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You may know turmeric is a delicious herb but it has also been used as a natural remedy for joint pain and an anti-inflammatory for centuries. There’s a wealth of research on the health benefits of turmeric not only for humans but for dogs too. If you are looking into turmeric for dogs, read along to learn all about the healing properties of turmeric and how it can impact the wellbeing of your four-legged friends.
What is turmeric?
Common turmeric is a staple ingredient in Asian cuisine and is commonly used in curries to add deep yellow colour and a rich, earthy flavour to the dish. Due to its distinctive taste and colour qualities, the turmeric herb is often used as an addition in pre-packed pet food, as well.
Outside of its culinary benefits, high-quality, medical-grade turmeric has been proven to have numerous health benefits, most notably - pain relief and anti-inflammatory action. However, not all turmeric is the same quality. The variety commonly sold for cooking is often enhanced by adding colouring and is even mixed with other herbs, so if you are looking for turmeric for dogs, make sure it’s in the form of a specially-produced supplement (always consult your veterinarian first).
What is curcumin?
Curcumin is an ingredient contained in the turmeric plant. This is why, in Latin, the turmeric is called Curcuma longa. Herbal medicine practitioners praise curcumin for its therapeutic qualities and it is believed that the curcuminoids in the plant are what gives its health-improving properties.
You can find turmeric, as well as pure curcumin supplements for dogs. It is suggested that turmeric as a whole herb has more positive effects than curcumin alone. A recent study on human cancer patients seems to support this theory, however, the verdict is still out and a lot more research is needed to say with a good level of certainty which one of the two is more beneficial, especially for dogs.
Is turmeric safe for dogs?
Turmeric in small quantities is perfectly safe for dogs to consume and if you check your pet food label, you may even discover that you’ve already been giving it to your furry friends as an ingredient in their kibble. This low level of turmeric, however, won’t really have much of an impact on your dog’s health.
A turmeric supplement with a high concentration of curcumin is the most efficient way of introducing curcumin into the bloodstream where it is absorbed by the body. It’s always best to look for a product that uses a formula that is easy to absorb (a bio-viable formula).
Health benefits of turmeric for dogs
There are many examples where turmeric has been found to have positive health effects, both for humans and for dogs, in a scientific setting. For example, a recent study has shown that curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, can work as a natural anti-oxidant and have a positive impact on the overall health and growth of your dog.
Adding turmeric to your dog’s diet could help your four-legged friend in various ways, including:
- Anti-inflammatory action: Chronic inflammation is associated with many health conditions in dogs, including arthritis, cancer and allergies, as well as dental, kidney and digestive disease. Turmeric is believed to be one of the most powerful herbal anti-inflammatories that could outperform medicine such as aspirin and ibuprofen.
- Arthritis pain relief: Arthritis in dogs can cause stiffness and pain in the joints. As the condition is heavily associated with inflammation, turmeric for dogs can be used to replace traditional anti-inflammatory medication that offers joint pain relief.
- Steroid replacements: Steroids are often used to treat joint pain and allergies in dogs. Researchers believe that turmeric can be used to replace certain types of steroid medication, providing a natural, side-effect-free solution.
- Improved digestion: Curcumin is believed to help dogs digest fats by stimulating the production of bile in the liver. This makes turmeric useful for improving digestion and managing liver disease.
- Better quality of life: A healthy dog is a happy dog. If turmeric can boost the overall health of your pooch, reduce pain and help with digestion, then it’s bound to increase their quality of life as well.
Can turmeric harm my dog?
Even though turmeric is generally safe for dogs, you must always speak to your veterinarian first before adding it to your dog’s diet, especially if it’s in concentrated supplement form.
Certain medication for dogs is not compatible with turmeric. The herb can interfere with the effects of some diabetes drugs and some anti-inflammatory medication. Turmeric may not be recommended for use during chemotherapy, depending on the type of treatment your dog is undertaking.
Turmeric also has anticoagulant properties, so if your dog suffers from a blood clotting disorder, it could have a negative impact too.
How much turmeric for a dog?
The dosage of your turmeric supplement is something you should discuss with your vet beforehand but as a general rule, the amount of turmeric your dog should have depends on the size of the dog and goes something like this:
- Small/miniature dogs (under 10kg): 1/4 teaspoon per day
- Medium dogs (11-20kg): 1/2 teaspoon per day
- Large dogs (21-40kg): 3/4 teaspoon per day
- Giant dogs (41+kg): 1 teaspoon per day
Normally, it’s recommended that you start by introducing a small amount of turmeric and then increasing it gradually to avoid any adverse reactions. For more guidance, speak to your veterinarian.
Healthy diet for your dog
Turmeric can be a good supplement for improving your dog’s health but the most important thing to ensure your pooch is as healthy as it can be is to create a healthy lifestyle for them. From daily training and exercises to the food they eat, everything has an impact on the wellbeing of your furry friend.
This is why here, at Bug Bakes, we create a tailored dietary plan for every dog that switches to our premium nutritionally balanced, insect-based food. We help you find out exactly how much your dog should eat in just a couple of minutes and you can order a yummy 10-day trial pack as a start, so your pooch can have a little taste of our delicious, eco-friendly product.