Turmeric is most familiar as a spice prominently featured in many Asian cuisines, imparting some kick and orange coloring. These properties come from a compound called curcumin, and this same element provides a number of health benefits that have long made turmeric a favored herbal ingredient across a number of schools of Eastern medicine, including Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine. So can you use turmeric for dogs?
Its benefits in humans are well documented, and many of the same benefits have been observed in canines. The spice has a variety of uses in dogs, and as a natural, herbal remedy, it’s generally considered safe to add to your dog’s food.
Among holistic practitioners and patients, and even in many allopathic circles, turmeric is best known for its potent anti-inflammatory benefits. This property makes it useful in naturally reducing the pain, swelling, and other symptoms associated with a wide variety of inflammatory conditions in dogs, from allergic skin disorders to arthritis and countless others.
Additional Benefits of Turmeric
The curcumin in turmeric does much more than reduce inflammation throughout the body. Other benefits and uses include:
- Natural antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antiseptic, and antiparasitic effects
- Speeds recovery from infectious illnesses
- Helps treat and prevent superficial infections
- Helps manage allergies and related conditions
- Functions as a binder to remedy diarrhea
- Boosts digestive function and reduces digestive discomfort
- Helps prevent cataracts
- Antioxidant properties to destroy free radicals and improve health
- Promotes optimal HDL and LDL cholesterol level balance
- Blood-thinning properties
- Protects and improves heart health
- Lowers the risk of heart attacks and strokes
- Enhances the liver’s ability to metabolize fat and detoxify the body
- Reduces the risk of developing certain cancers
- Inhibits the growth of or helps shrink certain types of malignant tumors
Giving Your Dog Turmeric
With all its amazing health benefits, pet parents are increasingly supplementing their dogs with turmeric. Remember, though, that there are always concerns with any supplement, even if it’s all natural. In particular, the blood-thinning properties of turmeric are important to be aware of, especially if your dog has a bleeding disorder or takes other medication (such as blood thinners or NSAIDs) or supplements with similar effects. Always consult your vet before starting your dog on any new regimen.
Powdered, capsule, pill and liquid forms of turmeric as well as chews are available and can easily be added to your dog’s food. If your dog has light fur around her mouth, make sur to mix the turmeric thoroughly into the food to avoid orange-colored staining around the mouth. The typical recommended canine dosage is 15 to 20 mg per pound of body weight once per day. Make sure your dog drinks plenty of water to prevent constipation.