The Benefits of Turmeric for Dogs? Spice Up Your Dog's Health

13 Minute Read
Updated July 18, 2022

You want the best for your furry friend, and that includes top health and wellness supplements. While there is no shortage of dog supplements on the market, few provide as many advantages as turmeric for dogs. How much turmeric to give a dog?

Not only is turmeric for dogs effective against a variety of canine ailments, but it’s also relatively inexpensive and widely available. Learn more about turmeric good for dogs and how it can support your dog’s health.


What is Turmeric?

Is turmeric good for dogs? Absolutely. Turmeric is a potent, natural anti-inflammatory for dogs and an antioxidant. The plant’s use as a medicinal aid dates back nearly 4,000 years. It has not only been a principal spice in Southeast Asian cuisine but is also used in religious ceremonies. Turmeric for dogs is also often referred to as ‘Indian saffron'.

A South Asian native and part of the ginger family, curcumin is turmeric’s active ingredient. You are probably familiar with this orange-yellow powder, as it is a staple in curry products. Its taste ranges between slightly bitter and slightly sweet.

Turmeric for dogs is available in your local supermarket as a spice, but humans and dogs should consume medicinal turmeric to derive the best effects. Manufacturers of turmeric designed for cooking focus on taste, not heart health benefits.


Benefits of Turmeric for Dogs?


Is turmeric good for dogs? Yes! Turmeric may help dogs dealing with mobility issues stemming from osteoarthritis, but that is just one of the herb’s many canine benefits. Turmeric can also boost your dog’s immune system and improve his skin and coat.

Curcumin is the key active ingredient in dog turmeric. Curcumin for dogs has a high concentration of anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidant properties, so it's a sought-after and natural supplement for managing reduced pain relief, joint issues, allergies, and more. 

Because of its anti-inflammatory benefits, it can also be a helpful anti-inflammatory bowel disease aid. Reducing inflammation in the digestive tract can improve digestion and reduce discomfort. 

Additionally, dog turmeric is an adaptogen. This means it can help your pooches body manage stress better, leading to less anxiety and more balanced energy. Your dog should gain more consistent energy, and that is especially useful for athletic or working dogs.

When combined with other natural health supplements every day, like fish oil for dogs or coconut oil for dogs, adding turmeric will contribute to better skin and coat health benefits of turmeric and help to minimize allergies and other skin reactions. 

Turmeric for Senior Dogs

As the saying goes, old age ain’t no place for sissies. That is true for pet owners as well as people. The wear and tear of arthritis can strip cartilage from the joints, leading to pain and mobility issues.

The herb also shows promise in the battle against cancer. There are no studies currently underway involving turmeric safe and dogs, but clinical trials in humans are going on to help us determine the cancer-fighting effects of curcumin.

These studies are looking into whether it can be a possible treatment for pre-cancerous conditions if it can be used as a cancer treatment, and if it can reduce symptoms resulting from cancer treatment. Evidence is pointing to some cancers stemming from inflammation.

Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties and health benefits found turmeric may prove useful in helping to treat these types of cancer. Antioxidants may also prevent cancer, and the dose of turmeric that has been used is full of them.

The spice is considered a potent antioxidant that has been found to slow down the aging and degeneration process of pets, which helps increase lifespan.

Oxidative stress damages cells, proteins and DNA in a pet’s body. It creates a snowball effect by causing widespread reduced inflammation, which can lead to chronic inflammatory diseases and certain types of cancer. A dose of turmeric acts as a potent antioxidant, which prevents oxidative stress and reduces the impact of inflammatory disorders such as arthritis.

While turmeric isn’t a fountain of youth, it can improve a senior pet’s quality of life. Turmeric benefits for dogs are undeniable.

If you share your home with ageing cats as well as dogs, try the natural organic powdered Kin + Kind Hip & Joint Dog and Cat Supplement. Not only does it aid joint health benefits, but its ingredients include USDA vegan products. Besides turmeric, these include black pepper and coconut.

Shop All Kin + Kind


How Much Turmeric Should Dogs Have?

turmuric-powder-teaspoonIf you are wondering how much turmeric can I give my dog, the answer is not very black and white. As a rule of thumb, 15 to 20 mg of turmeric per pound of body weight is the recommended dog dosage. That is roughly ¼ teaspoon for every 10 pounds.

