Turmeric for Dogs: Spice Up Your Dog's Health

Health & Wellness | Dog

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.

Not only is turmeric 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?

A potent, natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, turmeric has been used for thousands of years in human and animal medicine. Its use began in India’s Vedic culture.

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 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-powder

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

Your dog should gain more energy, and that is especially useful for athletic or working dogs.

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 may prove useful in helping to treat these types of cancer. Antioxidants may also prevent cancer, and turmeric is full of them.

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.

While turmeric isn’t a fountain of youth, it can improve a senior pet’s quality of life significantly.

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

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.

How Much Turmeric Should Dogs Have?

turmuric-powder-teaspoonAs 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

Is Turmeric Safe for Dogs?

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.

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.

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 you vet to get more info. 

Homemade Turmeric Paste

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 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 seven 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, reduce the amount of pepper, and gradually increase the dosage as your dog adjusts to it. 

Other Sources of Turmeric

the-honest-kitchen-turkey-bone-broth

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 arthritis, 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 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!


Posted by Krystn Janisse

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 channelling some crazy cat lady vibes with her five lovable, but rebellious cats.


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