Toxicity can be confusing. Even water is toxic at a certain dose.

Common conversations about garlic,
the natural bug repellent.

In nearly two decades of offering Bug Off Garlic to satisfied customers, we have participated in many interesting conversations regarding garlic. The following is a selection of the most common topics:

Garlic safety:

Springtime has sold literally tons of garlic a year for almost 20 years and in that time, we have talked to plenty of customers concerning garlic’s efficacy, health benefits, and safety for both dogs and horses. There is a lot of misunderstanding about garlic, based on a single study in Japan where four dogs were force-fed extremely large amounts of raw garlic. Garlic preparations vary in chemistry, and the air-dried garlic we use contains very little of the oxidative component that may cause problems if used in excess, so it is gentle and absolutely safe for everyday, year-round use. We feel you may feed our garlic with complete confidence.

For a great article on the topic, we recommend this article by veterinarian Dr. Deva Khalsa in Dogs Naturally Magazine.

How garlic works as a bug repellent:

The garlic plant has evolved with a defense against attacks from insects: a smelly chemical called allicin. Athough allicin dissipates very quickly, allicin-derived compounds in garlic preparations, such as air-dried garlic, work in the same way to repel bugs. Animals that consume garlic will exude these compounds through their skin and breath to repel any insects that might come in close contact with the animal. There are conflicting theories on how allicin and allicin-derived compounds affect insects. Some believe the chemicals confuse the sensory systems insects use to identify a food source from a non-food object. Others contend that insects simply despise the smell.

Other garlic health benefits:

Garlic has been used for thousands of years as a health supplement. Today, modern science has established that garlic is a powerful phytochemical, which is a non-nutritive plant chemical that has protective or disease prevention properties. Garlic has antioxidant, antibacterial, antimicrobial, anticancer, and chemopreventative (disease fighting) properties. Garlic has shown effectiveness in studies for a variety of health issues from prostate cancer to athlete's foot. For more information on garlic's phyochemical properties, click here, and for a list of garlic's known uses and benefits from WebMD, click here.

Increasing garlic with the change of seasons:

Customers report best results when they feed Bug Off Garlic year-round, and double or triple the dosage in the spring and the fall. Most people are aware that spring can be very buggy, but it’s less well known that fall is a concern, too. Insects like ticks surge in the fall, desperately looking for a last blood meal to survive the winter. We recommend feeding Bug Off Garlic daily, year-round, because it can be challenging to re-introduce Bug Off Garlic after a hiatus, particularly with picky animals.

Garlic for pregnant, nursing, and newborn animals:

Many of garlic’s nutritional and protective properties are passed on from the mother to the baby during gestation. The customers who have had the best experiences with nursing animals and garlic have introduced it very slowly, taking at least 10 days to ensure acceptance. Foals or puppies can be fed garlic as soon as they are weaned. Many breeders report great results with this.

Garlic for animals other than dogs and horses:

Our customers have used garlic successfully on miniature horses, donkeys, goats, sheep, rabbits, alpacas, llamas, deer, and cats as well as many other farm animals. You can calculate the correct dose by body weight according to the dog recommendations for smaller animals or the horse recommendations for the larger animals.

Garlic granules with dry food:

Customers who feed grain, pelleted feed, or kibble have developed various strategies to prevent garlic granules from falling to the bottom of the bucket or bowl. For horses, customers have often reported using a spray bottle filled with water to lightly coat the feed before sprinkling the garlic on with great success. For dogs, mixing the granules with a little bit of a favorite canned dog food or a wet treat, such as plain yogurt, liverwurst, or peanut butter, often helps.

Garlic for picky or finicky eaters:

When introducing garlic to an animal, we have seen the following strategies for dogs and horses work effectively:

For dogs, starting off slowly is key. In addition, adding a tasty treat, such as a little peanut butter, liverwurst, cottage cheese, yogurt or canned dog food, is also helpful.

For horses, start off VERY slowly, sprinkling a teaspoon or less on the feed (using a spray bottle filled with water if necessary) and sprinkling the garlic around the feed area on the ground. When the horse begins to accept the aroma of the feed, it is safe to increase the dosage slowly.

We suggest feeding Bug Off Garlic year-round for picky companion animals. Feeding Bug Off Garlic continually is much easier (even at a lowered dosage in the off-season) than trying to re-introduce it in the spring.

Garlic as a dewormer or heartworm preventative:

Although Bug Off Garlic is helpful in reducing both internal and external parasites, you may wish to consult your practitioner for these issues. For a list of holistic veterinarians in your area, you can visit the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association online by clicking here.


Springtime uses the highest quality, human-grade garlic — fully tested for potency, purity, and safety.
Below you will find more information on Springtime products containing garlic:


Springtime, Inc.
Bug Off Garlic
Chewables for Dogs
Springtime, Inc.
Bug Off Garlic
Granules for Dogs
Springtime, Inc.
Bug Off Garlic
Granules for Horses
A safe, easy-to-feed, natural insect repellent. Human-grade garlic granules pressed into a liver flavored chewable tablet.
Buy 2, Get 2 FREE!
Safe & effective garlic granules provide a 24-hour shield against fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, gnats, flies, and other biting insects.*
Buy 2, Get 1 FREE!
Safe & effective garlic granules provide a 24-hour shield against fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, gnats, flies, and other biting insects.*
Buy 2, Get 1 FREE!