Pet Consider

Can Dogs Eat Turmeric?

Can I Give My Dog Turmeric?

Though we have used them to improve our health and our cuisine for as long as we have been cooking our food, spices have enjoyed a spike in popularity in recent years. This is especially true in the western world, where health food fanatics have gone from crunching on granola to shoving brightly colored spices into every conceivable dish. One of the most highly praised spices today is turmeric, which has been a common ingredient in Indian cuisine for a long time. Thanks to its reputation as a powerful superfood, more people have brought this fluorescent food into their homes for use as a medicinal food.

Your dog, ever the beggar, does not really care whether your new favorite food is medicinal or complete junk. They want to eat whatever you are eating, and the distinctive smell of turmeric is sure to get their noses twitching. So, can you give them a taste of this warming spice? Can dogs have turmeric?

Fortunately, the answer is yes, dogs can eat turmeric in small amounts. There is no evidence that turmeric is poisonous to dogs. This powerful spice may even be beneficial to your pets if it is used as a medicinal dietary supplement. This does not mean, however, that you should feel free to throw Indian takeout your dog’s way—many curries and other spicy dishes contain other ingredients that may hurt your pup. Turmeric itself is a healthy food, but some of the dishes it comes in may be high in fat, salt, or other unhealthy things. If you want your dog to feel included, just mix a bit of turmeric in with their usual food.

Health Benefits?

turmericSo, what can turmeric do for your dog? There have not been many studies performed on dogs, but based on the research on humans and other animals, we can extrapolate.

Among athletes, one of the most highly praised aspects of turmeric is its anti-inflammatory powers. This spice’s health benefits mostly come from a compound called curcumin, which has been shown to reduce inflammation in several ways. By reducing inflammation, turmeric can help prevent a wide range of common chronic diseases, but its anti-inflammatory effects really shine when used in the treatment of arthritis. This spice is also a powerful antioxidant, which may help prevent arthritis (or the worsening of existing arthritis) by destroying the dangerous substances that cause the cell damage that is thought to lead to many inflammatory illnesses.

By reducing inflammation, turmeric can not only alleviate the pain associated with arthritis, but it may even improve joint mobility. This will help your dog get around more easily as their joints stiffen up with age.

But turmeric is more than a natural painkiller. Like most antioxidants, the active compounds in turmeric can help protect overall health because they neutralize free radicals. Your dog’s body always has a certain number of free radicals floating around—they are, unfortunately, natural waste products of usual metabolic processes—but, if the numbers get too high, they can cause problems. Free radicals are highly reactive; they alter the DNA in many of the cells they encounter. Sometimes, these genetic mutations lead to arthritis. Sometimes, they lead to even more severe problems, such as cancer.

By reducing free radical activity and alleviating chronic inflammation, turmeric can help your dog’s immune system better fight off the bacteria, viruses, and even cancer cells that may pose a direct threat to their health. Some studies have even shown that turmeric may help slow the growth of certain types of cancer, as well as reduce the size of existing tumors. Though turmeric is not a substitute for proper medical care, it may be an excellent supplement that will help support your dog’s body during the fight against cancer.

As with all things, turmeric should not be fed to dogs in excess. This spice is quite strong, so even a little bit too much can cause indigestion, vomiting, and diarrhea. Regular turmeric consumption may also cause constipation, so, if your dog does not drink a lot of fluid or is especially prone to constipation, you may want to consider another spice.

Things to Consider

If your dog has never had any sort of spice before, start off small and slowly work your way up to using it as a regular supplement. The appropriate dosage will vary based on your dog’s size, but most dogs should not eat more than a teaspoon of turmeric mixed into their food every day. If your pooch reacts negatively, or if they are currently taking any other medications or supplements, consult a veterinarian before introducing new medicinal foods into their diet.

Final Thoughts

Overall, turmeric can be an excellent dietary supplement for dogs whose human caregivers are looking to prevent or treat the symptoms of arthritis and other inflammatory illnesses. Consumed regularly over the long term, this spice may even reduce the risk of diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Just remember to take it slow when introducing your dog to any new food, because suddenly increasing your dog’s turmeric intake may result in digestive problems.


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