As a pet owner, you want the best for your dog. As much as possible, you would not want to miss out on anything that will benefit your dog’s health. Whether it’s an alternative or conventional medicine, you probably want to try it on your pup. It’s even more so when they are in pain and don’t feel well.
You’ve most likely heard about turmeric. It’s a plant-based substance that many people go crazy about because of its healing properties. For many years, turmeric has been used as a natural remedy for various human health concerns. But through time, it has also become a trendy supplement for dog’s health.
Many pet owners have claimed the benefits of turmeric on their dogs. But is it really safe and helpful to your dog’s health? Before adding it to their diet, it wouldn’t hurt to know what the vet says about this golden wonder herb.
Getting To Know Turmeric
Turmeric is a natural herb that belongs to the ginger family. In South Asian and Middle Eastern cooking, it is commonly used as a spice. In fact, turmeric is a significant ingredient in most commercial curry powders. But apart from culinary purposes, people use it as an herbal medicine for certain health conditions.
Curcumin, the powerful ingredient in turmeric, gives the herb its distinct color and flavor. But more than that, it is believed to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-cancer properties. That is why even modern medicine recognizes its importance and uses it for both prevention and therapy of diseases.
Are There Health Benefits of Turmeric for Dogs?
There are no studies yet that are performed to reinforce the health benefits of turmeric for dogs. However, it is reported to have a huge role in strengthening the dog’s immune system due to its healing properties.
It has also become an essential ingredient in preventative medicine, making it a popular supplement to both humans and animals. That’s why many pet owners have used it at the recommendation of their vet.
Highlighted below are the potential benefits of turmeric on a dog’s health.
Turmeric As Anti-Inflammatory
Similar to humans, the dog’s body has natural responses to trauma, toxin, and infection. Their immune system ramps up processes, such as inflammation. Note that inflammation is the key driver of most diseases, even in the dog’s body. It can occur in allergies, arthritis, digestive diseases, and dental issues.
But turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties, which can decrease swelling and reduce blood vessel dilation. If your dogs have skin allergies, applying turmeric paste may potentially ease itching. Turmeric can help alleviate pain and other unfavorable symptoms that are caused by inflammation.
Turmeric As Antioxidant
Free radicals are an aftereffect of energy production within the body that can damage the cells. They are considered as a significant factor in the development of disease and premature aging in dogs and even cats. Free radicals can come from unhealthy pet food, toxins, radiation, and pollution.
Your dog’s body can normally handle them. However, if free radicals become excessive and there is an insufficient amount of antioxidants in the body, your dog’s health may deteriorate. The good news is that turmeric has the antioxidant properties to resist these free radicals and protect your dog from irreparable cell damage.
Turmeric As Anti-Cancer
Dogs become more susceptible to cancer as they get older. In fact, approximately 6 million dogs die from cancer every year. Fortunately, turmeric has properties that can help stop the pre-cancerous stage in the dog’s body.
Curcumin, the primary organic compound in turmeric, can selectively target cancer stem cells without destroying the normal stem cells in your pet. It interferes with the tumor’s ability to grow and spread to the rest of the body. If you want to increase your dog’s lifespan, using turmeric may be worth considering.
Is Turmeric Safe For Your Dog?
According to a veterinarian, turmeric has been used on humans for years, but there are no extensive studies on pets. Even so, turmeric is generally safe for dogs in small doses. The recommended dosage is 15 to 20 mg of turmeric per pound of the dog’s body weight, which is approximately ¼ teaspoon for every 10 pounds.
However, it should be noted that turmeric may have side effects and may not be good for certain dogs. It was found to have poor bioavailability, which means that it is not well absorbed or metabolized in the body. Because of that, turmeric may cause gastrointestinal issues in some canines.
You can overcome such absorption issues by adding turmeric into your dog’s diet gradually. Then you can increase the dosage to the appropriate level once your pup already adjusts. But Dr. Demain Dressler, a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, recommends combining turmeric with lecithin and water and making a slurry to maximize absorption.
Besides that, turmeric has some contraindications in canines. If your dog has kidney stones, diabetes, and liver issues, it may bring them more harm than good. You must also discontinue using turmeric if your dog will undergo any surgery.
With that, it’s always essential to consider your dog’s health condition, especially knowing that turmeric may not interact well with some prescribed medicines.
Reminders When Choosing Turmeric For Your Dog
Nowadays, you can get turmeric in many different forms, such as spice, extract, pills, capsules, and blends. And due to its popular demand, many people want to make a quick buck by selling turmeric products of low quality.
Before choosing turmeric supplements for your dogs, here are a few reminders you need to be mindful of:
- First and foremost, speak with your veterinarian to check for any contraindication.
- Ensure that you’re buying a turmeric supplement from a reputable company.
- Use caution when giving turmeric to your dog.
- Avoid relying on homemade turmeric treatment.
- Give your dog a specialized turmeric supplement to ensure optimal dosage.
The veterinary community has not fully embraced the health benefits of turmeric. Because of that, it can be more challenging to source high-quality turmeric supplements for dogs. Although you can make your own supplement from scratch, it may not give your dog the maximum dosage. Thus, it may take some time and research to find the one that will give optimal benefits.
Courtney John is a freelance writer for animal and pet care for over a decade now. She is also a volunteer dedicated to animal rescue and welfare, working for different organizations all over town. She lives with her two adopted cats and rescue dog.