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Garlic for Bug Control in Dogs
June 19, 2018
Garlic for Bug Control in Dogs
Garlic As A Flea And Tick Repellent & more
Garlic has been used for thousands of years as a medicinal herb; in fact, Hippocrates used garlic for infections, cancer and digestive disorders. The great Roman naturalist, Pliny the Elder, also recommended garlic for a variety of ailments, ranging from the common cold to epilepsy and cancer.
Modern science established that garlic boosts immunity, gets rid of bacterial, viral and fungal infections, enhances liver function, detoxifies the cells in the body, lowers cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood and even fights cancer.
Raw garlic cloves contain a high amount of a compound called alliin, as well as the enzyme alliinase. The alliin comes into contact with the alliinase enzyme when garlic is crushed or diced and forms the compound allicin. Cooked garlic is not nearly as therapeutic as freshly crushed or finely diced raw garlic however it's pretty darn convenient.
Garlic may help you in the war on fleas and ticks if you feed it to your dogs during flea and tick season. It takes a couple of weeks for garlic to build up in your dog’s natural coat oil, so start feeding it before the bug season starts.
Don’t bathe your dogs too much during flea and tick season if you’re a garlic feeder. One good soapy wash and you’ll have to start the build-up process again. When using garlic as a flea and tick repellent, feed each day for two weeks, then twice a week for maintenance.
How To Prepare Garlic
Use US grown organic fresh whole clove garlic whenever you can. There are some good & convenient OTC garlic products available for bug repellent like “Bug Off Garlic Sprinkles” by Springtime that we carry at the stores, but home grown is best!
To release its healing properties, garlic first goes through a chemical process to create the allicin.
It’s best to finely chop or crush the garlic clove, then wait a few minutes to allow the chemical reaction to occur.
The allicin becomes unstable once exposed to air and heat. Don’t wait more than 20 minutes before topping your dog’s meal with healthy raw garlic.
Lots of studies provide evidence that the allicin in garlic works to inhibit cancer formation. Cancer is the number one cause of death in dogs in the United States, so let’s all get going with garlic! Buy a garlic press or simply chop some up. You can then mix it in with your dog’s meal.
While cooking garlic destroys allicin, other elements in cooked or powdered garlic continue to provide some benefits to your dog’s health. The cooked garlic will still function as an antioxidant and flush toxins out and ward off mosquitos, fleas & ticks. If you cook meals for your dog, it’s totally fine to add garlic as a flavoring and for improved health.
How much to Feed
In the last 5 years the dosage for fresh garlic has gone up do to improved controlled studies on the benefits garlic has. You can safely give ¼ clove of garlic per ten pounds (use regular sized garlic, not jumbo). If your dog weighs less than ten pounds, cut a ¼ clove of garlic in half and give ⅛ clove. If you have a giant breed, don’t give more than two cloves of garlic per day. So if you have a hundred pound dog, still give her only two cloves of garlic.
Since cloves vary so much I like to convert it into teaspoons so we’re all on the same playing field:
1/8 tsp fresh crushed garlic - 10lb dog
¼ tsp – 20 lb dog
½ tsp - 40lb dog
1 tsp - 80 lb dog
1.5 tsp or a rounded teaspoon - 90 lb dog
2 tsp for 100lb +
Peel and chop the garlic about 15 minutes before feeding, then add it to your dog’s food. Start feeding garlic 2 weeks before the start of bug season.