We know that turmeric has proven health benefits for people but the great news for pet parents is that turmeric is good for dogs too.
Let’s lightly explore this amazing bounty of nature and the remarkable ways it can promote the health and well-being of our canine kids.
What Is Turmeric?
Turmeric comes from the flowering plant, Curcuma Longa, which is a beautiful perennial herbaceous plant in the ginger family.
Curcuma Longa occurs naturally in India and Southern Asia but is now widely cultivated in tropical regions all around the world. It is indeed a lovely plant with delicate flowers but it is the underground stems or rhizomes that we harvest to get turmeric.
The rhizomes of this ancient healthful herb have a rough brownish skin with a dark orange inner flesh. Turmeric is the bright yellow aromatic powder obtained from the Curcuma Longa rhizomes. Although many of us are familiar with turmeric as a flavorful cooking spice, it has also been used medicinally for many years in Eastern traditional healing methods.
Why is Turmeric so Healthy?
Before we happily discovered that turmeric was good for our canine companions, interest in its human health benefits had a significant surge in recent years. This was because of updated research of traditional medicine’s long use of the natural healing effects of turmeric, both to prevent and treat a wide variety of human medical conditions.
The main active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin. Curcumin is a very strong natural antioxidant and has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Each year researchers find more and more evidence of turmeric curcumin’s super healing powers due to its antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and even antihistamine activities. That’s a lot of ‘Anti-Bad-Stuff’ (so to speak), which makes curcumin an organic substance that enables the body to heal itself naturally.
The yellow spicy powder fights inflammation, aids in digestion, supports a healthy immune system, works against Alzheimer’s or dementia, and acts as a natural and powerful pain reliever. Strong evidence also suggests that curcumin blocks the growth of certain types of tumors, effectively making it an anti-cancer agent.
Turmeric is Good for Dogs in Several Ways
- Turmeric is a powerful antioxidant ~ What is an antioxidant anyway? In a nutshell, antioxidants are compounds that prevent oxidation. Oxidation can result in free radicals which damage the cells of living organisms. Antioxidants (two common ones are vitamins C and E) neutralize the free radicals, thus inhibiting this damage.
So giving your dog turmeric can slow down the aging process for your Best Buddy or your Good Girl, and increase good health and longevity.
- Turmeric has natural anti-inflammatory effects ~ The anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric encompass a whole bunch of health promoting benefits for dogs. Chronic inflammation is the root cause of many canine health issues including arthritis, kidney disease, skin allergies, digestive problems, and cancer.
Anyone who has (or has had) a dog with arthritis knows how debilitating this condition can be for our pets if left untreated. Studies show that turmeric curcumin is even more effective than some prescription anti-inflammatory drugs given to dogs (and humans) suffering from arthritis.
- Protects and improves cardiovascular health ~ As our dogs get older, problems with cardiovascular health can occur. Blood clots or congestive heart failure can become very real issues for some senior dogs, but studies show that turmeric can prevent and improve these problems.
Turmeric curcumin is a polyphenol antioxidant which protects the dog’s coronary arteries from fatty build up. It is also a natural blood thinner, which works against blood clots.
- Aids in your dog’s digestion ~ Those natural anti-inflammatory properties come into play again and help keep your dog’s digestive system healthy and working properly. Think about it. Do you really know when your dog has a stomach ache or when something he ate doesn’t agree with him?
Turmeric can make a great deal of difference to a dog suffering from digestive issues. It soothes Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) by aiding in breaking down dietary fat by stimulating bile production.
- Turmeric as an anti-cancer agent ~ Not exactly a cure for cancer, but the curcumin in turmeric has been proven to stop the development, growth, and metastasis (spreading) of various types of tumors.
Turmeric has been recommended as an alternative cancer treatment by holistic doctors and vets; but it can also be used in conjunction with chemotherapy and radiation. Laboratory research suggests that it makes chemo more effective and protects healthy cells from radiation damage. Wow!
- Helps relieve symptoms of canine allergies ~ Anyone who has or knows a dog with bad allergies can attest to how miserable they can be both for dog and owner. Canine allergies can be triggered by environmental allergens (such as fleas, grass, or pollen) or certain food allergens. Symptoms in dogs most commonly manifest in skin problems; from itchy skin to painful inflamed skin lesions called ‘hotspots’ or acute moist dermatitis.
The antihistamine and anti-inflammatory effects of turmeric work together to reduce histamine release and greatly soothe and relieve allergy symptoms; And this is all natural allergy relief, without the potential harmful side-effects of steroids.
How do I Give My Dog Turmeric?
I’m so glad you asked because there is a bit of a catch here. You don’t want to just go peppering your dog’s food bowl with the turmeric in your spice rack , cupboard , or pantry.
First of all, we know that curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric that produces all these wonderful healthful benefits but the curcumin content in turmeric spice powder is only about 3%. So a supplement with turmeric extract containing mostly curcumin is needed to get the full range of benefits.
Secondly, the curcumin in turmeric is not absorbed well by your dog’s body if given by itself. But we humans have figured out that piperine (a natural substance in black pepper), increases the absorption of curcumin by 2000% ! Also curcumin is fat soluble, so combining turmeric with a healthy oil like coconut oil increases absorption even further.
The Best and Easiest Way to Give Your Dog Turmeric
My recommendation for the best and easiest way to make sure your precious pooch enjoys the full advantages of turmeric curcumin are in my review of my favorite top rated company, Zesty Paws.
Zesty Paws has taken organic turmeric extract which is 95% curcumin, added piperine and coconut oil, and made it into a daily dog treat. This is an easy and delicious way for you to keep your canine kid happy and healthy.
Thank you for visiting and reading, it’s been a pleasure to have you. I hope you’ve learned a bit about this marvelous gift of nature and how it can help enhance the life of your precious pet. Please leave me any comments, questions, or observations you may have in the section below.