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5 Reasons to Give Turmeric to Your Pets

Find out why dogs and cats may benefit from turmeric for these 5 health conditions.

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Turmeric has long been used for medicinal purposes. Curcumin, the active ingredient, is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agent. A warm, yellow spice with a slightly bitter flavor, turmeric is what gives Indian curry its bright yellow flavor.

While turmeric has been used for hundreds of years for human health complaints, it can also be used for pets! To add turmeric to your pet’s diet, simply mix into a loose paste with water and a pinch of black pepper and add to your pet’s food.

  1. Arthritis and Joint Pain: Because of the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric, it is excellent in combating the pain of arthritis, joint pain and chronic inflammation. These conditions are primarily inflammatory in nature and turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent.
  2. Digestive Complaints: Diarrhea, bloating, gas and colic, as well as other bowel and digestive tract problems, can be reduced by adding turmeric to your pet’s diet. The anti-inflammatory power of turmeric can reduce irritation in the intestines, reducing many problems and complaints. Be aware, however, that turmeric may cause constipation in some pets.
  3. Wound Care: Because of its antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties, turmeric paste can be applied to skin lesions and wounds. This is especially helpful for pets as there is no danger if they lick it off.
  4. Diabetes: Diabetes is common, especially in older cats and dogs. Turmeric has been shown to help regulate insulin and blood sugar in those with diabetes, and may do the same for pets. Turmeric may interfere with certain diabetes medications, so check with your vet before giving it to a pet for diabetes.
  5. Cancer: Turmeric has many anti-cancer properties and may help to combat some of the various cancers that are common in pets. Cancer cells propagate more readily when the body is in a state of inflammation. Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, which makes the body a less desirable environment for cancer cells to grow, reducing the occurrence and growth rates of tumors.

Safety Precautions

There are safety precautions to consider, as turmeric does not mix well with some anti-inflammatory medications. It is suggested you speak with your vet about turmeric to determine if there might be any contraindications to use.

Also, be sure to reduce the dosage of turmeric if you are giving it to a pet as follows:

  • 1 lb – 10 lbs: About a pinch – 1/8 teaspoon
  • 10 lbs – 20 lbs: About ¼ teaspoon
  • 20 lbs – 40 lbs: About ½ teaspoon
  • 40 lbs – 80 lbs: About ¾ teaspoon
  • 80+ lbs: About 1 teaspoon

Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory, antioxidant agent with strong antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal properties, which make it an excellent way to treat pets naturally for a variety of conditions.

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Prasad S.; Aggarwal B.B. (2011). Turmeric, the Golden Spice: From Traditional Medicine to Modern Medicine. Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects: Chapter 13. 2nd Edition. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press/Taylor & Francis. Retrieved on 3/4/16 from

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