Everything You Need to Know about Turmeric for Dogs

Everything You Need to Know about Turmeric for Dogs

You love your dog, and you want what’s best for your four-legged friend. There are a variety of studies that show how conventional medication can result in horrible side effects that can harm your companion. You don’t want your dog to go through these symptoms, and luckily, there are ways that they can bypass that. A little spice here and there can do wonders for your furry friend’s health. You must be wondering what we are talking about. We are talking about a popular spice called turmeric that is often found in Indian cuisine. The spice has a unique holistic health benefit that can rejuvenate your dog's health.

If you are interested, we have some amazing information to showcase how turmeric can change your dog's life.

Related: CBD Dog Treats For Joint Pain

What is Turmeric?

Turmeric is a delicious yellow-orange spice that is often found in curry dishes. It has a very deep and earthy flavor that is most commonly associated with Thai and Indian cuisines. In fact, you may have had turmeric before in a restaurant. It’s a member of the ginger family, and its roots are native to the middle east and southeast Asia. People often use turmeric for culinary and medicinal purposes, but now our canine companion can use it for their health benefits as well. There are approximately 6000 studies that support the benefits of having turmeric in your dog's daily diet. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it can alleviate inflammation; therefore, it can treat chronic arthritis in your dog.

What is Curcumin?

Curcumin is a magical ingredient in turmeric. This is the main ingredient that gives turmeric its antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties, which can play a huge role in strengthening your dog's immune system. Because of its powerful healing properties, various top universities like Baylor Medical Center in Dallas, Texas supports the research results that curcumin in turmeric can significantly reduce health issues in test subjects.

Plus, it is known to treat various existing illnesses, therefore making it an essential ingredient in the field of preventative medicine. Because of this, veterinarian scientists are recommending that dog owners give turmeric supplements to their pets or administer turmeric in their dogs’ food for maximum health benefits.

Is Tumeric Safe For Dogs?

“Turmeric has been used for reducing inflammation for humans for many years and mainly for healing, antioxidant properties, and anti-inflammatory have been attributed to it,” says RuthAnn Lobos, DVM, CCRT, . Several researchers have concluded that turmeric is beneficial for a dog’s health and is known to trump drugs such as Arthritis drugs, Inflammatory bowel disease drugs, steroids, anti-inflammatory drugs, and Chemotherapy.

In general, knowledge turmeric is safe for dogs in small quantities. You may possibly find it listed as an ingredient on your dog’s food label. Its purpose is to enhance the kibble color and/or flavor, however, not to provide anti-inflammatory benefits in dog food.

Turmeric’s Anti-inflammatory Properties

Inflammation is the body‘s natural response to trauma, toxin, and infection. For example, if your dog is exposed to an infection or injury, the body will react by dilating the blood blood vessels to promote blood flow. During this process, the dog’s body wants to bring in more red blood cells, white blood cells, or anything to fight off the intruder.

When blood flow is increased, it causes significant tissue swelling and pain. This is a very common issue in dogs with arthritis. Inflammation can occur in the joints leading to significant stiffness and pain. The process of inflammation can occur in allergies, cancer, arthritis, kidney disease, heart disease, digestive disease, and dental issues. The worst part is that if your dog experiences long-term inflammation, it can be very dangerous for their health.

Constant inflammation can lead to severe pain, fever, and other uncomfortable symptoms. Luckily, turmeric can stop inflammation by reducing blood vessel dilation, decrease swelling, decrease redness, and reduce cytokine release. This can help relieve pain and other unfavorable symptoms so your dog can live a healthier lifestyle.

Related: Does CBD Oil Help With Dog's Allergies

Turmeric’s Antioxidant Component

Free radicals can destroy the cells in a pet’s body, resulting in aging and degeneration. Free radicals can come from unhealthy dog foods, chemicals, pesticides, radiation, toxins, and pollution. Luckily, turmeric has antioxidant properties to fight off those nasty free radicals. Therefore preventing irreversible cell damage.

Turmeric Can Fight Arthritis

When your dog ages, their joints are vulnerable to inflammation, weakness, and stiffness. Fortunately, turmeric can reduce inflammation, reduce pain, and mitigate stiffness. This can help improve your dog’s range of motion so they can be symptom-free throughout their life.

In 2014, there was a study that shows how turmeric is as effective as ibuprofen in fighting off the pain. An important benefit of using turmeric for arthritis is that it does not cause gastrointestinal erosions that ibuprofen would cause. It can be painful to see your dog suffering from arthritis, but with the help of turmeric, he will be back on his feet in no time.

Alleviate Pain

The anti-inflammatory component of turmeric can provide significant pain relief. It can reduce swelling and redness so your four-legged friend can sleep comfortably.

Improve Heart Health

If your dog suffers from congestive heart failure, then the curcumin in turmeric is an excellent addition to his diet. Turmeric can help lower LDL cholesterol to decrease blood clots in the heart. It’s as effective as anticoagulant medication minus the crazy side effects.

