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Help! My Dog Ate Raw Garlic

Garlic bulbs in a basket on a rough wooden table

Dogs are curious creatures by nature. Consequently, it is no surprise if they go out to roam and get sick afterward. Garlic is toxic to dogs and can cause some serious problems for your pet. However, it can be difficult to keep your dog away from garlic because it is a common household item.

What is Garlic Poisoning?

A lot of foods that are safe for humans are toxic to dogs. Therefore, you need to be extremely careful while feeding your dogs from your plate. Garlic is useful for the digestive system of humans but it’s NOT true in case of dogs. There are a lot of ingredients that are safe for humans but are toxic to dogs. Chocolate is one perfect example that proves this fact.

You can read more about chocolate poisoning in dogs by clicking here.

Symptoms of Garlic Poisoning

Grey and black senior dog with head laying down on concrete

There is a long list of symptoms that can refer to garlic poisoning. Some of these signs are listed below.

  • Anemia
  • Diarrhea
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Lethargy
  • Blood in urine
  • Nausea
  • Pale gums
  • Weakness
  • Seizures
  • Vomiting
  • Jaundice (yellow skin and eyes)

If your dog eats garlic, you should always call your vet or the pet poison control line at: (888) 426-4435

Causes of garlic poisoning

Garlic powder in spoon next to pile of garlic powder 2 garlic cloves and a couple of garlic bulbs

Due to its widespread use, garlic powder is the most common cause of garlic poisoning in dogs. Table scraps are often fed to dogs and in many dishes, garlic powder is used as a seasoning. Some people argue that garlic bread is safe for dogs as it contains a small amount of garlic.

Although they are correct (to an extent), the yeasty dough can expand in the stomach, causing gastrointestinal symptoms. The sauces prepared with garlic are another no-no for canines. The heating up of the garlic can intensify its toxicity.

Dogs may sometimes eat garlic growing in the wild. This is the most severe of all problems because you won’t even know about it until the symptoms appear. Hence, it’s best to stay with your dog when he/she goes outside for a walk.

Diagnosis of garlic poisoning

golden retriever puppy being examined by vet

The best possible method to diagnose garlic poisoning will be to use physical examination and lab tests. In addition to that, your dog’s medical history can also be helpful in this phase. The physical examination includes your dog’s body temperature, blood pressure, respiration rate, and abdominal palpation. The detailed description of the symptoms is also useful for the vet to prescribe the required treatment.

After the physical examination, the vet will perform several tests on your dog to confirm garlic toxicosis. Complete blood cell count, hemoglobin concentration and biochemistry analysis are few of them. The purpose of these tests is to understand the overall condition of your canine’s health.

What Can I Do If My Dog Ate Raw Garlic?

Sleeping Jack Russell Terrier with head resting on green pillow with human hand patting head

Although garlic poisoning is a serious condition, it is rare for a healthy dog to die from it. The sole purpose of treating your dog is to flush the toxins out of his/her body. The process of inducing vomiting is the most basic method to achieve this goal. In serious cases, the vet may need a saline solution for removing the toxins. For this procedure, the vet might admit the dog in the hospital.

Once your veterinarian believes that the garlic is out of your dog’s system, you can return home. However, you will need to follow the instructions to take care of your dog. For instance, you may have to administer iron supplements and antibiotics for one to two weeks. Because too much iron can be poisonous for dogs, it is critical to follow the veterinarian’s instructions carefully.

Likewise, it is crucial to exercise restrictions for a week or two as your dog recovers. Be sure to follow up with your veterinarian and return to the clinic for a repeat blood test.

My Dog Ate Minced Garlic

minced garlic on wood surface with chef's knife and bulb of garlic

Anything below 15 grams of fresh garlic per kilogram of body weight is considered safe for dogs. The problem arises when a canine eats more than this limit. However, it is recommended to avoid this ingredient completely in your dog’s meal because even a small amount can cause an upset stomach.

An average garlic clover weighs 6 grams. This means that your dog may face issues if he/she eats multiple clovers in a short time period. The treatment for powdered garlic is the same as that for ingesting raw garlic.

Some dog breeds such as Akita and Shiba Inu are more sensitive to garlic toxicity than others. Likewise, puppies are more susceptible to falling ill after eating raw garlic than adult canines. Pregnant dogs and dogs which have an upcoming surgery should not be fed garlic at all.

Are Garlic Supplements Safe for Dogs?

bowls of different dietary supplements

Many sources recommend using garlic as a health supplement for your dog. However, a significant amount of studies have shown garlic to NOT produce consistent, positive results. In light of insufficient evidence, it is better to consult your vet before feeding any garlic supplements to your canine friend.


There is a lot of contradicting information about feeding garlic to dogs. In these circumstances, the best possible ploy is to avoid using raw garlic in your pet’s diet. A little improvement in your dog’s digestive system (by using garlic) is not worth the risk of chronic anemia.

If you want to give your dog a healthy treat, consider feeding him fruits and vegetables. Some of the ingredients that are high in valuable nutrients include apples, blueberries, strawberries, carrots, cucumbers, and sweet potatoes.

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