Turmeric is a spice or herb to some. It can enhance cooking and create delicious flavors, but also holds some natural health benefits. But what about turmeric for dogs? Can it benefit your dog’s health or is it actually a risk for your pup?
If you’re wondering if you should allow your dog to eat turmeric, then we will summarize the honest benefits and risks of this provision. Your pup’s health is your priority and we want to make sure that you feel completely confident in your decision of offering or preventing turmeric supplements for dogs.
Can Dogs Have Turmeric
Providing your dog with turmeric in small quantities is safe. However, there is very little research on this supplement so the researched benefits and risks are still being learned. For a while, concerns raged about feeding dogs turmeric because of its lack of ability to be properly digested by dogs, or so it was thought. This myth is expanded upon with claims that it can only be digested properly with the consumption of pepper.
CanineGOLD researched this claim and disproved it in 2020. Therefore, this goes to show how recent the research is and how we still have a lot to learn.
The study concludes that difficulties exist with the absorption of turmeric due to it not being very water-soluble. Unlike many have claimed, your dog inducing pepper does not aid this factor. This misconception arose because humans were able to digest turmeric more available when consuming pepper alongside it. However, this is barely noticeable in animals such as dogs. There are other ingredients that can help your dog to digest turmeric and thereby allow your dog to access some of the great benefits this spice has to offer. This includes aloe vera along with different forms of edible oil.
Benefits of Turmeric for Dogs
Your dog ingesting turmeric actually offers a lot of different benefits for your dog’s health. We have summarized and explained the top five below.
There are multiple studies which show evidence towards turmeric aiding and modulating your dog’s immune system. The positive influence this holds over your dog’s immune system helps your dog to actively fight illness. This includes your dog’s natural body response to inflammation. Therefore, inflammation will often not reach a high level of severity or will heal much more quickly when a dog is consuming turmeric.
Cytokines refers to a group of proteins that can cause inflammation. One study found turmeric to suppress these proteins and thereby prevent inflammation. The anti-inflammatory properties that this spice holds can be directed towards internal and external injuries after ingestion. Furthermore, the inflammation can be from an injury or can be a regularly occurring pain such as arthritis.
This spice has been used alongside vet-prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs to minimize pain and aid healing for your dog. Herbal remedies can offer effective and natural forms of treatment in the appropriate situations.
Turmeric has been recently discovered to interfere with cancer growth and even start to kill off the cells. According to the American Cancer Society, they claim “Curcumin interferes with cancer development, growth, and spread. Recently, curcumin has received a great deal of focus because of its ability to reduce tumor size and kill cancer cells.”
Different cancers have been studied alongside turmeric use to observe the beneficial properties it has. Mammary tumors, bladder cancer, brain tumors, and many others have stopped growing or even minimized in size with regular turmeric use. With evidence as strong as this, it is no wonder that scientists are very interested in the benefits of turmeric towards cancer prevention.
Furthermore, as researchers have concluded that turmeric does hold a positive benefit towards preventing cancer. With more research and evidence, it is hopeful that turmeric can be used to minimize and prevent cancer cases for dogs in the future.
Treats Gastrointestinal Disorders
The term gastrointestinal disorder applies to a lot of different health problems relating to eating, digestion, and the general passing of food. Anything from gut inflammation to the wrong PH in your dog’s stomach can lead to poor health. Once again, it is turmeric’s anti-inflammatory qualities that aid your dog’s digestion.
Reducing gut inflammation can promote healthy bacteria and normal digestion. This can prevent multiple different worrying behaviors such as diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, a reluctance to eat or drink, and even aggression due to pain. If you notice any of these behaviors, always consult a vet first. However, if it is an upset stomach or inflammation, often turmeric will aid towards their recovery.
The provision of turmeric can actually lead to positively associated dog behaviors. These may include a healthy appetite, drinking regularly, defecating properly, and regularly. Many gastrointestinal problems can be recognized from irregular stool or stool schedules. This may mean diarrhea, constipation, a different stool texture, color, or even smell. Promoting goof gut health aids your dog’s full digestive system, and turmeric can do just that.
Improves Cardiac Health
There are two kinds of cholesterol which affect your dog’s body, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). Typically known as good cholesterol, HDL is needed but not in high amounts. LDL however, known as bad cholesterol, is what can affect their cardiac health negatively. This is where turmeric comes in to aid your dog’s cardiac health.
Not only can this spice help to lower your pup’s body’s LDL cholesterol in general, but especially in their heart. LDL can build up blockages in your dog’s arteries. This strains their heart as it has to work extra hard to push the blood around your dog’s body. This increases your dog’s risk of blood clots, strokes, and even heart attacks.
By giving your dog a little turmeric regularly, not only can this lower your dog’s bad cholesterol but also improve your dog’s cardiac health in general! From reducing the chance of your pup having heart attacks, blood clots, and even reducing chest pain, this can be as effective as many vets prescribed cardiac meds. However, never stop vet prescribed medications, herbal remedies can simply benefit or speed up the beneficial processes.
