Showing posts with label Garlic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Garlic. Show all posts

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Garlic for Dogs - Health Benefits, Preparation, Use, Safe Dosage


In this article...

1. Garlic - Why It Is Good For Dogs...
    1.1 Time to Put Myths and Misnomers to Rest

           - The debate
           - A common substance shared

           - What those that do not know miss out on
2. History of Garlic 
3. Health Benefits of Fresh Garlic 
4. Active Medicinal Ingredients in Garlic
5. Activating The Medicinal Properties of Garlic 
6. Forms of Garlic You Should Not Use 
7. How to Include Garlic In Your Dog's Daily Diet
       - Safe Daily Dosage
8. Cautions
9. Drug Interactions
10. Other Uses for Garlic
         -  Insect and Parasite Replant, Treatment and Preventative
         - Topical Treatment for Ear Infections

1.0 Garlic - Why It Is Good For Dogs...

The photo just above is of me walking some members of my own dog pack. Everyone of my dogs eats fresh garlic with one of their daily meals - they have done so for years. As you can see from the photo above my dogs range in breed, age and obviously size. They are all very healthy and are not on chemical-based insect and parasite preventatives (veterinarian prescribed or off-the- shelf), antibiotics etc. I build their health from the inside out and garlic is one of those herbs that help me to keep them healthy!

My Happy, Healthy Boxer x boy 'Robbie'

You may have heard that garlic is bad for dogs. Well, garlic has been used for many years by the holistic community to support good health in dogs.

1.1 Time to Put Myths and Misnomers To Rest

 The Debate 
The debate about whether garlic is good or bad seems to have arisen from confusion with its close cousin, the onion.  And that question has been furthered by people - professionals and public alike - who do not inform themselves about the actual properties of these foods prior to pronouncing their opinion...

Which means that their pronouncement is an OPINION and an uninformed judgement based on lack of information rather than an evidence-based fact.
  
A Common Substance Shared 
Both garlic and onion contain thiosulphate, the substance responsible for causing ‘Heinx Factoranemia in dogs and cats. 

The amount of thiosulphate found in garlic is much lower than in onions, in fact the amount in garlic is barely traceable. For the majority of dogs garlic dosing within recommended guidelines (see further below) does not result in dangerous levels of thiosulphate.  The only dog breeds that should not be given garlic are Japanese dog breeds. For example the Akita and the Shibu Inu.


The NCIB (National Center for Biotechnology Information) provides scientific research regarding safe use of garlic for dogs. None of the dogs in the study developed Heinz Factor. You can read the research paper here.

Cats are much more sensitive to thiosulphate than dogs. Cats are, in general more sensitive to biologically foreign substances. For example, the range of essential oils suitable for cats is considerably less than for dogs. While garlic is found in some holistic medicine-blends for cats, the amount used is strictly controlled. A wise cat may choose to rub up against a patch of wild garlic for its insect repelling properties, however I recommend you not administer garlic to your cat, unless it is present in minuet amounts in a made-for-cat proved-to-be-safe product. Some cat-owners give a small amount of garlic to their cats a couple of times a week. I do not recommend this for the average cat guardian.

The fear of garlic - as pertains to its use as a healthful herb for dogs, is a new fear propagated by rumor on the internet and not proven by any facts or study. To see an extensive list of foods that dogs should truly not be consuming and/or should be consuming with caution you can read here.
What Those That Don't Know Miss Out On
Garlic is a powerful, natural broad-spectrum antibiotic. Garlic is also an antioxidant, anti-allergen, antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-protozoan, anti-viral and anti-carcinogen. Garlic contains germanium, an anti-cancer agent and an anti-protozoan. Garlic can also be used topically to treat specific ailments - for example ear mite infestation and ear infections.
Garlic also contains sulfur - a natural insect repellent!

When garlic is ingested in reasonable amounts there are no harmful results - only benefits, and no, it won’t make your dog smell like garlic! 

 
2.0 History of Garlic
Garlic is a member of the allium genus - garlic is considered a vegetable, and a member of the Lily family. Garlic is an ancient food crop - cherished for its vegetable bulb and flower stalk (scape), the garlic plant has been harvested and cultivated by mankind for thousands of years.

There are many types of garlic - cultivated, heirloom and wild, examples can be found here.


The word garlic comes from the Old English word garleac - ‘spear leek’. 


