Can I Give My Dog Curry?
Anyone who loves spicy food has found a way to fit curry into their schedule at least once a week. It’s simple to prepare, it can be as healthful or decadent as you please, and it is easy to tweak to use seasonal ingredients year-round. Since many people are aware of the medicinal properties of many of our favorite spices, we have constructed superfood-laden curry recipes to fill our tummies, warm our hearts, and prevent and fight many of our most feared illnesses. Homemade curries are minimally processed and full of energy to keep us going for hours.
But is it a good idea to share this spicy, antioxidant-laden dish with our furry friends? We may benefit from eating a carefully-constructed curry, but what about our dogs? Can dogs have curry?
While curry is not on the list of toxic foods for canines—which means you have no need to panic if your dog eats a small amount of it off the floor on occasion—it is not generally recommended for our dogs. Most spicy foods are better left out of our dog’s dishes for a wide variety of reasons, including an increased risk of digestive problems. If you feed your dog a generous serving of curry, don’t be surprised if they end up with an upset stomach, vomiting, or diarrhea.
But what about your ultra-healthy, superfood-rich curry recipe? It is true that many curries contain individual ingredients that may benefit your dog’s health. For example, though some of the spices present in curry can cause digestive problems in large quantities, they may actually have a protective effect on your dog’s health in small amounts.
Today, one of the most widely celebrated curry ingredients is the spice turmeric, which has recently surged in popularity as a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. Like many of the spices and vegetables that may be present in curry, the antioxidants in turmeric help fight disease by destroying dangerous free radicals. Free radicals are highly charged, highly reactive particles that damage many of the cells they come into contact with. Some cells die as a result of this damage. Other damaged cells live long enough to multiply, but only after undergoing mutations that can eventually lead to a wide variety of ailments.
According to one theory, the damage caused by free radicals is responsible for everything from cancer to the ‘normal’ side effects of aging. In both humans and dogs, increased antioxidant intake has been linked to a decreased risk of many chronic or life-threatening diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, and many types of cancer. As an added bonus, dogs who consume antioxidant-rich foods may experience slowed cognitive decline as they age, so your dog can stay sharp into their twilight years.
Most spices have anti-inflammatory properties, but turmeric is thought by many to be one of the most powerful. One study performed in 2006 found that arthritic subjects who consumed turmeric suffered from less severe symptoms of their rheumatoid arthritis. This means that feeding your dog antioxidant-rich foods like turmeric may help reduce pain and improve joint mobility. Turmeric also acts as a blood thinner, which can lower your dog’s blood pressure, prevent blood clots, and reduce their risk of heart attack or stroke.
Things to Keep in Mind
In addition, many of the vegetables used in curry, such as bell peppers and carrots, may support your dog’s health due to high levels of antioxidants, dietary fiber, and countless vitamins and minerals. Despite the fact that many of curry’s individual ingredients are safe for your dog, it still isn’t a good idea to share your curry dinner.
Though turmeric and bell peppers are healthy, there are also two common curry ingredients that pose a direct threat to your dog’s wellbeing: garlic and onions. These two ingredients are extremely toxic to dogs, and your canine companion should not consume them in any amount. If you suspect your dog has eaten a significant amount of garlic or onions and they experience vomiting, lethargy, pale gums, or rapid breathing, take them to the vet as soon as possible. This type of poisoning is highly treatable if it is caught early on, but if you wait too long, it may result in severe (even fatal) anemia.
Though curry is full of ingredients that may boost your dog’s health in small amounts, the quantity of spices and potentially dangerous vegetables present in most curries is too much for your dog. If you don’t want your pooch to feel left out at dinner time, save a couple slices of carrots or bell peppers and add a very small pinch of turmeric for the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory health benefits. Your dog will be delighted and safe, and you will not have to worry about cleaning up after the spicy food-induced digestive mess that may occur if you feed them curry!