June 04, 2021

What's the deal with garlic?

What's the deal with garlic?
Dr. Chris Brown

Seriously garlic. You can't have it both ways. Listed as toxic AND somehow appearing in some dog and cat foods and even natural flea treatments. So it's time for a Drool investigation. So here's the pungent truth on garlic...

So here’s the first thing you need to know.

Dogs metabolise garlic differently to people. So much so that the ‘thiosulfate’ in garlic is damaging to the furry family's red blood cells. So...there is such a thing as a toxic level of garlic. And here it is...

Your dog will damage their precious red blood cells if they eat between 15 and 30 grams of garlic per kilogram of their body weight. And given the average clove of garlic weighs 5 grams this means a 10kg Cavoodle would have to munch down on at least 30 cloves of garlic to have problems. For a 30kg Labrador, that’s over 90 cloves.

Putting the thought of that garlic breath that could make your nose bleed aside for just a moment, you can see that’s an extraordinarily large amount of garlic.

And while they can still have problems even if they accumulate this amount over a few days, it makes the risk of a true garlic toxicity extremely small. The same applies for cats. Even though they're typically less drawn to the flavour (and typical garlic laden foods) than dogs are...

Basically, sneaking a slice of your garlic bread or a lick of your garlic laden tomato sauce isn’t going to give them anaemia. So breathe easy...and queasy.

Garlic is unlikely to prompt a trip to hospital. Oh and it’s also unlikely to save you a trip to the vet for flea treatments. It just doesn’t work as a natural flea treatment. It will definitely keep the kisses away though...

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