Garlic is divided into two main varieties - hardnecked garlic, and softneck garlic. Hardneck garlic does not store well for long periods of time, but the cloves are easier (than softneck varieties) to peel. Softneck garlic stores very well for longer periods of time, making it the most common type of garlic sold in grocery stores. All information discussed in this article applies to hardnecked and softnecked garlic.


Garlic is also an herbal plant with many health giving properties.  Garlic - when used properly, offers many health benefits to dogs.

Unfortunately, all
other members of the allium family, including - c
hives, leeks, shallots and onions are toxic to dogs.
Abby and Jordie - my German Shepherd x Malamute and my
German Shepherd x  Belgian Shepherd eat garlic on a daily basis
 3.0 Health Benefits of Fresh Garlic
  • Anti-bacterial;
  • Antibiotic (broad spectrum);
  • Anti-carcinogen, garlic contains germanium - an anti-cancer agent;
    • Garlic helps to prevent a variety of cancers such as: bladder cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer; rectal cancer, stomach cancer.
    • Garlic is also used to treat some forms of cancer such as bladder and prostate cancer.
  • Garlic helps to regulate blood pressure;
  • Heart health support to prevent:
    • Heart disease;
    • Heart attack;
    • Hardening of the arteries;
  • Helps strengthen the body's defenses against allergies;
  • Helps regulate blood sugar levels;
  • High cholesterol reduction;
  • Garlic is high in vitamins, minerals and nutrients:
  • Calcium, Potassium, Zinc;
  • Protein;
  • Vitamin A, B, B2, C;
  • Garlic is an aid to fighting and treating:
    • Asthma;
    • Environmental allergies'
    • Diabetes;
    • Diarrhea; 
    • Fatigue;
    • Liver, heart and kidney disease;
    • Maintenance of healthy liver function;
    • Ear infections and ear mite infestations;
    • Stress.
  • Garlic is a natural:

4.0 Active Medicinal Ingredients in Garlic
Garlic contains multiple sulphur-inclusive compounds. Allinn and another enzyme ‘alliinase’, both present in garlic, but contained in separate cells gain the opportunity to combine and create a new enzyme called ‘allicin’ when garlic is chopped, crushed, minced or chewed. Allicin (an anti-biotic, anti-bacterial, anti-cancer, heart healthy enzyme) is the most beneficial of the healthful enzymes in garlic.

5.0 Activating the Medicinal Properties
Use Fresh Garlic and Prepare it As Follows...
  • Chop, crush, mince or press/bruise the fresh garlic, and then;
    • Allow to sit at room temperature for at minimum five (5) minutes and better ten (10) to fifteen (15) minutes;
    • This gives the allinn and alliinase sufficient time to undergo the enzymic reaction that creates allicin - the medicinal ingredient in garlic;
    • Mix the garlic into your dog's food in his/her bowl and its now time for your dog to eat;
    • The medicinal properties remain active for up to one (1) hour after you have activiated them;
    • After one hour has passed the medicinal properties begin to degrade which is why it is improtant to use fresh prepared garlic. 
6.0 Forms of Garlic You Should Not Use

Dry, Dehydrated, Powdered, Mixed Garlic, Supplement
  • Do not add garlic in a mixed form to your dogs diet  - i.e. garlic steak spice 
    • May contain fillers, sugar, salt and herbs or spices, food colouring and other additives that are not safe for dogs to consume;
    • Dehydrated, powdered garlic, or preserved minced garlic intended for culinary use has been degraded from processing and it's medicinal qualities are lost - it's only remaining purpose is to please the human palate - don't give these forms of garlic to your dog as they offer no benefit.
  • Fresh always refrigerated preserved garlic - much like fresh sauerkraut that has been pickled/preserved/fermented in pure water (not in wine and with other additives) and has been kept refrigerated after the initial curing period will have beneficial probiotic properties but may not have the other medicinal qualities offered by fresh garlic.
  • Cooked garlic does not retain the medicinal properties found in fresh garlic.
When I refer to ‘garlic’ I mean garlic in its pure, fresh form.

7.0 How to Include Garlic in Your Dog’s
      Daily Diet

More of my garlic eating dogs...
Add the properly prepared fresh garlic to one of your dog's daily meals. The safe daily dosage is as follows...