Kicks Cancer in the Butt

Chronic inflammation can affect the way cells replicate and repair themselves. Chronic inflammation can lead to mutations within the cell, which can result in erroneous replication, which in turn can lead to the formation of cancer. Fortunately, curcumin can help stop the pre-cancerous stage in your dog's body to act as a preventative therapy to keep Fido healthy.

According to the American Cancer Society, curcumin interferes with the tumor’s ability to grow, replicate, and metastasize to the rest of the body. It can also kill cancer cells by reducing its size. Since dogs are susceptible to cancer as they grow older, turmeric is a strategic and preventative way to stop the disease.

Gets Rid of GI Problems

Chronic inflammation can lead to IBD, which stands for inflammatory bowel disease. This can cause horrible symptoms like bloody diarrhea, bloating, fever, nausea, vomiting, and much more. Fortunately, the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric can definitely help fight off IBD to help promote a healthy G.I. system for your dog.

Stronger than Steroid Medication

The most common medications that veterinarians prescribed to dogs with joint pain are steroids. Steroids have powerful anti-inflammatory properties, but they come with unfavorable side effects such as weight gain, fatigue, high blood sugar level, weakening of the bone, and suppressed immune system. Fortunately, turmeric has all the benefits without the nasty side effects. Studies have found that turmeric works as well as steroid medication in alleviating joint pain. If you want the maximum benefits for your dog, it’s best to take turmeric along with steroids to help significantly reduce joint pain.

Related: Best CBD Dog Shampoo

Support Liver Health

The liver plays a vital role in removing toxins, absorbing nutrients, and regulating blood content. Turmeric can help break down fats and remove waste to help promote a healthy liver. If your dog has a pre-existing liver dysfunction or has a weak liver, turmeric can play a huge role in supporting your dog's help.

How to Use Turmeric

After reading all the information about turmeric, you probably know that it can provide your dog with major health benefits. However, the question still remains—how do you incorporate it into their diet? Some people think that sprinkling turmeric on top of the food is the best way to go, but unfortunately, that is not the case. Keep in mind that turmeric is difficult for the body to absorb, but there are strategies that you can take to incorporate it into your dog's diet for easier digestion. For example, some people would mix turmeric with coconut oil to improve its absorption in the body.

Read more about some of the creative ways to use turmeric.

Turmeric Paste

You can make a turmeric paste by mixing a half a cup of turmeric powder, one cup of filter water, one and a half teaspoon of ground black pepper (a compound called peperine which increases the absorption of curcumin by 2,000%) , and 1/4 cup of coconut oil (coconut oil increases the absorption process significantly) or ghee. Stir this combination in medium heat until it forms a thick paste. This will take approximately seven minutes, and it’s worth it. Allowed the paste to cool, and place the mixture in a jar, and keep it in the refrigerator.

You can use this for up to two weeks. The best way to use the turmeric paste is to mix it in with wet dog food. For small dogs, start with 1/4 teaspoon per day, medium dogs go well with half a teaspoon per day, and the large-size breed would enjoy one teaspoon per day.

Golden Paste Recipe in easy steps:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup organic turmeric powder 
  • 1/4 cup organic coconut oil or ghee*
  • 1 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups filtered or spring water

Steps:

  1. Mix the turmeric with 1 cup of the water in a pan. Save the remaining water in case you need it to thin your paste a bit. 
  2. Stir the liquid on low or medium heat for about 7 to 10 minutes. It should form a thick paste around this time. 
  3. If the paste gets too thick, then add a little more water.
  4. If the paste looks watery, then add a little more turmeric and heat it for another couple of minutes. 
  5. Once your paste has thickened, then add the pepper and the oil and stir thoroughly. 
  6. Allow the mixture to cool. 
  7. Put it in a jar that has a lid and store in the fridge. 
  8. It should be good for up to 2 weeks.

And then repeat the steps when you need to make more.

Turmeric Gravy

Everyone loves gravy, especially turmeric gravy. Give your dog a culinary treat by first placing one teaspoon of turmeric powder in a cup. Then add boiling water to the cup until it’s 1/3 full. After that, mix in black pepper and olive oil to the mixture until it soaks into the gravy. Drizzle over dry dog food or wet for a tasty treat.

Turmeric Oil

Turmeric oil is a lighter mixture with less intensity. The first thing to do is add 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder in a cup, then add coconut oil. After that, add 6-8 grains of black pepper into the mixture. Mix this together and add it on top of your dog food.

Where to Purchase Turmeric

It’s best to purchase organic turmeric because it’s natural and free from chemicals and byproducts. You can check your local food stores such as Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s. Another thing to keep in mind is that it's best to stay away from turmeric that has chemicals or pesticide in it. The problem with turmeric these days is that a lot of stores don’t sell it in its pure and natural form. It usually comes as a mixture that makes it artificial, but also increases its shelf life. These artificial ingredients may not be healthy for your pet. This is why it’s important to consider organic turmeric. You also want to look for turmeric that contains 95% per curcuminoid, which can give Fido maximum health benefits.

A lot of Dope Dog's products have the same health benefits that turmeric has. There is no need to drive to the grocery store to purchase turmeric when you can order these amazing treats from the comfort of your own home. Plus, Dope Dog treats remove the hassle of concocting mixtures since they already come in digestible, bite-sized treats.

