Spices and herbs are not normally a part of dogs’ diet, but maybe it should be. There are some claims that one of these ordinary spices, turmeric, is actually very beneficial to your dog’s health. In fact, its effect might even be better than those of an expensive drug.
Turmeric is the spice normally found in custards and curries, but surprisingly, more than 6,000 studies have shown that it is more effective than many chemical drugs like steroids, anti-inflammatory drugs, chemotherapy, arthritis drugs, and inflammatory bowel disease drugs.
The important question is if it will also benefit your four-legged friend. The answer is yes, that there is a list of reasons to include this medicinal herb in your dog’s diet.
All About Turmeric
The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, which is anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral. It is also great for helping wounds heal quickly and its antioxidant property is comparable to cortisone.
Turmeric can help avoid certain cancer because it can prevent the formation of cancer at all stages (initiation, promotion, and progression). It will cause these dangerous cancerous cells to self-destruct or kill themselves.
It is also good for fighting certain medical conditions like diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, and gastrointestinal problems. In fact, a research in Texas has named it “cure-cumin” because of the tons of medical benefits.
These advantages also extend to your canine friend, which is why regularly adding this spice is something dog owners should consider seriously. Turmeric is one of the herbs and spices that are not normally given to pets but are actually beneficial to these animals.
How Do They Help Your Pet?
There is a long list of how turmeric can be great for your four-legged friend, which includes the following:
Help With Pain
Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties make it the perfect cure to treat dogs who are suffering from stiff joints, a very common affliction that dogs are predisposed to. This spice is a great natural therapy with long-lasting effect.
Prevent Blood Clots
Curcumin is a blood thinner, which can be very useful in reducing blood clotting. At the same time, it is essential in getting rid of extra cholesterol in the body. While high cholesterol is not as dangerous to dogs like it is for people, it can still lead to some health issues like heart conditions.
Prevent Irritable Bowel Disease
This herb stimulates the production of bile in the liver. Thus, food gets digested better because the dietary fats are broken down better. Because active dogs need at least 20% fat in their diets, adding a bit of turmeric to their diet will help a lot in digesting the food. Moreover, dogs that are expecting puppies or nursing, as well as underweight ones, will need much more fat so a little bit more turmeric is better.
It is a growing belief that turmeric is great for the fight against cancer. Studies on animals and test tube research have shown that its antioxidant properties make it perfect as preventative medicine against cancer. In some cases, it has been capable of turning off the blood vessels that are feeding these cancer cells. However, its effectiveness in actually avoiding cancer still needs to be researched.
Countries that use a lot of turmeric in their cuisine report very low levels of dementia. This is considered to be due to the curcumin. Adding turmeric to your dog’s diet will help lower the risk of dementia and other memory-related conditions.
Protects the Liver
The liver loves this herb because of the protection it gets from the turmeric. The spice stimulates bile output and raises its solubility.
Keeps The Heart Healthy
The heart is also protected by turmeric, specifically when dogs are undergoing chemotherapy.
Turmeric is high in vitamins C and E, which help maintain good eyesight. Moreover, certain eye conditions like cataracts will be prevented or slowed down due to the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric.
Research has shown that turmeric is capable of protecting the brain from seizures. While it brings the same benefits, it does not have the toxic side effects as regular medication. These benefits have also been proven in animal studies, as turmeric helped prevent the development of epilepsy after an injury or heavy metal accumulation in the pet’s brain. Lastly, some compounds are also anticonvulsant so that the brain is prevented from dangerous chemical changes due to seizures.
Curcumin works as a decongestant and as an antihistamine so that mast cell degranulation is reduced. It is effective in treatment whether your pet is suffering from tonic or acute allergies.
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What to Watch Out For
Turmeric is a very strong spice that should not be taken quickly. When you try to feed your dog too much of it too quickly, your pet might get nausea. The trick is to start slow and increase the dosage gradually.
Moreover, some dogs might get constipation, which is why dogs should be given a lot of water along with the turmeric. Giving it some a little yogurt can help balance the digestive flora in the stomach.
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However, if your pet is prone to kidney stones, turmeric is not recommended because it leads to higher levels of urinary oxalate. Some dogs might also be sensitive to it and suffer from stomach issues. When this happens, you might need to reduce the turmeric or even avoid it.
It might also react with certain medication like those for acid indigestion. Therefore, it is best to avoid turmeric and acid reducers together. Other drugs that should not be taken together with turmeric include diabetic drugs and aspirin.
Turmeric is a spice that packs a lot of benefits for both people and animals, which is why many would consider adding it to their diets. In fact, the list of positive effects is so long that it makes sense to include it in daily meals.
But much like with any herbal or normal medication, it is still best to be careful especially when introducing it in the beginning. Consult the vet to be sure and watch out for any side effects.