Most of us are not going to serve our animals a bowl full of Onions for dinner are we? But you might be surprised to find them in your dog’s diet all the same. We would suggest that you take a little extra care after you read about Onions and your Dog.
Surprisingly, onions, garlic etc are common additives in foods and treats made for your pets, and in recipies for food you create for them as well.
The problem is that they are potentially doing damage to your dog’s wellbeing. The problem is the sulfurs commonly found in onions and other members of the Onion family. Produce such as Onions,garlic, chives and leeks are known to react with the cell membranes of RBCs (Red blood cells), which causes the cells to explode.
Studies show that cats are even more sensitive to the effects of the onion family than dogs. Dogs it seems, can tolerate a small amount of garlic or onion without harmful effects. Surprisingly, many recipes for homemade treats for dogs include garlic powder as one of the flavoring ingredients.
In truth, dogs are more tolerant of garlic than they are of onions. So consumption of small amounts of either garlic or onions won’t usually produce noticeable effects, but:
Separate Onions and your Dog
Prevention is best, and your precautionary actions should be to avoid any amount of onion or garlic. While a small amount of garlic or onion may not create noticeable effects, it doesn’t mean that there is no significant damage taking place on the cellular level.
Obviously, products are labelled as toxic only when noticeable and clinically proven damage is seen to result. Whilst no such label exists on Onions and Garlic, just because the effects aren’t being noticed doesn’t mean that there is no damage taking place. It has taken the authorities a very long time to finally agree that Round-up is a toxic, cancer causing agent for Humans. So for many decades now we have been exposed to the harmful effects of that product. Again, just because a product is not labelled as Toxic, does not mean that it is safe.
Most pet owners would like to think that their animals are well cared for and in good health. So given that consumption of only a small amount of garlic or onion can lead to subclinical hemolysis, (which means that red blood cells are being destroyed), cautious owners will stay well clear.
While this effect on Red Blood cells may not be fatal for dogs, it is harmful nevertheless. Damage to red blood cells can lead to low levels of blood oxygenation and severe damage to important organs.
Precautions around the consumption of toxic ingredients need a different set of parameters when it comes to pets. Adult humans are capable of identifying what materials they are allergic to. But like children, your pets do not have that ability. That is why every responsible pet owner should exercise extra care.
Dogs can’t tell you what they are allergic to
but if they could, they’d probably tell you that they aren’t feeling too good after they eat a homemade treat containing garlic or onions. Small or moderate amounts of onion can lead to your pet feeling light headed or lethargic. Most of the time this will go unnoticed, but it is an unnecessary impostion on the animal all the same.
Play it safe, where your animals are concerned, buy only products that are free from members of the onion family, and resist the temptation to use them as falvor additives in homemade treats as well.