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Turmeric is a well-known ingredient and has been the subject of many scientific studies regarding its health benefits for humans. For example, it has a long history of use in medicines dating back nearly 4,000 years. Turmeric is anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial, and has anticancer properties.
But did you know that this little spice also has promising health benefits for dogs? It’s true, turmeric does not just benefit us humans! Within this ingredient deep dive, we'll investigate the benefits of turmeric for dogs and ways to include the spice in your dog's diet to boost their health.
Before we start, let’s explore what turmeric is and what it contains. Turmeric is an Indian spice that gives delicious curry that vibrant yellow colour. It has a rich, earthy taste and has been used in cooking and medicine for a long time.
Turmeric contains the active ingredient, Curcumin. Curcumin provides turmeric with all its fantastic properties that help strengthen your dog’s immune system. These include anti-fungal, antiviral, antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory. Studies have even called turmeric “Cure-cumin” because of its promising therapeutic and powerful healing properties.
Veterinarian Scientists recommend dog owners give their fur babies turmeric supplements or add a spot of turmeric spice into their dog food so that they experience the health benefits.
With turmeric’s healing properties, it can help dogs fight diseases such as arthritis, diabetes, liver disease, cancer, and gastrointestinal problems. Many studies have proven the health advantages of turmeric for dogs, particularly its active ingredient Curcumin. So, what are the other benefits?
Curcumin has natural anti-inflammatory properties that may reduce joint pain and inflammation in dogs, particularly if they have arthritis. While you may think that inflammation is only an issue for dogs with joint disease, chronic inflammation is a silent killer.
Cancer, allergies, kidney disease, dental disease, digestive disease, and of course – arthritis, are all caused by chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation can last for years without us even noticing it. It's the main reason for many long-term health issues in dogs.
Turmeric for dogs can help fight chronic inflammation that leads to these more serious health conditions. Curcumin reduces inflammation in the body for both humans and dogs. That's why turmeric for dogs is a helpful addition to their diet as it lowers inflammation and supports their overall well-being.
We have seen how turmeric helps with inflammation in dogs, and what is caused by inflammation? Arthritis.
As your dog ages, their joints can become vulnerable to inflammation. They may also experience stiffness and weakness. Turmeric for dogs can really help with such symptoms and will aid their motion and mobility.
A study in 2014 revealed that turmeric works better than ibuprofen and aspirin in humans, especially when treating arthritis. Similarly, a huge drawback to arthritis medications for dogs is that they can cause them stomach upset. Turmeric for dogs will not have this side effect in small amounts, making the spice a great alternative.
Sadly, almost half of dogs over the age of 10 will develop cancer. It’s the leading cause of death in dogs over 10 years old, with 50% of older dogs developing the disease. This is a super upsetting statistic, that as dog owners, we cannot bear thinking about. However, a UK study showed that curcumin found in turmeric can prevent precancerous changes from becoming cancer.
Almost 1/3 of studies conducted on turmeric are cancer research, and the results all look very promising. The National Cancer Institute said that “extensive research over the past two decades suggests that curcuminoids, the active ingredient in turmeric, interfere with multiple cells signalling pathways, providing support for the potential role of curcumin in modulating cancer development and progression.” This means turmeric for dogs can kill cancer cells and prevent more from developing.
If this doesn't demonstrate how important turmeric is for your dog's health, we're not sure what will!
As turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties, it’s also known to improve skin and fur coat health in dogs. This is because turmeric for dogs can reduce skin irritation and can help heal skin conditions like hot spots and dermatitis.
Turmeric for dogs also helps them have a healthy and shiny coat as it reduces inflammation in the skin. Therefore, if you want your furry pal’s coat to look great, then consider adding turmeric into their diet!
Turmeric for dogs can reduce harmful cholesterol levels, maintain blood pressure within a healthy range, and regulate blood clotting. The spice also has the potential to safeguard the inner linings of blood vessels and arteries.
Giving your dog turmeric promotes better bile production, aiding digestion and supporting liver health! This means it will aid in the digestion of fats so that your dog will feel more comfortable after eating.
These are only 5 of the benefits that turmeric can bring to your dog’s life. Turmeric for dogs also assists with weight management by stabilising blood sugar levels and enhances your dog's cognitive function.
How much turmeric you can give your dog will depend on their size.
Small dogs: we recommend ¼ teaspoon per day.
Medium dogs: ½ teaspoon per day
Large dogs: ¾ teaspoon per day
Giant dogs: 1 teaspoon per day.
See how your fur baby reacts and then you can increase the amount slightly from there – up to about a tablespoon for larger dogs. Remember, give your dog turmeric in smaller amounts a few times a day as it quickly leaves the body.
As turmeric is binding and can cause constipation, it’s best to add water to your dog’s meals when you are using turmeric.
Now you know the benefits of turmeric for dogs, you may be wondering if there are any side effects. Most of the side effects of turmeric for dogs come from giving your dog too much of the spice. These side effects can include:
Side effects can be avoided by ensuring that you give your dog the correct dosage of turmeric. Only provide small amounts and see how your pup reacts. We always recommend speaking with your vet first before changing or adding to your dog’s diet. Especially if your dog is currently on any medication as turmeric thins the blood.
Please note, turmeric may not be good for your dog if they are always hot and enjoy lying on cool floors. This is because turmeric is a warming spice!
There are several ways you can add turmeric to your dog’s diet. One is by buying powdered turmeric or fresh turmeric root.
If you choose to buy powder, avoid using regular grocery store turmeric powder, which is meant for cooking and not as a health supplement. Try to find a turmeric powder with black pepper or Piperine included, this will help the turmeric be more absorbable for your dog.
If you opt for fresh turmeric root, go for organic, and then crush or grate it. Adding a bit of black pepper can enhance absorption.
Alternatively, at WOOOF.co.uk we have a range of dog treats and supplements containing turmeric to spice up your pup’s diet. For example, you can make biscuit treats for your furry pal using the Goji Berry & Turmeric Grain Free Dog Biscuit Mix Pouch. Or reward them with a tasty treat of some Dog-Safe Peanut Butter & Turmeric Poochbutter.
See below for all our turmeric options, including multi-vitamin supplements, restore toppers and dog treats!
Thankfully, turmeric for dogs (and humans) has been scientifically established as an excellent preventive remedy for enhancing overall health, warding off illnesses, and easing discomfort.
If this article has helped you to decide to add turmeric into your furry friend’s diet, then that is fantastic! Just remember to always contact your vet first to ensure it’s okay for your dog and their individual needs.