You’ve probably all seen lists of human foods that are ok to share with our pups, and those that aren’t safe to share. I’ve put together one of those lists myself, and had listed garlic in the “not safe to share” category, along with onions (click below to read my post from earlier this year):
Did you know? The reason provided by those claiming garlic is toxic to dogs is that it contains thiosulphate, which can cause liver damage & death when consumed in large quantities.
It wasn’t until recently that I learned that garlic is indeed GOOD for dogs when I came across a tweet by Darwin’s Natural Pet Products (they happen to deliver our ground raw food for Missy & Buzz):
The article Darwin’s linked to was written by Dr. Deva Khalsa for the magazine Dogs Naturally (click for article). Dr. Khalsa has practiced a blend of holistic & traditional veterinary medicine for over 25 years.
What Convinced Me That Garlic Is Good For My K9s
I am not going to summarize her article here (I do recommend you head over there and ready it yourselves!), I just want to share which part of it I found convincing enough to feed my pups the dehydrated pre-mix (for feeding raw food) by Sojos, which contains garlic.
Side Note: Several weeks ago, my hubby Ian was at a pet supply store to pick up some more of Dr. Harvey’s grain-free Premix Veg-to-Bowl we had been using for our pups’ raw meals. The store happened to be out of Dr. Harvey’s Premix, so Ian was proactive and searched the store for similar products.
He proudly returned with a bag of Sojos’ pre-mix, and was bummed when I pointed out that we wouldn’t be able to feed this food to Missy & Buzz because it contained garlic (I did wonder why on Earth this food would contain any garlic!).
Fast forward to August 18th when I read the article by Dr. Khalsa in Dogs Naturally.
She explained that a 75 lb dog would have to eat 5 complete heads of garlic (or 75 cloves of garlic) in each meal before experiencing adverse effects on his red blood cells; a 10 lb dog would experience side effects after having eaten half a head of garlic (i.e. 6-8 garlic cloves) in each meal.
Moderation Is Key
So the rule of thumb is to let our dogs consume garlic in moderation in order to reap its health benefits. This makes sense to me, as moderation is key in so many aspects of both K9 and human lives.
Now, I do not know how much garlic is present in the 2 lb bag of Sojos pre-mix, but since it appears towards the very bottom of the ingredient list (15th out of 17 ingredients), I feel that it must be safe to consume.
Side note: The ingredients on any bag or can of dog food are always listed in descending order, meaning that the first few ingredients are the most prevalent ones in the respective food.
What Makes Garlic So Healthy?
Allicin is the major biologically active component of garlic and responsible for the plethora of garlic’s health benefits (anti-microbal, anti-bacterial, anti-cancer). Allicin only occurs in crushed or finely chopped garlic (not in the untouched clove).
How Can The Raw Garlic Be Served?
There’s two easy options to serve garlic to your pup: Either by topping his meal with some freshly chopped or crushed garlic, or by feeding a food which already contains garlic, such as the Sojos pre-mix I mentioned earlier.
Did you know about garlic’s plethora of health benefits? Does your dog food contain any? As always, we’d love to hear from you in our comment section!