There’s a new superfood on the block, and it’s one that not only humans can benefit from, but dogs as well. Turmeric may seem like the last alternative medicine you’d consider for your dog, but if your pet is suffering from inflamed joints, arthritis, or memory issues, it may be time to look into this wonder powder.
What is Turmeric?
Even if you don’t know it, you may have already eaten turmeric at one point or another. Turmeric is the mustard-yellow spice that gives curry its color. It has an aromatic, buttery, spicy flavor and has been used for thousands of years in India to flavor food and cure illnesses. Turmeric is sometimes called “Indian saffron” and contains curcumin.
Turmeric has recently been hailed in the alternative health and scientific fields as a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant due to its active ingredient, curcumin. People use it to reduce arthritic pain and support healing of chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s and metabolic syndrome.
How Can Turmeric Help My Dog?
It may seem unusual and even a little whacky to give your dog a curry spice to alleviate symptoms. But under the advisement of your vet and in conjunction with other healthcare methods, turmeric can be a powerful supplement. Here’s why.
Pain reduction: All dogs have a good chance of experiencing arthritis in their later years—some earlier than others. Turmeric capsules can be an effective anti-inflammatory tool to help your dog’s joints heal.
Dementia: There’s some research to suggest that turmeric supports memory, meaning that your elderly dog could get a boost from this supplement.
Cancer: Early studies on the subject have shown turmeric to have potent antioxidant properties, making it a useful weapon in fighting cancer.
IBS: Curcumin can aid bile production in the liver, thus alleviating the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
How Should I Give My Dog Turmeric?
Before you hit the spice aisle and start turning Fido’s food into curry, make an appointment with your vet. It’s vital that you get your pet's veterinarian okay before adding any supplements or medications to your dog’s regime, particularly if you’re dealing with an elderly or fragile dog.
There are a few risks to giving turmeric to your dog, so watch out for:
- Nausea: Too much turmeric at a time can cause nausea and vomiting
- Constipation: Turmeric can act as a binding agent
- Sensitivity: Some dogs don’t do well with turmeric—watch out for signs of an upset stomach in your dog if you’re giving turmeric
- Kidney stones: Turmeric increases urinary oxalate levels, meaning you should not give turmeric to dogs prone to kidney stones
- Drug interactions: If your dog has diabetes and is taking prescription medication, do not give turmeric
When you work directly with your veterinarian, you can find a dosage, schedule, and kind of turmeric to give your dog for optimum results and safety. Contact us today if you’re interested in introducing turmeric into your dog’s diet.