Can Dogs Eat Ginger?

Can Dogs Eat Ginger?

Asian, Arabic, and Indian cultures have used the root of the ginger plant as a spice and a medicine for thousands of years. Often prescribed to settle an upset stomach and fight nausea, ginger can potentially treat far more severe conditions such as osteoarthritis and cancer.

Much as they would like to, dogs can't always eat what humans can. For dog owners, it is essential to know what human foods their pets can eat safely. Which brings us to the question, can dogs eat ginger? The answer is, yes, they can!

Is Ginger Safe For Dogs

Dogs can reap the same benefits of ginger as humans. Small doses of ginger can help dogs deal with motion sickness, vomiting, and irritated bowels. Its anti-inflammatory and pain-reducing properties can help dogs with arthritis, leg and back pain, etc., much like for humans. The key is to give small doses and to watch for any side effects. 

You can consider adding ginger to your dog's diet for a variety of conditions or general health and well being.

Four reasons why ginger may be suitable for your dog

  • Fresh ginger or a powdered version of it can help your dog with nausea and/or vomiting. Are you planning a road trip with your dog that is prone to getting car sick? Try giving it a few drops of ginger root extract about 30 minutes before you start. If they are nervous about getting in the car, a ginger capsule may help soothe nerves. Ginger is high in antioxidants, can be administered as an antihistamine and even helps reduce cholesterol. 
  • Bloat in dogs is a life-threatening condition seen in larger breeds. It occurs when the dog's stomach expands due to built-up food and accumulated gas. There is no known cause for this to happen in dogs. Ginger could play a role in helping combat bloat as it can stimulate the movement of the bowels and speed up the process of emptying the stomach.
  • Recognised as an anti-inflammatory, ginger can help with arthritis in dogs. For dogs suffering from inflammation of the joints, taking some ginger could offer relief from pain. It is also believed to help fight cancer, besides taking care of nausea caused by cancer treatment. Since cancer and immune suppression are linked, the immune-boosting powers of ginger are an added plus. 
  • Heartworm disease is a condition you don't want your dog to get. Prevention and treatment options are difficult and fraught with risk. A recent study that used ginger to treat heartworm disease in dogs has shown great promise. Infected dogs treated with ginger showed a significant reduction of heartworm larvae.

How Much Ginger Can A Dog Have?

Ginger comes in many different forms. It is available as a powder, a capsule/pill, tea, and raw. Many dog owners experiment with these to find out what works best for their dogs. Always start with small amounts and check with your vet if you are unsure.

In general, for every 30lbs of your dog's weight, you can give it a ½ teaspoon of fresh, raw ginger. You will need to peel off the skin, finely chop or mince the yellow root before feeding it to your dog. Bigger dogs can have up to ¾ of a teaspoon.

Giving ginger to dogs as part of their food is the best way for dogs to ingest it and enjoy its benefits. You can also sprinkle it on top or mix it up with their dog food. 

Dogs can even enjoy a special ginger treat occasionally. A gingersnap cookie, a piece of homemade gingerbread, or a sugared ginger candy will make your dog happy and may even make it feel better than before. 

Ginger is a powerful medicinal herb, and you need to make sure you do not give too much of it to your dog. Regardless of its health benefits, too much ginger can make your dog become gassy, nauseous, or experience heartburn. Ginger supplements available in the market should always be used with caution and on a vet's advice.

When Not To Give Ginger To Your Dog

It is best to be aware of your dog's health condition before you start giving it ginger. Ginger can thin the blood, so avoid giving it to your dog if it has anemia, is pregnant, or about to have surgery. Ginger can lower blood sugar and blood pressure. It is not advisable to give it to dogs that have a heart condition or diabetes.

What About Turmeric?

A little bit of turmeric can make a big difference to your dog's health and even its lifespan. 

The active ingredient found in turmeric called curcumin has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties. Not surprisingly, it can help fight arthritis, diabetes, cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, and a host of other conditions in dogs. One of the great advantages of using curcumin is the lack of side effects, especially when compared with steroids. 

The curcumin in turmeric is hard for your dog to absorb if given on its own.

Combining it with healthy oil, like coconut oil, improves absorption significantly. You can add it directly to your dog's food. Give turmeric in small amounts a few times a day as curcumin leaves the body quickly.

Not all dogs can handle turmeric. If your dog is continuously hot and is always on the lookout for cool floors to lie on, turmeric may not be for him. This is because turmeric is a "warming" spice and generates heat within the body.

Small amounts of ginger and turmeric in your dog's diet can go a long way in helping your pet live a healthy, happy, and long life.