Is turmeric safe for dogs? A Step-by-Step Guide

What’s So Special About Turmeric?

Is turmeric safe for dogs?

Turmeric, which you may sometimes see under its scientific name curcuma longa, is a rhizome — a type of plant with underground stems that grow horizontally. Even if the term rhizome is unfamiliar to you, youve likely seen them in your grocery store.

With some rhizomes, like asparagus, we eat the above-ground part of the plant. With other rhizomes, like turmeric and ginger, we eat the underground stems themselves.

Turmeric is a member of the ginger family, and fresh turmeric looks very similar to the fresh ginger root you see in stores. Fresh turmeric root isnt always available in grocery stores, but you can almost always find turmeric powder, the dried and ground version.

Both fresh turmeric root and dried turmeric powder contain an active ingredient that gives them superfood powers: curcumin. Curcumin is a bioactive chemical compound that occurs naturally in turmeric. It has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and antibacterial properties. Essentially, these properties up the ante on turmerics health benefits.

For humans, turmeric is one of the safest herbal supplements, and it offers many, well-documented benefits. But, can dogs have turmeric?

#2 – Turmeric Helps Fight Cancer

So we know that chronic inflammation can lead to cancer … and we know turmeric is a powerful antioxidant.

A UK study showed that curcumin could stop the precancerous changes from becoming cancer. So turmeric can help prevent cancer … And turmeric can also treat cancer naturally.

Nearly 1/3 of the studies done on turmeric are cancer research … and the results are very promising. Turmeric has been shown to kill cancer cells and prevent more from growing.

The American Cancer Society claims, “Curcumin interferes with cancer development, growth, and spread. Recently, curcumin has received a great deal of focus because of it’s ability to reduce tumor size and kill cancer cells.

Half of adult dogs today will get cancer … so turmeric could be a great way to protect your dog from cancer and the inflammation that causes it.

Can I give my dog human turmeric supplements?

According to a PetCoach veterinarian, some dogs are more sensitive to turmeric than others, and they may develop gastrointestinal upset if a dose of human turmeric capsules is given.

5 Reasons To Give Your Dog Turmeric

Turmeric is enjoying its moment in the spotlight these days, from its popular use in cooking to human medicinal supplements and beyond. This bright-yellow spice is purported to have numerous health benefits for humans, so the veterinary world (and pet food and pet supplement industries) have taken notice.

But first, is turmeric safe for dogs? Yes, for most dogs, it’s safe in small amounts. Are there proven benefits for our furry friends? We’ve dug into the research into this golden root, what the veterinary community has to say about the use of turmeric for dogs, feeding guidelines, and more. Table Of Contents

You might know turmeric as the spice that gives mustard and curry their vibrant golden color. It comes from the rhizomes (underground roots) of Curcuma longa, an herb that’s native to Southeast Asia. Turmeric has a long history of medicinal use, dating back nearly 4,000 years.

Because of its long-time and variety of medicinal uses in Eastern medicine, modern Western medicine took a keen interest in turmeric. In the last 25 years, more than 3,000 studies have examined turmeric and its active ingredient, curcumin, a naturally occurring chemical compound. Numerous studies have found that turmeric has potent anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anticancer properties.

Research into turmeric’s benefits for dogs isn’t nearly as extensive as it is for use in humans, but a growing body of research is finding promising benefits for our furry friends.

It’s important to point out that turmeric should complement your pup’s current treatment rather than replace it. And always check with your veterinarian before giving your pup any supplement.

One of the most commonly promoted uses of turmeric is to promote joint health for dogs suffering from arthritis and other joint problems. The anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric may help reduce swelling and pain and improve mobility. A frequently cited study found significantly lower pain indicators in arthritic dogs who were fed a mixture containing curcumin for three months. A few other studies found promising anti-inflammatory benefits in animals.

The benefits of turmeric for dogs’ pain may well go beyond joint problems because inflammation is a major cause of pain in many conditions. One study comparing curcumin to ibuprofen showed curcumin to be as effective in treating chronic pain as ibuprofen. In another study comparing it to acetaminophen, researchers found curcumin as a safe alternative for acute pain relief.

Because of curcumin’s potent antioxidant properties, it may help boost your pup’s overall health and improve your dog’s ability to fight off diseases. One small study compared several health indicators of dogs given curcumin-enriched dog food versus a control group of dogs given the same food without curcumin. After 42 days on this diet, the dogs given curcumin showed stimulated antioxidant systems and greater numbers of red and white blood cells.

There’s some evidence that curcumin may help reduce the risk of some types of cancer and slow tumor development. But as the American Cancer Society and other experts point out, more research needs to be conducted before it’s used as a cancer treatment. Still, some holistic vets recommend turmeric for dogs with cancer.

A fascinating study explored the use of turmeric oil as a tick deterrent. In several different experiments, researchers found that turmeric oil was able to prevent a climbing response by ticks and that it outperformed natural oils, DEET, and other ingredients as a tick repellent. However, before you slather your dog in turmeric oil, speak to your vet about how to use it safely as a tick deterrent. Turmeric essential oil must be heavily diluted when used on dogs.

Based on extensive research into curcumin in pre-clinical and clinical trials in humans and its use in traditional Eastern medicine, here are some other ways turmeric may benefit our furry friends.