Garlic Benefits for Dogs: Is Garlic Good for Dogs?
Like many powerful
herbs, garlic has been tested for a vast array of medical conditions. The
following list includes the most common applications for dogs.
a high sulfur content, and it is thought that the sulfur, excreted through the
repels fleas, ticks, mites and other biting insects. The sulfur
excretion can also help rid the dog of bacterial or fungal microbes that may be
present on the skin, helping to heal itching, irritated skin.
aren’t the only pests put off by garlic. Worms in the digestive tract are
repelled by garlic. In a dog that has had repeated infestations of worms, garlic
can be fed once or twice a week as a preventative.
Garlic is also a
potent anti-fungal agent. It can be used topically on fungal skin infections.
Sulfur excretion also occurs in the dog’s lungs, making garlic a strong
expectorant. It encourages the expulsion of irritants such as dust, spores and
pollen from the lungs, and helps kill any bacteria that may be present in the
lungs. This makes it a perfect remedy for hay fever, seasonal allergies, kennel
cough, or any other respiratory problems.
Garlic also kills bacteria
internally. Any conditions or infections that are caused by bacteria, internal
and external, can be treated with garlic supplementation. It can also help
prevent wounds from becoming infected.
Owners of diabetic dogs, take
note: Animal and human studies have shown that garlic can reduce blood-sugar
levels. Researchers noted an increase in serum insulin and improvement in liver
glycogen storage after garlic administration.
In humans, garlic’s most
publicized successes have concerned its ability to lower blood cholesterol and
prevent blood clotting. Because it improves circulation, dogs who suffer from
arthritis will benefit from periodic garlic supplementation.
promotes the production of white blood cells, thus strengthening the dog’s
resistance to infection of all kinds. That makes it a powerful treatment for
dogs with low or compromised immunity (such as hunting dogs that are worked
heavily in cold and wet weather, or show dogs that are taken to numerous shows
or competitions). This would include exhaustion and other nonspecific conditions
associated with a subtle decline in health. Garlic can help bolster an immune
response following exposure to strange dogs.
Immune system support is
also helpful for newborn puppies and their mothers. In this case, a smaller dose
of garlic would be fed to the mother. Garlic is passed through her milk to the
puppies, benefiting both by fighting infections. Due to this antibacterial
action, as well as its ability to support digestive function, garlic combats
diarrhea in puppies.
Human studies have demonstrated that allicin, the
‘active ingredient’ in garlic, increases the levels of two important antioxidant
enzymes in the blood: catylase and glutathione peroxidase, confirming the
antioxidant and free-radical scavenging potential of allicin.
been shown to help re-colonize bacteria in the gut, so garlic supplementation
can be beneficial for any dog that has been treated with conventional
antibiotics, which can wipe out ‘good’ gut bacteria.
Garlic is widely
thought to have anti-cancer properties. The research is promising enough that
garlic is recommended for any dog with cancer.
If you feed dried garlic,
whether in a powdered or granulated form, the important thing is to get garlic
that has not been heat-treated. Also, if you are taking garlic tablets, it is
important to know whether your brand is actually dissolving after you take it.
Fresh garlic is the least expensive option, and is the most potent form
of the herb. But not everyone is willing to spend time chopping it up for their
dogs to eat, and not all dogs will eat it, even if it is mixed into their food.
You may have to experiment a little to determine which form is most palatable
for your dog. The fussiest eaters may benefit from pure, cold-processed garlic
oil, which several manufacturers produce in gelatin capsules.
a low dose, introducing garlic in increasing amounts over a week or two until
you are feeding the entire dose. According to Self, an average dose of garlic
for large dogs should be about one fresh, crushed garlic clove per day. If you
feed pure, cold-pressed garlic powder or granules, the equivalent is about a
half-teaspoon. The suggestion for medium-sized dogs is half a clove (or 1/4
teaspoon of powder); for small dogs, give just a quarter clove (or a pinch or
two of the powder).
A word of caution about feeding raw garlic to
your dog. A condition known as "Heinz-body anemia" can result.
Although Heinz-body anemia is uncommon in dogs, it is more often seen in
Heinz bodies (also referred to as "Heinz-Ehrlich bodies") is a
condition in which red blood cells are destroyed. This type of anemia can
occur as a result of injesting raw onions, raw garlic and certain
medications. Most prominent visible symptoms of Heinz body are sudden
weakness (lethargic) and pale mouth, gums and lips. Should your dog show any
visible signs of Heinz-body anemia after eating raw garlic or onions,
immediately stop feeding these food items, and your dog's symptoms will
immediately begin to improve with no long-lasting effects.
As with any drug or herb, it’s important to watch for
any sensitivities particular in your dog’s body. Some herbalists say that a high
daily dose of fresh garlic, given for long periods of time, can deplete the
intestinal flora. If the condition you are treating is seasonal, or if the
treatment is successful, slowly decrease the dose after the dog improves and
maintains the improvement.
If you are looking for a natural garlic-based
flea and tick preventative during this season, we recommend
Flea Free. Click
here to learn all about this popular product line, and how it can help your
pets, and even YOU! My Boxers are given crushed garlic (from the supermarket)
and Flea Free Food Supplement, alternately.
If you’d rather stay away
from garlic to begin with, but still ensure your pet is protected against fleas
and ticks, we highly recommend
PetZone Flea & Tick Protector. PetZone Flea &
Tick Protector will replace your once-a-month flea and tick medication, and is
safe for ALL animals of ALL ages, including humans. Remember, garlic is NOT safe
for puppies, kittens and nursing mommas, but our Flea & Tick Protector is! Just
attach to your baby’s ID tag on his/her collar and forget about it until it’s
time to replace!
Learn more about PetZone Flea & Tick Protector.
National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 14 Aug. 2015.
"IMHA: Diagnosing and Treating a Complex Disease." Dvm360.com.
N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Aug. 2015.