How Helpful Is Garlic For Your Animal's Health?

Can Your Animal's Health Benefit From A Garlic Supplement?

Have you used garlic? You are likely to have used it in your cooking. But have you tried it as a supplement for your health? And did you know some animals can have garlic for their health too?

Garlic contains several beneficial properties, including "allicin". This is an anti-biotic, anti-septic and anti-bacterial compound.

Horses and dogs are the animals who most often have garlic supplementation. But there can be concerns about its safety using garlic with cats, and with some breeds of dogs.

So why is this? Garlic is a plant that's part of the same family as onions. This family is "allium". All species of allium can be toxic to dogs and cats. But it's thought that garlic does not contain the same levels of toxins that an onion does.

With this in mind, can you give your dog any kind of garlic supplementation? In 2018, research took place looking at the safety and efficacy of aged garlic extract in dogs (read here). And this showed, provided it's at an appropriate dose, yes it is safe for some breeds of dogs. Some breeds though are more sensitive to the toxins, (the research suggests this is Japenese or Korean dogs).

Although there's little research on the safety of garlic for cats. It's thought that with an appropriate level of supplementation it is ok, and you can use it.

Garlic is safe for horses, as long as it's not over-used. So keep within recommended (by veterinary surgeon or reputable manufacturer) guidelines!

If you want to know more about the research around garlic for health, take a look here.

How to give your dog, horse or cat garlic safely?

Use a properly, professionally formulated supplement for dogs, horses or cats. And stick to the recommended daily amount.

If of course, your animal has any kind of ailment, or is on medication then always get your veterinary surgeon's permission before using a supplement, including garlic. This is to avoid any side effects.

Be clear why you want to use a garlic supplement too - if your dog or horse has a balanced healthy diet. Then supplementation may not be necessary.

Why feed a garlic supplement to your animal?

  • Use with horses as a fly repellent
  • Use with horses, dogs or cats to help with respiratory health

Evidence for garlic use with animals?

Horses who have garlic as a fly repellent (the smell is said to repel the flies), sometimes do find it of benefit. But then other horses don't find it of any help.

As with any medicine - herbal or otherwise, what works for one animal won't work for another. There has been some research though, please see below.

Also check out this case study from Beth Chamberlin on how zoopharmacognosy helped a horse with a tendon injury, and the role that garlic essential oil played, read here.

Are there any other animals who can have garlic supplementation?

Yes there are! Birds (poultry, avian birds and pigeons) can all take garlic, to help with respiratory health, digestion and with resistance to internal parasites. Hilton Herbs are one supplier who have 'garlic juice', specifically for birds.

Where Can You Buy Garlic For Your Animal (or Bird)?

Garlic can be bought for your animal, in either liquid, granular, powder or tablet form.

As I mentioned above Hilton Herbs are one natural animal healthcare supplier who have garlic. Not just for birds, but also for other animals. There are many other reputable natural pet care suppliers too. Some you may find in your local animal feed store.

Do only buy garlic that is formulated for animals, and that comes with clear professional guidance on using it. Don't just use the garlic from your kitchen store cupboard - it'd be too easy to give the wrong amount for one thing!

Like help finding a veterinary surgeon or therapist for your animal?
Please email me at info at taranet . co. uk

Please remember that if your horse, dog or other animal is unwell. Or on any kind of medication or other supplement. Then always speak to your Veterinary Surgeon first before using any supplement or therapy. Even natural ones. To avoid any possible issues.

´╗┐And do you know someone who'd find this helpful? Please share, the more we can spread awareness of the benefits of natural therapies the better! :)

Find out more about other natural animal therapies here at Taranet. Or read other articles in this Natural Pet Health Blog. Take a look at the sitemap here to explore!

About the Author

Suzanne Harris is founder of this Taranet website at, and also provides business coaching to horse and dog care and veterinary professionals.