Did your dog track the smell of sizzling garlic and look at you with puppy eyes, pleasing you to toss one before them? In such a dilemma, you may ask yourself (or Google), “Can dogs eat garlic?”

In bold and capital letters- NO. Garlic being toxic to dogs is not a myth, as it contains harmful elements. Explore the risks that come with feeding garlic to dogs in any form! Also, we have got some cool alternatives to it.

Why Can’t Dogs Eat Garlic?

Garlic, a member of the Allium family and a cousin to onions is a toxin to dogs. Why? It is because garlic contains Thiosulfate. It is a compound that can cause Anemia in dogs. Study proves that it damages the blood by setting apart the red blood cells (study). The same compound is also found in onions, making both toxic for dogs. 

Apart from this, even small amounts of garlic can cause gastrointestinal problems. Your dog may vomit everything out if they ate garlic. In such a case, please do not manually induce vomit in dogs unless your veterinarian guides you. 

Also, if your dog is allergic to onions, they will probably be allergic to garlic. To avoid allergic reactions, you must not keep garlic near your dog’s skin or mouth. Garlic in any form- raw or cooked is harmful to dogs. 

Are There Any Benefits?

It is believed that small amounts of garlic can benefit the dog. This is why some packed dog foods contain safe and considerate amounts of garlic. So explore if there is any goodness in this villain- Garlic. 

These are the *potential* benefits of garlic if it is served in small amounts to dogs:

  1. Improving the immune system
  2. Blood clot prevention
  3. Anti-inflammatory properties
  4. Lowers cholesterol
  5. Healthy fur coat

We would have shown a HUGE GREEN FLAG if garlic hadn’t had so many other concerns. Even though most dogs can tolerate half a garlic clove, it should still be avoided. All these benefits can also be extracted from other human foods you and your pooch can share. 

With so many risks attached to garlic, tossing even one clove of garlic is not a wise or logical decision. You never know how it can react, and you must have heard the famous saying- “Prevention is better than cure.” 

Also, for garlic or any other nutritious food item, little amounts cannot bring a change. Anything to show positive results must be consumed in a certain amount. For example, we cannot expect our dog’s skin to glow after drinking coconut water for once. Similarly, serving your dog one clove of garlic will not make them healthy but can make them sick. Why risk that?

Hence, we do not recommend serving any amounts of garlic to dogs or cats. If your dog food has garlic mentioned in the ingredient section, you should reconsider! It can be highly toxic, and if consumed in high amounts, there can be a chance of fatality.

Signs of Garlic Poisoning in Dogs

Every dog has a different reaction to food items. Some dogs may not show any signs of poisoning even after a week, while others may show within the first few hours. It takes 15-30 grams of garlic cloves to make dogs fall sick. However, some dogs may be allergic and not digest the cloves. 

In such cases, here is what you can expect from dogs after they ingest garlic:

  1. Abdominal pain
  2. Anemia
  3. Weakness or Collapse
  4. High heart rate
  5. Breathlessness
  6. Blood or discoloration in urine
  7. Pale eyes and gums

Also, there is a very rare chance of garlic being fatal unless your dog ate massive amounts of it. But you should not wait for the signs! Contact your veterinarian immediately if you know your dog sneaked some garlic cloves. 

a dog with a table full of garlic laid out in front of him

Can Dogs Eat These Garlic Food Items?

1. Garlic bread

Dogs cannot and should not eat garlic bread. They are filled with garlic (duh) and can pose the same risks that a clove of garlic would. But what if your dog accidentally stole the last piece of garlic bread?

Well, apart from you being heartbroken about that last buttery piece, your dog would be fine. However, even a tiny amount can trigger your dog if they are allergic to garlic. The allergic reaction may look like- vomiting, burning sensation, lethargy, itching, etc.

2. Garlic chicken

We do not recommend serving your dog garlic chicken at all. In a marinated chicken, there is not just garlic but other herbs and seasonings. We always say, heath> taste! So, no matter how delicious the garlic chicken might be, you must NEVER give it to your dog.

It can make them sick, and as garlic would be in high amounts, it can be poisonous. If your dog ate garlic chicken, please get in touch with your veterinarian for further guidance.

3. Garlic powder

Giving your dog garlic powder has even worse consequences than a clove of garlic. The powdered form of garlic is a concentrated form of garlic. Even small amounts of it can lead to poisoning in dogs. 3-5 grams may not be enough to cause fatality, but it can make your dog sick. And believe us- you do not want that! The symptoms can be the same as the poisoning, which can be tricky and challenging. 

Also, do not leave loose garlic powdered around the house. Due to garlic’s smell, dogs can make their way to it, wagging their tails. Sniffing garlic powder or any spice can cause discomfort and burning sensations.

