Our diet plays a massive part in our health and is the best way to prevent and treat disease. We try to choose the best ingredients to incorporate into our meals and take supplements to boost our body’s healing capabilities. However, it recently has come to the attention of many pet owners that diet also plays a huge role in our pets’ lives.
Dogs often suffer from the same ailments as their human counterparts such as inflammation, digestive problems, and heart health issues. Fortunately, there is a particular herb that you probably already have in your cabinet that can treat these problems: turmeric!
What Is Turmeric?
Turmeric is a root that is a close cousin of ginger root! It is common in eastern cooking and medicine and has an earthy flavor with a vibrant orange-yellow color.
Turmeric has an abundance of the antioxidant curcumin, which is what gives this wonder root its bold color and antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties.
How Can Turmeric Help My Dog?
Turmeric has several uses that can treat anything from inflammation to reducing blood clots! Here are seven uses of turmeric for dogs:
1. Anti-inflammatory. Inflammation can be caused by a number of things from bacteria to chronic diseases. Turmeric helps to reduce inflammation and even rivals ibuprofen!
2. Antioxidant. As an antioxidant, turmeric and curcumin help to fight off cancer-causing free radicals that occur in chemicals found in processed dog food and pesticides.
3. Tumors. Turmeric can help to fight cancer cells and reverse cancer growth.
4. Arthritis. If your pup suffers from rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis, they can benefit from turmeric in their diets. Curcumin is proven to be just as effective as ibuprofen in reducing inflammation!
5. Gastrointestinal Issues. Common conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease can harm intestinal cells. However, curcumin can actually help to protect these cells from damage.
6. Heart Health. Turmeric helps to reduce LDL (commonly referred to as “bad cholesterol”) and acts as a natural blood thinner and helps reduce blood clots.
7. Liver Function. Turmeric helps the liver break down fat and promote the removal of waste from the body.
How Should I Incorporate Turmeric Into My Dog’s Diet?
Turmeric is naturally non-bioavailable; meaning that it cannot be easily absorbed by the body. Luckily there are a few recipes you can make for your dog to improve the absorption of turmeric and curcumin. By adding black pepper or a healthy fat (coconut oil is excellent!) to the herb can help increase the bioavailability.
While turmeric is safe to consume it is a blood thinner and should not be combined with other blood thinners. There are a few other harmless side effects to consider when giving your dog turmeric.
Overall, turmeric is an excellent alternative to many steroids and anti-inflammatory medicines for your four-legged friend. When giving your dog turmeric, it is recommended to start off with 1/8 to 1/4 tsp. per 10 lbs. of bodyweight, and work up the amount until it is the best amount for your pup. However, keep in mind it is best to check with a holistic vet and research whether turmeric is right for your dog before incorporating it into their diet.
Vanessa Chung is a senior at Cal State Fullerton studying Business Administration with a concentration in Entertainment and Hospitality Management. In addition to writing for SimpleWag, she loves to photograph everything from plants to food. You can follow her food adventures on Instagram @adventurouseats and her daily life adventures @nessiequik