Health Benefits of Turmeric for Dogs
What Exactly is Turmeric for Dogs?
If you are searching for Turmeric for dogs, most likely you're looking for an alternative to conventional prescription medications for dogs or have learned about its benefits. This herb was almost unknown years ago, and now with a grown interest in alternative medications, it seems like it's undergoing a moment of great hype. But what is exactly turmeric, where do you find it, and most of all, how can it benefit your dog?
Turmeric is a perennial, rhizomatous plant native to tropical South Asia and related to the ginger family. Major cultivation of this herb can be found in India and Pakistan. It's commonly used in south Asian and Middle Eastern cuisines under the form of a bright, orange-yellow powder. Because of its beautiful color, it's often also used as a die. For this reason, if you ever decide to use this as a supplement for your dog, you need to be extra- careful as it can easily stain your clothes and carpets.
Its active ingredient that makes it so popular is curcumin, a polyphenol which gives this spice an earthy, almost hot and peppery flavor and a mustard-like smell. While it's often used as a spice in dishes and a die, it's also extensively used for its medicinal properties. In India it was used for thousands of years and still remains popular as part of Ayurvedic medicine.
Turmeric Dog Dosage
Getting the right dose of turmeric is a bit challenging, because it's not well absorbed outside of the gastrointestinal tract. Coupling it with other compounds that aid in absorption, at times can be helpful. The dosage for turmeric for dogs is typically 15 to 20 mg per pound of body weight daily, according to Dr. Jon Rappaport -DVM Veterinarian Karen Becker in the video below discusses turmeric dog dosage by body weight. Discuss the ideal dosage for your pet with your holistic veterinarian.
How Does Turmeric Benefit Dogs?
With a reputation for being used thousands of years for its medicinal properties, it comes at no surprise that dog owners are considering this herb now for their four-legged companions. The benefits seem many, and many owners share turmeric with their dogs; taking it as well! Best of all, turmeric can be easily found at the supermarket, health food store or in Indian stores. Let's take a look at some of the benefits of this multi-purpose supplement.
Curcumin For Dog Cancer
M.D. Anderson Cancer Center Researchers claim that “From numerous studies, it is quite apparent that curcumin has tremendous potential for prevention and therapy of various cancers.” How does this plant work? It appears that it suppresses tumor cell proliferation acting antiangiogenically and causing cell death, explains Narda G. Robinson in an article on the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences Colorado State University. Read more about this here: Why the Buzz About Turmeric?
Veterinarian and dog cancer expert Damian Dressler claims: "Curcumin is one of the core ingredients I use in cancer supplement programs for my patients and I have seen literal shrinkage of different dog lumps, like hemangiosarcomas of the skin, fatty tumors (lipomas) , fibrosarcomas, and plasmacytomas. I rely on it a lot."
Ohio State researchers found that STAT3, a protein that plays a crucial role for a tumor cell’s ability to metastasize and resist chemotherapy, is inhibited by curcumin, but the only disadvantage is that it's not well absorbed after ingestion.
Curcumin for Dog Osteoarthritis
Turmeric benefits go way beyond its anti-cancer properties. In a group trial, dogs treated with turmeric for osteoarthritis showed significant improvement. This is due to this herb's anti-inflammatory properties. According to Vet Info " Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory that can be safely administered to dogs and is very effective in controlling pain in arthritic dogs."
Along with boswellia, yucca root, bromelain, and hawthorn, turmeric may help a dog with arthritis according to the Whole Dog Journal. Turmeric is an ingredient in the popular dog supplement produced by Only Natural and known as "Get up and Go". Unlike NSAIDs, such as dog Rimadyl which can cause digestive upset and ulcers, turmeric seems to sooth the digestive system and reduces the risk of ulcers.
Curcumin for Other Uses
To help with an abrasion, veterinarian Dr. Ron Wil, from Portland, Oregon claims, “To simply mix honey with the turmeric to form a paste and apply it to the abrasion.” It's also an antioxidant that protects against free radicals, supports the immune system, promotes good liver function and protects skin and eyes among a long list of other benefits, explains Karen Becker in the video below. More testimonials on some of the many benefits of Turmeric can be also found on the Earth Clinic website.
Turmeric for Dogs: Interactions and Risks
Turmeric,curcumin, could negate some of the effects of chemotherapy explains Narda G. Robinson. Also, because turmeric thins the blood, if you're dog is going into surgery, the medication should be stopped some time prior. As such, turmeric shouldn't be taken with aspirin (which already thins blood) and other NSAIDs. Turmeric can also interfere with antibiotics. Always discuss with your vet before adding a new supplement and inform him of other medications your dog takes so to prevent interactions and minimize risks.
*Note: not all vets are familiar with turmeric. Before starting my dog on turmeric I asked my vet and she had no clue about this supplement and wasn't aware of any potential interactions. She literally told me I had to conduct research on my own.
Turmeric can cause constipation and dehydration, so it's best to make sure your dog has plenty of water. While it sooths the digestive tract, in high doses it can increase the levels of stomach acid. It's very important that you follow your vet's dosage recommendations. Also, consider that this herb stains, so prevent it from going on clothes and carpet!
Disclaimer: This article is only the result of research I have conducted. It is not to be used as a substitute for professional veterinary advice. Please consult with your vet before adding supplements to your dog's diet. By reading this article you accept this disclaimer.