Turmeric for Dogs.

Many people might be horrified about the idea of feeding spicy turmeric – a key ingredient in curries – to their pet dogs. Most owners would probably consider this to be a definite food to avoid. However, turmeric is the new buzz word in natural dog health care and this Holidays4Dogs article will take a look at what all the fuss is about.

In traditional Asian medicine practice, turmeric is used as a detoxifier, purifier and disinfectant for wounds, as well as a tonic for the stomach. In Thailand, turmeric is typically used to treat diarrhoea and other stomach complaints.

Western research is beginning to catch up with the health benefits of turmeric. Curcumin, the main compound of turmeric, is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. It is particularly useful in cases of arthritis, as well as having interesting results as an anti cancer agent.

Early studies carried out on humans at risk of palatal cancer suggested that 1g of turmeric per day had notable impact on the regression of precancerous legions. Curcumin is also being studied to establish whether it helps in other diseases such as stomach ulcers and Alzheimer’s disease.

Turmeric uses;

  • Arthritis,
  • Itchy skin,
  • Cancer,
  • Ear infections,
  • Parasite infestation,
  • Wounds and sores,
  • Heart conditions,
  • Stomach conditions; including diarrhoea.
  • It can also help in fat metabolism and weight management, allergies and the prevention of cataracts.

To administer turmeric – use turmeric powder mixed with a dash of cracked pepper. Add one tablespoon of olive, or coconut oil, (both of which increase absorption of turmeric) and ½ a cup of boiled water. Stir all the ingredients together. Add to your dog’s daily meal. The amount suggested per day is 1/8 to ¼ of a teaspoon per 10 lbs of bodyweight.

You can also buy commercially prepared turmeric from pet and human health food stores, as well as horse feed suppliers. (You will need to adjust the suggested amounts in this case). When using turmeric in your dog’s diet, make sure he always has plenty of fresh water to drink to ensure he does not become constipated, since turmeric is a binding agent.

Some dogs may object to turmeric being added to their food. Always start off with very small amounts when you first introduce it to your dog’s diet.


  • Turmeric is safe to feed to your dog under normal conditions. If your dog is currently on medication, (particularly medication for diabetes) is pregnant, (turmeric can affect the uterus), or is due for surgery, do NOT feed turmeric and ask your vet for further advice.

Sources:  American Cancer Society; Cancer Research UK; Canine Cancer Research USA; Indian Academy of Sciences –‘Bioactive phytochemicals with emphasis on dietary practices’; Journal of Nutrition (1998) – ‘Diet and Skin Disease in Dogs and Cats’.