlic and responsible for the plethora of garlic’s health benefits (anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, anti-cancer). Allicin only occurs in crushed or finely chopped garlic (not in the untouched clove).
I was delighted to learn that garlic also helps prevent flea infestations, which will work quite nicely in combination with our natural insect repellent by Anicura (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).
How Can The Raw Garlic Be Served?
There’s two easy options to serve garlic to your pup: Either by topping his meal with some freshly chopped or crushed garlic, or by feeding a food which already contains garlic.
Freeze-dried dog food that contains garlic:
- Grandma Lucy’s Artisan line of dog food, including their pre-mix for raw or cooked diets. Comes in chicken, pork, lamb, venison, and bison.
- Grandma Lucy’s Pureformance line of dog food, including their pre-mix for raw or cooked diets. Comes in chicken, lamb, rabbit, fish, and goat.
- Grandma Lucy’s Valor line of dog food. Comes in chicken, turkey, and fish.
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!
Did you know about garlic’s plethora of health benefits? Does your dog food contain any? As always, we’d love to hear from you in our comment section!
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