Similar to us humans, our canine companions can experience the pain and discomfort of degenerative joint disease. Characterised by aching and inflamed joints, soreness during and after exercise, or a general decline in agility, canine osteoarthritis is a growing issue for many of our pets.
Arthritis in dogs can occur because of incorrect nutrition, from old age, or from wear and tear/ injury, but it can be managed if caught early enough.
It’s never nice seeing your beloved pet in pain, so the moment you notice your pup limping, not wanting to go out for long walks, hesitant to perform certain activities, or just getting to a senior age, it’s time to act!
Now, before your pup needs their vet to help them by performing an expensive surgery, there are some simpler, more natural remedies you can try first… and one in particular, you may well have in your kitchen cupboard already! So many dog owners who have lost hope and lost pets to this horrible disease, wished they’d have tried this simple trick sooner...
Native to Asia, turmeric is widely used in cooking and natural medicine, and is now a common spice found in most western households. Its powerful anti-inflammatory effects have made it a popular natural remedy for a wide range of ailments . Turmeric is also known for its anti-oxidant, anti-allergy and anti-cancer properties – in both humans, and animals.
Here’s why turmeric can work to manage pain, and even reverse the onset of your dog’s joint arthritis:
You may associate anti-inflammatory effects with pharmaceutical medication, but in actual fact, many natural alternatives can have just as good outcomes . Aside from degenerative joint disease, inflammation plays a huge factor in the development of cancer, kidney disease, digestive issues, autoimmune conditions and dental disease, so introducing a natural anti-inflammatory into your pets diet could alleviate a multitude of problems.
In regards to canine osteoarthritis, turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties help to regulate ‘nuclear factor-kappa B’. This is a protein that sparks inflammation, and so turmeric helps by inhibiting the area from over-producing inflammatory immune cells, thereby decreasing the inflammatory pathway.
In a 2014 study , doctors found that turmeric was equally effective as Ibuprofen at reducing knee pain in participants, and has fewer GI side effects when compared to the prescription drug. If your pet is suffering with arthritis, there is a strong likelihood that they will experience some pain during movement. Adding turmeric into their diet will not only reduce the inflammation of the joint, but drastically minimise the associated pain, too.
When inflammation occurs in the joints, your cells begin to attack the proteins that are responsible for maintaining bone strength. Turmeric will not only encourage the preservation of healthy bones by reducing this inflammation, but will also inhibit the production of Metalloproteinase Matrix, a protein structure that breaks down and degrades cartilage. Its potent antioxidant powers can also limit the oxidative damage to cartilage caused by inflammation. Stronger bones and cartilage will mean slower progression of pain associated with degenerative joint disease.
COX enzymes are responsible for the inflammatory pathways in the body. By regulating and limiting the production of COX (cyclooxygenase) and LOX (lipoxygenase) enzymes, turmeric can help curb inflammation and prevent the worsening of many diseases – not just arthritis. Turmeric has been proven to be as effective as many prescription painkillers at inhibiting COX enzymes!
Turmeric is a natural anti-microbial agent. It contains anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties, and can help to reduce the proliferation of organisms known to cause infectious/septic osteoarthritis such as S.aureus (bacteria) and Leishmania (protozoan parasite).
"As the quality of veterinary interventions and animal nutrition improves, animals these days live longer, which increases the need for additional preventative therapies for degenerative conditions in ageing dogs. A proactive approach to treatment is essential for effective joint disease management, which is why herbal therapies should always be considered early on for additional benefit. Pharmaceutical drugs, lifestyle and exercise modifications, alongside non-pharmaceutical options such as turmeric and other supplements are practical adjunct treatments that are worthy of consideration for providing the best care to our pets. Additional treatments like this often work synergistically with other therapeutic modalities, via different pathways in the body. This makes it a safe way to achieve even better outcomes for pets with osteoarthritis."
When introducing turmeric into your pet’s daily diet, it’s important to start slow so that their digestive systems can become accustomed to it. The recommended daily dose of turmeric is anywhere between 1/8 tsp and 1/4 tsp for every 4.5kg your dog weighs.
Note: If your pet is taking any other medication, please consult your vet before starting them on turmeric.
Many pet owners swear by the ‘Golden Paste’ method when feeding turmeric to dogs. This entails mixing turmeric powder with water and coconut oil, in order to make it easy to add to your dog’s food.
64g organic turmeric powder
120ml of filtered water
60ml of organic, cold-pressed coconut oil
Heat the ingredients in a pan on a low heat for 7-10 minutes, until it forms a thick paste. Cool, and place in an air-tight container. Once the paste is made, it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. You can then add the golden paste to your dog’s food each morning! Starting with ¼ tsp for every 4.5kg your dog weighs.
If your pup is beginning to show the signs of painful joints, or even if you want to provide a preventative measure for your dog's health, this golden spice is an excellent, natural and safe place to start.
Turmeric offers a whole host of beneficial properties, not only for joint health, but for many other diseases, too. An inexpensive solution to your dog's needs, we believe turmeric is a no-brainer!