Turmeric contains curcumin, an anti-inflammatory compound that has been used to treat canine osteoarthritis. It can also help your dog digest their food more efficiently. Turmeric has antioxidant properties as well, suggesting that it can reduce the likelihood of your dog developing illness or disease.
Turmeric is often found in commercial dog food as a flavor enhancer or coloring agent, but not in quantities large enough for your dog to reap any of these benefits. Deley Naturals Advanced Hip & Joint Supplements for Dogs packs turmeric into chews along with glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, and other anti-inflammatory compounds that support your dog’s cartilage health.
How effective is curcumin?
Curcumin’s primary benefit revolves around suppressing inflammation in the body. A small study found that curcumin decreased the inflammatory response in arthritic dogs after about 20 days, suggesting that it can supplement other treatments for osteoarthritis.
Turmeric also made an appearance in a study using dogs that had suffered trauma or developed diseases along their spinal columns. They were given turmeric in addition to standard treatment, at which point researchers observed anti-inflammatory effects between 20 to 30 days. Some dogs experienced a return of neurological symptoms after, but the effects vanished after an increase in turmeric dosage.
And, finally, curcumin may be effective in slowing the progression of canine degenerative myelopathy, a degenerative disease of the spinal cord. Dogs that received curcumin were better able to bear their own weight as the disease progressed and survived longer than those that did not. While the exact reasons why are not yet known, curcumin has three known effects on muscle:
- Promotion of protein synthesis, maintaining muscle
- Reduction of muscle protein degradation
- Reduction of exercise muscle injuries
Does turmeric have side effects for dogs?
Curcumin also has little to no side effects in dogs, especially when compared to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Because of this, it appears frequently in supplements as an option for lifelong or long-term joint support.
Turmeric can impact the metabolization of certain drugs, so check with your vet before adding it into your pet’s routine.
Some dogs display nausea and diarrhea, especially if they have underlying health issues or inflammation-related illnesses. However, once these are resolved, they typically tolerate turmeric well.
Finally, some pet owners have reported that medicinal doses of turmeric have caused their dogs to smell like cat urine. While their dogs reportedly don’t seem to mind, their owners typically stop or lower the dosage until no odor is present.
How much turmeric should I give my dog?
Dosage varies based on your dog’s size and needs. The starting recommendation is 15 to 20 mg per pound of bodyweight. Initially, give your dog only a tiny dosage, then slowly increase it to the target dosage while monitoring for any side effects. The amount is flexible–as always, check with your vet on the suggested dosage, especially if your dog is on any medications.
Do not give your dog turmeric supplements intended for humans. The dosage is too high for most dogs and can cause gastrointestinal upset or other side effects. Instead, look for a turmeric supplement designed to be given to dogs. Deley Naturals Advanced Hip & Joint Supplement for Dogs contains 500 mg of turmeric per dose (2 chews), safe for all ages and sizes.