Are there Benefits of Turmeric for Dogs?
Stiff, achy joints are painful and frustrating. To avoid the high cost of over-the-counter and prescription medications, many people turn to natural anti-inflammatory options like turmeric.
Pet parents who have noted their own successes often wonder if this natural remedy could help with joint mobility in their dogs as well. Our experts weigh in to answer the question many dog owners are asking: Are there benefits of turmeric for dogs?
What is Turmeric?
Turmeric is an Asian plant in the ginger family. The powder derived from this plant is frequently used in Asian cuisine to add color or flavor to a dish. It’s also frequently used in pre-packaged human and pet foods as a color or flavor enhancer. The spice has a distinctive, earthy flavor and a rich, dark yellow color.
Is Turmeric Safe for Dogs?
“Turmeric has been used on the human side for years and many healing, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties have been attributed to it,” says RuthAnn Lobos, DVM, CCRT, “however, it hasn’t been studied as extensively in pets.”
In general, however, turmeric is safe for dogs in small quantities. You may even find it listed as an ingredient on your dog’s food label. Its purpose is to enhance the color and/or flavor of the kibble, however, not to provide anti-inflammatory benefits.
Is Turmeric for Dogs Beneficial?
The levels used for coloring or flavoring in dog food are likely too low to have any noticeable health benefits. So while turmeric is safe for dogs to consume in small amounts, they probably won’t see the anti-inflammatory benefits the spice is touted for in humans by eating it in their dog food.
How Else Can My Dog Get Anti-Inflammatory Benefits?
For dogs with stiff, achy joints, other ingredients can offer more substantial anti-inflammatory benefits, like omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil. Talk with your veterinarian before introducing any supplements to your dog’s diet, however.
“Fish oil has more published studies on its anti-inflammatory properties and is a common ingredient,” says Dr. Lobos. Plus, “The dog can get the correct amount already measured out in his kibble.” Many dog foods use ingredients like salmon as a source of omega-3s.
If you’re curious about your pet’s joint health and want a safe and effective alternative, ask your veterinarian about Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets JM Joint Mobility. Get more tips, advice and answers to your dog and cat questions from our experts here.