You might think of turmeric as just another spice on the spice rack. But did you know that turmeric contains active ingredients that can be incredibly beneficial to your dog’s health? Before you go out and buy a bunch of drugs that can actually harm your dog, give this article a quick read to learn about the benefits of turmeric. See how it compares to conventional medicines and what a great natural supplement it can be in your dog’s diet.
What is Turmeric?
Turmeric is a spice that comes from the turmeric plant. It is a member of the ginger family. It is a common ingredient in a wide variety of Asian dishes, the most notable being curry. Turmeric is typically used in foods to add a yellow color or a unique flavor.
Aside from being just an ordinary spice in the spice cabinet, turmeric actually offers many health benefits. It’s no coincidence that Indians have been using turmeric for thousands of years. They know that turmeric contains ingredients with medicinal properties, specifically with anti-inflammatory effects.
Turmeric contains compounds with medicinal properties, called curcuminoids. The main active curcuminoid in turmeric is curcumin, which comes from the turmeric root. Curcumin has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. This makes it a popular supplement for health enthusiasts. Curcumin can be found in capsule or powder form. Although capsules are a more popular choice due to simplicity.
What are the Benefits of Turmeric for Dogs?
Turmeric is typically used by people, but its benefits are just as noteworthy in dogs. Curcumin offers antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antiviral, and anticancer effects. It can combat arthritis, diabetes, cancer, liver disease, and gastrointestinal problems, and more. Dogs are prone to diseases of all kinds.
Turmeric is a natural supplement that, in most cases, can be more effective than conventional drugs like ibuprofen and aspirin, to name a few. It’s important to note here, that you should never give your dog human NSAIDs like ibuprofen or aspirin. There are specific NSAIDs made just for dogs. Human NSAIDs are toxic for dogs and can be fatal. Also, you may notice some of the following test examples involved humans and turmeric. However, turmeric works in a similar fashion in humans and dogs, therefore, test results and benefits should mimic each other.
Five Benefits of Turmeric for Dogs:
1) Turmeric has powerful anti-inflammatory effects
Inflammation is the root of most diseases, including diabetes, arthritis, cancer, and more. More specifically, these diseases are all associated with chronic inflammation. A 2014 study in people showed that curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, outperformed its conventional counterpart, ibuprofen, in treating joint inflammation.
2) Turmeric can relieve and prevent pain caused by arthritis
Arthritis is caused by inflammation in the joints, and, as mentioned earlier, turmeric can be an effective treatment for chronic inflammation. The benefit of turmeric extracts has been evaluated in dogs with osteoarthritis in carefully run trials. Both studies found a small but real benefit with no serious side effects.
3) Turmeric can treat IBD and other gastrointestinal issues
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) refers to diseases that cause inflammation in the digestive tract. With high anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric can have promising results in reducing gut inflammation and controlling gut permeability. In fact, turmeric is not absorbed very well and some researchers believe it has its beneficial effects on the gut bacteria (microbiota).
4) Turmeric can help prevent cancer
Cancer can form from chronic inflammation and from oxidative damage. With curcumin being both an effective anti-inflammatory supplement, and an antioxidant, it may be able to prevent precancerous changes from advancing to cancer. Studies show that turmeric can kill cancer cells and even prevent the growth of new cancer cells. Many owners of dogs diagnosed with cancer decide to add turmeric as a food supplement in the hope that it might help.
5) Turmeric can boost brain function and reduce the risk of brain diseases
The brain is a giant network of neurons that may degenerate with age, which can result in brain diseases like Alzheimer’s and Lou Gehrig’s disease (AKA ALS). Yes, sadly, dogs can get diseases like Alzheimer’s and Lou Gehrig’s disease only they have different names such as Canine Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome or Degenerative Myelopathy.
Turmeric is thought to help the brain by reducing inflammation, preventing oxidative damage, and by binding unwanted protein, essentially cleaning up the brain. Neurons are, in fact, capable of regrowth in certain brain areas. This is achieved with the help of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is a growth hormone for the brain. Brain disorders like Alzheimer’s are linked to low levels of BDNF. However, curcumin can boost this hormone’s levels, promoting an increase in neurons while preventing degeneration. This can ultimately help prevent brain disorders which could affect dogs. In addition, the effect of turmeric on the bacteria in the gut might have benefits on the brain, through the gut brain communication.
