12 Reasons To Give your Older Dog Turmeric

What is Turmeric for Dogs?

There are lots of reasons you should give your dog turmeric. Believe it or not, this little spice is making a headway in holistic pet medicine that can essentially make a huge impact in your dog’s health and even the lifespan.

Dog's health has always been a relevant topic to those who have canines as family members. Despite the numerous pet medications available, most dog owners prefer to go organic or natural replacement.

One of the most renowned spices used in improving health is turmeric.

This golden relative of the humble ginger has long been used as medicine since its discovery about 4,000 years ago. To this day, turmeric is a spice for cooking and religious rituals.

Also known as Indian saffron, turmeric has always been beneficial to health. It is no surprise that this golden spice is now used for man’s best friend as well.

What is Curcumin?

Turmeric’s active ingredient is curcumin. It is an organic compound that offers a wide variety of health benefits to you and your dog.

This herb has antioxidant, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties and can even fight cancer.

Curcumin is also effective in healing wounds more quickly, and in fighting conditions such as liver disease, arthritis, diabetes  cancer, gastrointestinal issues, Alzheimer and more.

Senior dogs move slower because of the pain and discomfort brought about by arthritis. Curcumin helps reduce their pain because of its anti-inflammatory effects.

Since this compound is also an antioxidant, it also helps retard aging and degeneration in canines. It essentially lengthens the life of canines.

12 Health Benefits of Turmeric

There are numerous studies supporting the health benefits of turmeric. Dogs can benefit from this golden spice, especially if they take it regularly.

  • Helps with Arthritis and Chronic Pain
  • Reduces Blood Clots 
  • Acts as an AntiOxidant and Prevent Cancer
  • Aids in Digestion
  • Helps to Prevent Cataracts
  • Promotes Healthy Joints in Senior Dogs
  • ​​​​Fights Aging by Reducing & Preventing Chronic Inflammation
  • Used as Treatment for Epilepsy
  • Treat Gastrointestinal Disorders
  • Keeps the Heart Heathy
  • Reduce Inflammation
  • Promotes Healthy Brain Activity in Aging Dogs

Turmeric as a Powerful Antioxidant

Because turmeric is a potent antioxidant, it is beneficial for dogs. This golden spice makes dogs live longer because it slows down their aging process.

Free radicals surround dogs every day. These unpaired electron invaders accumulate in and then damage the dog’s cells. They are by-products of metabolism. 

There are times when the dog’s immune system makes free radicals to battle bacteria and viruses. Free radicals also form when canines are exposed to toxins, chemicals, pollution, pesticides, and processed foods.

When free radicals accumulate in the cells, their electrons make them react to various compounds in a very unstable way. Doing so allows them to catch another electron to initiate their stability. Free radicals take the nearest stable molecule. 

They steal the electron of that molecule to become stable, leaving the molecule to turn into a free radical. The cycle then repeats itself.
This is oxidative stress. It damages proteins, DNA, and cells in the dog’s body, bringing forth diseases such as cancer.

Curcumin in turmeric can treat and even prevent diseases with chronic inflammation.

Turmeric Shows Promise with Cancer Patient

Chronic inflammation can lead to cancer and turmeric is a powerful antioxidant.

Latest studies show evidence that turmeric can benefit both people and animals suffering from joint or muscle inflammation, cancer, and recurring cysts.

Many dogs are diagnosed with such ailments, which often give way to other disorders. Kidney diseases, allergies, and problems with digestion are only some of these ailments.

When dogs develop this ailment, their oncologists usually prescribe traditional cancer medications. These drugs are synthetic and expensive. Turmeric can battle these disorders without side effects.

According to the American Cancer Society, curcumin in turmeric prevents the growth of the cyst and prevents it from metastasizing. It can also kill cancerous cells and shrinks tumors.

Most of the adult dogs today are prone to cancer, so turmeric  being a powerful antioxidant & anti-inflammatory can help avoid the formation of cancer and protect your dog from inflammation.

Is Turmeric Safe for Dogs?

Lots of people have been using turmeric as an anti-inflammatory and as a delicious spice particularly in Indian and Pakistani dishes. Health-wise, this golden yellow spice relieves chest pains, toothaches, hemorrhaging, and menstrual cramps.

The health benefits of this golden yellow spice have attracted dog owners as well because of their need for organic pet treatments.

