10 Reasons Why Turmeric Is Good For Dogs
A magic ingredient that is worth every dog lover’s attention
By Dr. Peter Dobias
I am super excited to share facts about turmeric with you. In fact, if I were sent to a remote island I would make sure that I took a turmeric root with me. In this article, my goal is to tell you about the amazing properties of turmeric. However, I also want to share with you why drug companies may not like the discoveries around this natural medicinal powerhouse.
Turmeric has several other names, my favourites being Indian Saffron or Nisha, which are much less known. Most people know the name curmin or curcuma, which comes from the Latin Curcumae Longa. Turmeric is also called pian jiang huan in Chinese. It may be one of the oldest medicinal plants and is native to Southern India. It loves high rainfall and temperatures between 20 to 30 C (68 to 86 F). It is mainly used in curries and gives Indian meals their specific yellow colour. I love the plant in medicine so much that I have included turmeric in SoulFood, my certified organic multi-vitamin for dogs.
There are many reasons why turmeric has been catching the attention of dog lovers and holistic and natural practitioners. In fact, if I listed them all, this article would be pages long. Instead, I share with you the most impressive characteristics of this amazing plant. After many years of using it in my practice, I have seen no side effects and many positive outcomes.
Top 10 reasons why turmeric should be in your dog’s health and longevity program:
Turmeric has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects
Scientists confirmed turmeric is a natural antibiotic in 1949. In addition, it has also been clinically proven to be an anti-inflammatory and has anti-parasitical properties, which, in traditional medicine, has been known for millennia.
Turmeric has been proven to be effective against plaque buildup and gingivitis.
This is really exciting news because so many dogs suffer from gingivitis (gum inflammation), which impacts overall wellness.
Turmeric is good for the heart.
Scientists have now confirmed that curcumin protects the heart from myocardial infarction. The cardiac muscle is one of the most hard-working muscles in the body and protecting it from unnecessary inflammation is the key to good health and longevity.
Turmeric appears to help in the prevention of diabetes.
This one may be a real surprise for many. In my mind, diabetes is often triggered by a carbohydrate-based diet and getting rid of kibble is the most important step. However, if your dog’s blood sugar levels have been close to abnormal or your dog’s breed carries a genetic predisposition, adding turmeric may be beneficial.
Turmeric seems to inhibit gastric and duodenal ulcers.
Generally, I am not in favour of animal experimentation, but an experiment with laboratory rats has proven that turmeric can protect them from ulcer formation. This is really exciting because drug-based anti-inflammatories are usually known to cause ulcers. This is one of the biggest reasons why turmeric should always be used in place of chemical non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for pain/arthritis and injuries.
Turmeric is known to reduce the chances of colon cancer.
Yes, that is correct! Scientists have confirmed in numerous studies that curcumin provides significant protection against colon cancer, a disease that affects both dogs and people.
Turmeric reduces and slows down leukemia.
I have seen quite a few dogs with leukemia in the course of my career. The conventional option of treatment is chemotherapy. If I honestly look at the dramatic drop in quality of life in dogs on chemotherapy—the vet visits, injections, IV’s, hospitalization, and treatment-related sickness—I would never submit my dog to such treatments.
However, I have personally seen some very promising results of slowing down and reducing the growth of lymphatic cancer, such as leukemia, using turmeric. The fact that curcumin can trigger cancer cell death (apoptosis) has now been confirmed in a study.
Turmeric can protect DNA from radiation damage.
This one may have surprised you, but it is great news. Radiation release in the environment has been a serious concern, especially after the Fukushima accident.
Scientists have now confirmed that phytochemicals in turmeric can protect cells against radiation-induced damage.
Turmeric is great for arthritis and joint pain.
Many people now know that turmeric reduces joint inflammation and discomfort. In my mind, arthritis creeps up on dogs as a result of muscle weakness, joint instability, toxin build up, and mineral deficiencies.
I mentioned above that pharmaceutical anti-inflammatories cause serious side effects, such as kidney and liver damage.
Turmeric has been shown to have an anti-depressive and anti-suicidal effect!
To be honest, I did not know about this one until I started researching this article. Isn’t this absolutely fantastic? This may not be exactly the most common use in dogs, but considering that a large portion of our society is on anti-depressants, this is very promising.
If you source turmeric on your own from possibly non-organic sources, please note that turmeric is often the subject of adulteration through the addition of toxic dyes and colours and you have to take extra precaution.
In comparison with anti-inflammatory drugs and other pharmaceuticals that cause numerous side effects, turmeric is without a doubt one of the most valuable gifts of nature. I can only imagine that drug companies would love to license its composition. We all are lucky that they can’t!