Can Dogs Eat Garlic Bread: Is Garlic Bread Safe for Dogs?

Garlic bread: a dinnertime favorite and a holiday tradition for many. It’s a tasty component that is easy to make and enjoy, so it’s no surprise that dogs will beg for it. That’s right, everyone’s favorite side dish can be dangerous to dogs. While garlic bread looks completely harmless and innocuous, garlic is toxic to dogs. Garlic bread is also made with butter, oil, and other herbs, which are also not healthy for dogs. Read on to help prevent garlic poisoning and what to do if your dog does consume it:

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Can Dogs Eat Garlic Bread?

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No! Dogs cannot safely eat garlic bread. Garlic, as well as onions, are part of the allium family, which contains Thiosulfate. Although it’s perfectly safe for humans, Thiosulfate is very toxic to dogs because it damages the red blood cells. That damage can result in hemolytic anemia, a condition in which the red blood cells attack themselves. Severe cases of anemia from garlic poisoning need veterinary treatment immediately. Garlic can also cause gastrointestinal issues, discoloration of the urine, and diarrhea, all of which can last a few days after.

Is Garlic Bread Good for Dogs?

No! Garlic bread is NOT good for dogs and should not be fed to dogs, especially if there are other herbs on it as well. As we mentioned above, garlic and onions are toxic to dogs. However, garlic bread is also made with butter, which can cause severe gastrointestinal issues as well. Large amounts of butter can even lead to pancreatitis, which can be fatal if not treated by a veterinarian. Garlic bread is also made with bread, which can cause issues depending on the type of bread. White and wheat bread are generally safe, but bread with nuts, seeds, and herbs may not be safe.

Should I Give My Dog Garlic Bread?

No! You should never give your dog garlic bread, even in small amounts. Small dogs are especially prone to severe garlic poisoning, but bigger dogs can easily become sick from it as well. Feeding your dog any human food is not a good idea, but it’s better to find plain, unseasoned food that is safe for dogs to eat. Food items like plain chicken breast, peanut butter, and white rice are all safe for your dog to eat, which are all healthier than garlic bread. If you’re worried about dinner guests feeding your dog, keep your dog away from the dinner table to remove the temptation.Divider 4

Health Risks of Garlic Bread for Dogs

Garlic bread has a lot of health risks that can be fatal to your dog, especially small dogs that weigh less than 20 pounds. Like we said before garlic can cause hemolytic anemia, which causes the red blood cells to attack themselves. This is a serious condition that needs veterinary treatment, with severe cases leading to death. Garlic bread is also made with fatty butter or oil and can lead to other complications, but the main concern is with the garlic and potential garlic poisoning.

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Can Dogs Eat Raw Garlic?

No. Raw garlic still contains thiosulfate, which is the chemical that causes toxicity in dogs. Thiosulfate is found not only in garlic, but in onions, shallots, leeks, and chives, which are all part of the allium family. Raw, cooked, or processed, all of these herbs should not be fed to your dog, since they can lead to serious complications. If your dog manages to steal a piece of uncooked garlic bread, check for symptoms of garlic poisoning and call your vet immediately. Do not induce vomiting unless specifically asked by the vet, as this can cause damage to the esophagus and stomach lining.

Can Dogs Have Cooked or Baked Garlic?

No. While some food can be safe for dogs when cooked, garlic bread and anything related to garlic are still toxic to dogs after being cooked or baked. Just like raw garlic, the thiosulfate is still present after processing and baking. This also applies to dried garlic, minced garlic, garlic powder, minced onions, and onion powder. Any food that contains garlic, onions, leeks, shallots, and chives should be avoided, regardless if they’re raw, baked, or dried.

What Should I Do If My Dog Eats Garlic Bread?

Garlic bread and any food containing items with thiosulfate can turn a nice dinner night into a full-blown emergency, so it’s important to avoid it in the first place. Even small doses of garlic can be harmful and cause minor symptoms of garlic poisoning, so it’s crucial that to avoid it completely. If your dog ate a big piece of garlic bread, the symptoms can arise within a half hour.

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However, dogs are smart and know how to beg. If your dog stole a piece of garlic bread or one of your guests gave your dog a piece, call your vet immediately and follow the directions. You may not even realize that your dog has consumed garlic bread until symptoms start showing. If your dog is suddenly acting funny, check the list of garlic poisoning symptoms and call your vet or an emergency vet immediately.

Symptoms of Garlic Poisoning
  • Vomiting/Diarrhea – If your dog is throwing up or has the runs, are there other symptoms that indicate garlic poisoning?
  • Pale gums – check your dog’s gums to see if they’re pale and no longer red/pink in color.
  • Lethargy – Is your dog more tired than usual? Is your dog not responding to you?
  • Excessive salivation – If your dog is salivating more than normal, this is an indication of multiple medical conditions.
  • Urine Discoloration – Check your dog’s urine and the color. Is it yellow or a red/brown color?
  • Dehydration – Is your dog’s skin loose? Is your dog panting and drinking an excessive amount of water?
  • Ataxia – Is your dog moving awkwardly? Does your dog appear to be wobbling or moving funny?
  • Anemia – Is your dog’s stool dark and tarry? Is he struggling to stay awake?
  • Collapse – If your dog has collapsed, find the closest animal hospital immediately. This is an indication of hemolytic anemia and needs immediate medical treatment.

If your dog is showing any of these symptoms, especially pale gums, ataxia, and lethargy, call your vet immediately. For more serious symptoms like anemia, urine discoloration, and collapse, go to a vet hospital as soon as possible. While garlic poisoning can usually be treated with little to no long-term effects, ignoring these symptoms can lead to further complications. Although it’s rare and your dog would have to eat a large amount of garlic, garlic poisoning can lead to death.

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How Long Does Garlic Poisoning Last?

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While garlic poisoning symptoms can arise within a half-hour of consumption, it can take up to five days for your dog to fully recover. With veterinary treatment, your dog should start to feel better within 24 hours. It will depend solely on your dog’s weight, the amount of garlic that was consumed, and how quickly treatment has started. Some symptoms may still be affecting your dog like vomiting, urine discoloration, diarrhea, and lethargy, depending on the severity of the poisoning. If your dog has developed hemolytic anemia, long-term medical care may be needed.

My Dog’s Supplements Contain Garlic Powder. What Should I Do?

There is a debate on whether garlic is safe in small amounts, usually found in “all-natural” flea and tick supplements. While these studies claim that garlic is safe is small, minute amounts, other studies disagree and find that even small amounts can be toxic. If your dog’s supplements contain garlic powder, we recommend asking your veterinarian if they’re safe. Many of these all-natural supplements contain questionable ingredients and should always be checked by your dog’s vet. To prevent garlic poisoning or any other medical concerns, do not start your dog on a new supplement without your vet’s opinion.Divider 7

Can Dogs Eat Garlic Bread Summary

Garlic bread may be a dinnertime favorite and a tasty side for most dishes, it’s best to keep it on your plate and away from your dog. Garlic, onions, chives, and all herbs from the allium family contain thiosulfate, which is the chemical that leads to toxicity in dogs. It can cause serious complications if left untreated, so it’s important not to feed your dog anything with garlic in it. Should any symptoms arise that are of concern, call your vet or go to an emergency hospital. If you want to feed your dog some tasty human snacks, try food like blueberries, cucumbers, and other dog-safe alternatives.


Featured image credit: distelAPPArath, Pixabay