Wondering Why?

Why is garlic bad for dogs?

Garlic may be a healthy food option for humans, but it certainly doesn’t apply to dogs.  Although there are some reports that some amount of garlic may actually be good for the dog’s immune system, many experts suggest not to feed pets  this particular food item.  Although the bad effects may only be apparent after significant amounts of garlic are ingested in successive days, most pet lovers wouldn’t want to gamble on the chance of making their pets sick.

As a member of the vegetable family of onions, garlic is known to contain substances that are highly toxic for pets like dogs and cats.  Specifically, garlic will cause problems with the dog’s blood system.  With the toxic substance from garlic circulating in the blood, the red blood cells will be greatly affected causing them to explode while traveling through the dog’s bloodstream.  When this condition happens, the dogs will suffer anemia which is highly toxic and could even be fatal for these animals.

Initial stages of the anemia may present with symptoms similar to food poisoning.  Some dogs may either have diarrhea or vomiting.  For most pet owners, these symptoms may be very minor and are often ignored as these commonly happen for various reasons.  But if these symptoms persist for several days and even progress to weakness and lethargy, it may indicate something more serious than food poisoning.  Aside from diarrhea and vomiting, traces of the red blood cells may also be found in the urine of the dogs.  Some owners may also feel some panic when they see their dogs seemingly out of breath all the time.  This particular symptom is a result of the problems involving the red blood cells caused by garlic toxicity.

Although the symptoms will go away once garlic is excluded from the food eaten by dogs, pet owners should still use caution in terms of monitoring the health of their pets.


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