Learn about turmeric’s benefits for dogs.
As dogs age, their joints become stiffer and they might struggle with everyday mobility — just like humans. Turmeric is one well-known and common ingredient in many human supplements. And as more veterinarians recognize the value of plant-based compounds, turmeric is also becoming more common in joint health pet supplements at dosages specifically tailored to dogs.
What Is Turmeric?
Turmeric, which comes from a root in the ginger family, is a spice you might be familiar with if you like to cook. Turmeric for cooking is typically found as a yellow-orange powder, often used in Indian and South Asian cuisine.
The active ingredient in turmeric is called curcumin, and numerous studies have shown evidence of its benefits, including its anti-inflammatory properties and promotion of good joint health.
Turmeric’s scientific name is Curcuma longa, which may appear on labels as well.
What Are the Benefits of Turmeric for Your Dog?
The possible benefits of turmeric for dogs include:
- Helps maintain healthy cartilage and connective tissue
- Helps relieve occasional joint stiffness
- Fights free radicals
- Helps maintain a normal, healthy inflammatory response
How Does Turmeric Work?
Dogs’ bodies regularly produce free radicals, which are unstable atoms that can cause damage to cells and limit healthy tissue function. When dogs are younger, their bodies are able to fend off these atoms through their natural antioxidant system.
As they age, however, dogs’ systems slow down, and their body parts — like joints — are susceptible to tissue damage and stress from free radicals. This is where turmeric comes in, working as a powerful antioxidant to help your dog’s body scavenge the free radicals and protect their joints.
How Much Turmeric Should You Give Your Dog?
The easiest way to give your dog turmeric is in a supplement made especially for dogs. In supplement form, it’s already correctly dosed based on your dog’s weight and needs.
When looking for a supplement, always do your research, consider consulting your veterinarian and buy from a company you know and trust. Look for the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC) Quality Seal, so you know that the product has been rigorously tested for ingredient quality and manufacturing practices.
What Are the Side Effects of Turmeric for Dogs?
As with anything new you give your pet, be aware of potential side effects. Possible side effects of supplements containing turmeric include vomiting and diarrhea.
You can reduce the chance of these side effects by giving your dog the supplement during meals or after they’ve eaten.
If you notice your dog struggling with joint pain, moving more slowly or stiffly, or showing other signs if discomfort, a supplement containing turmeric could help eliminate free radicals and alleviate their pain.