Garlic Toxicity and Pets – 5 Things You Should Know!

Garlic Toxicity and Pets - Healthier Pets Today

Garlic Toxicity and Pets with Healthier Pets Today! Roasting garlic is one of those aromas that instantly makes most of us hungry. It can be found in many of our favorite foods and is featured in cuisines worldwide. Because scientific evidence suggests that garlic has medicinal benefits for humans, it’s natural to wonder if pets can eat garlic.

Many believe that garlic can help prevent heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, fleas, and even certain types of cancer.

However, these potential medicinal benefits are ineffective for our pets. Specific doses of garlic can be toxic to pets and cats, and poisoning can be fatal if not promptly treated. Let us take a look at Garlic Toxicity and Pets.

Is Garlic Safe for Pets to Eat?

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Garlic belongs to the Allium family. Onions, shallots, leeks, and chives are all Allium family members (the Chinese onion). Garlic, like other Allium family members, contains disulfides and thiosulphates, which are toxic to cats and pets if consumed. Garlic compounds, in essence, can cause red blood cells circulating throughout your pet’s body to become very fragile and, worst cases, burst.

Garlic consumption causes hemolytic anemia, Heinz body anemia, and methemoglobinemia. All of which are manifestations of red blood cell damage. Learning as much as possible about Garlic Toxicity and Pets is essential as it could prevent any potential risk.

How Much Is Garlic Dangerous to Pets?

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“Garlic is approximately five times more concentrated in terms of toxicity than onions,” says Dr. Ahna Brutlag, a board-certified veterinary toxicologist and the director of veterinary services at Pet Poison Helpline.

Consider the following rule of thumb for onion toxicity: In cats, as little as 5 g/kg of onions or 15 to 30 g/kg in pets resulted in clinically significant red blood cell damage. As mentioned by scientific studies, onion toxicosis is consistently observed in animals that consume more than 0.5% of their weight in onions at once.

Because garlic is more concentrated than onions, even a tiny amount ingested could result in Garlic Toxicity, and Pets can be severely affected. As little as one garlic clove can cause toxicity in cats and small pets.

Please remember that the toxicity level of ingested garlic can vary depending on a pet’s weight, breed, and prior health history. If you believe your pet or cat has eaten garlic, call the Pet Poison Helpline at 855-289-0358** or phone your veterinarian immediately.

Can I Feed Garlic Bread to My Pets?

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Garlic bread will almost certainly pique your pet’s interest, but it often contains a lot of butter, oil, cheese, and herbs, all of which can upset your pet’s stomach. This food is also high in calories and fat and provides no nutritional value to your pet.

Can I give Garlic Supplements to My Pet?

Despite garlic’s known toxicity, some well-meaning pet owners and websites recommend garlic supplements. They do this as a natural wellness plan or as a preventative for flea and tick. This contradiction can be perplexing. Garlic as a pet health supplement has yet to consistently produce positive results in studies. When it comes to potential Garlic Toxicity and Pets, it’s best to play it safe.

Always consult your veterinarian before you give your pet a garlic supplement. While shallow doses may be safe for some pets, the lack of conclusive evidence and known risks should be considered. Providing an incorrect amount could result in toxic effects, so consult a veterinarian about developing the best treatment and prevention plan for your pets.

Garlic Toxicity and Pets Symptoms 

It is important to note that symptoms may appear several days after your pet consumes garlic. This condition can cause vomiting, diarrhea, anemia symptoms such as lethargy, pale, yellow, or “muddy” gums, rapid breathing, and an elevated heart rate. Your pet may also experience abdominal pain and discolored urine. Although vomiting and diarrhea may occur within one day, symptoms of anemia may appear several days to a week after your pet consumes garlic.

How to Prevent Garlic Toxicity in Pets

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Let’s discuss what to do about Garlic Toxicity and Pets. While large amounts of garlic pose a high risk to pets, chronic ingestion of small amounts of garlic over time can also poison your pet. Pet owners who believe garlic prevents fleas should be careful.

“Using garlic as a flea or tick repellent has been studied and found to be ineffective,” Brutlag says. “It is not recommended for this, even when used in conjunction with traditional therapies.” It not only makes your pet sick, but it also makes them vulnerable to deadly diseases like Lyme.”

If you use garlic supplements for yourself, protect your curious pets. Multiple cases of cats and pets ingesting garlic pills left on the counter have been reported to the Pet Poison Helpline. Some required treatment for severe anemia.

Garlic, onions, chives, and other similar foods should also be kept out of reach. Brutlag recalls a Labrador retriever who ate salsa-making ingredients left on a kitchen table, including fresh garlic, tomatoes, and onions. While the pet owner dashed to the store to pick up some last-minute ingredients for the recipe, the pet gorged himself on at least two bulbs of garlic and several onions.

He developed severe anemia and required a blood transfusion. Fortunately, he recovered completely! When introducing new food or supplements for your pet, consult your family veterinarian first.

Garlic Poisoning in Pets: What Causes It?

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The most common cause of garlic poisoning is feeding your pet table scraps seasoned with garlic powder. After using garlic in the cooking process, even a healthy vegetable is no longer safe for your pet. Garlic-based sauces are also forbidden for pets. Cooking and heating garlic may increase its toxicity.

Therefore, it is best not to share food with your pet because doing so can result in other health issues such as pancreatitis (from fatty food) and obesity (from too much calorific human food in general).

It is also possible that your pet will find and consume wild garlic, and if you have not seen them do so, diagnosis is difficult because you will not know that they have eaten anything toxic until symptoms appear. It would help to keep your pet in sight while not in your yard.

Recovery of Garlic Poisoning in Pets

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Even though garlic poisoning is a severe condition, it is uncommon for a healthy pet to pass away from it, and most pets fully recover with treatment. You can go home with instructions on taking care of your pet once your vet thinks the garlic is no longer in your pet’s system.

Be sure to adhere to the veterinarian’s instructions even if you must continue giving the medication for another two weeks. Contact your veterinarian as soon as possible. Go back to the clinic for a second blood test as instructed by your vet.

Treating Garlic Toxicity in Pets

Garlic and onion poisoning in pets is rarely fatal, but your pet may require supportive care to keep them comfortable. If your pet has eaten a large amount of garlic, you should take them to a veterinarian. Your veterinarian may advise intravenous fluids for them to stay hydrated and may prescribe a vomiting medication. Blood transfusions may be required in severe cases.

Garlic Substitutes for Pets

Consider giving your pet amounts of pet-safe fruits and vegetables high in valuable nutrients to your pet as a healthy treat. Consider the following fruits and vegetables: apples, blueberries, strawberries, watermelon, carrots, cucumbers, or sweet potatoes.


Both raw and cooked garlic are poisonous to pets. A pet consuming enough garlic can eventually be fatal if no treatment is given. Allium is a genus of plants that includes leeks, garlic, and onions.

Although the plants in this genus do not cause allergies in pets, they contain thiosulfates and N-propyl disulfides. These harm the pet’s red blood cells when they are metabolized by the body.