Can dogs have garlic powder? Here’s what you need to know. Garlic is an ingredient and seasoning that takes on many different forms. It can be used whole, as a spray formulation, or more commonly, as garlic powder or garlic salt to apply liberally to dishes. Since garlic powder is not used like whole garlic, can dogs have garlic powder in this particular form?
Dogs should refrain from eating any garlic, and this includes garlic powder. Garlic powder can even have a more potent concentration than raw, whole garlic. Garlic in any form is toxic to dogs and can lead to a condition that attacks canine red blood cells leading to hemolytic anemia that can be fatal.
Since garlic comes in many different forms, you may be wondering if garlic powder is toxic to dogs. In this guide, we will take an in-depth look at garlic powder to determine if dogs can eat garlic in this form. You may also be surprised that trace amounts of garlic powder can be found in some dog treats. Read on to find out more.
Is Garlic Powder Bad for Dogs?
Garlic powder is a type of garlic that has been dehydrated and then crushed and ground into a fine powder. Garlic powder is used more than regular garlic since it is found to release the taste of garlic much more potently in a wide variety of foods. Since garlic powder is essentially garlic that has been dried and crushed, it is in no way different from raw garlic.
This means that garlic powder is very bad for dogs. Garlic is a bulb that grows on a plant belonging to the allium family of plants, commonly classified as vegetables. Onions are also in this family of plants. To make garlic powder, the garlic bulbs are dehydrated, which is a process that increases the flavor of the garlic and also maintains the life of the garlic bulb for long periods.
Garlic poisons a dog’s system. The main ingredient in garlic that causes this is thiosulfate. Thiosulfate is an anion that is related to oxidative effects in the blood. For reasons still being researched, this anion seems to have a reverse effect in canines, so instead of aiding blood oxidation, it attacks a dog’s red blood cells, which leads to a deadly type of hemolytic anemia.
With that in mind, it does take adequate amounts of garlic to cause the condition in dogs. Researchers estimate that between 15 to 30 grams of garlic will likely trigger hemolytic anemia in dogs. This translates to roughly between 4 to 20 cloves in its raw form.
Things get much trickier with garlic powder. It is difficult to know the exact amount of garlic in powder form, but it is likely much less than the danger zone of 15 to 30 grams. Also, this threshold is not a universal certainty for all dogs; some dogs could experience toxic symptoms from very small amounts of garlic. Let’s take a closer look at some of the symptoms of garlic toxicity in dogs.
Symptoms of Garlic Toxicity in Dogs
- Stomach and bowel problems: Your dog will likely experience severe stomach upset from garlic toxicity, which can manifest in lethargy, restlessness, or excessive panting. Chronic diarrhea is also possible since your dog’s system will work hard to expel the garlic. Excessive vomiting is also a major symptom of garlic toxicity.
- Racing heart rate: The effects of garlic toxicity in dogs can also cause elevated heart rate and rapid heartbeats while at rest. This is a major sign of a severe problem, and you should seek emergency medical attention immediately for your dog.
- Drooling and pale gums: Your dog’s gums may also appear pale in color, and this is a result of a blood disorder, which garlic toxicity certainly is. Your dog may also drool, which is a common symptom of poisoning.
- Disorientation and seizures: When a dog is poisoned, its entire body, including its brain, goes haywire. Your dog may appear disoriented and stumble when they walk. Seizures are also a common symptom of garlic toxicity.
- Total collapse: Your dog may start walking slowly and completely collapse from a loss of consciousness. This is directly related to the poisoning effect garlic is causing to your dog’s circulatory system.
These are just some of the many symptoms your dog may experience if they have been poisoned by garlic consumption. The same effects can be true if the toxicity comes from garlic powder or onions. It is important to call your vet immediately if you notice any of these signs that persist beyond a few hours.
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Is Garlic Powder Not as Bad as Whole Garlic for Dogs?
You may think garlic powder is not as concentrated or voluminous as whole garlic, but in some ways, garlic powder can be even worse. For one thing, garlic powder encapsulates all of the compounds in a clove of garlic and releases the compounds in an airier and freeing concentration.
One-fourth of a teaspoon of garlic powder translates to an entire clove. This means that a small amount of garlic powder contains more potency than one whole garlic clove. To reach the threshold mentioned above to trigger garlic toxicity in a dog, it would take far less garlic powder to reach that point in comparison to garlic cloves, which dogs likely would not have access to anyway.
But garlic powder appears in virtually any kind of snack food or treat that we eat. So when we give our dogs samples of treats containing garlic powder, the volume increases. Additionally, the more garlic powder is given to a dog over days at a time, the more the toxic effects can build within a dog’s bloodstream.
Is There Garlic Powder in Dog Treats?
Surprisingly, small, trace amounts of garlic powder can be found in certain dog treats. As mentioned, it does take a fairly substantial quantity of garlic to lead to garlic toxicity in dogs. Furthermore, garlic can help fight against common dog parasites such as worms and fleas.
Thankfully, manufacturers of dog treats do have to disclose if garlic powder is contained in the treats they are selling. Honestly, it is best to avoid these treats altogether. When it comes to garlic, a zero-tolerance policy is the best policy to follow to ensure your dog stays safe.
Related: Can Dogs Eat Rice Krispies?
Are Small Amounts of Garlic Powder Okay for Dogs?
Small, minuscule amounts of garlic powder will likely not cause immediate concern in your dog’s health. We have all likely made a mistake and given a dog a piece of lunch meat with small amounts of garlic powder. The important thing is to know what garlic does to a dog, which should help you remember to avoid it completely in your dog’s diet.
The main problem with the moderation theory concerning garlic powder is that it simply is not worth the risk. This is equivalent to playing Russian Roulette with your dog’s health and even their life.
Is Garlic Salt Okay for Dogs to Eat?
Another type of garlic derivative similar to garlic powder is garlic salt. Garlic salt is garlic powder with large concentrations of salt added to bring out robust flavors in food. Many people choose to cook with garlic salt because it covers the need for garlic and salt in one go.
This type of garlic powder is perhaps even worse than garlic powder on its own for your dog. Not only is there a concern about the garlic, but garlic salt also increases the risk that your dog could suffer from a possible case of salt poisoning. Avoid garlic salt at all costs if this ingredient features in something you are thinking about feeding your dog.
Related: Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken Breast?
What Can a Veterinarian Do if My Dog Ate Garlic Powder?
If you are concerned that your dog may have eaten too much garlic powder, the first step would be to call your veterinarian directly. Your vet will likely ask roughly how much was consumed and want to know how your dog is currently behaving.
If toxicity is suspected, a veterinarian will likely perform a gastric lavage procedure (stomach pumping) to remove all the contents of your dog’s stomach, including the garlic powder. If the garlic has already infiltrated your dog’s bloodstream, a veterinarian may order a blood transfusion, but this is only in the most severe circumstances, which are somewhat rare.
Conclusion For “Can Dogs Have Garlic Powder”
In summary, garlic powder is just as bad, if not worse, than raw garlic cloves for your dog’s health. Garlic powder is a highly concentrated form of garlic, and it likely takes less garlic powder to lead to garlic poisoning than if a dog was to eat whole garlic cloves outright.
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