As dog guardians, we are always on the lookout for natural supplements as a part of our regular dog care routine. Turmeric for dogs is a strong contender in this category. Turmeric can act as an excellent supplementation to your dog’s regular diet. Turmeric has already proven its benefits to humans; thus, it is not surprising that the benefits extend all the way to canine care as well. Read the complete blog post to understand the amazing benefits of turmeric as an exceptional supplement for dogs.
For easy reading, I have divided the blog post into the following sections:
- What is turmeric?
- Is turmeric a good supplement for dogs?
- The ways in which turmeric can provide benefits to your dog:
- How to make the turmeric paste?
- How much turmeric paste should you add to your dog’s diet?
- Doses of turmeric to be administered to your pup
- Is turmeric safe for dogs?
- Side effects of administering turmeric to your dog:
What is turmeric?
Generally, a flowering plant, however it is the turmeric’s root that acts as a supplement. Turmeric is a part of the ginger family. Even though it looks pretty similar to ginger, turmeric has a very specific smell which will help you distinguish it from ginger. The presence of curcumin in turmeric gives it its primary orange yellow color as well as the medicinal properties. Curcumin contains antioxidants, antimicrobial, chemo preventive as well as anti-inflammatory properties. In case of humans, curcumin has been observed to help in the following conditions:
- liver issues
- skin issues
- treatment of cancer
- Kennel cough in dogs: causes and symptoms
- How to calm an aggressive dog? 10 Brilliant tips
- Fleas in dogs treatment, transmission and protection
Is turmeric a good supplement for dogs?
As mentioned previously, turmeric contains curcumin which is the primary active ingredient of the supplement. Curcumin has been observed to have antiviral, antifungal, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer as well as wound healing properties. It is been observed to be able to fight diseases like diabetes, arthritis, liver disease, cancer, gastrointestinal diseases and many more.
Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties
It is a misconception amongst a lot of dog guardians that inflammation only happens to dogs who suffer from joint diseases. However chronic hidden inflammation can occur even in the absence of a joint disease. Certain diseases like digestive issues, kidney disease, dental problems, allergies, arthritis as well as cancer can be caused by inflammation. However, this does not make inflammation a problem that may go away on its own.
Inflammation happens when your dog’s body releases white blood cells to fight the foreign microorganisms. This influx of white blood cells to the region where the pathogenic microbe is present, leads to swelling of that place which is referred to as inflammation. However, chronic inflammation [inflammation going on for long periods like weeks, months or years] is the reason behind occurrence of most of the hospitalization related diseases in dogs. It has also been observed that low-grade inflammation is the primary driver of joint degradation as well as arthritis. A study done in 2014 found that curcumin present in turmeric acts better than ibuprofen in reducing pain in case of people suffering from arthritis.
Another study done in 2004 found that curcumin worked as well as other anti-inflammatory drugs.
Thus, to conclude, turmeric is one of the best available anti-inflammatory therapy which the nature has to offer us.
Turmeric can prevent cancer in dogs
A study done in UK has been observed that curcumin can stop the steps which lead to cancer. Turmeric can also be used to treat cancer naturally. A lot of study on cancer research has been done using curcumin, and the results appear to be very promising. Turmeric has been observed to not only kill the present cancer cells, it also prevents the new cancer cells from growing. Curcumin basically interferes with the development, spread and the growth of cancer as a whole.
In the current world scenario, more than half of the dogs in their senior years develop cancer. Therefore, adding turmeric to your dog’s diet can be a great addition to help prevent cancer in the older years of your dog’s life
Turmeric helps relieve arthritis pain
Arthritis in dogs is a very common problem with several dog breeds like Labradors, Great Danes etc. Arthritis primary causes inflammation of the joints. Turmeric has been observed to relieve inflammation. This makes turmeric a great supplement for use in dogs who suffer from arthritis. The curcumin component of turmeric has been observed to work with the potency that is equal to ibuprofen in reducing pain in case of human subjects.
Turmeric can be helpful in treating gastrointestinal issues
Turmeric has shown a positive response in case of treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and other gastrointestinal disorders as well. Curcumin has shown to have positive effects on the gut permeability and gut inflammation.
Turmeric has the potential to replace corticosteroids
A lot of dogs who suffer from allergies and joint pain are put on steroids to control the symptoms. The best part about turmeric is that it has shown the same efficacy as steroids but without the side effects associated with the use of corticosteroids. The greatest advantage of using curcumin is the absence of side effects.
Turmeric can also act as a very powerful antioxidant
Antioxidants have been observed to slow the aging process, enhance regeneration of cells and increases the lifespan of an organism. Turmeric can act as a very powerful antioxidant. It will prevent the oxidative damage to the DNA, proteins as well as cells and keep your dog young and healthy for a longer period.
Boosts the immune system:
Turmeric is a great supplement to boost your dog’s immune system. In one recent study on turmeric, two groups of dogs were enrolled. One group was provided a diet rich in curcumin, while the control group was provided a diet without any curcumin. After 42 days, the dogs who were administered curcumin regularly showed elevated levels of antioxidant activity as well as improvement in the white and red blood cell counts. Another study found that the combination of Rosemary leaves and turmeric extract can reduce the growth of neoplastic cells [cancer cells]. Therefore, turmeric has a role in supporting the immune system to fight against cancer.