Related: Asian Carp CBD Dog Treats

The Absorption of Turmeric

The problem with turmeric is that it doesn’t absorb very well in the body. If you just sprinkle it on your dog's food, he may not reap the benefits of the spice. The best thing to do is to mix turmeric with coconut oil and administer it to your dog's food. This can enhance the absorption of the turmeric spice.

You can also mix black pepper with turmeric to improve its absorption as well. The best way to maximize benefits and absorption is to heat the turmeric. This process will increase the bioavailability of the spice to ensure that your canine companion gets all the fantastic health benefits that turmeric has to offer.

Turmeric Dosage

Finding the perfect dosage of turmeric to give to your dog can be kind of tricky. This is mainly because all dogs are created differently in height, size, breed, and weight. However, a lot of veterinarians and Dogs Natural Magazine often recommend 15 to 20 mg per pound of body weight per day. That means you should give about 1/8 to 1/4 tsp per day for every 10 pounds your dog weighs. Since turmeric leaves the body at a fast rate, it’s best to give small amounts throughout the day.

All depending on the size of your dog, this is how much you should give your dog:

  • Smaller sized dogs should begin around 1/4 teaspoon per day
  • Medium sized dogs can begin with 1/2 teaspoon per day
  • Larger sized dogs can begin with 3/4 teaspoon per day
  • Giant sized dogs can begin with 1 teaspoon per day

These dosages are an approximate point, to begin with. If you would like to you can increase the amount from there, up to about a Tbsp for larger dogs.

Remember, you will want to give turmeric in smaller amounts a few times a day because curcumin leaves the body quickly.

And make sure to be careful when you’re working with turmeric because the color is a bright yellow that can stain your hands, countertops, and your dog!

So mix your turmeric paste well into his food, or else you will end up with a dog that has a yellow mustache!

Turmeric Side Effects

Even though turmeric is a natural ingredient, there are some side effects that would be wise for dog owners to take notice. For example, turmeric is a blood thinner and could cause some bleeding issues if used in excess. This is mainly because they contain potent agents to decrease heart attack and stroke for your dog. However, their blood-thinning side effect is not as potent as an aspirin.

Turmeric is known as a “warming” spice, so if your dog is always hot and searches for cool floors to lie on, then don’t give him turmeric.

Turmeric does interact with certain medications, including diabetic and anti-inflammatory drugs. And it possibly interferes with some chemotherapy treatments. Therefore check with your vet before giving it to your dog.

Mostly turmeric is helpful, but it’s always best to check. Turmeric is also contraindicated for patients with gallstones or bile tract obstruction.

If your dog is dehydrated, turmeric can cause severe constipation—which can be very annoying for Fido. There are other side effects, such as gallbladder contraction, decrease blood sugar, increased bruising, and decrease iron absorption, all of which can be detrimental for your dog’s health. If you witness any abnormal symptoms, it’s best to consult your vet to see if it was caused by turmeric or by other underlying conditions.

Turmeric Is A Powerful Antioxidant

Turmeric is a powerful antioxidant, and antioxidants are known for increasing life span, slowing down aging and degeneration. 

It is a well known scientific fact that oxidative stress builds up in your dog over time, just like rust. And this causes damage to the cells, DNA, and proteins in your dog’s body.

In 2015 a study talked about the process of oxidative stress activates inflammatory pathways and thus leads to chronic diseases, such as cancer. The research proposes that “curcumin can play a key role in the prevention and treatment of chronic inflammation diseases.” Arguing a compelling reason to add turmeric into your dog’s diet.

Turmeric and CBD

Combining turmeric and CBD is definitely a match made in heaven. Both ingredients can help reduce stress, reduce inflammation, and decrease painful symptoms. In fact, if your dog is diagnosed with cancer, it’s best to use this combo to fight the tumor as well as to relax the dog. If you decide to make a turmeric paste, gravy, or oil with turmeric, check out Dope Droppers CBD Oil for a perfect combo. Like turmeric, CBD promotes joint functionality and can reduce inflammation. Use the dropper to add several drops to a healthy and tasty doggy meal.

Turmeric gravy can also make a great addition to Sweet Potato Calming Dog Treats, which contain 3mg of CBD. For a higher dose of CBD, the Peanut Butter Dog Treats contain 6mg of active CBD per treat.

Seasonally cheerful, Dope Dog’s Merry Munchies are a popular Dope Dog organic CBD dog treat filled with pumpkin turmeric!  Get them fast during each holiday season as these run out fast!

Take Home Message

At the end of the day, you want your dog to be healthy. It hurts to see your best friend suffering from joint pain, cancer, or infection. Fortunately, turmeric can act as a preventative therapy to help promote good health, fight off illness, and alleviate pain. Since turmeric does not absorb very well, it’s best to mix it in with some coconut oil or pepper to maximize absorption. This is a highly recommended natural ingredient to spice up your companion's health.  

Related: What to do if Your Dog has a Yeast Infection

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