Like us, dogs can experience allergies. These can have unpleasant side effects from sneezing to skin irritation, which can make your dog unhappy. Although, these allergies can be as common as hay fever or a rare food allergy. Therefore it can be difficult to identify the direct cause unless you use trial and method. During this time, the use of antihistamines can help ease your dog’s symptoms. It just so happens that turmeric is a natural antihistamine for dogs.
Turmeric works as a natural decongestant as well as anti-inflammatory elements, and therefore is ideal to use to help your dog feel more comfortable during an allergic reaction. Even if your dog is being treated and the item has been removed from your dog’s life, providing them with a natural antihistamine, such as turmeric, will help them to feel better during recovery.
Providing just a little in your dog’s food will help them to feel less itchy, irritated in their skin, and even prevent a runny nose.
Risks of Turmeric for Dogs
Unfortunately, there are some risks with providing your dogs with turmeric. You need to be aware of these risks before supplementing this spice into your dog’s diet. Therefore, read the two main problems with turmeric on your dog’s health below.
Although turmeric can aid gastrointestinal distress and diseases, it can also cause stomach upset. Constipation, generally feeling ill and sick, and stomach pain can all be induced by providing your dog with turmeric. If your dog is already feeling ill and you aim to use turmeric in your dog’s diet to help their stomach, this may actually make it worse. This is why you need to be so careful with this provision.
Some say that stomach upset is often caused by too much turmeric or too sudden of an introduction to the herb. Therefore, to prevent this reaction, make sure to start off by giving very small amounts in your dog’s food, such as a very small pinch. Do this infrequently, such as once every two days, and build it up when they have not reacted negatively to it. If your dog has already had a negative reaction to the ingredient, remove it from their diet. If a vet believes this could be an allergic reaction, do not introduce it. However, if they do not think so, you can gradually reintroduce the spice in a much smaller dose, and much more infrequently.
A much more concerning side effect of providing your dog with turmeric is the possibility of kidney stones. Although this is nearly always seen in individuals who have already had kidney stones, there is evidence backing up the idea that turmeric will help produce them. This is because your dog’s urinary oxalate levels are what contribute towards a kidney stone forming. Turmeric is known to increase your dog’s urinary oxalate levels, thereby leading to the build-up of crystals from either calcium, oxalate or uric acid.
How to Include Turmeric in Your Dog’s Diet
Turmeric can be difficult to digest without oil-based products to help. Adding in some turmeric and a little edible oil mixed into your dog food will help them to ingest it and not leave it on the side. The mix of oil and turmeric should become a paste with enough stirring. Then this can be mixed into your dog food subtly and almost without your dog noticing.
Just be sure to not add the straight powder to your dog’s food, as without the oil being added to it or other enhancers, it cannot be effectively digested. There is also the option to make some turmeric based treats with a small dosage in each treat. You can track how much you give daily while making sure they are not having too much turmeric or too much in one go.
About Turmeric for Dogs – FAQs
Any more questions about the health influence of turmeric for your dogs or how to use it? Read more below to find out all the answers you need.
How Much Turmeric is Safe to Give my Dog?
It is difficult to recommend a specific amount because it depends on your dog’s individual qualities such as their breed, weight, and height. However, vets have advised owners to give 15 mg per pound of your dog’s body weight, some even advise 20 mg. Try to avoid giving your dog this entire amount in one meal to avoid an upset stomach. Instead, give your dog a little bit with each meal mashed into it. Be sure to add the turmeric to oil for ease of digestibility for your dog.
What are the Benefits of Turmeric for Dogs?
We have summarized some of the most useful benefits of using turmeric for dogs below:
- Anti-inflammatory properties
- Prevents cancer
- Treats gastrointestinal disorders
- Improves cardiac health
- Allergy relief
However, these are not the only benefits that this spice gives to your dog when ingested. It can also be a natural pain killer. This is particularly used for dogs that have arthritis as this constant aching pain can decrease and even mobility. Natural pain relief prevents the number of meds your dog has to be put on but still gives them comfort and minimized pain. Furthermore, there are far less side effects with natural pain killers to man-made.
Can Turmeric Make Dogs Sick?
If a dog is given too much, is not given a gentle introduction, or is given the right dose in only one serving can lead to an illness in dogs. Your pet can also feel sick if they are allergic to turmeric or if they already have had kidney stones.
Upset stomachs can be caused by turmeric when it is ingested improperly. This is why you have to be careful when adding turmeric to your dog’s food. It has a lot of benefits but like everything, risks do exist. If you are ever concerned, be sure to contact your vet.
Can I Give My Dog Human Turmeric?
You can give your dog human turmeric, however, be cautious of the ingredients in the spice, especially if it is a mix. Be cautious of toxic ingredients including onions or garlic as these can be health risks and lead to severe problems in your dog. Always check the ingredients on a spice mix as some can be deadly. You are always better off purchasing dog-specific turmeric or pure turmeric.
So there you have it, the pros and cons of using turmeric for your dog. It holds a lot of different benefits but should be used after proper research and with a vet recommendation for vulnerable dogs.