Turmeric, a member of the ginger family, is an orange coloured herb that is mostly used for cooking curry. Native to Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian countries, it has been a staple in cooking for thousands of years.
So how exactly does it benefit our pooches? Well, the active ingredient (the one with “healing” properties) of turmeric is “curcumin” (not to be confused with cumin) and this ingredient is responsible for the many health benefits.
Here are some reasons why this brightly-coloured herb is good for your pooch in the long run:
1. A Healthy Heart
Turmeric has been found to lower bad cholesterol levels, and helps to thin the blood–reducing the risk of deadly clots that can lead to strokes and heart attacks.
2. Good For The Liver
Turmeric boosts the liver’s ability to metabolise fat and remove waste from the body. Curcumin is believed to stimulate bile production that is necessary for the digestion of fat in the liver. Active dogs need at least 20 percent of fat in their diet; therefore, bile production is important for good health.
3. Protection Against Colon Cancer
In numerous studies, scientists have confirmed that curcumin provides significant protection against colon cancer – a disease that affects both pooches and people.
4. Helps With Arthritis
Clinical studies have shown that curcumin is a powerful antioxidant that neutralises free radicals (which cause inflammation and damage to joints affected by arthritis), so this can significantly reduce the pain that senior pooches feel.
5. For Skin Injuries
The anti-inflammatory properties, together with the fact that turmeric is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, can be useful for disinfecting and treating skin injuries. Mixing it with raw honey creates a paste that you can apply on top of wounds, but do remember to keep an eye out for it as your dog might not be able to resist going in for a little taste test.
6. Good For Oral Hygiene
Thanks to the anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric also helps to reduce the swelling in your pooch’s gums and support good oral health.
Dosage usually depends on the size of your canine, but as a rough guide, start off with these:
Small Dogs (4.5kg to 9.1kg): One-quarter teaspoon daily.
Medium Dogs (9.1kg to 22.7kg): Half teaspoon daily.
Large Dogs (22.7kg to 45.4kg): One teaspoon daily.
As turmeric is fat-soluble, you can first mix the herb with an oil (olive or coconut), and add the herbal oil mix into your dog's food. If not, sprinkling the advised dosage of turmeric powder into Fido’s food works just as well.
A Word Of Caution
As turmeric is a natural blood thinner, it is dangerous to overdose on it. Always consult your veterinarian before adding turmeric to your dog’s diet (especially if your pooch is on medication that thins his blood).
If your pup is on any other kind of medication, do get the green light from your vet as well.
* The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified pet health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. Always make a pet health care decision in partnership with a qualified veterinary or pet health care professional.
*This article was updated on 25 Jul 2020. It first appeared in PetsMagazine.com on 18 Nov 2016.