Many families opt to go the natural route to meet their wellness needs. Your dog is an important part of your family, and you want your pets to have the very best. Humans use turmeric as a natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, and many dogs would also appreciate the same benefits. But is turmeric really the best way to provide these benefits for your canine companion?
What Is Turmeric?
Turmeric is a rhizome, which is similar to a root. It’s a lot like ginger, but with a much brighter color and a slightly different flavor. Turmeric lends its earthy, spicy taste and bright golden color to dishes like curry.
Turmeric is highly valuable in the culinary world for its unique flavor and its ability to act as a natural colorant for many foods.
Turmeric’s popularity in the supplement world stems from its many purported benefits.
What Are the Benefits of Turmeric?
Turmeric has been used as a natural panacea in ancient Ayurvedic medicine for over 2,000 years. Practitioners of Ayurvedic medicine claim that turmeric possesses a whole host of benefits.
Some of these benefits are a bit outlandish and have not been substantiated by clinical studies; it’s better to speak to your doctor or your veterinarian about the appropriateness of supplementing turmeric for certain health concerns.
That said, a few reported benefits of turmeric show modest promise when used consistently.
Turmeric is a highly potent antioxidant. Antioxidants work to protect healthy cells from pollutants and free radical damage. Harmful compounds that seek to steal electrons from cells can take those electrons from antioxidants, rather than healthy cells. Antioxidants are valuable in the diets of all living things.
Turmeric is commonly used as an anti-inflammatory. Turmeric does demonstrate antioxidant properties, primarily due to its high content of a compound called curcumin, but these effects are often subtle since this substance isn’t easily absorbed by the body. Many people add turmeric to their wellness routines in an attempt to reduce general aches and pains related to inflammation, but only special forms of turmeric are proven to make any difference.
Dogs, especially older dogs, often experience joint aches. The idea behind giving a dog turmeric is that it may help to improve their mobility and reduce their discomfort. Is this practical, though?
Can Dogs Have Turmeric?
Turmeric is already an ingredient in many brands of dog food. It’s used as a colorant to give kibble golden, brown, or red hues. Turmeric is recognized as safe in small amounts for animals, but it’s worth noting that the amount used to naturally color dog food is extremely small.
Turmeric has never really been studied in dogs for therapeutic benefit — there’s one study that looked at pain in older dogs with osteoarthritis and how turmeric could help, but there wasn’t really any statistical significance. The small amounts used in dog food aren’t enough to cause benefits or harm. In order to see the potential benefits of turmeric, a much larger amount would need to be used.
In order to make a determination of the safety and efficacy of turmeric for inflammation in dogs, a proper study would need to be conducted. Until that time, it’s probably not a wise idea to give your dog copious amounts of turmeric.
Natural Joint Support for Dogs
Many dogs would significantly benefit from natural anti-inflammatory ingredients or supplements to improve their joint mobility. Turmeric may not be the answer, but there are plenty of other valuable options that would serve a similar purpose.
First, See Your Vet
If you believe your dog is struggling with inflammation or experiencing issues with joint mobility, your first trip should be to the vet. Dogs can’t tell you exactly what they’re feeling or why they’re feeling it, so they often communicate that something is wrong either through cues or changes in their behavior.
Your dog may have a muscular or skeletal injury that’s causing pain or mobility issues. Your vet will need to examine your dog to determine if the cause is inflammation, age-related, or something that requires immediate medical attention.
Many owners of senior dogs will find that their mobility issues are a result of age. If that’s the case, your vet may recommend anti-inflammatory treatment as a part of a larger treatment plan.
Your dog may also need to lose weight. Sometimes, massage and physical therapy can help to improve your dog’s mobility and quality of life. Managing inflammation is only one part of a much larger plan.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Inflammation related to canine arthritis can be improved by incorporating more omega 3 fatty acids into your dog’s diet. Two of the three core omega 3 fatty acids may be beneficial to your dog in the way they help the body manage the inflammatory response. DHA and EPA are omega 3 fatty acids that naturally occur in fish. ALA is less beneficial to dogs because their bodies aren’t able to efficiently process it.
Fatty fish is safe for your dog to eat, but fish oil supplements are a much more effective and pragmatic way to provide your dog with the omega 3 fats they need.
In some cases, switching to a higher quality dog food will introduce more omega 3s to your dog’s diet. Foods made with salmon and eggs can help to relieve inflammation in dogs while producing a shinier coat and healthier skin. If your dog’s need for additional omega 3’s isn’t severe, your vet may recommend a diet swap as the primary solution.
NSAIDs for Dogs
There are several non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs approved for dogs. Some of them are only approved for short-term use, which would not make them effective tools in managing chronic inflammation or pain in animals.
If your vet deems it necessary, your dog may be prescribed certain medications to help manage long-term discomfort associated with inflammation. These medications should be used in conjunction with lifestyle changes to improve your pup’s quality of life.
Although these drugs are recognized as safe for dogs, many of them can potentially cause side effects. Dogs have sensitive stomachs, and anti-inflammatory medications may cause irritation to the stomach lining. You’ll need to weigh the pros and cons of these drugs with your dog’s vet and carefully monitor your pet for side effects throughout treatment.
CBD Tincture or Topical Balms
VETCBD Hemp’s CBD products are specifically formulated for your pets. With regular use, CBD can help to support joint mobility in older dogs.
CBD also helps to keep dogs calm in stressful situations like thunderstorms, and supports regular GI health and brain function in animals. It’s a multifunctional supplement that may address many of your dog’s wellness needs.
Your Dog’s Wellness is Important
Turmeric isn’t the most valuable natural solution for managing inflammation in your dog’s body, but you aren’t without gentle alternatives.
VETCBD Hemp is staffed by a team of experienced veterinarians who believe that a holistic approach to your dog’s wellness can make your pet happier and healthier. In many cases, CBD tincture is a valuable addition to your dog’s overall wellness plan. Our American-grown hemp won’t get your dog high — instead, it supports your pup in many key areas of their wellbeing.
If you believe your dog would benefit from the use of CBD, speak with your vet — it’ll give you the joint support for your pup that you’re looking for.
A randomized, double-blind, prospective, placebo-controlled study of the efficacy of a diet supplemented with curcuminoids extract, hydrolyzed collagen and green tea extract in owner's dogs with osteoarthritis | NCBI