How Long Does it Take for Turmeric to Work?
With so many health benefits to offer, you are probably wondering how long it will take for turmeric to work its magic. However, just like any supplement, turmeric does not work like conventional anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen.
In other words, it will most likely not relieve pain and inflammation within the hour. In fact, turmeric supplements can take anywhere from four to eight weeks to have any effects. This is because curcumin levels in the body must build-up before any beneficial effects take place.
Is Turmeric Safe for Dogs?
Since turmeric is all-natural, it is generally considered to be very safe. There are, however, a few potential side effects that you should be aware of.
Turmeric can interact with blood thinners, increasing their effect. For this reason, if your dog is currently on blood thinners, you should not give it turmeric as it can cause problems.
Turmeric is also a good binding agent, meaning it is a substance that holds or draws in materials together. Binding agents like turmeric can be beneficial if your dog has diarrhea. Contrastingly, in the case that your dog is dehydrated, turmeric can actually lead to constipation.
Potential Side Effects of Turmeric (Curcumin):
- Upset stomach
- Gallbladder problems
- Interference with iron absorption causing mild anemia
As mentioned earlier, turmeric is a very safe supplement to take and should not cause any of the side effects if proper dosage is being used. However, the risk of side effects is greatly increased if high amounts of turmeric are consumed. To prevent this from happening, it is a safe bet to always stay within the recommended dose for your dog.
How Much Turmeric Can I Give My Dog?
Not all dogs are the same, so the amount of turmeric for each dog will vary. Typically, the turmeric dose for your dog will depend on your dog’s size.
The general rule of thumb is ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon of turmeric per every 10 lbs of body weight per day. It is a good idea to start off towards the smaller end at first and then slowly increase the dose. A good way to give your dog turmeric is to distribute it in small amounts throughout the day because turmeric absorbs and flushes from the body quickly.
How to Use Turmeric for Dogs
There are a few tips on using turmeric that can increase its effectiveness. Turmeric on its own does not digest very well. Indeed, some people believe it has its beneficial effects through its effect on the bacteria in the gut. However, there are certain ingredients that you should always try and combine with turmeric to improve its absorption and effectiveness.
Black Pepper & Turmeric
One tip that you can use is to mix it with freshly ground black pepper. This is because black pepper contains piperine, a phytochemical that can increase curcumin absorption by up to 2,000%!
Healthy Fats & Turmeric
Another important fact is that turmeric is fat-soluble, so adding small amounts of healthy fats to your dog’s meal will ensure maximal absorption of curcumin. Examples of healthy fats include coconut oil, avocado oil, and hemp seed oil.
Dog Treats (Superfoods & Turmeric)
While there are a ton of recipes out there for making a turmeric paste, there are much more convenient options available, such as our Joint and Mobility CBD Dog Treats. This unique blend of turmeric root and Boswellia is designed to increase joint strength and reduce inflammation and pain. Additional ingredients include hemp seed powder, which is full of omega fatty acids and protein, and CBD oil.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a natural extract from hemp plants and may have effects on overall health and wellness. CBD is capable of interacting with the canine endocannabinoid system (ECS). The dog’s ECS helps to manage or regulate many body functions such as pain, inflammation, and digestion to name a few. As a result, CBD working together with turmeric may be much more effective than turmeric alone.
Worried about your dog getting high? Not to worry. CBD is 100% non-intoxicating and is completely safe for your dog. In fact, CBD comes with few side effects that only present themselves when excess CBD is consumed. That being said, it is nearly impossible to overdose on CBD. Just follow the serving suggestions and you should never have to worry about such a problem.
Final Thoughts – What Are the Benefits of Turmeric for Dogs?
Turmeric may be just another spice people use in their cooking, however, it also comes with many health benefits that you might want to include in your dog’s diet. As a powerful anti-inflammatory, it can help treat and prevent joint and mobility issues such as arthritis. It may also have promising results in preventing cancer.
Turmeric is an excellent supplement for your dog, even if he/she is healthy. It promotes overall health and wellness. You can make a turmeric paste at home or try out our specially formulated Joint and Mobility CBD Dog Treats, which offer the best ingredients all with a tasty finish. So get out there, get yourself some turmeric (curcumin), and try some out on your dog!