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Garlic Toxicity and Pets

by Sarene Maev Butao September 24, 2019

Garlic Toxicity and Pets


Garlic is known for its miraculous powers that addresses health-related complications such as preventing heart disease, warding off high cholesterol, gets ride off flea, and most of all, protecting yourself from cancer. That’s why we always add garlic as an ingredient to give our dishes that spice it needs to make it even more savory and flavorful. Don’t you just love eating something delicious and healthy at the same time? 

However, it’s a whole different picture for pets as garlic is said to be poisonous for them. In fact, it is even considered as five times potent compared to onions and leeks, two vegetables that are also unsafe for pets as well. With plenty of food that’s harmful for them, such as chocolate, who would’ve thought that garlic will also be included in the list too? So what’s the deal with this whole garlic thing with pets anyway?

The Dangers of Garlic to Pets

Just like onions, garlic belongs to the allium family, a food group that contains thiosulfate, which is a substance that’s harmful for pets but are completely safe for humans to consume. Thiosulfate is known to cause oxidative damage to your pet’s red blood cells and may lead to hemolytic anemia, which is a severe health condition that might put a toll on your pet’s health. The symptoms of the said condition include:

  • Nausea
  • Improper bowel movement
  • Lethargy
  • Pale gums
  • Lack of energy
  • Appetite loss
  • Rapid heart rate 
  • Vomiting

However, it can only be dangerous if your pet is consuming garlic in a frequent manner. If you let your cats or dog eat garlic say for example, once a week, then it should be fine. But keep in mind that not all pets are the same. There are some that are tolerant to such things, and there are those who aren’t. There are specific dog or cat breeds that are too sensitive to such food, while there are others who just devour what’s in front of them just like a walk in the park.

Healthy Alternatives

There are plenty of vegetables and fruits available around that you can feed to your pets. Apples, carrots, oranges, watermelons, leafy greens, all of these contain essential nutrients that your pets need. Don’t just limit yourself on feeding them cat or dog food only. Of course, I’m not saying that dog/cat foods are bad, they are completely fine but the natural way is still the healthy way so to speak.

Asking for Help

If you feel that your cat or dog have fed on garlic too much and shows uncommon behavior that you haven’t noticed before, then it’s time to have a phone call to your vet’s office and bring them there immediately. Keep in mind that garlic should never, ever be fed on your pets in a daily basis because doing so is a recipe for disaster. Your best bet is having a trip to your vet’s office so he/she can recommend the best medication that suits your pet.

Check out our other pet friendly advice like the cause of bad breath in pets and are wild mushrooms okay for pets?

Sarene Maev Butao
Sarene Maev Butao

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