You probably know turmeric as a common cooking spice. Also known as Curcuma longa, this plant’s uses go far beyond your kitchen!
Numerous clinical trials in dogs have shown the potential health benefits of turmeric. It has shown to be a potent anti-inflammatory and is also a good pain reliever! It has even been shown to have a positive effect on cancer cells. If your pet has any inflammatory disease, arthritis or cancer you may want to give turmeric a try.
The active component in turmeric is called curcumin. Taken alone, curcumin is not very bioavailable which means only a small amount actually gets absorbed into the bloodstream when taken orally. By combining curcumin with piperine (a compound in black pepper) the bioavailability increases dramatically.
So how can you use turmeric for your dog’s health and make sure that it is available for the body to use? In comes Golden Paste. This whole food recipe, created by Dr. Doug English, an Australian veterinarian, is a wonderful way to safely incorporate turmeric into your furry friend’s holistic healthcare plan.
- 1/2 cup (125 mls/60gms) turmeric powder
- 1 cup water (250 mls) PLUS 1 cup water in reserve, if needed
- 1/3 cup (70 mls) Raw/Cold Pressed/Unrefined Coconut/Flaxseed-Linseed Oil, Virgin/Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2-3 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
Place turmeric and water in pan, stirring over gentle heat until you have a thick paste. This should take about 7-10 minutes and you may need to add additional water along the way.
Add the freshly ground pepper and oil AT THE END of cooking. Stir well (a whisk is ideal) to incorporate the oil and allow to cool.
The Golden Paste will keep for 2 weeks, refrigerated
Freeze a portion if you think you have too much to use within two weeks.
A good starting dose is 1/4 teaspoon two to three times daily. Just add to your dog’s food!
PLEASE NOTE: Commercial turmeric capsules/pills that have high levels of curcumin are not recommended for use with animals. That’s why we prefer the whole food recipe above.
Side effects are very uncommon with turmeric but there are a few circumstances where it would not be recommended for your pet. Curcumin causes contraction of the gallbladder so it is contraindicated if your pet has gallbladder stones or bile duct obstruction. Also use with caution in diabetic patients because it can lower blood sugar a bit. Stomach ulcers and bleeding disorders are two other situations where turmeric is not recommended. It can occasionally cause stomach upset and might slow blood clotting. These effects are all very mild but if your pet has any of these conditions then turmeric would not be the best choice for them.
As always if you have further questions you can contact Dr. Kimberly Schmidt, owner and head veterinarian of Napa Valley Holistic Veterinary Services at 707-535-9979 or email her at email@example.com.