I Think My Dog Ate Garlic Powder. Shall I Worry?

Most people take the assumption that if a food is safe for them to eat, it is also safe for their dog to eat. This is not at all true.

The truth is some of the things we love are not good for your dog. In fact, some of them are actually very toxic. Things like chocolate and grapes for example.

But, what about garlic powder? Can dogs eat garlic powder? We have the answer. 

If you suspect your dog has eaten garlic (in any form - dried, powdered, raw, cooked or liquid) contact your vet immediately or Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661.

Is Garlic Powder Bad for Dogs?

dogs and garlic powder

You should know that garlic is toxic for your dog. 

Studies show that Garlic (Allium sativum) is considered to be less toxic for dogs than onions.

A study that administered 5 g of whole garlic/kg once a day for 7 days to 4 dogs, found that the bioactive compounds of garlic - in particular allicin - had the potential to oxidize red blood cell membrane and reduce hemoglobin concentration. It concluded that garlic can result in severe oxidative damage and "thus, foods containing garlic should not be fed to dogs".

Merck Veterinary Manual further concludes that, garlic - while less damaging than onion - contains a chemical called thiosulphate can result in anemia.

The average supermarket clove weighs about 4-7 grams depending on garlic variety and size of bulb. A dog doesn't need to consume a large amount to get seriously sick.

Note that some dog breeds - including smaller breeds - and Japanese breeds of dogs (Akita, Japanese Spitz, Shiba Inu) are more sensitive to garlic toxicity than others. So even small amounts can be quite damaging to their health. The reason for that remains unclear. 

It is best not to give your dog garlic and to take them your vet if you think they have eaten any amount of garlic, even if they show no symptoms.

How Much Garlic Powder Can a Dog Eat?

Help! My dog ate garlic powder. What Shall I do

None at all!

Garlic powder is made of dehydrated garlic. Also note that garlic powder (powder form) is more potent than granulated garlic (coarser).

1 clove of garlic = 1/4 teaspoon powdered garlic.

That small measurement makes garlic powder incredibly toxic for your dog.

As little as 15 grams per kilo of body weight (that’s half an ounce per 2.2 lbs) will cause harmful changes in your dog’s blood supply. As we mentioned, a typical clove of garlic would weigh between 4-7 grams. So, your dog would have to eat 2 or 3 cloves to get sick. However, averages tend to mean nothing in real life.

Some dogs are considerably more sensitive than others. So why would you take the risk with yours? Finally your garlic powder may be far more concentrated and potent than a fresh clove.

Why Is There Garlic Powder in Dog Treats?

Great question. And here’s the paradox:

Some vets and dog nutritionists think that very small quantities of garlic powder can actually be beneficial to your dog.

The logic is that a small amount of garlic can ward off worms and other parasites and even help with fleas.

Others don’t agree! So it’s fair to say that the jury is still out on this one.

While it could be a good conversation to have with your vet, you may decide to go with caution and simply avoid garlic in all its forms completely.

Is Garlic Salt Bad for Dogs?

The short answer is - yes!

It contains both garlic and salt.

Salty foods in general should also be avoided since they can lead to dehydration in your dog and sodium ion poisoning. 

While a small amount of salt in a dog's diet can be beneficial to their health, even as little as 1.5 grams per pound of salt per body weight can be lethal to them. 

Some owners wonder if dogs can eat garlic bread or cheesy garlic bread as the amount of garlic may be minimal. The answer is no!

Help! My Dog Ate Garlic Powder. What do I do?

Symptoms of toxicity in dogs and other illnesses

While garlic has one of those smells that instantly makes us want to eat food, is used in cooking just about anywhere in the world and may even have certain health benefits, the same does not hold true for your dog.

Even small amounts at best will upset his tummy and you will find yourself dealing with vomiting and diarrhea. This in turn will lead to quite severe abdominal pain, dehydration and his illness is going to upset you as much as it hurts him.

If you're afraid that your dog has eaten garlic powder or nibbled on a garlic clove by accident look for the following signs and take action by bringing him to your vet or or the Pet Poison Helpline immediately. 

Take note: Some of these signs may also not be apparent in some dogs for a few days which is why it's key you take action. 

  • Gastrointestinal issues: vomiting, extreme lethargy and diarrhea
  • Panting and restlessness
  • Tail tucking
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Pale gums
  • Increased respiratory rate
  • Drooling
  • Seizures
  • Abdominal tenderness and cramping
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Even collapse

Your pet's reaction to any form of garlic that's ingested will vary based on the breed, size of dog, amount of garlic eaten and their own personal health history.

Take Note

If your dog has ingested garlic and is showing signs of garlic toxicity seek immediate emergency care is essential! Contact your closest animal emergency center for advice and to let them know you are on your way.

Treating Toxicity Caused By Garlic

If your dog has not vomited, your vet may well cause him to do so just to get the remaining spices out of his gastrointestinal tract.

Your vet may also use activated charcoal to act as a decontaminant.

If the poison has already got into the dogs blood stream, contaminating the red blood cells and thus impairing the ability of the circulatory system to deliver the vital oxygen that your dog needs, your vet may have to administer IV fluids and medications including iron as a precursor to a blood transfusion and even oxygen therapy. 

This will not make your dog too happy and will add considerable stress to your day , to say nothing of your finances.

Other Similar Foods That Are Harmful to Pets

Belonging to the same family as garlic, there are other foods that while sizzling away on the stove makes for a great dinner and is enticing to your dog, they are in fact lethal and can cause severe digestion problems for your dog.  They are: 

  • Onions
  • Chives
  • Shallots
  • Leeks
  • Scallions

If you suspect that your dog might have ingested any of these ingredients, contact your vet immediately.

The simplest way to avoid poisoning your dog is clear. Keep him away from herbs and store your garlic in an area your dog cannot reach it.

Be sure to also check out our other related dog food articles dedicated to the safety of foods for pets.

White or Brown Rice for Dogs: Which Is Better?

Help! My Dog Ate Raw Chicken: Should I Worry?

Can Dogs Eat Fish Food? 

Medical DisclaimerIf you are concerned about your pet or fear he has eaten something potentially toxic, visit your veterinarian or call Pet Poison Helpline. They are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your dog. This information is for informational purposes only and is not intended to help assess or manage animal exposures or as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian with respect to your pet. 

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