The Miracle of Garlic 07/10/12
Is it safe to feed your dogs garlic? Yes. But make sure you don't overdo it. By Paul Jacobson.
Garlic has always been deemed as a miracle herb as it contains powerful antioxidants which destroy bacteria and in the case of our pets, helps get rid of fleas and ticks.
A number of years ago, articles and discussions relating to onion and garlic and its link to Heinz-body anemia (the thinning of the blood) started emerging. These studies suggested that if dogs eat garlic and onions, this could contribute to this anemia.
The confusion about garlic, I suspect, came after the major recall of most of the commercial pet food brands a few years ago, when melamine was found in pet food. After that, many people moved away from commercial processed food and moved towards natural, home-prepared meals. From what I can see, the industry retaliated by disseminating misleading information to recover market share, which included ridiculous claims about the dangers of garlic.
There was a time that we had full confidence in garlic to sort out many ailments and protect our pets from parasites, but now we are not sure which way to turn.
Let me put this subject to rest, once and forever.
What is clear is that most of the claims about the dangers of garlic were linked to research that fed animals excessive quantities.
Like everything in life, anything in excess is dangerous.
In one of the main studies published in Materia Medica, garlic and onions were tested in a laboratory for their relation to Heinz-body anemia. The important finding was that the dangers were dose dependent, “typically involving doses exceeding 0.5% of the subject animal’s body weight”. This means that a 20kg dog would have to consume a minimum of 100g of onion or garlic (two whole onions or a quarter container of garlic) just to start the Heinz-body process. “This grotesque overdose would probably have to be repeated several times on a frequent basis to cause permanent harm”.
Secondly, they also concluded that “small doses of garlic are probably going to be of great benefit to the overall health of your pet .”
It was also noted that while onions are classified as part of the garlic family, the actual properties of garlic were different and potentially less “dangerous” than onions.
In summary, most reasonable pet owners will include only reasonable quantities of garlic in their pet’s meal. Garlic is a miracle herb and includes a powerful natural disinfectant which helps to destroy harmful bacteria in the animal’s system and helps detoxify the body. It also tones the lymphatic cells and helps purify the bloodstream and intestines. It prevents viruses from multiplying and creates hostile conditions that repel most parasites and strengthens the immune system.
The only exceptions are pets that have an existing Heinz-body anemia ailment and for puppies under the age of 6 weeks (they should be suckling at that age anyway).
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