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Turmeric is an Asian plant in the same family as ginger. The powder derived from this plant is commonly used in Asian cuisine to add color and flavor to any numbers of dishes. It’s also commonly used in pre-packaged human and pet foods as a color or flavor enhancer. As a spice, Turmeric has a distinctive, earthy flavor and a hallmark, dark yellow color.
Turmeric has been used in humans for years with many healing, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties attributed to it. It has not been studied extensively for its health benefits in dogs, but anecdotally, there is a lot of reporting that is supportive of its efficacy, especially for management of painful, arthritic joints. What’s more, Turmeric appears to be safe for administration to dogs in small quantities, so there is little down side to trying it.
Because research on dosing of Turmeric in dogs remains ongoing, I would not suggest relying on Turmeric alone as sole joint joint health supplement, but instead as one component of a comprehensive joint health supplemental approach that includes omega-3-fatty acids, glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, and astaxanthin.
Dog owners should also be sure to research product reviews carefully before choosing a Turmeric based nutritional supplement, as the health supplement industry is not FDA regulated and bogus or poorly absorbed products are rampant. Dog owners choosing to try turmeric should also be patient, as clinical results are commonly not seen until 15-30 days of consistent daily administration.
Dr. Roger Welton is a practicing veterinarian, highly regarded media personality through a number of topics and platforms, and author of The Man In The White Coat: A Veterinarian’s Tail Of Love. In addition to being passionate about integrative veterinary medicine for which he is a globally recognized expert, Dr. Welton was also an accomplished college lacrosse player and remains to this day very involved in the sport. He is president of Maybeck Animal Hospital , general partner of Grant Animal Clinic, and runs the successful veterinary/animal health blogs Web-DVM and Dr. Roger’s Holistic Veterinary Care. Dr. Welton fulfills his passion for lacrosse through his lacrosse and sport blog, The Creator’s Game.