There are a number of natural herbs, plants and spices that are considered outside the realm of what’s “normal” for pets, but they offer just as many benefits for dogs as they do for people. How can turmeric help your dog? What are the benefits?
I guess the first question would be, what is turmeric? Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin, which is its active ingredient. Curcumin has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, wound healing and anticancer activities. It can help fight diseases like arthritis, diabetes, cancer, liver disease, gastrointestinal issues, alzheimers and more.
All dogs are subject to getting arthritis which causes pain, and turmeric can play an important role due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Its at the top of the list for natural remedies in treating dogs with stiff joints. There are many dogs on steroids for allergies and joint pain, but studies show curcumin is just as effective as steroids.
There are some reports out there that say turmeric could play a role in fighting cancer. Animal studies have revealed the herb’s capability in playing a role in preventative medicine as an antioxidant. It has also been proven to shut down the blood vessels that feed cancer cells. Nearly 1/3 of the studies done on turmeric are cancer research and the results seem very promising.
Turmeric also acts as a blood thinner, which makes it an essential component when it comes to reducing the risk of blood clots and ridding the body of excess cholesterol. Although cholesterol doesn’t affect dogs like it does people, clots can lead to a number of problems for dogs, including heart issues.
Curcumin also stimulates bile production in the liver, which aids in digesting food, breaking down dietary fats. Active dogs require diets that have at least 20 percent fat, so a little turmeric can go a long way in aiding in overall digestion. Dogs that are pregnant, nursing or underweight require more fat in their diet, meaning that more turmeric could help.
Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory effects can be helpful in treating Inflammatory Bowel Disease as well as other gastrointestinal disorders. Several preclinical studies and clinical trials have shown positive effects on gut inflammation and gut permeability.
What is the proper dosage amount for your pup? How should you give it to your dog? The curcumin in turmeric is hard for your dog to absorb if it’s given by itself. So it’s important to combine turmeric with a healthy oil, coconut oil for example. This can increase the absorption significantly. You can even mix it into some plain yogurt, most dogs don’t seem to mind the taste. Dosage is about one eighth to one quarter teaspoon per 10 pounds of your dog’s body weight.
Turmeric can not be used with certain medications, including anti-inflammatory and diabetes drugs, and it may interfere with some chemotherapy treatments. As with adding anything new to your dog’s diet or lifestyle, start slow and work up. Be careful not to over supplement your dogs. Most importantly ALWAYS consult your Veterinarian!
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