Why The Allium Family Is Bad For Dogs

Why The Allium Family Is Bad For Dogs

You may not realize, but you probably use members of the allium family in your cooking more often than you think. The allium family contains garlic, onions, chives, leeks, and more, which are all staples for a lot of different recipes.

And while these ingredients add flavor and aroma to human dishes, you should keep them away from your dogs as much as possible. Onions, garlic, and other members of the allium family contain a compound known as N-propyl disulfide, which can damage their red blood cells.

When fed too much garlic or onions, dogs can experience a wide variety of health complications. Since the compound damages their red blood cells, your pets could develop anemia, which is something you should avoid at all costs.

In this quick article, we’ll be going through the reasons allium is bad for your dogs and more, so that it will be much easier to keep your dog as happy and as healthy as possible!

Why is Allium Bad for Dogs?

As mentioned earlier, members of the allium family contain a compound called N-propyl disulfide. This compound breaks down the red blood cells and can cause significant complications in dogs. Because of this, onions, garlic, and other members of the allium family are considered toxic to dogs, and you shouldn’t mix it in their food, raw or cooked.

The N-propyl disulfide is a toxin that causes oxidation of the red blood cells. This is done by attaching the cells to oxygen molecules, which greatly reduces their ability to carry oxygen. On top of that, oxidation tricks the body into thinking the red blood cells are invaders, which causes them to attack the cells. In worst-case scenarios, allium poisoning could cause hemolytic anemia in dogs, which is a very serious condition.

All members of the allium family are considered toxic for dogs. Whether you feed them the skin of an onion, bulb of garlic, or a couple of chopped chives, these all contain the toxin which oxidizes their red blood cells. Members of the allium family are toxic to dogs, whether they are raw or cooked, so if your dog stays inside, make sure to keep the garlic and onions in your kitchen out of their reach.

What is the Allium Family?

The allium family is a kitchen staple all around the world. The family contains some of the most common kitchen herbs and ingredients, such as garlic, onions, chives, shallots, and leeks. The allium family is fairly large, with an estimated 95 different species, not even including locally cultivated varieties.

Any member of the allium family can be poisonous to dogs. Whether they are raw, cooked, chopped, or whole, they contain serious toxins that you should keep away from your pets at all costs.

What are the Symptoms of Allium Poisoning in Dogs?

Members of the allium family contain a compound that is known to poison dogs by attacking their red blood cells. In the long term with regular exposure, can cause your dogs to develop anemia, which causes a lot of complications down the line.

However, this usually occurs in extreme cases where a dog ingested a large amount of garlic or onions. At smaller doses, the symptoms and consequences aren’t as severe, but they can still be concerning nonetheless.

If you believe your dog ingested a large amount of garlic or onions, it is vital to check for symptoms of anemia. These symptoms include:

  • Lethargy
  • Fainting
  • Red urine
  • Pale gums
  • Weak body and inactivity
  • A decreased appetite

Other listed symptoms of onion poisoning in dogs include an elevated heart rate, panting, and vomiting.

What To Do If Your Dog Eat Garlic or Onions

If you catch your dog eating anything from the allium family, whether it’s garlic, onions, or chives, make sure to keep a close eye on them. In small doses, allium may not harm your dog, but each individual animal reacts differently, so it’s always important to observe them for 24-48 hours after ingestion.

Take note if your dog is suffering from any of the symptoms we mentioned above, and if they do, call your vet immediately. Depending on the severity of the condition, your dog may need to go to the vet right away or schedule an appointment as soon as possible. From there, the vet will examine the dog and recommend the best treatment, which can sometimes include inducing vomiting in your dog to remove the toxins from their body.

Are Certain Breeds More Vulnerable to Allium Poisoning?

While each dog reacts differently, it’s more common for Japanese breeds to experience allium poisoning. Specifically, the Akita and Shiba Inu are known to be sensitive to onion poisoning, so keep this ingredient away from them as much as possible.


As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. So, if you are still unsure about the effects of garlic on dogs visit whatthepup.spotandtango.com to find out more.

Please, make sure to keep your dogs away from the allium family as much as possible to prevent any complications down the line and keep them happy and healthy.

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