It is said dogs are some of the unhappiest beings on the planet – they cannot talk and chocolate is likely to kill them. At this point, you probably know already, there are lots of things dogs cannot eat. Some of them may not necessarily make sense to you, but it is essential to understand that dogs have different digestive systems. While the human body can process all kinds of chemicals and foods, the dog body cannot do it.
When it comes to spices, there is a common belief that dogs should avoid them. It is one thing to feed your dog cooked meat and another thing to give it meat covered in spices. Some of these spices can be extremely harmful, while a few others can bring in a plethora of benefits.
Other than that, some of the healthiest spices for dogs are right there in your cupboard. At this point, you probably ask yourself – can dogs eat turmeric? Is it safe for them? Are there any side effects associated with turmeric?
Health Benefits of turmeric in dogs
So, can we give turmeric to dogs? The simple answer is yes, they can. It does not apply to all of them. Some may reject it or disagree with its taste. However, turmeric comes with a plethora of advantages.
Turmeric against inflammation
Inflammation is one of the most common affections in dogs. Most people believe it only affects dogs with joint issues, but this is only a misconception. It may arise in every dog out of nowhere.
Inflammation is also the root of numerous other affections. For example, diseases like allergies, arthritis, cancer, dental affections, digestive issues or kidney problems all start with inflammation. Not all inflammation is bad though. When the dog suffers from a bacterial or viral infection, inflammation will actually promote the natural healing process. On the other hand, it is chronic inflammation that you have to pay attention to.
There are over 6,000 studies out there to back the beneficial effects of turmeric in dogs. For example, the curcumin is more efficient than ibuprofen in arthritis. The same ingredient can easily outweigh other anti-inflammatory medications.
Turmeric against arthritis
Since turmeric is so efficient against inflammation, it will inevitably help against arthritis too. It will relieve painful sensations, as well as stiffness – much better than traditional medication for dogs. Compared to ibuprofen, turmeric is just as efficient, only it lacks the secondary reactions.
Other health benefits of turmeric
The anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric will help against all kinds of gastrointestinal problems associated with dogs. Furthermore, the active substance – curcumin – is an excellent replacement for steroids, which are often used to heal allergies and joint painful affections in dogs. It is a great alternative for corticosteroids, especially as it lacks the harsh side effects. Even when combined with steroids, turmeric has the capability to reduce some of the adverse reactions.
Last, but not least, turmeric is also efficient against the growth of cancer cells. It is a great antioxidant that kills cancer cells and prevents them from spreading.
Side effects of turmeric in dogs
Simply put, can we give turmeric to our dogs? Absolutely. It is actually recommended every now and then, even if your dog is in great health condition – it makes a perfect supplement. But then, turmeric may also have some side effects.
It is worth noting that not all dogs will enjoy the aroma, even if you actually sprinkle it over your dog’s food. Picky dogs may turn around and choose to ignore their favorite meals if they smell it. The good news is that most dogs have nothing against it.
It is worth noting that turmeric can cause constipation or stomach upset. The issue is more common if you feed your dog turmeric on a regular basis. You should also keep the dosage under control – too much of this spice can cause the same effects.
If you see any signs of constipation or stomach upset, reduce the dosage right away. In fact, you should not even start with a large dose anyway. Start with a sprinkle and build up until you get to the recommended dose.
You should educate yourself a little on your dog’s breed. What is the breed prone to? What kind of affections are more common? Breeds prone to developing kidney stones require more attention and should not always get turmeric.
Turmeric tablets tend to increase the levels of urinary oxalates. In other words, they are likely to stimulate the apparition of kidney stones. It is not a common side effect, but it may affect dogs prone to such affections.
How much turmeric to feed your dog
There is a simple rule to follow in order to make sure your dog gets the optimal dose of turmeric without experiencing any problems. Practically, give your dog the recommended dose and no matter how helpful turmeric seems to be, do not exceed that dose – too much of it can cause more harm than good.
You should not start with the recommended dose straight away either. Instead, built up slowly. Start with a tiny dose and observe any potential effects within the next 24 to 48 hours. You can gradually increase the dose, as your furry friend’s body will get enough time to adjust to it.
The recommended dose is normally given based on the size. Whether you feed your dog turmeric tablets or you add powder to dog’s food, you can come up with the right quantity according to your dog’s weight:
- Less than five pounds – ¼ of a tablespoon
- Five to 10 pounds – ½ of tablespoon
- 10 to 20 pounds – ¾ of a tablespoon
- Over 20 pounds – one tablespoon
Monitor your pet’s reactions to figure out when to increase the dose. If you are not 100% sure about something in particular or you are concerned, simply get in touch with your vet. The positive effects of curcumin will show up in the long run and not overnight, so there is no need to rush.
What kind of medications turmeric interacts with?
Can dogs have turmeric? It is actually recommended, but just like anything else, too much of it can cause some problems. At the same time, while not proven, there are a few tests showing how turmeric can interact with certain treatments and medications.
It makes no difference what you give your dog. It could be a tasty turmeric paste, tablets or supplements. Once in the body, it can cause some reactions. From this point of view, it pays off discussing the supplementation with your vet.
So, when is turmeric contraindicated?
If your furry friend has diabetes, turmeric may not necessarily be the best supplement. No matter what type of medication you provide your dog, keep turmeric away from it. This is because turmeric is likely to lower the blood sugar and interact with the effects of the medication, so it is wiser to simply avoid it.
Turmeric is also likely to interact with all kinds of drugs used prior to a surgery. If your dog is booked for a surgery, stop the turmeric supplementation at least a month before the surgery. If a vet books your dog in for a surgery, make sure you discuss the turmeric supplementation and mention it. You might have to delay the surgery.
Other than that, no matter what treatment your vet may suggest, always mention this supplementation when you get there. It may affect the final treatment or it might get the vet to prescribe something else – better to be safe than sorry.
So, dogs can eat turmeric? Absolutely! Dogs do not always like spiced meat. However, as you cook it, spices often blend in, so dogs may no longer be able to avoid them. Turmeric goes in the same category. Some dogs turn around whenever they smell it, even if you top their favorite dog’s food with it. Some other dogs will be happy to give it a try.
This is the main reason wherefore you can find turmeric in so many forms. You can get it into a tasty paste, but you can also find tablets or other types of supplements.
Now, is this spice safe for your furry friend? In most cases, it is. But then, different dogs react differently to safe elements, so it pays off starting with a small dosage. Observe any reactions, then you can increase the dose to the recommended size. If you are not 100% sure about the optimal dose for your pet, just get in touch with a vet for more suggestions.
Overall, turmeric has a plethora of health benefits and can help and treat a wide variety of affections. Even if your pet is in good health, a little supplementation will definitely help prevent problems. As for the taste, it is up for your dog to decide whether turmeric is a good treat or not.