Dogs, just like humans, can suffer from age-related diseases. Unlike humans, however, dogs can’t really tell us that something is wrong. We have to be alert for telltale signs of illness, but sometimes we catch an issue too late. These diseases are often expensive to treat and require a lot of time to manage.
It’s a good thing certain superfoods that are good for dogs can help alleviate the symptoms of these diseases or potentially help eliminate them altogether. Turmeric is one of these wonder foods. Besides being a prominent spice in curries and Indian cuisine, health specialists also tout it for its beneficial properties.
What Is Turmeric?
Turmeric is a bright yellow-orange-hued spice that is widely used in South Asian and Middle Eastern cooking. It is particularly well-known in India, where its medicinal properties have been used for centuries. The medicinally active substances found in turmeric are known as curcuminoids. These have beneficial anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Turmeric is quite beneficial for humans, yet few people realize that their furry friends can benefit from this wonder spice as well.
What Are the Benefits of Turmeric for Dogs?
Curcumin, the principal curcuminoid found in turmeric, has a multitude of uses. This marvelous compound is used to treat swelling, digestive troubles, irritation, and general discomfort. You can also apply it topically to soothe skin problems.
Benefits of Turmeric for Dogs
1) Turmeric has powerful anti-inflammatory effects.
Inflammation is commonly associated with joint problems such as gout and joint issues, but the issue can affect all body areas. Chronic inflammation can affect different parts of your body, such as your blood vessels, gums, digestive tract, liver, and kidneys. The slow yet persistent swelling associated with chronic inflammation can lead to permanent damage to the affected organs.
Turmeric helps reduce inflammation in the body, working almost as well as over-the-counter medicines such as Ibuprofen and Aspirin. In fact, unlike your usual non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), turmeric works without causing harm to the liver.
2) Turmeric can relieve and prevent pain caused by joint disease.
We now know that turmeric can alleviate inflammation, but it doesn’t stop there. Turmeric can also relieve the pain and stiffness brought about by joint issues. Studies show that turmeric works just as well as ibuprofen in relieving joint pain without causing an upset stomach.
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3) Turmeric can soothe gastrointestinal issues.
Studies show that turmeric can potentially improve the flow of nutrients in and out of the gut, making it ideal for treating diseases that hinder proper absorption in the gut. Turmeric also helps to relieve gut inflammation, a common symptom of stomach diseases.
4) Turmeric can boost brain function and reduce the risk of brain diseases.
Like older humans, elderly dogs may suffer from cognitive decline. This deterioration can affect an elderly pet with minimal warning signs. The healing properties of turmeric on the brain are not yet well understood. Still, promising studies show that dogs who regularly consume turmeric may experience a boost in brain health.
How Long Does It Take for Turmeric to Work?
Turmeric works within 2-3 days for acute symptoms, but it might take a while for noticeable effects to appear for chronic health problems. Don’t get discouraged, and make sure that you’re feeding your dog the proper form of turmeric (no chemical additives).
Is Turmeric Safe for Dogs?
Like everything in excess, too much turmeric could lead to unwanted side effects. These include nausea, bruising, stomach upset, and iron deficiency. Make sure to monitor your dog’s intake and don’t feed them more turmeric than is necessary.
Potential Side Effects of Turmeric (Curcumin):
Turmeric is known as a “warming spice,” which means it can increase the internal body temperature. Too much turmeric can cause your dog to get too hot and seek cool places or water to reduce heat. In addition to its many uses, turmeric also works as a blood thinner or anticoagulant.
This may be ideal for dogs with circulatory or heart problems, but it can also cause bruising or bleeding in normal dogs. Be careful not to give turmeric together with blood-thinning medication. Watch out when applying turmeric directly to the skin since the bright yellow color might stain your dog’s shiny coat.
Turmeric stains take a while to subside. Also, turmeric may cause changes in your dog’s normal body odor. Turmeric has a strong, distinct flavor and odor that everyone might not agree with. Though if it does work to keep your dog healthy, you might not mind too much.
How Much Turmeric Can I Give My Dog?
The ideal dose of turmeric depends on your dog’s weight. A safe amount of turmeric paste would be 1/4 tsp for every 10 lbs of body weight. For other preparations, experts recommend giving 15-20 mg per pound daily.
How to Use Turmeric for Dogs
Lots of preparations are available for dogs nowadays. There are liquid drops, powders, and even chewable curcumin supplements. There are also dog treats made with turmeric and other flavors to entice their taste buds. If you want to prepare your turmeric by yourself, though, you can simply form a paste using water, coconut oil, and a dash of black pepper.
Black Pepper & Turmeric
Taking turmeric daily might not be enough. Curcumin typically needs a partner substance for it to be absorbed by the body more effectively. Black pepper contains piperine, which binds with curcumin and allows it to pass smoothly through cell walls. A small amount of black pepper that’s barely noticeable is recommended so that your dog will have no problems ingesting your turmeric preparation.
Healthy Fats & Turmeric
Similar to black pepper, healthy fats are also required for the proper absorption of turmeric. Coconut oil or olive oil are well absorbed by dogs and work wonders for curcumin absorption.
Dog Treats (Superfoods & Turmeric)
You can use your homemade turmeric paste to add to your dog’s daily meals or incorporate them into their favorite treats. You can even make your own treats tailored to your dog’s unique tastes. Make sure to include healthy oils and a dash of black pepper in your turmeric paste to allow for better absorption.
Turmeric is a powerful ingredient with many promising uses. It is beneficial for both dogs and humans to relieve and potentially prevent a wide variety of diseases. Having a jar of pure turmeric powder on your shelf will boost your kitchen creativity and your health as well.