nutrition

The Surprising Benefits of Turmeric for Dogs

Dr. Carla Montrond Correia ND, CNS

Medically Reviewed by

Dr. Carla Montrond Correia ND, CNS

4 min read

3 dogs playing with each other

Turmeric has shown promising signs for its potential health benefits for dogs. Read on to see if it’s right for your furry friend.

Any dog owner will tell you the same thing: Our dogs are cherished members of our family. We want to do everything we can to keep our furry friends healthy and happy. Fortunately, there’s always new research to suggest new ways we can support our dogs’ health and well-being. Turmeric has shown promising signs for its potential benefits for dogs. If you’re looking for a supplement that might be good for your dog, keep reading.

What is turmeric?

Turmeric is a plant in the ginger family. The powder commonly derived from the plant is often used to add some flavor to different cuisines. Interestingly enough, turmeric has become a rather popular supplement for our canine friends. This is because of the phytonutrient curcumin, which is found in turmeric. Of late, the health benefits of curcumin have been under more careful review, and the results have been promising.

Can dogs eat turmeric?

Is it safe for dogs to have turmeric?

Yes, turmeric is safe for dogs in small doses, and studies suggest that it can be good for your dog’s health. But it’s important to always talk to your vet first before giving turmeric to your dog.

Benefits for dogs ingesting turmeric

Promotes joint health

The phytonutrient curcumin is found in turmeric and it may be beneficial to your dog’s joint health. One study looked at the effect of curcumin on a group of dogs, and found that curcumin was associated with improved joint health in the dogs. This is perhaps due to curcumin’s anti-inflammatory properties. Either way, the signs point to turmeric being potentially helpful to dogs experiencing joint discomfort. If your furry friend falls into this category, you may want to ask your vet about turmeric.

Aids gastrointestinal issues

Turmeric has antioxidant properties that can be good for your dog’s gastrointestinal health. A recent study showed that turmeric, because of its antioxidant properties, was helpful for gut health. Another study of human subjects yielded similar results, demonstrating that turmeric could be effective in addressing gastrointestinal issues and promoting gut health. Still, more research is needed, particularly on turmeric’s effects on dogs. It is best to consult with your vet about your dog’s gastrointestinal issues before proceeding with giving turmeric to your dog.

Antioxidant properties

One study looked at the effects of curcumin – a phytonutrient found in turmeric – that’s been integrated into dog food. The curcumin (100 mg/kg) was added to the dog food along with other micronutrients, resulting in a final concentration of curcumin that was 32.9 mg/kg. For the study, 12 young Beagle dogs received either curcumin-containing food or the control diet that didn’t have curcumin. The dogs were fed twice a day using individual kennels. The results showed that the dogs in the curcumin group saw increased activity of several antioxidant enzymes. Curcumin supplementation did result in growth or weight gain among these dogs, but showed its effectiveness in promoting animal health. Curcumin was shown to be particularly beneficial for stimulating the dogs’ antioxidant system.

Still, before introducing turmeric to your dog’s routine, it’s best to talk to your vet.

How to give dogs turmeric

Forms of turmeric

Turmeric comes in a few different forms: powder, liquid, and chewable tablets.

Turmeric powder for dogs can also be mixed with coconut or olive oil and turned into a paste that can be added to your dog’s wet food. Such a paste is typically good to use for up to two weeks.

Turmeric liquid is useful in that it can be absorbed more quickly than other turmeric options. The dosage, again, depends on the size of your dog.

Chewable turmeric tablets are available as a supplement that your dog can chew. They come in a variety of flavors, including bacon and liver. It’s often best to look for dog products that are natural and organic without unnecessary additives.

How much turmeric should dogs have

For bigger dogs, you might want to give a daily spoonful of paste mixed with your dog’s food. For medium-sized dogs, go with half a spoonful. For smaller dogs, go with one-quarter of a spoonful.

Can you give a dog too much?

Yes, it’s possible to overdo the turmeric with your dog. Some side effects include: upset stomach, nausea, diarrhea, bruising, iron deficiency, and gallbladder issues. The best way to avoid these side effects is to only give your dog the dose your vet recommends.

Can you give your dog turmeric supplements that are made for humans?

Giving turmeric supplements made for humans to your dog is not recommended. Fortunately, there are many dog-specific options out there.

Potential side effects

Though rare, some side effects of turmeric supplementation for dogs have been recorded. Some side effects include: upset stomach, nausea, diarrhea, bruising, iron deficiency, and gallbladder issues. There have also been reports of occasional allergic reactions. As always, it’s best to talk to your vet before making decisions about the use of turmeric.

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