No one likes seeing their furry friend suffering– especially when the ageing process begins bringing with it a handful of medical issues. You are as concerned about their well-being as you are about your own or other members of the family.
Recently, many pet owners have turned to natural remedies like Turmeric to treat many elderly pet health issues. Before you choose alternate or natural remedies for your pets, we should seek answers to some relevant questions – Is Turmeric safe for dogs? And if so, what benefits does Turmeric provide to our canine friends?
We have provided everything you need to know about Turmeric and its health benefits for dogs.
What is Turmeric?
Turmeric is an ancient Indian spice /herb used for thousands of years. Recent studies on humans have shown potent healing properties. It is mainly cultivated in India and is prepared by crushing the dried root stalks (called rhizomes) of the flowering turmeric plant belonging to the ginger family.
Curcumin, the main component in Turmeric, has been found to have potent anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-coagulant properties. Curcumin also gives Turmeric its distinct colour. In India, Turmeric has been used since 500 BCE as a natural remedy for mild digestive issues, inflammation, pain relief, and joint and bone disorders like Arthritis. Yet it is only recently that Turmeric has caught global attention in the last 25 years. Recent studies (over 3000) have proven Curcumin’s great medicinal use for humans.
Turmeric is mainly promoted as an anti-inflammatory supplement for dogs suffering from medical conditions that cause stiffness and discomfort in their bones and joints (such as Arthritis).
Few Recent Studies on Animals?
Although research into whether Turmeric is suitable for dogs has not been as extensive as it has been for humans, there have been some studies that have found noticeable positive improvements in trials on animals:
- BMC Veterinary Research(2017) found that dogs with Osteoarthritis showed fewer indicators of pain after receiving a mixture containing Curcumin extract for three months.
- Research in Veterinary Science(2016) found that dietary Curcumin (a chemical produced in Turmeric) triggered an immunological response that confirmed the antioxidant properties of Turmeric and protected the liver.
- Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology Research (2012) found that Curcumin could act as complementary anti-inflammatory support for dogs with Osteoarthritis.
- Italian Journal of Animal Science (2009) found that Curcumin suppressed cytokines that cause inflammation.
- Additionally, as per Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects (Second Edition), Turmeric demonstrated great health benefits when tested on animal models – anti-cancer, anti-arthritis, and heart health-boosting properties.
- And Mayo Clinic research in animals suggests Curcumin -the most active ingredient in Turmeric, may prevent cancer at the precancer stage, slow its spread, make chemotherapy more effective, and protect healthy cells from radiation damage.
Top 10 Benefits of Turmeric for your Dogs /Pets
Listed below are the potential benefits of Turmeric for your dog’s health –
1. Anti-inflammatory properties of Turmeric: The inflammation occurring in the body is a natural response to toxicity, trauma, or infection. When the canine is exposed to an injury or illness, the blood will react by stretching the blood vessels to increase the blood flow. The increase in the blood flow results in swelling and pain, which is more severe in dogs with Arthritis.
The inflammation can occur in the joints, leading to joint stiffness. If unattended, gradually, the inflammation can lead to more complications – Allergies, Cancer, Arthritis, Kidney, and Heart diseases.
2. Turmeric’s antioxidant properties: The free radicals present in the dog’s body destroy the blood cells, leading to ageing and cell degeneration. These free radicals usually enter the body from unclean food, pollution, pests, and toxins. Turmeric’s antioxidant properties help to fight these radicals and prevent cell damage.
Turmeric’s role as a powerful antioxidant may be the most promising. Antioxidants are essential because they can help fight the body’s dangerous “free radicals”–”often linked to heart disease, cancer, vision loss, and other chronic health conditions.
3. Turmeric helps to fight Arthritis: When the dog ages, its joints become weak and are prone to inflammation and stiffness. Turmeric reduces inflammation, pain, and stiffness. It can help to improve your dog’s mobility so that he can be pain-free for his entire life.
4. Turmeric eliminates the pain: The anti-inflammatory property of Turmeric helps alleviate the pain; it also aids in reducing swelling and redness, which promotes better sleep in your four-legged buddy.
5. Turmeric improves heart health: Curcumin in Turmeric is an excellent addition to its diet when the dog suffers from CHF (congestive heart failure). Turmeric also helps to reduce blood cholesterol levels and decrease the chance of blood clots in the heart.
6. Turmeric also helps with cancer: Chronic inflammation can lead to cell mutations and cancer formation. Curcumin in Turmeric prevents carcinogenesis at various steps, including inhibiting mutation in your dog’s body by working as a preventive therapy.
7. Turmeric for Chronic Lick Granulomas and Skin Allergies: Lick Granulomas are a condition in which the skin becomes irritated from persistent licking. Applying turmeric paste to dogs may ease itching due to its anti-inflammatory properties, as long as it does not encourage the dog to lick at the affected area even more frequently.
8. Turmeric for Digestive Issues: Turmeric stimulates bile production in the liver, which helps break food down quicker, enabling your dog to feel more comfortable after eating.
Warning: Do consult your veterinarian before using Turmeric to treat any pet health concerns. Be wary of using them as a supplement to complement other treatments your dog may receive and not as a cheaper alternative to veterinary care.
