Turmeric benefits both people and dogs. It is a safe herb that can easily be fed to dogs with their meals. Learn more about this wonderful herb and how it can be used to boost the immunity and health of your dog.
With all the buzz about turmeric in recent years, you most likely have heard about this herb or may even be using it for yourself and your family.
The good news is, turmeric benefits dogs in numerous ways as well.
Turmeric belongs to the ginger family and contains a mix of phenolics known as curcumin. It is the curcumin in turmeric that makes this herb so medicinally powerful.
In addition, turmeric is high in vitamin B6 and minerals (manganese, iron, potassium) and contains a good source of fiber.
Turmeric is a powerful antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. The anti-inflammatory effects of this herb are comparable to those of cortisone, and the antioxidant effects are comparable to those of vitamins C and E.
Turmeric also has liver supporting and protecting properties. It stimulates the output of bile (by as much as 100%!) and increases its solubility.
In addition, it is a carminative, that is, it can help to prevent gas formation in the GI tract.
As well, turmeric benefits the cardiovascular system: it can lower cholesterol levels and inhibit blood clots. In this regard, turmeric benefits people more because dogs do not commonly have cholesterol problems like people do. However, since turmeric has an affinity with the heart, dogs undergoing chemotherapy can benefit from the herb since it can protect the heart against damage by chemotherapy medications.
A number of studies have suggested that turmeric can protect people against Alzheimer's disease. The curcumin in the herb triggers the production of an antioxidant that protects the brain against free radicals. Old dogs can also develop Alzheimer-like symptoms (canine cognitive dysfunction), and though no studies on dogs have been found, it does not hurt to add this herb to an old dog’s diet.
Perhaps the most remarkable property of turmeric is its anticancer property. It has been found that turmeric has the ability to interfere in all steps of cancer formation: initiation, promotion and progression. To put it very simply: turmeric is able to cause cancer cells to end their lifecycle prematurely - in other words, it can cause the cancer cells to commit suicide!
So what are some turmeric benefits for our dogs' health? Well, we can definitely use this herb to help with the following dog health problems:
The easiest way to give turmeric to dogs is to use the dried, powdered form of the herb (be sure to get an organic product such as this one).
Dosage depends naturally on the size of your dog, but as a very rough guide, start off with these dosages:
Dr. Randy Kidd (author of Herbal Dog Care) suggests that the simplest way is to sprinkle the dried herb on the dog’s food.
As turmeric is fat soluble, it may be better to first mix the herb with an oil (e.g. olive oil or coconut oil), and add the herbal oil mix to the dog’s food.
If you home-cook for your dog, you can also simply add the herb to the food during cooking.
You can also use it to make dog treats. Here is a recipe.
Dr. Dressler (author of Dog Cancer Survival Guide) suggests giving it between meals, at least 1 hour before or after food, on a totally empty stomach.
According to Dr. Dressler, the following dosages are appropriate for cancer treatment:
Turmeric is a very safe herb for dogs, and there seems to be no toxicity reported at normal intake levels. Do not, however, overfeed it to your dog since large amounts may cause inflammation or ulceration of the stomach lining.
In addition, please note the following:
If you have used turmeric before, you will know that the yellow pigment in the turmeric can stain light-colored surfaces. So don’t be surprised to see a yellow mustache on your white haired dog if you put turmeric on her food, and don’t let your dog eat on your white carpet!