Read time: 5 mins
21 Dec 2019
It’s been used as a vegetable dye, a food seasoning and even been included in cosmetics and medicines, but is turmeric good for dogs?
Yes. In the correct form and controlled quantities, turmeric is a very beneficial addition to a dog’s diet.
While we know this vivid yellow spice has multiple uses and comes in lots of different varieties, its origins are a little harder to sniff out. Oddly, it doesn’t grow in the wild. These days, it’s cultivated everywhere from China to Indonesia and Africa to Thailand. It also crops up throughout the tropics (making it officially better travelled than we are). In India, it's a key ingredient in Ayurvedic medicine, which is one of the world's oldest holistic healing systems.
Turmeric has been suggested as a remedy for everything from allergies to Alzheimer’s. Even if many ideas need a lot more research, turmeric’s talents are hard to ignore. This wonder spice owes its versatility to the 100+ active constituents that are found within its knobbly root. The range of active components, combined with the curcuminoids (the parts that make it yellow), is believed to be the driving force behind turmeric's health-giving prowess.
Recently, new interest in turmeric – sparked by lots of claims about its powers – has helped sales soar. It’s become so popular that some people sprinkle it on their lattes or knock it back in shots of juice. And it’s not just humans who see the potential – vets have been using turmeric to treat animals for many years.
As well as helping to prevent future problems occurring, turmeric had a multitude of benefits for dogs with existing heart-related issues. It has been known to reduce LDL cholesterol which lowers the risk of blood clots in the heart and regulates blood pressure.
One last (potentially fur-fetched) benefit is turmeric's suggested anti-ageing properties. A sprinkling of turmeric could help them cope better with environmental stressors. It's also claimed the spice can inhibit the production of radicals, protecting cells from damage and slowing the ageing process. As there's no hard science to back this up, you may have to take it with a pinch of salt (or turmeric).
The anti-inflammatory action of turmeric has long been thought to help ease the symptoms of a diverse array of illnesses including heart disease and cancer, as well as easing degenerative conditions like arthritis and joint issues. The curcumin (remember, the stuff that gives it its colour) has gained the nickname ‘cure-cumin’ in recent years. This is due to its powerful antioxidant properties and the way (human) patients with arthritis respond to it.
There are a multitude of ways you can feed your dog turmeric, so don’t give up at the first sign of turning their nose up. Variety is the spice of life after all.
Plenty of people swear by golden turmeric paste to soothe their pooch's aches and pains.Another benefit of turmeric paste is that it’s super quick and simple to make. Follow this quick and easy recipe from Dogs Naturally Magazine.
• Mix 75g of turmeric together with 250ml of water in a pan
• Simmer on a low heat for ten minutes
• A thick paste should have formed
• If it is too thick, add more water, if it is too thin, add more turmeric
• Add 50g of ghee and stir
• Allow to cool and store in a airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks
Feed your dog anywhere from ¼ teaspoon to a full teaspoon daily depending on their size, this can be mixed in with food or fed directly. You may find a lot of recipes that suggest using coconut oil instead of ghee but this is prone to causing diarrhoea in dogs, so it’s best to avoid including this.
It’s really important that you don’t feed your dog turmeric tablets intended for human consumption. This is due to the dosage of supplements, humans require a higher amount of turmeric in order to reap the benefits, whereas dogs need to consume much less.
Turmeric tablets for dogs are readily available from a number of different suppliers. Like most things, it is much more effective to feed your dog turmeric in its natural form, but options are there.
If you like the idea of your furry family member benefitting from turmeric, but want to save yourself from hands, counters and dogs stained with yellow, you can opt to feed your pooch a meal of Wham Bam Lamb from Butternut Box. As well as human-quality protein and lots of fresh veg, we season this recipe with turmeric to make it totally drool-worthy and healthy in more ways than you can count on four paws. We also use turmeric in our Nimble Nibbles treats and Chicken Bish Bash Broth for a super-spice boost in snack form.
A word of sound advice from us, take your time and everything will be fine. Did we just make this catchy saying up? Feel free to embed this mantra into your life. But, seriously, if you introduce turmeric gradually to your dog's diet there should be no side effects. However, when fed suddenly and in large quantities, turmeric can cause constipation, clotting issues (due to its blood thinning properties) and iron deficiency, so avoid doing this.
Dogs on medication for diabetes should avoid turmeric as it can affect blood sugar levels and could induce hypoglycemia.
If you’re unsure about turmeric’s suitability for your dog, we would always recommend consulting your vet before proceeding.
When served in the correct form and quantity, the following herbs and spices are safe (and beneficial) for your pup.