Garlic & Dogs.
January 19, 2014 2:28 PM   Subscribe

My roommate's 25 lb. mutt ate little tuna with a sprinkling of garlic powder (about 1/10th(?) teaspoon worth). Since garlic is extremely toxic to dogs, should I be worried?
posted by pakoothefakoo to Pets & Animals (16 answers total)
Per this link, it could be a problem. I would call a vet.

How much of the sprinkling of garlic powder did the dog actually ingest? If that represents the amount ingested, I wouldn't be worried per se, but I would definitely call the vet right away. If you put a dash of garlic powder into the dish, of which the dog ate a bite or two, I would be less concerned.
posted by Sara C. at 2:32 PM on January 19, 2014

Don't panic. The onion family can cause problems in the blood, but that amount will probably not present a problem. Keep an eye on the pooch and if anything seems wrong call the vet.
posted by trip and a half at 2:32 PM on January 19, 2014 [2 favorites]

I personally wouldn't be worried at all. Qualifications: lifetime dog owner, involved with multiple dog rescues, "go to person" for dozens of family and friends on dog training, generally a neurotic and overly concerned owner.

Keep an eye on the dog and if he starts drooling excessively, becoming unduly lethargic or agitated or otherwise seems off, call a vet. But I wouldn't be worried at all.

PS: some people feed their dog raw garlic, which I don't recommend, but lots of folks have done it successfully. For a dog of that size, they might feed him 1 clove of garlic each day. One clove is about 1/2 a teaspoon of dried garlic. So if he really ate 1/8th then I'm sure he's fine!
posted by barnone at 2:40 PM on January 19, 2014 [4 favorites]

I wouldn't worry. I know people who feed raw garlic to their dogs to combat fleas with no problems. An entire bulb of garlic is something I'd worry about, a portion of a clove wouldn't cause me to be concerned.
posted by quince at 2:47 PM on January 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

Yeah, also what barnone said. I live in the Mission District in San Francisco, where tourists and hipsters and who knows who else are for some reason always just dropping their half-eaten burritos, pizzas, onion bagels, whatever directly onto the sidewalk for my dog to snarf them up despite my diligence. No serious problems six years in.

Don't feed your dogs a diet of onions or garlic. Other than that, don't worry too much.

(Also from research I did earlier, I remember that garlic is not as bad as onion for them.)
posted by trip and a half at 2:48 PM on January 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

Many homemade dog treat recipes you see online have garlic powder as an ingredient. I'm not saying it's right, but the fact that none of them have "I made this recipe and my dog got sick" reviews should help put your mind at ease.
posted by phunniemee at 3:33 PM on January 19, 2014

Personally (in a previous line of work I did a lot of research into pet nutrition, and I have a dog who will snarf something up before it even hits the ground) I wouldn't be worried, just keep an eye on the dog. Garlic toxicity is highly dependent upon amount and that amount doesn't sound dangerous to me.
posted by sm1tten at 4:02 PM on January 19, 2014

The toxic dose of garlic is on the order of 10 g/kg for dogs. For a 25 pound dog you're looking at 120 grams of garlic. So something like 40 cloves of garlic.

The amount of garlic in a tiny sprinkling is orders of magnitude less than 40 cloves worth.

If that much garlic would harm a dog, even a small one, their bodies would litter the streets all day and night.
posted by Justinian at 4:17 PM on January 19, 2014 [13 favorites]

nothing the notion not to worry. With garlic and often even with chocolate, it takes a lot more than you think to cause a life-threatening concern. Onions and raisins, on the other hand, can be toxic in some pretty small doses, but even then I've heard anecdotes about dogs eating large amounts and coming out fine.

The downside is with most of these the symptoms can take hours or even a few days to show up. With grapes, raisins, and onions, their livers shut down and by the time you notice a problem it's often pretty late in the process.
posted by tkolstee at 5:10 PM on January 19, 2014

The toxicity of raisins and onions is less than that of garlic.
posted by Justinian at 6:12 PM on January 19, 2014

The biggest concerns with these things are tiny dogs as it takes very little to harm them due to their weight. 25 pounds is smallish but that amount of garlic is won't hurt him.
posted by AlexiaSky at 9:12 PM on January 19, 2014

I wouldn't worry. I've asked the vet about this and they said that is was more that there are long term effects of garlic on dogs, so you don't want it to be a regular component of their food. She said it would not be a problem when they occasionally accidentally ate human food leftovers.

This was a labrador, but the idea should be the same.

This link suggests that large amounts are needed to be toxic:
Onions and Garlic

All close members of the onion family (shallots, onions, garlic, scallions, etc.) contain compounds that can damage dogs’ red blood cells if ingested in sufficient quantities. A rule of thumb is “the stronger it is, the more toxic it is.” Garlic tends to be more toxic than onions, on an ounce-for-ounce basis. While it’s uncommon for dogs to eat enough raw onions and garlic to cause serious problems, exposure to concentrated forms of onion or garlic, such as dehydrated onions, onion soup mix or garlic powder, may put dogs at risk of toxicosis. The damage to the red blood cells caused by onions and garlic generally doesn’t become apparent until three to five days after a dog eats these vegetables. Affected dogs may seem weak or reluctant to move, or they may appear to tire easily after mild exercise. Their urine may be orange-tinged to dark red in color. These dogs should be examined by a veterinarian immediately. In severe cases, blood transfusions may be needed.

I know it says "garlic powder" in the list, but I think that' probably is more of a "ate the whole shaker" not a small amount in food.

If you do call the vet, they might be able to ease your mind, which would be fine. If they tell you to call pet poison control, that will cost $75 (or at least it did five years ago.)
posted by mercredi at 9:56 PM on January 19, 2014

Nthing what everyone else said and adding, via benefit of my advanced age, that 30 years ago lots of people fed their dogs raw garlic for worm and flea control. It was very common and in fact often recommended by your mellower sort of hippie vet. I never did it - I never had a dog who would agree to participate - but a lot of my friends did, with dogs of varying sizes, and there was never an issue, although the dogs had interesting breath. I think a little garlic powder is nothing to worry about.
posted by mygothlaundry at 7:01 AM on January 20, 2014

The amount of garlic powder consumed is not likely to be acutely toxic to a 25lb dog. Garlic powder is more concentrated than whole garlic, and therefore more toxic.

As others have stated above, onions and garlic are metabolized in the GI tract to highly reactive oxidative metabolites. ALL ingested garlic will case some degree of hemolysis in dogs and cats. It's only when sufficient red blood cells have been damaged to alter the overall oxygen carrying capacity of the blood and/or to cause hemoglobinuria that the toxicosis becomes clinically evident.

30 years ago lots of people fed their dogs raw garlic for worm and flea control

Please do not do this. Regularly feeding your dog or cat garlic for worm and flea control does not work and it lyses your animal's red blood cells. In these modern times, there are parasiticides that actually work, that are safe, and that do not cause hemolytic anemia.
posted by Seppaku at 10:16 AM on January 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

Dog is ok!

Thanks y'all!
posted by pakoothefakoo at 2:36 PM on January 21, 2014 [3 favorites]

I know it's too late for this now, but if you ever have a question like this again, and if you are in the US, please call animal poison control. In my experience, I have only been charged if my VET calls poison control, but if I do, they haven't charged. If they do try and charge you, you could also try calling your vet or any 24-hour vet.

Glad your dog is fine!
posted by freezer cake at 8:19 PM on January 21, 2014

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