On its own, turmeric is not a pleasant thing for dogs to eat. Dog owners can add it to their pet’s food or baked treats to make it easier to consume.

There are also turmeric capsules, which dog owners usually give to finicky dogs. Even if they come with instructions, they should be discussed with the veterinarian first.

This is to make sure they are given based on the right dosages. Starting at a very low dosage is always best. Monitor how the dog tolerates turmeric.

If they take them well, the dog owner could discuss increasing the dosage with the veterinarian.

Yes, turmeric is safe for dogs. Accompanied by black pepper and a healthy oil can help the body absorb the spice herb effectively.  

You can mix turmeric with their food or baked homemade treats.

You can also create a golden paste which can make it easier to administer the spice to your pet.

Golden Paste for Dogs Recipe

For now, you're likely convinced how this wonderful turmeric can help with your pup's health.

So, you decided to incorporate turmeric on your dog's diet but there are some important things you need to know first before giving turmeric to your dogs.

The curcumin which is the active ingredients in turmeric is NOT easily absorbed by the body but don't worry, here's one practical tip below.

1.) Golden Paste Recipe

One good tip is to pair turmeric with ground black pepper and a healthy oil like coconut oil or olive oil to increase absorption.

A phytochemical substance found in black pepper called "piperine" helps boost turmeric's absorption by up to 2000% from the digestive system into the bloodstream.

 Studies confirmed that turmeric’s potency may be as good as fourteen prescription medications.

It is also more advantageous because it does not have any side effects. Taking this golden paste recipe every day can improve nutrient absorption. This paves the way for other health benefits to surface.

Golden Paste Recipe

  • 1/2 cup of organic turmeric powder
  • 1 cup of water (distilled)
  • 1/2 tbsp of ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp Ceylon Cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup of organic coconut oil (or bone broth if your pet cannot tolerate coconut oil) 


  • 1
    Put the water in the pan and slowly warm it.
  • 2
    Once it's warm, add the turmeric powder and stir  while simmering the mixture to a very low heat.
  • 3
    Stir and let it cook for about 6-7 minutes until the consistency becomes thick.
  • 4
    Remove the pot from the heat and transfer the mixture into a bowl. 
  • 5
    Then add the coconut oil or (bone broth), ground pepper + cinnamon. Mix it thoroughly.
  • 6
    Pour the finished golden paste into a clean, dry glass jar and store in the fridge. It can last for about a month.

Golden paste recipe

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2.) Turmeric Gravy Recipe

Feeding Instructions:
  • Put 1 tsp of turmeric powder in a cup.
  • Add boiled water to the ingredient until the cup is 1/3 full.
  • Mix and let it cool down a bit then add 16 grinds or black pepper + a dessert spoon of olive oil (or coconut oil).
  • Add the turmeric gravy into your dog's meal, mix it or let it soaked in.
turmeric for dogs

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Turmeric Dosage for Dogs

How much Turmeric for Dogs? The right amount of turmeric usually depends on the pet’s weight. A small breed dog should take less turmeric than a larger dog.

Dosage of Golden Paste for Dogs

I tried feeding this golden paste mixture to my dog for every each meal and I also learned that it leaves their system quickly.    
  • Start by adding 1/4 – 1/2 tsp of golden paste to each meal
  • You can increase the dosage in small amount every 5 days and work up from there to gauge their tolerance.
  • For healthy dogs, stick with the lower dosage of 1/4 – 1/2 tsp per meal, because giving more gives them diarrhea.
  • Ultimately, you want to do 1/4 tsp for every 10 lbs of body weight.  
  • Important:  Start slow and increase the dosage gradually.

Dog's Weight

Golden Paste Dosage 

Small Dogs

start with about 1/4 tsp per day

Medium Dogs

start with 1/2 tsp per day

Large Dogs

start with 3/4 tsp per day

Giant Dogs

start with 1 tsp per day

Note: All dogs are different.  It helps the dog owner identify any adverse effects from ingesting turmeric if you start with the dosage slow and increase it gradually.

A dog can assimilate turmeric up to 3x a day, but the initial dosage should start at once a day. 

Turmeric Supplement Dosage (In Capsule)

If in case you decided to go the turmeric supplement route, make sure to purchase the high-quality ones from reputable sources. 

The market is saturated with fake supplements that contain little to no curcumin, therefore do your own research and read the fine print.

