Can Dogs Eat Chives? Are They Healthy or Dangerous?

Introduction

Chives are delicious when added to a wide variety of dishes, so they are now a common ingredient of many human foods. But can dogs eat chives? Can they actually hurt them? 

We’re answering these particular questions and more in today’s article, so make sure to keep on reading!

Are Chives Good for Dogs?

The very short answer to this question is no. It is true that chives have a low caloric value, so they wouldn’t pose any risk to diabetic or obese dogs. 

It’s also true that they are quite rich in a number of nutrients, such as vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, folate, and calcium. They even have their fair share of vitamin A, too. 

Unfortunately, chives are toxic to dogs. All of the members in the plant family called ‘Allium’ can wreak havoc inside a pet’s body, and dogs are even more sensitive compared to other animal species. 

So while for people, chives might have a number of benefits, such as being able to lower blood pressure and increasing blood count and immunity performance, they are not an appropriate food to give to your dog. 

Are Chives Bad for Dogs?

Yes. 

There are four main types of such condiments that can pose problems to dogs and they are the following:

  • Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)
  • Leeks (Allium porrum)
  • Garlic (Allium sativum)
  • Regular onion (Allium cepa)

Out of all of these, garlic is the most dangerous of all and it can cause poisoning in a short amount of time. 

Fresh chives vs. dried chives

As part of your activity in the kitchen, you might use either fresh condiments or dried ones, when you have no fresh ones available.

You might be surprised by this, but the dried varieties are even riskier for dogs. This is because they usually contain massive dried amounts of chives, and to make the combinations even tastier, lots of manufacturers actually add garlic powder to the recipe, too. 

Supplements

Believe it or not, garlic supplements are now being sold over the counter and are recommended for increasing the immunity of people. 

While more studies have to be performed before chive and garlic supplements are proven to be good for the immune system, unfortunately, these products are also dangerous for dogs.  To make matters worse, some dogs seem to have a natural attraction toward the members of the Allium genus. They actually enjoy the taste of onion, whether dried, fried, or boiled, so they are likely to be aficionados of chives, as well.

How Many Chives Can My Dog Eat?

Put simply, your dog should never have any chives whatsoever. 

Even the smallest quantities can trigger serious clinical signs. For this reason, we advise that you take your dog to the veterinarian as soon as possible, especially if you know for sure that your pet has had food that contains this ingredient. 

Why Are Chives Poisonous to Dogs?

We are not going to go into the very complex mechanism that these condiments have and the exact things that happen in your dog’s body if he or she was unlucky enough to have eaten chives. 

However, we will note that chives, alongside garlic, onions, and leeks, have the capability to cause hemolysis. This means that they effectively make your dog’s red blood cells be destroyed. 

The oxidizing agents present in these condiments cause red blood cells to explode. And if you didn’t know, red blood cells are extremely important, especially for transporting nutrients to and from your dog’s organs — including oxygen.

Symptoms of Chives Poisoning in dogs

There can be several clinical signs that a pet that has had chives can exhibit, and they largely range from one animal to the other. The reason for this is that some dogs can have chronic health issues that might make them experience more severe symptoms, while for healthy pets, the poisoning might happen slower. 

The most common signs that can be seen in this situation are listed below:

  • Lethargy and weakness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Changes in the cardiac rhythm
  • Changes in the color of the visible mucous membranes (sides of the eyes and gums) — they become very pale

When you take your dog to the vet and if they get the information according to which your pet has had chives, they’ll immediately start a course of treatment. Therapy can include a variety of procedures, such as making your dog vomit (which can be helpful, especially if you manage to get to the vet very fast).

The veterinarian will also give your dog IV fluids and even help them breathe. Most pets experience such severe symptoms and their health status deteriorates so quickly that they will need consistent monitoring for at least a couple of days. As such, your pet might have to be hospitalized, so expect that, as well.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Can dogs eat garlic chives?

No. Garlic chives are just as dangerous as the regular ones, and they might cause poisoning. 

Can dogs eat sour cream and chives?

The answer to this question is also a no. Although the sour cream mixes you can purchase at the supermarket usually contain lower amounts of chives, that’s only the visible parts that you can see. Chances are that these products also contain chive or garlic powder, so they are dangerous. 

Can dogs eat dried chives?

No. Of all the chive types that exist out there, the dried ones are perhaps the most dangerous of all. If you know that you’ve cooked with a dried chive mix, do not give your dog table scraps. 

Summary

So, can dogs have chives? Unfortunately, no. Along with garlic, onion, and leeks, chives are risky for this species and can cause a bad case of poisoning. 

Therefore, unless you want to end up at the animal hospital with an emergency, steer clear of this ingredient and never allow your pet to have it. 

Sources

  1. Household Food Items Toxic to Dogs and Cats, Cristina Cortinovis, Francesc Caloni, 2016
  2. Baseline knowledge of potential pet toxins: a survey of pharmacists, Natalie W. Young, Kenneth D. Royal et al, 2017

Leave a Comment

2 comments
Cristina Vulpe

Cristina Vulpe

As a veterinarian and a cat guardian, Cristina Vulpe holds a Ph.D. in veterinary oncology. She loves writing about feline pathology, parasitology, and infectious diseases, but she also cares deeply about animal nutrition and welfare. When she isn't writing, you can always find her in the company of her cat and a good book.
Iasi, Romania