Herbal Medicine in the Treatment of Pets Healing with Whole Herbs & Herbal Supplements
Is garlic safe to give to pets? That all depends on how you give it. If you feed garlic to your pet the way they do in laboratory research studies by 'force administration', in medical terms, 'gavage' - through a tube inserted into a hole made in their stomach, the answer is NO! If you feed humanely and naturally, the way it was meant to be eaten, the answer is YES. With few exceptions, garlic given in small amounts, mixed into food, can be beneficial to the health of most dogs and cats.
Garlic Safety and Dosage Guidelines for Dogs and Cats
Garlic (Allium sativum)
A member of the lily family, Garlic is the same genus (Allium) as onion. The latin translation of Allium means "hot" or "burning," and the word "garlic" translates to "spear plant." This refers to the leaves of the garlic plant that have a spearlike shape. Constituents
Raw garlic cloves contain a high amount of a sulfur-containing compound called alliin (al'-ee-in), as well as the enzyme alliinase. When raw garlic is chewed or crushed, the allliin comes into contact with the alliinase enzyme, which forms the compound allicin (it's medicinal property). When alliinase is heated, however, it becomes inactive. So, if you cook it is won't be nearly so therapeutic as it is in it's raw state. Garlic also contains amino acids, vitamins, and minerals such as selenium and germanium.
• Antimicrobial Effects
Garlic has a wide spectrum of antimicrobial activity against viruses, bacteria, fungi and worms. Garlic seems to work best in building immunity and preventing infections, rather than treating acute conditions ― with the exception of respiratory tract infections like bronchitis, and pneumonia.
Animals who have immune suppressive conditions, are at serious risk of developing secondary infections from many different organisms. Garlic is one natural option that can help with protection from these infectious agents.
• Heart Disease
Inhibits platelet aggregation (blood clotting). Long-term use of garlic helps to protect the elasticity of arteries. Lowers blood pressure.
Garlic's sulfur compounds are key in preventing some cancers by helping to control carcinogens (cancer-causing substances).
• Systemic Toxicity
Garlic is one of the best foods and supplements to use to promote detoxification. The high sulfur content helps the liver to detoxify various substances so that they can be metabolized and excreted from the body.
• Ear Infections / Ear Mites
Garlic oil can used to treat ear infection and ear mites.
Garlic is a hot little number!
Although there is no known toxicity in it's natural state caution should be used with regard to safety and effectiveness when choosing a garlic preparation to give to pets.
In a scientific study the effects of garlic products, including dehydrated raw garlic powder, dehydrated boiled garlic powder and aged garlic extract, on the gastric mucosa of dogs were determined using three commonly sold preparations, raw capsule garlic powder caused severe mucosal damage, including erosion. Boiled garlic powder also caused inflammation and reddening of the mucosa, whereas aged garlic powder did not cause any undesirable effects. Among the garlic preparations, Aged Garlic Extract could be the most suitable form, particularly for long-term use. Aging in particular may be the most effective method to eliminate the toxic effects of raw garlic. When supplementing pets we recommend using, "Kyolic" Aged Garlic Extract.
The safety of enteric-coated garlic products was also studied. Direct administration of pulverized enteric-coated products on the gastric mucosa caused reddening of the mucosa in test animals (dogs). When an enteric-coated tablet was administered orally, it caused loss of epithelial cells at the top of crypts in the ileum in the intestinal tract. Enteric-coated garlic products by pass the stomach and deliver garlic directly into the intestine, which is not a traditional route for garlic intake in any species!
Historic use of garlic as a condiment and herb has always been via oral ingestion and not via direct delivery into the stomach or intestines, in the form of a concentrated, standardized surprise! The safety of such delivery systems for garlic is unknown not to mention inhumane and unnatural!
Contraindications of Use
The use of garlic is contraindicated in animals who are anemic. Research indicates that garlic causes a type of anemia in animals, especially in cats, if given in large doses. Even in healthy subjects it is a good idea to dose in moderation.
Garlic does have natural blood-thinning effects, so if your pet is on blood-thinning prescription drugs, or if your animal needs surgery garlic should not be used.
The use of garlic should also be temporarily avoided in bitches, queens or mares who are nursing young. Garlic can change the taste and smell of the mother's milk. It can also contribute to colic because it passes from breast milk into the baby's gastrointestinal tract.
How to give Garlic to Pets
A lot of animals enjoy the flavor of raw garlic but some do not. For those who don't or for pets who have a sensitive stomach you can take the more convenient route and use a garlic supplement. For safety, we recommend using an odor-free, aged extract, such as the brand ‣ "Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract."
Garlic Dose for Cats: The suggested dose is 1/2 finely chopped or pressed small raw clove mixed into food daily or if you are using an Aged Extract: 1/2 capsule daily mixed into food.
Garlic Dose for Dogs: Small dogs get 1/2 capsule Aged Extract daily, with the dosage increasing with the pet's size, ranging up to 2 capsules given in a split dose, depending on the dogs weight. Or, you can add 1/2 to 1 small minced/pressed clove daily mixed into a meal.
Recommendations: For keeping pets healthy the natural way, we recommend using Pet Remedy Charts, a Step-by-Step Holistic Home Healthcare System that will enable you to naturally treat your pet at home (without drugs) using safe, side effect free healing methods for dogs, cats, horses, or birds.