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Are Garlic and Bouillon Dangerous for Dogs?

by Josh

I'm concerned about some of your homemade dog food recipes due to the fact that they contain garlic which I have heard can be bad for a dog's health. Is it true that garlic is bad for dogs?

I would also think that most bouillon would contain onion which I know is even worse than garlic.

Please let me know your thoughts about this.


Comments for Are Garlic and Bouillon Dangerous for Dogs?

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Jun 01, 2010
My Online Vet Response About Garlic and Bouillon
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Josh,

From my own experience of advising owners to give their dogs some chicken broth, beef bouillon, turkey broth, etc. on the first day while recovering from a gastrointestinal problem, none have ever had any problems from the onion content. But I only have them give it for the first 24 hours.

I checked some of the top bouillon/broth brands (see ref. below) to see how much onion is actually in the broth. I think there is more danger from the salt content (about 50%!) if a dog had congestive heart disease, and you need to be careful when purchasing bouillon as a lot of brands do contain MSG (but that is an ingredient in 'Accent' and is used to add to a dog's food to prevent a dog from eating his own stool.)

Overall, I think the onion content is relatively low. Plus, after the first day of giving some bouillon, if they have stopped vomiting then I have them 'advance' to chicken or turkey baby food.

For a healthy dog, the bouillon should be fine. But with regards to the sodium content, bouillon would most likely not be recommended for those dogs with congestive heart disease or any disease where a low sodium dog food diet is advised.

Garlic is ok.

Take care,
Dr. Tillman

Ingredients listed in some of the bouillon (broth) products:
1) Beef Oxo cubes - onion is next to last
2) Chicken Oxo cubes - no onion listed
3) Swanson Canned Certified Organic Chicken Broth - Onion is not listed (although we could not find a label with all of the ingredients)

Garlic References:
1) Dr Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats states "Garlic (Allium sativum) while in the same family as onions, helps to eliminate worms, strengthen digestion and beneficially stimulates the intestinal tract. Use it to promote intestinal health. It is also indicated for animals that have been on a high meat or fish diet, and those that tend to be overweight or suffer hip pain from arthritis or dysplasia. Include fresh grated garlic with each meal, using 1/2 to 3 cloves, depending on the animal's size."

2) Home Prepared Dog and Cat Diets
The Healthful Alternative by Strombeck, DVM, PhD (C 1999, Pg 165)
Referring to a bland cooked rice diet for a dog with GI problems:
"the diet can be flavored with garlic powder, or small amount of bouillon, preferably chicken bouillon."

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DISCLAIMER: The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian.

Related Pages:
- 10 Best Dog Food,
- Ask a Vet Online Library - Dog Food Diet Section

Jun 20, 2011
Baby food
by: Merle

I was concerned re salt in bouillon. I bought baby food - lamb and made my own broth. But better would have been to made a homemade broth from lamb with barley added. (I did not have the time to do that:)

Jan 25, 2012
Bouillon IS Dangerous
by: Anonymous

Bouillon is very high in salt - do not use it.

Jun 23, 2012
Chicken broth
by: Richard Call

My wife makes her own chicken broth, using boned chicken. She did this in order to get my dog to consume as much fluid as possible during struvite bladder stone dissolution. It worked.

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