Turmeric has been used by humans for thousands of years. Known for its rich yellow color and distinct flavor, the powder form of this ginger-related plant is often used in Indian cuisines, such as curries.
In addition to adding color and flavor to food, turmeric is also known for its healing properties. While some may opt for prescription medications, many opt for turmeric as a homeopathic alternative.
But what about turmeric for dogs? Is turmeric safe for dogs? Does turmeric offer the same benefits in dogs as it does in humans? Read on to find out!
Healing Properties of Turmeric
Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin (fondly referred to as “cure-cumin” due to its therapeutic benefits).
Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, offers several health benefits. It’s an anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, anti-fungal antioxidant which can help to ward off a variety of health issues.
Turmeric is especially helpful when it comes to combatting joint and mobility issues, as curcumin can help to reduce swelling and discomfort. Plus, turmeric is a great way to provide a boost to the immune system.
Is Turmeric Safe for Dogs?
Okay, so we’ve established that turmeric is great for humans. Of course, if we discover something great, we want to share it with our loved ones… but what about our furry friends?
If you check the label of your dog’s kibble, you may find turmeric listed as an ingredient. However, its purpose in these cases is typically to enhance the color and flavor of your dog’s food, rather than offer joint-and-immune-boosting health benefits.
While the effectiveness of turmeric in dogs hasn’t been studied as extensively as in humans, researchers have been able to determine that turmeric can be safe for dogs in the correct dosages. In addition to being safe, it is also believed that turmeric for dogs can offer similar health benefits as turmeric for humans.
That said, turmeric isn’t a good option for all dogs: pregnant or nursing dogs, dogs with iron deficiencies, and dogs with kidney health issues, for example (not to mention dogs with a turmeric food allergy).
Turmeric can also have negative reactions when combined with certain medications, so be sure to talk to your vet (or a holistic veterinarian) before adding turmeric to your dog’s diet.
Benefits of Turmeric for Dogs
Turmeric offers several health benefits for humans and dogs alike.
Some benefits of turmeric for dogs include:
- Boosted immune system
- Improved heart health
- Reduced joint swelling and related discomfort
- Enhanced mobility
- Digestive support
That said, supplements should never be used as a replacement for vet-prescribed medications. Additionally, supplements work best when paired with a healthy diet and lifestyle, so don’t forget about high-quality dog food and daily walks!
How to Give Turmeric to Your Dog
When given in the appropriate amounts, the turmeric you give to your dog can be the same turmeric you use for yourself.
Turmeric on its own can be difficult for dogs to absorb, so we recommend turning it into a golden paste:
- ½ cup organic turmeric powder
- 1 cup water
- ¼ cup coconut, olive, or MCT oil
- ⅓ teaspoon ground black pepper
Combine powder and water over low heat for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in oil and ground pepper, and then let the paste cool completely before giving it to your dog.
Your pooch may not be a big fan of the taste, so we recommend mixing it into his food, starting with small amounts (⅛ to ¼ teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight).
You can also bake turmeric treats or purchase drops or chewable tablets to give to your dog. Avoid capsules, though—these are intended for humans and can be too strong for dogs.
It’s important that you start with an amount smaller than the recommended dose, gradually increasing over time while monitoring your dog for any side effects. Keep in mind that even the healthiest dogs can experience tummy troubles with too much of a good thing.
You can also try PetHonesty’s Turmeric Joint Health Chews, a blend of natural ingredients including turmeric, fish oil, flaxseed, coconut, and a premium form of black pepper called BioPerine. These tasty chews are designed with your dog’s joint health and immune system in mind!