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Is Garlic Safe for Dogs?
by Tony Isaacs and Luella May
(The Best Years in Life) There is a lot of controversy and misinformation about the safety of garlic and dogs. Although some contend that garlic is toxic for dogs and should never be given to them, the truth is quite different. While garlic is indeed toxic to cats, when given in proper amounts it can be quite beneficial for our furry canine friends in a number of ways.
The Many Benefits of Garlic for Dogs
Garlic has some powerful benefits for dogs, as is also true for humans. Many of the benefits garlic has for dogs are due to its high sulfur content. For example, the sulfur in garlic excreted through the skin of dogs repels fleas, ticks, mites, and other parasites.
Taken internally as well as applied externally, garlic's sulfur content expels bacterial and fungal microbes that may be present in and on the skin. In addition, the sulfur content helps garlic heal itching and irritated skin.
Garlic is also a good expectorant, once again due to the sulfur content. When the sulfur content reaches the dog's lungs it helps with allergies and it expels irritants, such as dust, spores, and pollen from the lungs. That makes garlic a great remedy for hay fever, seasonal allergies, kennel cough, and other respiratory problems
Some of the other ways garlic can be beneficial are:
· Deworming - Garlic is an excellent dewormer. Worms in the digestive tract are repelled by garlic. If a dog has repeated worm infestations, garlic fed twice a week may be just the solution for getting rid of this problem.
· Bacterial Infections - Garlic is good for getting rid of bacterial infections, both internally and topically. Externally, a wound can be prevented from becoming infected by applying garlic on the wound area.
· Diabetes - Animal (as well as human) studies have shown that garlic can reduce blood-sugar levels. Researchers noted an increase in serum insulin and improvement in liver glycogen storage after ingesting garlic.
· Immune Systems - Garlic helps in the production of white blood cells, helping strengthen the dog's resistance to all types of infections. It is a powerful treatment for dogs whose immune systems are compromised. It helps dogs that are lethargic due to declining health. It can also bolster the immune system to ward off contagious conditions present in other dogs your dog may come into contact with.
· Garlic can also be given to newborn puppies in smaller amounts as well as to their mothers so that it is passed on to the puppies through her milk and helps strengthen their immune systems.
· Healthy Gut Flora - Garlic helps to keep healthy bacteria thriving in the gut. It would be a very good item to help restore healthy gut flora to a dog that has been given antibiotics, but also a good idea to give regularly to maintain a healthy balance of good and bad bacteria.
· Cancer - Garlic has powerful anti-cancer properties and there is promising research in this area. It is recommended that dogs with cancer have garlic regularly included in their diet.
Feeding Garlic to Dogs
When feeding garlic to dogs, fresh garlic is the best option. It is the most potent form of the herb. However, it does need to be chopped. Note that not all dogs will eat fresh garlic, even if it's mixed into their food and it may take a bit of experimentation to determine which form of garlic is most palatable to your dog. If your dog will not accept garlic, it may benefit from pure, cold-pressed garlic oil, and several manufacturers make it in gelatin capsules. However, it is important to make sure that these capsules dissolve properly after the dog takes it (which you can do by checking the dog's stool to see if there are whole or partial capsules in it). If you decide to feed dried garlic, it is important to get cold-pressed garlic powder that has not been heat treated.
When you begin introducing garlic to your dog, start with just a little bit. Then increase the amount little by little over about two weeks. The average dose of garlic for large dogs is one fresh, crushed garlic clove per day. If you feed pure, cold-pressed garlic powder or granules, the equivalent is about a half-teaspoon. The suggestion for medium-sized dogs is half a clove (or 1/4 teaspoon of powder); for small dogs, give just a quarter clove or a pinch or two of the powder.
As is true with humans, it is important to watch for any sensitivities or reactions in your dog when giving them any drug or herb.
Note that a high daily dose of garlic given to dogs for an extended period of time may result in depleting their intestinal flora. Therefore, if your dog's condition is seasonal or temporary, once the condition has been resolved, it is probably a good idea to slowly decrease the amount of garlic given until the dog is no longer taking garlic or only taking it in small amounts.
When feeding raw garlic to your dog, a condition known as Heinz-Body Anemia can result. However, this condition which is very common in cats, is uncommon for dogs. Heinz-Body Anemia destroys red cells. This condition is common for both dogs and cats when they consume onions and thus both dogs and cats should never be given onions. Symptoms of this condition are lethargy and a pale mouth, gums, and lips. If your dog shows these signs after eating garlic, stop immediately. Once you do, the symptoms will then begin improve and go away with no lasting effects.
Many of the benefits listed above for garlic in dogs are echoed with colloidal silver, which is entirely safe to give to dogs (as well as cats). In particular, colloidal silver is wonderful for beating all kinds of internal pathogens as well as topical applications for wounds, cuts and scrapes. Colloidal silver also heals and prevents parvo and it usually gives older dogs renewed vigor and friskiness not seen in years – I have personally witnessed it time and again. I believe that a combination of colloidal silver and garlic would be a wonderful option for many conditions in our furry friends and it is one I will likely use in the future for my own three “found dogs”.
About the author
Tony Isaacs is a member of the National Health Federation and the American Botanical Council. He is a natural health advocate and researcher and the author of books and articles about natural health including "Cancer's Natural Enemy." Mr. Isaacs articles are featured at The Truth About Cancer, the Health Science Institute's Healthiertalk website, CureZone, the Crusador, Health Secrets, the Cancer Tutor, the Silver Bulletin, the New Zealand Journal of Natural Health, and several other venues. In addition, he hosts the Yahoo Oleandersoup Health group of over 3500 members and the CureZone Ask Tony Isaacs - Featuring Luella May forum. He is also the local moderator of the CureZone Cancer Alternatives forum. Tony and his partner Luella May host The Best Years in Life natural health website where their motto is "It's never too late or too early to begin living longer, healthier and happier lives."
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