More and more veterinarians are recognizing the value of plant-based compounds and offering their patients supplements with these kinds of ingredients. Turmeric is a well-known and common ingredient in many human supplements. It is also becoming more commonplace in pet supplements at dosages specifically tailored to dogs.
Just like humans, as dogs age, their joints become stiffer and they might start to struggle with everyday mobility. Turmeric is a well-known and common ingredient in many human supplements, but is becoming more commonplace in dog supplements, too.
What is turmeric?
Turmeric is a spice that you might be familiar with if you like to cook. You'll typically find it as a yellow-orange powder in this case. It comes from a root in the ginger family and it's often found in Indian dishes.
The active ingredient in turmeric is called curcumin and numerous studies have shown evidence of its benefits. Turmeric's scientific name is Curcuma longa, so you may see that on labels, too.
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.
But as they age, their systems slow down and 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 your dog's joints.
How can turmeric help my 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 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 is already correctly dosed based upon your dog's weight and needs. When looking for a supplement, always do your research 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 side effects of turmeric for dogs?
As with anything new that you give your pet, be aware of side effects. Possible side effects of supplements containing turmeric include:
You can reduce the chance of these side effects by giving your dog the supplement during or after they have eaten.