Here is a guide in giving Turmeric Supplement to the family’s loyal companion. This is for capsule or straight turmeric powder.

Dog's Weight

Turmeric Dosage 

1 to 10 lbs.

½  capsule or 1/16 to 1/8 tsp of a powder

10 to 20 lbs.

½ capsule to 1 capsule or 1/8 tsp to ¼ tsp of a powder

20 to 50 lbs

1 to 2 capsules or ¼ tsp. to 1 tsp. powder

50 to 100 lbs.

1 to 2 capsules or 1 to 2 tsp powder

More than 100 lbs.

2 tsp or the equivalent of an adult human dose of capsules

Quick Tip: Adding straight powder to your dog's food is a waste of time without adding the "bioavailability boosters" to help with absorption— it will just pass through the dog’s body without being absorbed.

What You Should Know Before Buying Turmeric

It is recommended to buy high quality organic turmeric at your local health stores or co-op rather than the grocery stores.  

But how can you be sure you are buying something that will give you all the claimed benefits? What should you be looking for?

1.) Dosage - Concentrated Curcumin
Always read the fine print and be watchful that the product contains 95% curcuminoids to ensure high potency​.

Don't be deceived by the low price which generally contains a fraction of curcumin and may be grown in an environment often laden with pesticides and padded with other harmful chemicals.

2.)  Absorption - Adding Black Pepper to the Mix
You may not realize that curcumin is not easily absorbed by the body. So, it is essential to add the ground black pepper to the mixture to maximize its bioavailability (or absorption).

Black pepper contains an active ingredient called piperine that boosts the bioavailability of turmeric by 2000%.

3.) Buy Organic 
When buying organic turmeric means there is nothing synthetic, chemical-laden or GMO in its content. Hence, conventionally  grown turmeric is often sprayed with pesticides which could impact the quality of the end product.

How to Give Turmeric to Your Dog

Some dogs do not like the taste of turmeric and it must be disguised.
You can incorporate turmeric in your dog's diet through the following:

1.)  Make a batch of golden paste or turmeric gravy and add it to your dog's meal. Let the golden paste sit for a while before doing so.

Some picky dogs do not like having the paste mixed into their food but others do.

It is ideal to start with small amounts of the paste, gradually increasing it until the dog doesn’t mind it.

2.) Mix it with the bake gluten-free treats with turmeric powder.

My Dog Smells Like a "Cat-Pee" After Taking Turmeric

I'm not sure how did it happen, but I noticed that after days of adding turmeric to my dog's meal, my Fido starts to smell like a "cat-pee" around his face. 

But there's a simple remedy I've found,  just add Cinnamon (Ceylon) to the golden paste mixture (together with the ground black pepper of course) as per recipe above, and the smell will just fade away.

Side Effects of Turmeric for Dogs

Generally, turmeric is regarded as  an all natural alternative remedy and perfectly safe but there are few potential side effects that you need to be aware of.

  • A common symptom when trying to feed too much turmeric/curcumin too quickly is nausea.  As a precaution,  always  start slow and work up the dosage gradually.
  • Turmeric is a natural blood thinner making it a powerful agent for reducing the risk of heart attack or stroke. Dogs on blood-thinning medications may not be candidates for using turmeric. Consult with your holistic vet before adding turmeric to your dog's diet.
  • Make sure they have lots of water because Turmeric is a binding agent which can lead to constipation.  A little yogurt can also be administered to balance out the digestive flora.


"Food is a Medicine" - the famous term coined by Hippocrates, who is the father of Western medicine. He believed that eating whole food is the basis for good health. 

"Leave your drugs in the chemist's pot if you can heal the patient with food."  ~Hippocrates

Dogs are indispensable when it comes to loyalty and love, therefore we should look out for their safety and health.

As pet owners, complete awareness of the warning signs is significant since our furry friends aren't able to tell us exactly what is wrong at a given time.

Walking an extra mile for man’s best friend is something loving dog parents always do not just a simple trip to the vet. Acquiring and preparing turmeric for dogs is definitely an expression of great love.

Turmeric is a golden warming spice that could improve any dog’s health in a significant way. It can make an impact, especially if the dog is approaching old age.

Chelsea is a qualified veterinarian with background in animal care and training services. She loves dogs and at personal level, understands the powerful, emotional connection that dogs and humans have with each other.

Chelsea Moore  //  DVM

 Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and are for informational and educational purposes only.

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