A product such as the Baie Run Turmeric+ lists the appropriate amount to give your dog per its body weight on the label.

Shop All Baie Run Supplements


The Absorption of Turmeric

The main problem with turmeric is that your pet’s system does not readily absorb the spice. Simply sprinkling the spice directly on your pet’s food is often not sufficient. 

Ways to improve the absorption of turmeric include

    • Mix turmeric powder with coconut oil.
    • Combine turmeric powder with black pepper.
    • Add turmeric to a homemade bone broth recipe.


Is Turmeric Safe for Dogs?

If you enjoy trying new dog food recipes, then you are probably wondering, “Can I give my dog turmeric?”  The answer is yes!

Turmeric is usually a very safe substance, but certain dogs may prove sensitive to it. As with people, turmerics may cause stomach upset or constipation in some canines.

It is possible to avoid these gastrointestinal issues by introducing turmeric into your dog's diet gradually rather than giving the entire amount recommended for your pet right from the start. As the dog’s body adjusts, you can up the dosage to the appropriate level. In some dogs, turmeric relieves loose stools.


Can All Dogs Have Turmeric?

Though safe for most dogs, some dogs should avoid turmeric. Some health conditions can be negatively affected by turmeric supplementation. Also, feeding too much turmeric can have some unpleasant side effects, so be diligent about how much turmeric you are feeding. Here are some signs that you are feeding too much turmeric:

    • Dizziness
    • Bruising
    • Iron deficiency
    • Nausea
    • Upset stomach
    • Gallbladder issues

Can dogs have turmeric? Yes, they can but depend on the situation.  

Dogs with kidney stones should not receive turmeric supplements. That’s because the herb can increase the level of urinary oxalate levels, making kidney stone formation more likely.

Turmeric is usually not suitable for diabetic dogs, as it can affect blood sugar levels. As with any dog supplement, consult your veterinarian before starting your dog on a turmeric supplement.

Turmeric may also interact with some prescription medications, so make sure you tell your vet which supplements you give your dog. If your pet is scheduled for surgery, turmeric is just one of several dog supplements you should discontinue beforehand. It has blood-thinning properties that could lead to complications during the procedure. 

On the other hand, if your dog is at risk for blood clots, turmeric is a potential preventive. Check with your vet to get more info and ask - Is turmeric safe for dogs?


Where to Buy Turmeric for Dogs?

Turmeric for dogs can be found in paste, powder, pill, and tablet forms. Most dogs find turmeric quite palatable, and it can be easily added to any diet. Try a canine-focused turmeric supplement, like the Baie Run Turmeric+,  instead of the bag of turmeric spice that you've had in your pantry for several years. 

Many pet supplement manufacturers combine turmeric with other beneficial holistic ingredients, such as cannabidiol (CBD), to focus on easing inflammation and other canine health conditions. 

Homemade Turmeric Paste


Making your own turmeric paste, commonly called golden paste, for dogs is a relatively simple task. The basic recipe calls for ½ cup of organic turmeric powder, ¼ cup of cold-pressed organic coconut oils, and 1 to 1.5 cups of water.

Place the turmeric and the water in a pan, then stir on low to medium heat until a thick paste forms. That is generally between 7 to 10 minutes. When the paste forms, add the coconut oils.

You can add the golden paste recipe to your pet’s food as soon as the mixture cools. After cooling, place the paste in a tightly sealed jar. Keep it refrigerated and use it within two weeks.

Some golden paste recipes include freshly ground black pepper since it assists the gut in turmeric absorption. If you add a small amount of black pepper to your mixture – the recommended amount for this recipe is 1/2 teaspoon – if bowel problems result, reducing the amount of pepper and gradually increasing the dosage will help your dog adjust to it. 


How to Make Homemade Turmeric Dog Treats

Yes, you can purchase turmeric supplements for dogs, create a paste, or add spice to recipes. Below is an easy-to-make turmeric dog biscuit treat recipe. 

Picky dogs might not like the taste of turmeric. Adding the supplement to a treat recipe is a great way to disguise the flavour.  

