is garlic good or bad for dogs?
i would like to know if garlic is good or bad for dogs. some places say garlic is bad altogether, but some people use it to control fleas; and its found in some dogs foods. thanks for your opinion.
I can't give you a definitive answer on this, because as you point out there are different viewpoints and conflicting reports.
However, I can give you a personal opinion and that is that feeding garlic to your dog is something I wouldn't recommend.
Although trace/small amounts of garlic haven't been shown to be consistently dangerous, large amounts can be extremely toxic. You also need to bear in mind that what is a small amount to a large/giant breed dog, could be a huge amount to small/tiny breed of dog.
There are not studies that I'm aware of that can actually tell you for sure what amount of garlic could be considered 'safe', or excessive, so I prefer not to use it at all.
Many people (including experienced owners and breeders) have used garlic for years, in the ways you mention, with no ill effects they are aware of. However, how or when any dog may react to the garlic is an unknown and I wouldn't personally want to take the risk.
The symptoms of garlic toxicity are serious and include vomiting, diarrhea, allergic/asthmatic reactions, heart problems, stomach ulcers, liver or gastrointestinal problems or a serious form of anemia.
By the way, onions have a similar effect. There are many different, common foods that can cause toxicity in dogs, you can find a list of these on my Poisonous Foods page.
Hope this helps!