Turmeric for Dogs – What is It & Are There Side Effects?
Many people are fond of having pets at home. Some prefer cats, while others favor birds or fish, sometimes even pigs. While a large majority of others prefer mans best friend, the adorable creatures that are dogs. They can be fun and relaxing to be with, tend to be friendly to people, and loyal to their owners, ticking all the boxes of a perfect pet.
As a dog owner, you need to be someone who is responsible and diligent enough when caring for your dog. Different breeds of dog need different kinds of care and attention. Aside from food, water and shelter, dogs also need affection, proper grooming and health care.
Health care for dogs includes immunization, vitamin supplementation and regular check ups with the veterinarian. As for the vitamin supplementation, dog owners must be careful in giving vitamins and health supplements to their dogs and it is recommended that medicines and vitamins only be given upon the advise of a vet.
Turmeric is becoming a popular health supplement for dogs, you have probably heard other pet owners raving about the amazing health benefits of this golden spice and hopefully the main reason you’re here is to find out a little more. Before moving on to the benefits of turmeric, lets find out exactly what it is.
What is Turmeric?
Turmeric is a yellow orange spice powder. It is derived from the rhizome of a type of ginger (Curcuma longa). The rhizome is boiled, and then dried before it is pulverized.
Turmeric powder had been used in many parts of Asia for centuries and is most widely used in India as a dye, food additive and alternative medicine. It is an important part of Siddha and Ayurveda medicine.
Its main purpose was being used as a dye to color the robe of monks in India. It was also used as a flavoring to Indian dishes, like curry. Turmeric was also often used to treat several ailments and health disorders.
Is Turmeric Good for Dogs?
Recently, many dog owners are buying turmeric powder and giving it to their dogs as a food supplement. Many are claiming that it has a lot of powerful health benefits. But is it really worth it? What are the health benefits of turmeric for dogs? Should you give it a try?
According to some studies turmeric contains an active component called curcumin. Curcumin has several health benefits that can improve the well-being of both humans and dogs. It has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-allergenic, antioxidant, anti-cancer and anti-fungal properties.
Many people dub it as “cure-cumin” because of its numerous therapeutic benefits. It can help prevent and cure different health concerns in humans and dogs. Here are some of its wonderful capabilities:
Inflammation is natural response of the body to fight an infection. It signals the body to release white blood cells to stop the infection. Low-grade and acute inflammation can go away on its own. But chronic inflammation is a different thing.
Chronic inflammation can give rise to more serious diseases. A simple dental inflammation can lead to heart disease if left untreated. Chronic bladder infection can lead to bladder cancer. Even a recurrent joint inflammation can also lead to degenerative joint disease.
Recent clinical studies have shown that turmeric works better than aspirin and ibuprofen. It also works better than ibuprofen in treating arthritis. Unlike other arthritis medications, it does not cause stomach upset.
It is a good and natural remedy for your dog’s arthritis and inflammations.
It was mentioned above that chronic inflammations can cause cancer. Therefore, dogs can also get cancer from inflammations, and from the food they eat. Since turmeric can cure inflammations, it can also prevent cancer.
Some studies show that turmeric can be used to treat cancer. Large number of clinical studies on turmeric is about the possibility of it being used as a cancer treatment. It was found that turmeric can kill cancer cells, stop it from growing and spreading.
- Pain reliever
Aside from helping with inflammations, turmeric can also deal with stiffness and pain from arthritis. Unlike ibuprofen, turmeric will not cause gastrointestinal upset.
- Gastrointestinal treatment
A recent study has found that turmeric can help in treating Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). It is because turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties. It can also address other digestive disorders. It can also help in treating leaky gut.
Turmeric can treat allergies on its own or with steroid drugs. It can boost the effect of steroids and reduce its negative effects. It can also be used on its own as a natural treatment for allergies.
