If you keep up with trends in the health and wellness space, you’ve probably heard that the latest wonder-supplement is hiding in your spice rack. Turmeric has been shown to prevent and treat several chronic and serious diseases in humans, including cancer, arthritis, heart disease and more. Unsurprisingly, adding this supplement to your dog’s food can provide similar health benefits.
The key to the health benefits of turmeric lies in a compound called curcumin, a bright yellow chemical that makes up 2-6 percent of turmeric. The spice is understood to have anti-inflammatory and healing special effects worthy of a place in a blockbuster movie. Turmeric is safe for most dogs and will boost immunities and alleviate symptoms of many canine conditions.
Health benefits of turmeric for dogs may include:
1. Anti-inflammatory effects
2. Antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal benefits
3. Promoting heart and liver health
4. Promoting digestive health
5. Antioxidant properties, which may help prevent certain cancers
6. Preventing cataracts
7. Treatment for allergies, epilepsy, and liver disease
8. Pain relief
9. Anti-diarrhea medication
10. Natural detox agent
The significance of these benefits goes far beyond the obvious. For example, anti-inflammatory benefits do help dogs with joint disease (hip dysplasia, disk disease, arthritis, etc.), but the benefits can also stop a silent killer that can express as cancer, allergies, dental disease, digestive disease and more. Turmeric can reduce low-grade, acute inflammation by releasing white blood cells to body tissues.
Research has shown that curcumin relieves arthritis pain and stiffness better than ibuprofen, and a U.K. study determined that curcumin stopped precancerous lesions from developing into cancer. It can also shrink the size of tumors and kill cancer cells by shutting down blood vessels that feed tumors. The spice has also been used in treating Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and hindering the development of cataracts. Using turmeric instead of steroids and other drugs can provide relief without harmful side effects.
How to Give Turmeric to Your Dog
The best way to deliver turmeric to your dog is to make a paste and add it to your pet’s CANIDAE® dog food. The substance is difficult to absorb into the body unless it’s taken with a healthy oil, like coconut oil or olive oil. Additionally, some doctors recommend giving the spice with some black pepper, or peperine, which significantly boosts the effects. Without the boosters, adding straight powder to the food is a waste of time—it will just pass through the dog’s body without being absorbed.
Recipe for Turmeric Paste for Dogs
½ cup turmeric powder
2 cups water
¼ cup olive or coconut oil
1 ½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
Heat the turmeric powder, water, and olive or coconut oil in a pan on your stove. Set at low heat, and stir until you have a thick, pasty mix. Add the pepper at the end of cooking, and use a little extra water if the paste becomes too thick. Allow the paste to cool, and store it in a glass or sealed plastic container in your refrigerator. Turmeric paste keeps for about a month.
Start dogs on a small dose, about a ¼ teaspoon added to each meal. This may be the actual dose for small dogs and puppies, but for larger dogs increase the amount each week (another ¼ teaspoon or so) until you see results. Mix in your dog’s food once per day, and consult your veterinarian with any questions.
Caution: Turmeric is a natural blood thinner, so some precautions must be taken when using the product. Dogs on blood-thinning medications may not be candidates for using turmeric. As with all supplements, consult your veterinarian before adding turmeric to your dog’s diet, especially if he or she suffers from a chronic illness.