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You may have heard how this golden spice helps humans, but is turmeric good for dogs? In my work as a vet, I’m often asked about its safety, benefits and use in pets.

Turmeric’s potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities have piqued our curiosity. Can it work its magic for our four-legged friends?

Let’s dive in to uncover the facts and explore the benefits of this supplement. We’ll also outline some cautions to observe when giving it to dogs.


  • The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of turmeric may be beneficial for dogs.
  • Turmeric is poorly absorbed but special processing methods can improve its bioavailability.
  • High doses of turmeric may cause side effects so it’s important to consult your vet before giving it to your dog. 

What Is Turmeric?

Turmeric, scientifically known as Curcuma longa, is a plant from Southeast Asia. The bright yellow-orange spice comes from dried and ground rhizomes of the plant.

Curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, gives it both its color and potential health benefits. It possesses natural antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties in the bodies of animals.

Turmeric is valued in traditional medicine for its healing properties. It has potential benefits for humans and dogs alike. However, due to absorption issues, safety concerns, and the need for proper dosing, using turmeric in a dog’s diet requires careful thought.

Benefits of Turmeric for Dogs

Turmeric has a long history of use in humans, particularly in Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Its potential health benefits have prompted many studies to investigate its therapeutic properties.

While much of the research has focused on humans, there is growing interest in understanding the potential uses of turmeric in dogs.

Is turmeric good for dogs (infographic)
  • Anti-Inflammatory Properties: One of the most well-known properties of turmeric is its anti-inflammatory effect. Curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, has been shown to inhibit various inflammatory pathways in the body. Inflammation plays a role in many diseases, including arthritis, allergies, and certain cancers. (3,12)
  • Antioxidant Activity: Curcumin’s strong antioxidant properties counteract harmful free radicals and lower oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is linked to chronic diseases and aging. By neutralizing free radicals turmeric may promote better health and well-being in dogs.
  • Anti-Cancer Effects: Some studies suggest that curcumin has anti-cancer effects. (15) It acts by inhibiting the growth and spread of cancer cells and reducing associated inflammation and pain
  • Antibacterial Effects: Researchers found an antibacterial effect of turmeric against resistant bacteria infecting traumatic wounds. (1)
  • Digestive Health: Turmeric has been traditionally used to promote digestive health and aid in digestion. It is believed to stimulate the production of bile, which aids in the breakdown and absorption of fats. It may relieve inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or gastrointestinal inflammation.
  • Organ Health: Researchers have studied turmeric’s impact on heart health, brain function, and immune system regulation. 
  • Anti-Tick Effects: One study applied essential oil made from turmeric to dogs’ skin before they visited tick-infested areas. The turmeric oil significantly decreased the attachment of ticks to the dogs’ skin. (5)


How Turmeric Healed Our Dog And Helped Him Run Again - AnOregonCottage.com
Samson’s owners report his back leg pain improved while taking turmeric

Turmeric’s Limitations

Getting turmeric into cells is the biggest obstacle preventing its widespread use. Unfortunately, its active compounds have low solubility in water, rapid metabolism in the liver, and are easily degraded by heat, light, and pH changes. 

Scientists are always working on new strategies to improve turmeric’s absorbability. Formulation strategies that improve absorption include adding piperine from black pepper, liposomal formulations and nano-formulations. 

Finally, we don’t have much research on turmeric for dogs. We mostly have data from studies on humans. Most medical experts agree more research is needed before recommending turmeric as a treatment. (7)

Is turmeric good for dogs? This greyhound thinks so.

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Side Effects of Turmeric in Dogs

Turmeric is generally considered safe for dogs when used in cooking or applied topically. Side effects are more likely when you use the powder or a supplement at therapeutic doses.

Monitor your dog closely after introducing the supplement. If any adverse effects occur, stop use and consult your veterinarian.

  • Digestive Upset: Therapeutic doses of turmeric may cause diarrhea in some dogs, especially when using higher doses of dried root. Turmeric supplements in moderate doses are less likely to cause an upset stomach and intestine.
  • Kidney and Bladder Trouble: There is no direct evidence of turmeric causing bladder and kidney stones in dogs. But some experts express concern so it’s advisable to be cautious if your dog is at risk of stone formation.
  • Abnormal Blood Clotting: Turmeric’s anti-coagulant properties can affect blood clotting in mice. (4) It is unlikely to cause clotting abnormalities in dogs at recommended dosages. Be sure to inform your vet about any supplements your dog is taking before surgery.
  • Allergic Reactions: Allergic reactions to turmeric, whether taken orally or applied topically, are rare but possible. If you notice vomiting, diarrhea, trouble breathing, skin rash, etc., stop using it and consult your vet immediately.

How Much Turmeric Should I Give My Dog?

turmeric powder on a plate
Powdered Turmeric

While turmeric is generally considered safe for dogs, some may have individual sensitivities or underlying health conditions that are incompatible. Additionally, certain medications can interact with turmeric, so professional guidance is important.

When using powdered turmeric, start with a small amount and gradually increase over a period of a week. Monitor your dog’s stool and appetite, and discontinue the supplement if you notice any adverse changes.

Turmeric Dosage for Dogs

The recommended dosage varies, but a good starting point is approximately 300 mg (about a teaspoon) per 10 pounds of body weight. Please don’t be tempted to give your dogs larger dosages due to the risk of side effects. 

Give the following amounts once a day with food.

Size/Weight of Dog in PoundsDose of Turmeric Powder per Day*
Small Dog 2-10 lb.1/4-1teaspoons
Medium Dog 11-40 lb.1-2 1/2 teaspoons
Large Dog 41-70 lb.2 1/2-4 teaspoons
Extra Large Dog 71-100+ lb.4-6 teaspoons
*Start with less than recommended and build up to full dose gradually.