4. Garlic in dog food

You may also find garlic powder or essence in dog food. And you might wonder, “How is it not toxic now?”. Let’s break that! Some brands may use garlic in minimal amounts to increase the nutritional value of dog food. It is enough to enhance the flavor but keep it safe to consume.

Also, they are clinically tested and approved. But it is not the same as tossing a clove to dogs at home. We still recommend using dog foods that do not contain garlic, onion, or harmful ingredients.

5. Garlic butter/oil

Firstly, regular butter is full of fat and is not an ideal human food for dogs. Over that, garlic is a villain of this story. It can cause allergic reactions and even cause poisoning in dogs. So many other alternatives exist, like peanut butter, sesame, or coconut oil.

Please do not cook anything for your dog in garlic butter. 

Alternatives of Garlic For Dogs

As you know, there is no way you can feed your dog garlic. Neither cooked nor raw. It can pose severe risks to their health and may even be fatal. So, what do we do that can give the same benefits as garlic while being safe to eat? To help you figure this out, here are some alternatives to giving your dog garlic:

1. Cashews

Want an alternative to garlic paste? Go for cashew nut butter. It will not give that smokey taste to their dish but will provide them with the same benefits. Cashews are an excellent source of antioxidants and minerals if fed in moderation.

Even cashew butter is healthier than garlic butter. So, to add that smokey flavor, you can roast the plain cashews and make creamy butter or paste out of them. 

2. Bell peppers (healthy and shiny coat)

Garlic helps to make the fur smooth and healthy, and what else is famous for the same? Colorful bell peppers! Be it green, yellow, red, or orange, bell peppers are great for dogs.

They are not just a crunchy addition to the meal but can benefit your dog. It has vitamins like A, C, and E, which help to make the fur coat healthy and shiny. 

3. Beets (crunch and lower cholesterol)

Are you thinking of giving garlic to your dog because it is crunchy? Well, shift to beets! They are crunchy, flavourful, juicy, and greatly benefit dogs. Like garlic, beets help lower the cholesterol levels in dogs (article). Not just this, but they also are rich in fiber, so your dog will get the best poop of all time! 

4. Cinnamon powder

Note: Please consult your veterinarian before feeding your dog cinnamon powder. 

Cinnamon is one of the spices that is safe for dogs and humans. Although it should be an occasional addition to your pup’s meal, it is way safer than garlic powder. And why is it an alternative to garlic? Because cinnamon has a magical property of blood thinning.

Just like garlic helps to prevent blood clots, cinnamon also helps to keep the blood thin. Please ensure only to feed such blood-thinning ingredients in moderation, as too much can cause nose bleeds or blood in the urine.  


Our final thoughts on “can dogs eat garlic?” are that you should never feed your dog garlic. Any garlic by-product, be it cooked or raw, can poison dogs. Especially if your dog is allergic to garlic, you should keep it far away from garlic. 

Lastly, garlic may not be replaceable in human kitchens, but there are better food items that offer the same nutritional value as garlic for dogs. Just safer. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How much garlic is safe for dogs?

Every dog is different, and garlic toxicity can appear differently on every dog. We do not recommend giving any amount of garlic to dogs intentionally. The nutritional value of garlic can easily be replaced with other foods that are far more healthy and non-toxic. If your age accidentally ate a bite of garlic chicken, there is less chance of it causing problems. However, please keep monitoring the dog.

Can dogs eat garlic seasoning?

Seasonings of any kind are harmful and toxic to dogs. Because most seasonings have garlic and onion powder, it can cause severe allergies and burning sensations in dogs. Please ensure your dog does not accidentally inhale the seasonings, which can cause severe discomfort. In any such case, please get in touch with your veterinarian immediately.

Will a small amount of garlic hurt my dog?

Yes, garlic is packed with sulfates, which is safe for humans but a toxin for dogs. Unless your dog accidentally took a bite from your garlic bread, you should not intentionally feed your dog garlic. Not all dogs can tolerate even one clove of garlic, so it can lead to allergic reactions in small or large dogs.

Can dogs eat garlic and onions?

Apart from chocolates, garlic, and onions are food items you should never feed your dog. The two belong to the same family, Allium. To give it a perspective, 6 grams of onions or garlic would be enough to be toxic to chihuahuas. And just so you know- one average garlic clove is about 4-6 grams, and one onion is about 100 grams in one onion.

Can dogs eat garlic scapes?

No, dogs should not eat garlic scapes. There is no nutritional value, and it may cause allergic reactions to your dog. Avoiding anything attached to garlic is best, as it can have the same toxins. If your dog ate garlic scapes, please consult your veterinarian for medical advice.

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