Safe Daily Dosage for Dogs
  • 1 teaspoon (tsp) fresh, raw minced/finely chopped garlic per every:
    •  30 lbs of body weight
    • 13.6 kg of body weight
  • For dogs less than 30 pounds:
    • 20 pound dog - 2/3 of a tsp
    • 15 pound dog - 1/2 of a tsp
    • 10 pound dog - 1/3 of a tsp
    • 5 pound dog - 1/6 of a tsp
  • I discourage dosing by clove. Dosing by clove is not a good method of dosing as clove size varies depending on the type of garlic. There are many varieities of garlic including small up to giant garlic bulbs with very large cloves. Clove size also varies within each garlic bulb.
  • The general method of dosing by clove is 1 clove fresh raw garlic per every:
    • 30 pounds of body weight
    • 13.6 kg of body weight
    •  As noted above dosing by clove is not an accurate method of dosing.
  • For dogs less than 30 pounds:
    • 20 pound dog - 2/3 of a clove
    • 15 pound dog - 1/2 of a clove
    • 10 pound dog - 1/3 of a clove
    • 5 pound dog - 1/6 of a clove
    • As noted above dosing by clove is not an accurate method of dosing.
 
If you can afford to do so, buy organic garlic.

8.0 Cautions

  • Pregnant and Lactating Dogs
    • When used in the dosage provided above, garlic is safe for pregnant dogs;
    • The only caution around garlic for pregnant dogs is that if ingested in large quantities it can flavor the milk of lactating females (human and canine).
  • Puppies
    • Don't give garlic to puppies that are 6 months of age or younger. 
    • Under 6 months of age a puppy's red blood cell mass is not mature enough to allow for safe use of garlic. 
    • Dosing with garlic at 6 months of age or under can trigger hemolytic anemia (all dog breeds).
  •  Akitas and Shibu Inus
    • Akitas and Shibu Inus are more sensitive (than other dog breeds) to enzymes in garlic that can cause hemolytic anemia. Avoid use of garlic in the Akita and Shibu Inus' diet.
       
  • Garlic From China
    • Some garlic from China has been found to be contaminated with high levels of arsenic, lead and added sulfites.
  • Dogs May self-select Yes, No
    •  If your dog does not want to eat his/her food once you have added garlic, or if you are delivering garlic to your dog in another way (without food), and your dog does not want the garlic do not force the garlic on your dog. Many dogs do have good instinct / senses to 'know' what he/she needs, and /or if the food, herb, nutraceutical or alternative medicine you are offering is not appropriate for his/her individual situation.
  •  Health and Medical Contradictions
    • If your dog has a health or medical conditions, make sure you check for contradictions - for example...
      • If your dog has IBS or Colitis
        • Garlic is high in insoluble fibre and sulfur compounds - as a general rule it is best  not to give fresh garlic to dogs that have IBS or colitis.

9.0 Drug Interactions
  • If your dog is on conventional drugs make sure you check for drug interactions - the below is an example of some garlic and drug interactions...
    • If your dog is on cyclosporine:
      • Garlic may increase the rate at which cyclosprine is broken down by the body, and;
      • Might decrease the effectiveness of cyclosporine;
      • So, do not give your dog garlic if he/she is on cyclosporin.
  • If your dog is on any medication that is changed by the liver. 
  • If your dog is on a blood thinner:
    • Garlic can slow down blood clotting -  garlic may increase the efficacy of the blood thinner;
    • The dosage of the blood thinner would need to be adjusted for intake of garlic. 

10.0 Some Other Beneficial Uses For
        Garlic


10.1 Parasites and Insects
Garlic is a natural wormer and can also be used in combination with other herbs and nutraceuticals to treat repel and avoid the development of parasite infestations - you can read about that here.

Garlic is a natural insect repellent and can also be used topically in combination with other herbs and nutraceuaticals to treat and repel insects - you can read about that here.

10.2 Ear Infections
Garlic can be used topically in combination with other nutraceuaticals as a topical treatment for ear infections - you can read about that here.



11.0 Holistic Support

Holistic Wellness Services and Holistic Behaviorist Services 

Holistic Wellness and Behaviorist Services

Do you need holistic advice to support your companion animal's health and well being? Become a client. Book your consultation. My professional holistic nutrition, wellness and behavioral services are available to you:
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For more information go here. 
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✓ Treatment and Remedy 
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karen@ottawavalleydogwhisperer.ca

Article and graphics by Karen Rosenfeld