I read a headline the other day "Garlic for Dogs - is it safe?"
Well, I'd always thought that garlic was safe for dogs, that if you put raw garlic in their food, it helped protect against fleas, ticks, worms, infections and promoted good health.
I did a bit of research and found that there was *one* very tiny sample of 8 dogs, 4 of which were given a massive amount of garlic on a daily basis for 7 days. After nine days, they showed signs of Hemolysis (a form of anaemia where the red blood cells rupture) as I'm sure anybody would, being fed the ratio of 5g of garlic per kg of body weight.
That's the equivalent of a human adult, weighing 165 pounds (75kg, 11 stone 11lbs) eating 125 cloves of garlic a day - I think most of us would feel a bit poorly. There'd be no problems with vampires - probably nobody would want to talk to you!
The recommended dose for a large dog is two and a half cloves a day - that puts the experiment into perspective for you.
See the details of the garlic for dogs research undertaken at the Hokkaido University in Japan.
I did more research and came across this fabulous video from Dr Deva Khalsa, who is a holistic veterinary surgeon. Granted, she also has a line of natural pet food and supplements that she is promoting, but I think you'll find what she has to say very interesting and she tells you exactly what's so good about garlic - the information is sound for humans as well.
She's saying that garlic has a wide ranging benefit to your dog's health.
Louis Pasteur, in 1958, found that garlic had a powerful anti-bacterial effect. It is broad spectrum and wide reaching and bacteria don't become resistant to garlic like they do antibiotics.
It releases allicin when chopped and will help them ward off fleas, ticks, lyme disease, is anti-viral and anti-fungal and boosts the immune system.
The National Animal Supplemental Council recorded 900 million doses of garlic over 22 years and there were no serious problems reported. The risks are minuscule and the benefits enormous.
Listen to her short (less than five minute) video to hear what she has to say.
This chart shows the recommended dosage of garlic for dogs according to their size. As you can see, it's way below the levels fed to those poor dogs in that university experiment. I hope the students ate the same amount so they could appreciate how poorly those dogs must have felt! But I doubt it...
So, the best way to prepare the garlic is to chop it finely and leave it for ten to twenty minutes for the allicin to be released.
Then, mix it into your dog's food - that may or may not be easy, depending on your dog.
If your dog likes the taste of garlic, then you're OK, but if he doesn't, then you'll need to hide it in a treat.
I would suggest pushing it into a piece of liver, bread, a canned sardine or other strong tasting food that your dog loves. If your dog is not lactose intolerant, then a daily chunk of cheese won't hurt and may help 'the medicine go down' - but not a spoonful of sugar!
Toss it into the air, so the dog catches and takes it down in one go - job done!
If you have any tips for getting your dog to take garlic, then please contact me - I'd love to share them with others.
Raw garlic is good for your dog, it's healthy and relatively inexpensive. If you grow garlic yourself, then you've got the cheapest dog food supplement you can find.