Turmeric supports a healthy heart
Curcumin also has anticoagulant activity which helps in preventing blood clot formation. If blood clots in your dog’s body are left untreated, it can lead to severe health issues like stroke and heart attack. A regular administration of turmeric can prevent formation of blood clots and keep your dog away from heart diseases and strokes.
Therefore, to conclude turmeric can replace the drugs which are used to fight with inflammation, allergies, cancer, gastrointestinal issues and many more but without the side effects. This is what makes this golden spice the best contender as a supplement to your dog’s regular diet.
Making turmeric paste is fairly easy. Since the curcumin of turmeric is hard for your dog’s intestine to absorb directly, making this paste can help in the absorption process. You will only need a few ingredients to make the turmeric paste
- ½ cup of organic turmeric powder
- 1-1 ½ cups of filtered water
- 1½ freshly grounded black pepper
- ¼ cup of ghee.
Procedure to make the turmeric paste:
- Dilute the turmeric with 1 cup of water in a saucepan. Keep the remaining water aside in case you need to dilute the paste further later on.
- Stir the liquid on low heat for around 10 minutes or as long as it takes to form a thick paste.
- In case the paste becomes too thick, add some more water.
- In case the paste looks too watery, and a small amount of turmeric and heat it for a few more minutes.
- Once the paste has thickened, add a small amount of pepper and stir it thoroughly.
- Wait for the mixture to cool
- Put the mixture in a jar and store it in a fridge. You can store this mixture for around two weeks.
- You can also use coconut oil instead of ghee for making this paste. Click here to know the complete benefits of coconut oil for your dog.
If you are just starting out, start with very small doses of turmeric. Just add ¼ teaspoon to your dog’s diet initially. Once you observe that your dog is tolerating turmeric and you start noticing some health benefits as well, you can increase the dose to 1 to 3 tablespoons of paste on a daily basis. However, how much of turmeric you can give your dog on a daily basis will be determined by your dog’s size and weight. Therefore, have a talk with your veterinarian before you start your dog on turmeric supplementation
You can add the turmeric paste your dog’s diet by directly mixing the paste directly with the food of your dog or by mixing it with some water and adding it to your dog’s diet. Luckily most dogs do not mind the taste of turmeric.
- Small dogs should be given around ¼ teaspoon daily
- Medium-size dogs should be given around ½ teaspoon every day
- Large dogs should be given around ¾ teaspoon per day
- Giant dogs like Great Danes can be given around 1 teaspoon every day.
The above-mentioned doses are a rough starting point. However, you can increase the amount depending on your dog’s responsiveness to the turmeric. It is better to administer turmeric in smaller quantities spread out over a few times in a day compared to giving the full dose at once since turmeric has a high metabolic rate and will leave your dog’s body quickly.
Turmeric can also help aid your dog if he or she is suffering from constipation.
Turmeric is one of the safest natural supplement which you can add to your dog’s diet. Turmeric as well as its primary ingredient curcumin has been observed to have a poor bioavailability. This means that it is not very well absorbed by the body of the dog. Turmeric also has been observed to have a high metabolic and elimination treat which indicates that it leaves the body of your dog really soon. Therefore, it is generally recommended to give turmeric to your dog in it a paste form to observe the best outcome.
Yes, turmeric is an excellent supplement and is really safe for your dog. However, as it is with all kinds of supplements and food, not every supplement is meant for every dog. There are certain conditions when your dog should not be administered turmeric:
Turmeric has the potential to interact with certain medications like anti-diabetes as well as anti-inflammatory drugs. It may also interfere with chemotherapy treatments if your dog is on one. Therefore, if your dog is suffering from any prior illness or is on any active medication, it is best that you consult with a holistic veterinarian before you start adding turmeric to your dog’s diet.
Another minor side effect of turmeric is that turmeric has a tendency to heat up your dog. Thus, your dog may always be hot and look for cool places to lie on. If your dog is displaying said signs and symptoms, discontinue use of turmeric in your dog’s diet.
A large quantity of turmeric can cause upset stomach and your dog. Therefore, as previously mentioned, always start with small doses and gradually increase it.
Another minor issue with turmeric is that it can stain really well. Therefore ,wash your hands with soap after handling the spice and keep it as far away from your clothes as possible.
Turmeric has proven its worth in gold when it comes to being the perfect supplement addition to your dog’s diet. However, as I always mention, consult your veterinarian before you start on the journey of adding any new supplement to your dog’s diet. Remember to start small and very gradually increase the dosage to the required amount. If your dog shows any signs of discomfort after taking turmeric, discontinue the use of the supplement immediately and consult your veterinarian. What natural supplements do you add to your dog’s diet? Which natural supplement do you think is the best? Let me know in the comment section below. If you have any queries regarding this blog post or any other, feel free to reach out to me. If you wish to share your story with the rest of the world, contact me on my social media channels. I will be happy to share your story with the world.
See you in my next blog post