Ginger has many benefits of dogs - but if you do give it to them, only give them tiniest amount. It's anti-inflammatory, is a digestive aid, treats heartworm and is anti-nausea - to name but a few.
Can Dogs Eat Ginger?
Ginger is another warming root which has been used for thousands of years for both people and animals. Gingerol is thought to be the main active ingredient, but of course, whole is best. Don't even think about finding isolated gingerol.
Ginger may not appeal to your dog - so you may end up hiding a tiny bit in their food. There are loads of potential health benefits!
The Benefits of Ginger
- antioxidant so protecting the body from oxidative stress (free radical damage)
- anti-inflammatory, reducing pain, inflammatory diseases (like IBD, dermatitis, arthritis, to name but a few) and cancers
- digestive aid, improving digestion, especially increasing the speed of stomach emptying which may prevent bloat, gastric dilatation and torsion
- anti-nausea (from all causes)
- treats heartworm
- warming, so increases body temperature which speeds up the immune system's ability to remove infectious invaders
- improves the immune system, is antibacterial and has some antiviral activity
- normalises blood sugar
- lowers blood pressure
- reduces blood clotting by thinning the blood thus helping treat CVD
- reduces LDL cholesterol and triglycerides
- may prevent many types of cancer by being both a potent antioxidant and anti inflammatory
- may improve brain function and reduce age related brain deterioration
The Taste Of Ginger Is Not Appealing To Dogs
The taste of ginger is not always appealing to dogs! Start with a very tiny amount of grated whole raw organic ginger root mixed with food. I add a centimetre of ginger root to my green juices every morning. The dogs get the pulp and a little juice mixed in with their raw food so they receive a small bit of ginger pulp.
Sometimes they specifically leave it behind in their bowl! If you give too much too quickly, it can cause digestive upsets, vomiting and diarrhoea. As with everything, start with a tiny amount and only gently increase if there are no side effects.
Diabetes may be reversed by judicious use of ginger, but equally, it may be exacerbated! Because it can reduce blood sugar, it could precipitate a diabetic coma by an excessive drop in blood sugar. Contact your naturopathic vet to monitor the effects of the ginger. It may not mix well with diabetic medications.
Cardiovascular Disease - Contraindication
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) can be effectively treated with ginger as it is known to thin the blood and reduce blood pressure. But this needs to be monitored by your naturopathic veterinary surgeon. Drug interactions are often unpredictable and mostly untested, so it's best to choose gentle but effective herbal remedies and observe closely the effects.
Anti Inflammatory Drugs - Contraindication
Anti inflammatory drugs are known to create severe side effects, especially if given simultaneously with ginger. As ginger and turmeric are very effective anti inflammatories with no side effects, it makes sense to use these superfoods to reduce inflammation instead of pharmaceutical agents, each of which has a long list of negative side effects.
Hot Dogs - Contraindication
Hot dogs are likely to become even warmer with ginger because ginger has a warming effect on the body. So if your dog likes to lie by the open door on a cold floor, ginger is not recommended!
Drugs And Medications - Contraindication
Drugs and medications are very likely to have an adverse reaction if combined with ginger. So you need to choose between a pharmaceutical drug with side effects (there is no drug without side effects) and a natural plant without any side effects. I know what I would choose!