Turmeric is a powerful antioxidant. It fights off free radicals that can cause faster aging. When dogs are exposed to chemicals, pesticides and insecticides, free radicals are released by their bodies. Curcumin can help eliminate free radicals, slow down the process of aging, and increase your dog’s lifespan.
Turmeric is a blood thinner. It helps prevent blood clots and cholesterol build up. Though dogs are not affected by cholesterol (dogs need 20% fat in their diets), blood clots can give them heart disease.
Precautions in Using Turmeric for Dogs and Potential Side Effects
Now that we have listed down the amazing benefits of turmeric, it is time to talk about the safety precautions before buying and using turmeric.
It is not recommended to use turmeric capsule or supplements with high levels of curcumin. The most advisable to use for dogs is pure (no additives) and organic turmeric powder.
Turmeric is a binding agent. It can cause constipation. That is why it is recommended to give more water to your dog while giving turmeric. Yogurt can also be given to improve the digestion.
When giving turmeric, make sure that you are careful because it can stain your hands and countertops. Mix it well with dog food so it won’t stain your dog’s fur.
Turmeric is considered as safe because it is a natural spice. However, some dogs should not be given turmeric for the following reasons:
- The dog cannot tolerate warm temperatures. Turmeric is a warming spice. It will make a dog feel warm after taking it.
- The dog is taking medications and other supplements. Turmeric may interact with other drugs and supplements. Be careful when giving it to dogs that are taking diabetes medication and anti-inflammatory drugs. It is much better to give supplements in phases as to avoid over supplementation.
- The dog has gall bladder or kidney stones. Turmeric can aggravate these conditions, as well as bile duct obstruction. Turmeric increases the levels of urinary oxalates.
- The dog is taking acid reducers. Turmeric can interact with acid reducers, like Tagamet.
- The dog is prone to stomach upset and allergies. If the dog shows adverse reactions to turmeric, stop giving it and seek immediate medical attention.
How to Feed Turmeric to Dogs
Turmeric may not be easily absorbed by dogs. It must be combined with coconut oil, olive oil or any healthy oil. It is also recommended to mix it with pepper. The peperine in pepper boosts the absorption of curcumin.
Some dogs can take it as powder but others may prefer it combined with food.
Here is a simple “turmeric paste” recipe that you can try:
1/4 cup healthy oil
1/2 cup turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 cup water (distilled)
Mix together turmeric and water in a pan.
Place it over medium heat for a few minutes until it forms a thick paste.
Add the pepper and oil and stir well.
Let it cool and store into a container with lid.
This will keep in the fridge for about two weeks.
Once you have made the golden paste, you can give it to your dog a few times a day. The amount may depend upon the size of your dog. If you have a small dog, you can start by giving him 1/4 teaspoon a day. You can give 1/2 teaspoon for medium dogs, 3/4 teaspoon for large dogs and 1 teaspoon for giant dogs.
Gradually increase the amount of paste each day. Remember that turmeric leaves the body very quickly, so you need to give it a few times a day.
Here is a “turmeric gravy” recipe for dogs who like it saucy:
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/4 cup hot water (boiled)
16 pieces peppercorns (freshly ground)
1 teaspoon oil (olive o coconut)
Mix together turmeric and hot water in a cup. Let it cool.
Add in oil and ground pepper. Stir well.
Mix into food as a gravy.
Here is an “instant turmeric paste” recipe:
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
6 grinds black pepper
5 ml linseed, olive or coconut oil
Just mix together in a bowl and form a paste.
You can mix turmeric with baked dog treats. However, the high heat and prolonged cooking time decreases the benefits of curcumin, as well as peperine. Thus, uncooked paste or gravy mixed with dog food is a much better option.
The safe dose per day ranges from 100 to 500 milligrams per day depending on the size of dog.
Turmeric is a really promising food supplement for dogs. Just make sure that you consult a veterinarian before giving it to dogs. And also make sure to use organic and pure turmeric powder.