When you adopt a dog, their health needs to be of the utmost priority. But sad to say, you can’t protect your dog against everything, especially since they can get into some sticky situations.

Dogs are naturally curious beings, so at times, they will end up eating something they shouldn’t, like garlic.

While catching your dog raiding your pantry can be as cute as it is frustrating, dogs eating garlic is no joke.

Garlic can be poisonous for dogs and cause significant problems such as diarrhea, lethargy, and hemolytic anemia in some cases. And to be able to effectively treat garlic poisoning, it’s best to act fast.

That’s why we’ve made this quick guide to the symptoms of garlic poisoning in dogs, why garlic is poisonous for dogs, and how some vets and professionals choose to treat garlic poisoning.

If you want to learn more about the reason garlic is poisonous for dogs, check out this Spot & Tango guide.

The Symptoms of Garlic Poisoning

The symptoms and signs of garlic poisoning vary depending on how much your dog eats. Dogs have to eat a significant amount of garlic to feel the effects of the ingredient. But when they do, symptoms can get concerning.

In light cases of garlic poisoning, gastrointestinal upset is the most common symptom. So, if your dog starts vomiting, experiences diarrhea, or has an upset stomach after eating some garlic, this could be a sign of garlic poisoning.

Additionally, your dog may start feeling lethargic and acting differently when going through garlic poisoning. In serious cases, garlic poisoning can cause an elevated heart rate, drooling, panting, pale gums, and red-colored urine.

Garlic poisoning can be a very serious condition if your dog eats a lot of it. So, if you notice your dog exhibiting these symptoms after eating garlic, then it’s best to call a vet.

That way, they can administer treatment as quickly as possible, reducing the possible effects of garlic poisoning.

How Is Garlic Poisoning In Dogs Treated?

This depends on how soon you contacted the vet. If your dog is at the vet’s hours after eating the garlic, your vet may induce vomiting. This is to get rid of the contaminant as fast as possible and stop it from doing additional damage.

From there, your vet may also administer activated charcoal. This is to absorb all the toxins in the body and stop the garlic from harming your dog.

Additionally, your vet may want to conduct blood work and other tests. This is to check all the other aspects of your dog’s health and to cover all the bases.

With that said, keep in mind that all vets are different and administer treatments depending on the patient. So, there may be slight differences in what your vet does to your dog if you bring them in for garlic poisoning.

Regardless, what’s most important to remember is that the sooner treatment is administered, the better.

What Causes Garlic Poisoning in Dogs?

The main reason garlic is poisonous for dogs is due to a compound known as thiosulfate. This is a toxin that specifically attacks the red blood cells of dogs, which are responsible for carrying oxygenated blood throughout the body.

This doesn’t just apply to garlic, either. In fact, all of the members of the allium family are poisonous to dogs because of the thiosulfates. So, it’s best to keep your dog away from garlic, onions, shallots, chives, and any other member of the allium family for their safety.

Preventing Garlic Poisoning in Dogs

The best way to prevent garlic poisoning in dogs is to keep them away from the ingredient. If your dog spends a lot of time indoors, make sure to keep the garlic in a place they won’t reach or find. Dogs will eat just about anything they find, so the harder it is to get to the garlic, the better.

However, it’s important to remember that the bulbs aren’t the only part of garlic that’s poisonous to dogs. The stems and other parts of the garlic plant are also poisonous to dogs and contain thiosulfates, so if you have allium plants in your garden, make sure your dog won’t be able to get to them.


Garlic poisoning can be very serious for dogs. However, the sooner you notice the signs and symptoms, the sooner treatment can be administered. It’s always best to act fast if your do get garlic poisoning.

The symptoms of garlic poisoning in dogs include an upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, pale gums, panting, an elevated heart rate, and more.

So, if you notice any of these signs or symptoms in your pet, make sure to contact your vet immediately. That way, they can apply the appropriate treatment methods as soon as possible.