Why You Should Give Turmeric to Your Dog

Why You Should Give Turmeric to Your Dog

By now, you have probably heard people talk about how good turmeric is for you or read an article about it in a health magazine. Turmeric has become very popular, to the point where you can now buy it in supplement form. But what you may not realize is that it’s great for dogs too! It can really help your dog in ways you won’t believe!

What is Turmeric?

Turmeric is a spice – found in a lot of curry dishes – that contains something called curcumin. Curcumin is a powerhouse! There are over 6,000 studies on the benefits of turmeric.

Just look at some of these benefits:

· Anti-inflammatory

· Antibacterial

· Antioxidant

· Antiviral

· Antifungal

· Cancer fighting

For your dog, turmeric can help:

· Treat and prevent cancer or tumors

· Relieve arthritis or joint pain

· Support heart health

· Support liver function

· Help treat gastrointestinal disorders

· Allergy relief

· Pain relief

· Weight management

· Reduces blood clots

· Helps prevent cataracts

· Treats diarrhea

And this is just a partial list! One study from the U.K. determined that the curcumin in turmeric stopped precancerous lesions from becoming cancerous. Other studies say it works better at pain and inflammation management than ibuprofen.

Turmeric really is an incredible spice! And being so inexpensive, as spices go, it’s an easy one to add to your dog’s diet.

How To Feed Turmeric to Your Dog

First, consult your vet. When dealing with the health of your dog, you always want to make sure you are doing the right thing. Even natural supplements can interfere with each other, causing absorption issues. For example, curcumin may reduce iron absorption in foods, so that is something to be aware if you have a dog with iron level issues.

Next, there are several forms of turmeric. You can feed your dog powder, a supplement pill, or create a paste by mixing it with water (100ml of water to 25g of turmeric) and a bit of coconut oil, around 15grams. The form you use will probably depend most on your dog and how he will eat it. If one form doesn’t work try another. If you choose to go the pill route, be sure you check the other ingredients to make sure they are all safe for your dog.

If you already take turmeric, you may know that black pepper increases the amount of curcumin that enters circulation. HOWEVER, black pepper can cause issues in dogs, such as respiratory problems, hemorrhoids and upset stomach, so it’s best not to feed your dog black pepper. There are recipes online for “turmeric paste” to feed your dog, and many of them include quite a bit of black pepper. If your vet feels you need to add black pepper to increase the effects of the turmeric, do so sparingly. And watch your dog for signs that it’s bothering him.

Next, dosage. It’s always good to ask your vet how much turmeric is okay for your dog. Turmeric doesn’t have a lot of side effects, and is pretty safe in high-quantities, but you still want to be careful. And remember to start with a small dosage and build up, so your dog can get used to it.

Turmeric is a natural way to keep your dog healthy, so talk to your vet and give it a try!

Your Dog’s Gut Bacteria and Stress: How are They Related?

Your Dog’s Gut Bacteria and Stress: How are They Related?

Dogs get stressed out just like us. And just like us, many display digestive issues when anxious. For example, how many times have you heard a dog owner or boarding facility owner say a dog had diarrhea the whole time it was there? Their food didn’t change, but their routine and environment certainly did. Some dogs may throw up or drool when stressed as well, all signs that their stomach is upset. Stress also causes behavioral changes in canines, including barking, growling and biting, so understanding how to reduce or alleviate stress is important.

So what does gut bacteria have to do with all this?

There are two basic categories of bacteria that live in the digestive system – good bacteria and bad bacteria. Called the gut microbiome, because the digestive tract is made of up hundreds of different types of bacteria and other microbes, this system needs to be in balance in order for your dog’s body to function properly.

The good bacteria, also called beneficial bacteria, such as probiotics, help keep toxins out of the bloodstream, block bad bacteria, and aid in digestion, immune system function and absorption of nutrients. It’s easy to see why your dog’s stomach may be upset if he doesn’t have enough good bacteria or has too much harmful bacteria in his digestive tract. But what does that have to do with stress?

The Gut-Brain Axis

The brain of many animals (including humans and canines) is connected to the digestive tract in a two-way communication structure. It is this structure that allows the stress we feel in our brain, to affect our gut. Conversely, it also means that what is going in our gut can affect our brain. Including relieving stress.

There have been several studies done on dogs’ gut-stress relationship, and every single one of them found that dogs on probiotics showed less signs of stress than those not on them. One study tested dogs in a boarding environment being fed the exact same diet, the only difference was the probiotics. Another study took already anxious dogs and found that those given the probiotics appeared 90 percent less anxious than those that were not given any. This included reduced instances of spinning, barking and pacing as well as improved heart rate (83 percent of subjects) and cortisol levels (75 percent of subjects).

Part of the reason scientists say this happens is because probiotics produce neurotransmitters like serotonin and GABA, which make us feel good. And as mentioned in the study above, probiotics help lower cortisol, which is known as the stress hormone.

So, if you have a dog that seems constantly stressed, you may be able to help your four-legged friend be more at easy by upping his probiotic intake. It’s a great thing to do in conjunction with training. And, since probiotics also aid in digestion and your dog’s immune system (70 percent of which is housed within the digestive tract), it will also help your dog stay healthier.

If you do choose to go down this path, I use human grade probiotics for my dogs. If your dogs are small get the child probiotics and depending on your dog’s size use accordingly. If you have a dog over 40kg you can get the adult probiotics. I go for the probiotics with more than 10 species of good bacteria or more. Reason being, the more diverse the microbiome the healthier it is.