Hi Richard, wondered if you might be able to help.
I am interested to know how 'safe' garlic is for dogs - I have been using it for about three years - tiny bit in the food each day to ward off bugs and help with immune system. I constantly get told 'oooh you shouldn't do that, it’s bad for your dog blah blah', but I did hear that although from a similar family, garlic does not have an ingredient/layer that onions do which is what is toxic to dogs. Do you have any further info on that at all by any chance?
Donna Saunders, by email
Richard Allport, vet, advises...
Garlic is very safe. It is a member of the onion family, and onions are indeed toxic to dogs – they contain a chemical called thiosulphite which can damage red blood cells, causing serious anaemia. However, even in the case of onions, a dog weighing 55lbs would need to eat between three quarters and a pound and a half of onions at one go to be poisoned. Garlic does contain the same chemical, but much less of it, and is probably less than half as toxic – so our same dog would need to eat two or three pounds of garlic to be poisoned.
So small amounts of garlic are fine – but as the toxic effect can to some extent accumulate with repeated doses, I usually recommend having a break from continuous dosing now and then – so one week on, one week off is fine, or two weeks on, one week off would also be perfectly acceptable.
Garlic is such a health giving supplement – its anti infective, helps clears respiratory congestion, can strengthen the circulation, boosts the immune system, and helps keep parasites away – don’t stop giving the garlic!