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

11 Minute Read
Updated February 4, 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 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 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 also used in religious ceremonies. Turmeric 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 health benefits.

Benefits of Turmeric for Dogs?

turmeric and 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 turmeric. Curcumin for dogs has a high concentration of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, so it's a sought-after and natural supplement for managing pain, joint issues, allergies, and more. 

Additionally, 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, like fish oil for dogs or coconut oil for dogs, turmeric will contribute to better skin and coat health 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 pets as well as people. The wear and tear of arthritis can strip cartilage from the joints; cataracts develop and cloud vision.

The herb also shows promise in the battle against cancer. There are no studies currently underway involving turmeric and dogs, but clinical trials in humans are going on to 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 alleviate symptoms resulting from cancer treatment. Evidence is pointing to some cancers stemming from inflammation.

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

The spice is considered a potent antioxidant that has been found to slow down the ageing 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 inflammation which can lead to chronic diseases and certain types of cancer. 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 significantly. 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, 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?

turmeric benefits for dogsIf 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 for a 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 and then mix it into the pet’s food for the best absorption.
    • Combine turmeric powder with black pepper.
    • Heat turmeric in your pet’s food via a recipe to improve bioavailability.


Is Turmeric Safe for Dogs?

If you enjoy trying new 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, turmeric 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.

Potential side effects include:

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

Along with side effects, turmeric also has some contraindications in canines. Dogs with kidney stones should not receive turmeric supplements.

That’s because the herb can increase the level of urinary oxalate, making kidney stone formation more likely. Calcium oxalate is the leading cause of all kidney stones.

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 regimen.

While always important, it is especially so with turmeric because the herb may interact with some prescription medications. Can dogs eat turmeric? or Can dogs have turmeric? Yes, they can but depend on the situation.

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. Check with your vet to get more info and ask,  “Is turmeric safe for dogs?” It is possible to over supplement your furry friend, so always use as directed.

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. You can purchase turmeric powder most easily at grocery and health food stores or online. The spice is widely used in recipes. You can also buy it in paste form. 

If you hesitate to take matters into your own hands by whipping up dog-friendly recipes in your kitchen using the spice then you should consider purchasing a canine-focused turmeric supplement, like the Baie Run Turmeric+, from your pet supply store, or online. 

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. 

If you are unsure about where to buy turmeric or which form of the herb is best for your dog’s particular needs, be sure to consult with your veterinarian.

Homemade Turmeric Paste

turmeric for dogs

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 oil, 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 thick paste forms. That is generally between 7 to 10 minutes. When the paste forms, add the coconut oil.

After cooling, place the paste in a tightly sealed jar. Keep it refrigerated and use it within two weeks.

As soon as the mixture cools, you can add the golden paste to your pet’s food.

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 teaspoon – and bowel problems result, reducing the amount of pepper and gradually increasing the dosage will help your dog adjusts to it. 


How to Make Homemade Turmeric Dog Treats

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

Many dogs simply don’t 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 cup 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 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 and cat recipes for recipes click here!

Other Sources of Turmeric

turmeric safe for dogs

Giving turmeric in the form of dog supplements is one option, but another involves feeding your dog foods containing the herb. While many store-brand dog foods contain turmeric, that is primarily to add colour to the food.

The amount of turmeric in many commercial dog foods is insufficient to lessen joint pain or provide any other benefits. Still, there are holistic dog foods and appetite boosters containing quality turmeric that can meet your pet’s needs.

For example, 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.

Shop Honest Kitchen Supplements

A Natural Alternative

Many dogs living with tumeric for dog 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 dogs are a natural combination and a way to holistically help your pup without using pharmaceuticals.

Turmeric for dogs is an effective and natural alternative for 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.

Do you feed turmeric to your dog? Share your tips, successes, and recipes in the comments below!

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 loves all animals but is currently channeling some crazy cat lady vibes with her four lovable, but rebellious cats.


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