Everyone’s been talking about Turmeric like it’s something new, but Western medicine started studying it at Harvard in the 1700s. Asia and India have been using it to cure disease and spice up dishes for over 4000 years. It’s nothing new – but we are learning more about it every day.
Because of its various properties, it is being used in the treatment of cancer, arthritis, and other conditions that dogs suffer. The benefits are numerous, making it a good supplement for preventative care.
What is Turmeric?
Turmeric is a spice that is grown in Asia and Africa. It’s a type of ginger.
One of the most active components in turmeric is curcumin. Curcumin is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent that reduces the growth of tumors by interrupting the cycles that create cancer. It kick-starts the death process of cancer cells.
Turmeric isn’t just medicine, though. It’s food. It’s what gives much of Indian, Thai, Moroccan, and Chinese food delicious flavor. You’ll find it in curries, couscous, soups, and other dishes.
Turmeric is also in your mustard, yogurt, and butter as a food additive that adds yellow color and enhances flavor.
What are the benefits for dogs?
According to veterinary literature, curcumin and turmeric can do a lot to bolster canine health and cure or inhibit disease.
One of the most common uses of turmeric in both dogs and humans is in the treatment of arthritis, joint pain, and other degenerative disorders.
Vets use curcumin and/or turmeric along with cancer treatment. It reduces tumor growth, kills cancer cells, and protects the heart during chemotherapy. Turmeric also helps restore decreasing blood counts and is helpful if the dog has the rare side effect of hair loss during radiation therapy.
Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties often work better than traditional drugs like ibuprofen or steroids. Vets replace steroids with turmeric when animals can’t handle the side effects of corticosteroids. Curcumin doesn’t irritate the stomach and can sometimes even rid the stomach of ulcers caused by other steroid-based medications.
Here are some more canine benefits of this wonder spice:
- Protects the liver
- Reduces gas formation
- Reduces cramps and spasms from gas
- Alleviates IBS symptoms
- Decreases inflammation – the cause of many diseases
- Reduces cholesterol
How do I give it to my dog?
A dog’s body absorbs turmeric better when it is combined with other ingredients, especially oils. So, to give your dog turmeric, it is better to feed it as a delicious treat.
Consult your vet before feeding your dog turmeric if your dog has a history of kidney stones or gallbladder problems. Turmeric might also interact with blood thinners, diabetes drugs, or other anti-inflammatories. Turmeric is helpful in chemotherapy treatment but if your dog is on chemo, your vet needs to know you want to supplement before you start so that dosage levels can be discussed.
Treats and foods made with turmeric and ingredients that enhance it are a great way to prevent or treat cancer, arthritis, and other diseases caused by inflammation. Your faithful friend will feel better, play more, and have a more vibrant life!
Messonier, Shawn. The Natural Vet’s Guide to Preventing and Treating Cancer in Dogs. New World Library, 2006.