Ingredients for turmeric dog biscuits:

    • 1 tablespoon finely ground turmeric powder
    • 1 cup of water
    • 1 chicken bouillon cube or 1 teaspoon of chicken bouillon powder
    • 1 ½ cups of finely ground flaxseed
    • 1 ½ cups of all flour
    • 1 tablespoon of peanut butter 
    • 1 egg

Direction for turmeric dog biscuits:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350. 
  2. Oil a baking sheet with non-stick spray or line it with parchment paper
  3. Dissolve the chicken bouillon in water.
  4. Combine flour, flaxseed and turmeric in a bowl. 
  5. Add the water chicken bouillon and water mixture and blend using a dough hook.
  6. Add egg and peanut butter while continuing to blend the formula. 
  7. Mix to produce a dough bowl
  8. Roll the dough using a rolling pin until it is ½ inch thick
  9. Use cooking cutters to cut out shapes.
  10. Place the treats on the cooking sheet
  11. Bake for 25 minutes until the treats are golden brown and hard. 

This recipe will successfully make two weeks of turmeric dog treats. Want more homemade dog treat ideas? Check out all of our tasty dog food and cat food recipes - click here!


Other Sources of Turmeric


Not everyone has the time or culinary skills to make their own turmeric dog food or treat recipes, but don't worry! There are plenty of ready-made options to help you include turmeric into your dog's daily diet.

The Honest Kitchen Daily Boosters Turkey Bone Broth includes turmeric, along with pumpkin and parsley. It is particularly useful for picky eaters or older dogs – or cats –whose appetite is starting to wane. Just add the bone broth to your dog’s kibble or give it to him directly as a special treat.

If your dog needs a little digestive support, then Weruva Pumpkin Patch Up! with Ginger & Turmeric is a simple and easy-to-feed pureed pumpkin pouch. Simply scoop a little onto your pet's meal to soothe digestive discomfort, reduce inflammation and provide valuable fibre. 

Another simple way to feed turmeric to dogs is to hide it in their favourite snacks! Bocce's Bakery Turmeric Latte Biscuits are sure to please. Turmeric is combined with coconut, vanilla, and oat flour in an oven-baked cookie that no dog can resist.


A Natural Alternative

Many dogs living with arthritis, chronic inflammation, chronic lameness, and stiffness are on medication for their discomfort. Some of the steroids often prescribed for these conditions are quite strong, with many side effects. Turmeric and dog foods are a natural combination and a way to holistically help your pup without using pharmaceuticals.

Turmeric is an effective and natural alternative to these medications. Never take your dog off prescription medication without consulting your vet, but discuss whether turmeric could help your pet.

In some cases, turmeric is added to the dog’s diet, and if his condition improves, he is gradually weaned off his medication, or the dosage is lowered.

Turmeric can help your best pal feel strong and healthy enough for longer walks, more playtime, and a generally better quality of life.


Frequently Asked Dog Turmeric Questions 

Is turmeric safe for dogs?

Turmeric is generally safe for dogs when used appropriately. It can provide potential health benefits due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

What are the potential benefits of giving turmeric to dogs?

Turmeric may help reduce inflammation, alleviate joint pain, support digestive health, and provide antioxidant properties. It is sometimes used as a natural supplement for certain health conditions.

How should I introduce turmeric into my dog's diet?

Start small and work your way up to a full dose. Turmeric is very potent, and a little goes a long way. Before increasing the dosage, try introducing half doses to your pet's food for a few days. 

Are there any potential side effects of giving turmeric to dogs?

While turmeric is generally safe, excessive consumption may lead to digestive upset or diarrhea in some dogs. It can also interact with certain medications, so consult your vet if your dog is on any medications.

Can I use turmeric as a remedy for specific health issues in my dog?

Most turmeric supplements are sold as anti-inflammatories and can help support hip and joint health in dogs. Turmeric is not a replacement for professional veterinary care, though. 

How can I make homemade turmeric treats for my dog?

You can make homemade turmeric treats by mixing turmeric with ingredients like plain yogurt, coconut oil, and peanut butter. There are various dog treat recipes available online.

Written by

Krystn Janisse

Krystn is a passionate pet nutrition enthusiast. She has worked in the pet industry for over a decade and loves to share her passion for animal welfare with others. She is currently working for one very rebellious cat, Jack, and hanging out with a goofy but loveable doggo named Roxy.


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