To enhance absorption, grind fresh black pepper and combine the turmeric with fat-containing food (normal dog food will work). Start with a small amount and gradually increase it to allow your dog to adjust to the spice.

A popular internet trend involves a recipe for “Golden Paste” created by Australian veterinarian Doug English. This concoction combines turmeric, water, coconut oil and black pepper. Anecdotal reports are favorable for it helping dogs with various inflammatory conditions.

If you decide to try turmeric-containing Golden Paste for your pup, proceed cautiously. The dose of turmeric is pretty low but the fat from the coconut oil could trigger digestive upset in some dogs.  

Can I Give My Dog Human Turmeric Supplements?

Be careful with giving your dog human turmeric supplements. Some contain the same basic ingredients as dog supplements. But others have additional ingredients that might not sit well with dogs.

Always check the label and consult your veterinarian before giving your dog any supplement labeled for humans.

Vet-Recommended Turmeric for Dogs

I recommend that my clients use a turmeric supplement made specifically for dogs. And by giving the supplement in treat form, you’ll avoid making your dog lose their appetite due to too much spice on their food!

VETRISCIENCE Vetri-Flex Chews for Canine Over 60 lb
Multi-ingredient supplement with curcumin, Boswellia, and grape seed extract. Available as easy-to-administer chewable tablets.

I’m a fan of Vetri-Flex Chews. They contain the Curcuvet® formulation of curcumin which has better absorption than powdered turmeric. These chews also contain other ingredients that combat inflammation.

Please discuss supplements with your own veterinarian before using them.


In conclusion, turmeric has potential health benefits for dogs due to its active compound curcumin. It possesses anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and possibly anti-cancer properties. Its usefulness is limited by its poor absorption in the body.

The supplement is tolerated well by most dogs. However, caution is needed in order to avoid unwanted side effects. Be sure to consult a veterinarian, dose carefully and monitor your dog for adverse reactions. 

The content provided on NaturalPetsHQ.com is for general information only. It is not meant to replace individualized medical advice from your own veterinarian. Read more on the Privacy Policy and Terms of Use page.

Related Posts

  1. Betts, J. W., Sharili, A. S., La Ragione, R. M., & Wareham, D. W. (2016). In vitro antibacterial activity of curcumin–polymyxin B combinations against multidrug-resistant bacteria associated with traumatic wound infections. Journal of natural products, 79(6), 1702-1706.
  2. Chattopadhyay, I., Biswas, K., Bandyopadhyay, U., & Banerjee, R. K. (2004). Turmeric and curcumin: Biological actions and medicinal applications. CURRENT SCIENCE-BANGALORE-, 87, 44-53.
  3. Colitti, M., Gaspardo, B., Della Pria, A., Scaini, C. & Stefanon, B. (2012) Transcriptome modification of white blood cells after dietary administration of curcumin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug in osteoarthritic affected dogs . Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology, 147, 136-146
  4. Comblain, F., Serisier, S., Barthelemy, N., Balligand, M., & Henrotin, Y. (2016). Review of dietary supplements for the management of osteoarthritis in dogs in studies from 2004 to 2014 . Journal of veterinary pharmacology and therapeutics, 39(1), 1-15.
  5. Goode, P., Ellse, L., & Wall, R. (2018). Preventing tick attachment to dogs using essential oils. Ticks and tick-borne diseases, 9(4), 921-926.
  6. Innes, J. F., Fuller, C. J., Grover, E. R., Kelly, A. L., & Burn, J. F. (2003). Randomised, double-blind, placebo controlled parallel group study of P54FP for the treatment of dogs with osteoarthritis. Veterinary Record, 152(15), 457-460.
  7. Kim, D. C., Ku, S. K., & Bae, J. S. (2012). Anticoagulant activities of curcumin and its derivative. In vivo, 61, 0-5c.
  8. Keihanian, F., Saeidinia, A., Bagheri, R. K., Johnston, T. P., & Sahebkar, A. (2018). Curcumin, hemostasis, thrombosis, and coagulation. Journal of cellular physiology, 233(6), 4497-4511.
  9. Limtrakul, P. (2007). Curcumin as chemosensitizer. In The molecular targets and therapeutic uses of curcumin in health and disease (pp. 269-300). Springer, Boston, MA.
  10. Nelson, K. M., Dahlin, J. L., Bisson, J., Graham, J., Pauli, G. F., & Walters, M. A. (2017). The essential medicinal chemistry of curcumin: miniperspective . Journal of medicinal chemistry, 60(5), 1620-1637.
  11. Shakibaei, M., John, T., Schulze-Tanzil, G., Lehmann, I. & Mobasheri, A. (2007) Suppression of NF-kappaB activation by curcumin leads to inhibition of expression of cyclo-oxygenase-2 and matrix metalloproteinase-9 in human articular chondrocytes: Implications for the treatment of osteoarthritis. Biochemical Pharmacology, 73, 1434-1445.
  12. Sharma, S., Sethi, G. S., & Naura, A. S. (2020). Curcumin ameliorates ovalbumin-induced atopic dermatitis and blocks the progression of atopic march in mice. Inflammation, 43 (1), 358-369.
  13. Taylor, R. A., & Leonard, M. C. (2011). Curcumin for inflammatory bowel disease: a review of human studies. Alternative Medicine Review, 16(2), 152.
  14. Turmeric. (n.d.). National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). March 2007. Retrieved September 11, 2020, from https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/turmeric
  15. Withers, S. S., York, D., Johnson, E., Al-Nadaf, S., Skorupski, K. A., Rodriguez Jr, C. O., … & Rebhun, R. B. (2018). In vitro and in vivo activity of liposome-encapsulated curcumin for naturally occurring canine cancers. Veterinary and comparative oncology, 16(4), 571-579.

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