Although garlic is sometimes fed to dogs, or used in dog treats, to help control fleas, garlic, and onions, are not good for our pets.
Garlic and onions are related as members of the allium family. Onions, and its relatives contain a substance called allyl-propyl disulfide. This substance destroys red blood cells causing anemia in pets. Garlic contains less allyl-propyl disulfide than do onions, but still should not be fed regularly to pets in general. Cats are more at risk of this problem than are dogs.
Onions and garlic have often been sited as causing vomiting, diarrhea, and even paralysis, in pets.
Onions in particular are noted to cause kidney damage if enough are eaten.
Both garlic and onions are bad for pets whether cooked or raw.
Garlic in Pet Treats for Flea Control and Cancer Prevention
Garlic is sometimes uses in pet treats, and products. It has been offered to help pets with flea and tick problems, and is said to help reduce the rate of cancers in pets. Garlic is said to be fine for dogs in limited portions, but there are really no safe guidelines. Cats should never have garlic.
If a person is concerned about fleas, ticks, and cancer, there are other, safer, methods of preventing this problems.
For controling fleas; the safest thing to do is comb your pet with a flea comb, removing fleas and flea eggs, and sticking them to tape for disposal. Keep the house vacuumed, and ideally keep the pet indoors more (possible with cats, not so possible with dogs). For both fleas and ticks; keep the lawn mowed short, use a plant called “Fleabane”, or mint, in the yard to keep fleas and ticks away. Rural people can keep free range chickens, guinea fowl, or ducks, to control fleas and ticks. Veterinarians have products that are safe to use for controlling fleas and ticks – you will note that many over the counter flea and tick products have been linked to pet deaths.
Protecting pets from cancer is tougher, but stick to a healthy diet for your pet, avoid foods that use chemical preservatives, BHT, BHA, and Ethoxyquin (used in by-products). Do not use chemicals on the lawn, or in areas where the pet lives.
Are Onions Safe for Cats and Dogs?
Onions are listed as being more deadly to cats than dogs, but dogs can die from eating too many onions. As such no amount of onion should be considered safe. While a build up of problems is typically what happens, and causes anemia, if a dog should suddenly wolf down too many onions at one time, it could have sudden anemia, which, without intervention, can prove to be deadly. Cats are less likely to eat such a large amount of onion at any given time, but a dog could easily gobble up onions in the form of onion rings or fried onions mixed with liver, or on a burger or hot dog. Even ¼ cup of onions could prove fatal to a small dog.
You may note that onions are in gravy and other human foods we also give our pets (especially to fussy dogs when we try to get them to eat), as such we need to be more aware of what we feed our pets every time.
A blood transfusion is require to save a dog that as consumed a large amount of onion.
Toxicity Symptoms from Eating Onions and Garlic
Symptoms of anemia include lethargy, red tint to the urine, pale, or blue gums, weakness, pet appears less enthusiastic.
Note: Caution should be used against feeding garlic and onions to any pet. Onions may be in gravy, or tuna canned for humans. Although unproven it is suggested they also cause anemia in other animals, such as horses.