I started adding garlic to my dogs home cooked food after reading “Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats.”
Let me state right up front that there are a lot of people out their in internet land that say garlic is not good for your dogs and that it does nothing to keep away fleas. All I can say is that I have used it for years and don’t use any type of commercial flea repellent, and have never had a flea problem, and my dogs are also very healthy.
However if you don’t feel comfortable feeding garlic don’t do it. To quote Dr. Pitcairn from his on-line forum after someone posted a negative response to garlic:
“I already said I have not seen problems with garlic in the amounts recommended in the recipes I have used. However, don’t use it if it frightens you. Why make a problem for yourself? Not that important.”
If you want to feed garlic here is what Dr. Pitcairn recommends:
1/8 tsp to each cup of food.
You have different options when it comes to garlic. You can get it in pill form, powder, you can chop it yourself, or you can buy it already chopped.
I buy the big jugs of garlic. I just scoop it right out of the jar and toss it on my dog’s food.
He also recommends slowly introducing the garlic. Here is a list of benefits of garlic:
- Garlic has high sulfur content, and it is thought that the sulfur, excreted through the dog’s skin, repels fleas, ticks, mites and other biting insects. The sulfur excretion can also help rid the dog of bacterial or fungal microbes that may be present on the skin, helping to heal itching, irritated skin.
- Worms are repelled by garlic.
- Because of the sulfur, garlic helps kill any bacteria in the lungs. Great for dogs with allergies and helps with kennel cough.
- Animal and human studies have shown that garlic can reduce blood sugar levels. Great for dogs with diabetes.
- Dogs with arthritis can benefit form garlic. Garlic improves circulation.
- Garlic promotes production of white blood cells – strengthening the dog’s immune system.
- Garlic is great for newborn puppies and their mothers. Smaller doses of garlic is fed to the mother and is passed through her milk to the puppies. This helps the puppies fight infections. It also helps the puppies with diarrhea.
- Studies in humans have shown that the active ingredient in garlic “allicin” increases the levels of catylase and glutathione peroxidase. These are antioxidant enzymes.
- Garlic has been shown to re-populate good bacteria in your dog’s stomach after a treatment of antibiotics. When your dog goes on antibiotics, it wipes out the bad bacteria – BUT it also wipes out the good bacteria. Garlic and acidophilus (found in yogurt) can help replace the good bacteria.
- Garlic is believed to have anti-cancer properties. Research recommends that any dog with cancer can benefit from garlic.
As I stated earlier, I have been feeding it to my dogs for years with no problems. As with any drug or herb that you feed your dog, you should watch for any sensitivities.