Dogs and people have more in common than just bonds of companionship. They are prone to some of the same age-related illnesses as humans, including inflammatory joint pain and arthritis. While many veterinarians are quick to offer prescription medication for the pain and stiffness that accompanies arthritis, you may be surprised to know that a safe alternative to pain meds for dogs may be hiding in your spice cabinet.
Turmeric, a genetic relative of ginger, is a spice commonly found in curry and yellow mustard. For centuries, it's been a staple in Ayurvedic medicine for treating inflammatory processes in the human body. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, is also known to be a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, which helps prevent and repair the effects of aging.
The good news is, turmeric's health benefits aren't just for humans; turmeric also acts as a natural anti-inflammatory supplement for dogs. If your pet suffers from arthritis or other inflammatory conditions of the muscles and joints, here's what you should know about turmeric as a natural joint pain supplement for dogs.
Turmeric is a safe dog joint pain supplement
Clinical studies have shown turmeric to be as effective as ibuprofen for treating joint pain in humans, and it comes with little or no gastrointestinal downsides compared to this potent drug. Even though dogs should not be given ibuprofen without consulting your vet, these findings are significant for pet owners everywhere. Ibuprofen is one of the best-selling joint pain relievers on the market, yet research shows turmeric is just as powerful at fighting joint pain—and it's safe for dogs.
In recommended dosages, turmeric is completely safe for pets. In fact, your dog may already be getting small amounts of turmeric, since it is a common ingredient in many high-quality dog foods, although not at therapeutic levels. To get the maximum benefit of turmeric as a dog joint pain relief supplement, you'll need to add it to your dog's diet in other ways.
Turmeric is not just a dog anti-inflammatory supplement, it also helps with skin conditions
Turmeric's anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties are also effective in treating common skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, and even help heal wounds. The journal Life Science showed that applying turmeric to wounds aids tissue and collagen growth, so skin heals faster.
In humans, daily turmeric anti-inflammatory supplements also help decrease the frequency and severity of psoriasis or eczema flareups, clears acne and rosacea breakouts, and improves skin quality with its powerful anti-aging and antioxidant effects.
Turmeric also functions as an antimicrobial and antifungal agent, which means it may help with many common canine skin conditions such as rashes and hotspots. Studies show turmeric may even decrease the severity of allergic skin reactions. It also helps clear the bumps or benign fatty tumors and cysts that often form in dogs’ skin.
Turmeric is a natural cancer fighter
As a natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory supplement, turmeric is a strong first defense at preventing the development of abnormal cancer cells. But its natural properties don't stop there: Studies show turmeric actually kills a wide variety of cancer cells. Although the exact mechanisms aren't completely understood, research shows that curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, actually targets and destroys cancer cells without damaging normal cells.
Turmeric's unique ability to bypass healthy cells shows promise in the fight against cancer in humans and dogs. Many new studies are underway to better understand the relationship between turmeric and cancer, but the initial results are promising.
Using turmeric as joint pain supplements for dogs
While many holistic vets consider turmeric the best anti-inflammatory supplement for dogs, it's still important to talk to your vet before adding therapeutic turmeric to your dog's diet. Although turmeric is considered safe for dogs, it’s always good to check with your vet if they are on other medications. This is especially true if your dog is currently using NSAIDs for joint pain or undergoing treatment for cancer. In an otherwise healthy pet, however, turmeric is a safe alternative to pain meds for dogs.
To use turmeric as a dog joint pain supplement, the recommended dosage is between 10 mg and 20 mg per pound of weight each day. If your dog weighs 50 pounds, for example, you could give him up to 1,000 mg a day, or one 500 mg capsule with his morning and evening feeding. Consult your vet if you're not sure about the correct dosage.
One of the best brands to use for both humans and dogs is Nuvothera’s Super Micronized Turmeric Curcumin because it is easily absorbed for maximum potency and safety. Simply open a 500mg capsule and sprinkle it on your dog’s food before feeding.
Humans have long used turmeric for its protective health benefits. Why not take advantage of its potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties as a natural joint pain and anti-inflammatory supplement for your dog?