Our Earth Signature Turmeric Blend can easily mix in with your dog’s food. In addition to being formulated with Highest Grade Turmeric / Curcumin, our potent recipe also contains seven powerful herbs & spices which further aid your dog’s health.
Is Turmeric safe for dogs?
Turmeric is widely considered safe for dogs in small quantities and is often used in dog food as a colour and flavour enhancer. However, the amount typically used in dog food is too small to provide anti-inflammatory benefits.
We recommend a well-formulated supplement to improve your dog’s joint movement and to always speak to your vet before giving your dog turmeric.
How much Turmeric should be given to a dog?
The recommended daily dose of Turmeric for dogs is around 1/8 – ¼ tsp for every 10 lb your dog weighs. We have discussed this in detail about Turmeric Dosage for Dogs in our blog – Turmeric for dogs (Check this out). When introducing Turmeric into your dog’s diet, it is advised to start with small doses and monitor how your dog reacts to it. Gradually increase the dosage until you are at the recommended amount for your dog’s weight.
How to Give Turmeric to Dogs?
There are many methods to start Turmeric for your dog – as a paste or as drops added to their meals and as a flavorful chewable capsule or treat. However, while these treats or foods have a yellow colouring, they may not have enough Curcumin to provide potent health benefits. Turmeric may taste bitter when used, and many pets won’t eat it, so using Curcumin in the supplement can be more palatable to dogs.
However, Curcumin is not Biao-available, i.e., it is not easily absorbed by the body without the aid of other ingredients. Formulations need to include black pepper to increase the absorption and bioavailability of Turmeric in the body. Piperine found in Black Pepper enhances the herb’s absorption ability within the body. Black pepper in small amounts is considered safe for dogs.
When Turmeric is added to food, make sure to add the proper dosage proportionate to your dog’s weight. We have provided a detailed guideline here.
Golden Paste Recipe for Dogs
Pet parents can make a golden paste for dogs at home using Earth Signature High-Grade Turmeric Blend.
½ cup: Earth Signature turmeric Blend
1 cup water
¼ cup organic coconut oil (or olive oil) – Optional, Blend contains coconut Powder
Step 1: Mix 1/2 cup of Earth Signature Turmeric Blend with 1 cup of water on low heat for 7-10 minutes to make a paste.
Step 2: Add in 1/4 cup good quality coconut or olive oil.
Step 3: Mix it into your dog’s food once daily – 1/4 tsp per 10 pounds of body weight. You can also apply the paste topically.
Warning: Before giving your dog homemade golden paste or using it topically, please speak to your veterinarian to ensure it is safe and that you are offering the correct dose for your dog’s age and weight. When applied topically, pet parents are recommended to do a patch test on a small area to check for any adverse reaction on the skin.
Possible side effects of Turmeric on Dogs
To date, no studies in humans or animals have discovered any toxic effects associated with using Turmeric (Lao et al. 2006). The use of Turmeric as a spice and as a household remedy has been known for centuries.
Although Turmeric is considered safe, as with any supplement and medication, some dogs can have side effects if given too high a dosage. Few side effects can include an upset stomach, bruising, clotting, and gallbladder problems. For this reason, we always recommend speaking to your vet before giving your dog a turmeric supplement.
Since Turmeric has anti-coagulant properties, one should avoid Turmeric for dogs with bleeding disorders.
Frequently Asked Questions About Turmeric for Dogs: Here are answers to frequently asked questions posed by pet owners about giving Turmeric to dogs.
Q:1 How much Turmeric should I give my dog?
Dosage for dogs varies according to their size and physical conditions. However, you may start by adding ¼ to ½ teaspoon to your dog’s meal.
Q:2 Is too much Turmeric unsafe for a dog?
Turmeric’s commonly reported side effects include Upset stomach, Nausea, Diarrhoea, Bruising, Iron deficiency, and Gallbladder issues. The best way is to set a suitable dose in consultation with your veterinarian.
Q:3 Can Turmeric upset a dog’s stomach?
Turmeric can cause Stomach upset, Nausea, and Diarrhoea, especially if a dosage is too high.
Q:4 Can I give my dog turmeric supplements used by Humans?
One can give Turmeric Supplements as Turmeric alone is not bio-available. Most Turmeric supplements have other natural herbs and Spices such as Black Peeper that enhance absorption. However, it is always recommended to consult with your vet.
Q:5 Does Turmeric interfere with my dog’s other medications?
Any over-the-counter supplement can interfere with a dog’s regular medications. Talk to your pet’s veterinarian about dosage, pre-existing conditions, and any other concerns you may have.
Q:6 Can Turmeric cause health issues in my dog?
Turmeric can increase urinary oxalate levels – with suffering from kidney stones should void Turmeric, Turmeric Supplements / Blends, or Capsules.
Ultimately, you want your dog to be healthy and fit. Seeing your canine suffering from joint pain, cancer, or infection as a pet owner hurts. Turmeric is a preventive therapy to promote good health, prevent illness, and eliminate pain. It would help if you only remembered to give Turmeric in small quantities to avoid side effects.