We all know that ginger is used as an ingredient for making our food a lot tastier. However, its purposes go beyond food seasoning. Since the ancient times, it has been used by people as a cure for various ailments.
Ginger tea, for example, is usually made for people with colds and fevers. It even has antiviral and antibiotic properties to treat a number of known infections. The question is, do dogs also benefit from the same advantages?
The short answer is: yes, our canine friends can eat ginger. Because ginger is filled with antioxidants, dogs can take them in low doses to solve a number of trivial canine pains.
Why is Ginger Recommended for Pets?
In both traditional Eastern and Western communities, Ginger has long been used as herbal medicine. The fresh root is usually used to make ginger tea. It can also be prepared as a tincture, tablet or powder.
The most common use of ginger for pets is for anti-emetic purposes. It prevents pets from vomiting or feeling nauseous. It’s also used as a stomachic to smoothen out digestive processes.
Ginger is also sometimes incorporated in pet therapy with heart-related ailments as a cardiotonic. Cardiotonic substances are medicines or substances that improve the function and efficacy of the heart.
What Exactly is Ginger Good For?
The role of Ginger in traditional medicine was not accidental. Since it has a number of beneficial chemicals such as camphor, beta-carotene, ascorbic acid, gingerols, capsaicin, and essential oils, it is not surprising that it has been considered a cure for many common pains and diseases.
Since these chemicals activate ginger, it is often used to improve the functioning of body systems. It provides heat to the skin as a topical ointment, which then boosts blood flow to the affected area. This increases the total circulation of blood, leading to faster healing of body pain.
Ginger-infused dog treats are recommended occasionally for your pooch if you’re looking for a natural, homemade “vitamins” for general health. It can either be given orally or topically, depending on what your pet is dealing with.
Listed below are the most common reasons why some pet owners are giving ginger to their dogs:
Why some pet owners are giving ginger to their dogs
1. Health Maintenance
While fresh ginger roots are sweat-inducing to both humans and dogs, dogs do not sweat technically the way humans do. Toxins are typically extracted from the dog’s body by sweating after the digestion of ginger.
It is particularly useful for pooches that are not at their healthiest condition. The stimulating properties of ginger can usually help a pet that has a low appetite, inefficient blood circulation, and slowly beating pulse.
Nausea and vomiting are common symptoms of a variety of canine ailments. Although a more comprehensive and specific treatment regimen must be followed to fight the root cause of nausea, ginger can help relieve and minimize the occurrence of those symptoms.
3. Motion Sickness
Many dog owners would love to go on different road trips with their pooches. Unfortunately, these trips don’t ever pass by without a case of vomiting. If your dog continues to suffer from motion sickness, taking of ginger by your pet 30 minutes before your planned outing should help prevent her from feeling nauseous.
4. Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV, aka Bloat)
Bloat is a dangerous illness that typically happens to large dog breeds. As the name suggests, this condition occurs when the stomach bloats due to the dog’s inability to expel food and gas from her body. As of now, no exact cause has been confirmed as to why bloat happens.
Ginger may help in the relief and prevention of canine bloat due to its stomach properties, according to references created by Dr. Steve Marsden, Dr. Shawn Messonnier, and Dr. Cheryl Yuill. In fact, several studies suggest that ginger accelerates the process of digestion and intestines.
Heartworm is another dangerous condition that your dog would rather never know. This is because traditional heartworm treatments are often risky. Traditional prevention methods, on the other hand, are also risky due to chemical components.
Fortunately, this study shows that ginger is a promising solution in treating heartworms in canines. In fact, it reveals how ginger usage can significantly reduce the concentration of heartworm larvae — by as much as 83 to 98 percent.
We all know how serious arthritis can be for us human beings. Because ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and arthritis is an inflammation-ridden disorder, it can alleviate the pain in her inflamed joints by adding ginger to your pooch diet.
7. Digestive Stimulant
Since ginger is also a tonic and an antioxidant, it can be used to alleviate other digestive problems such as colic, flatulence, and diarrhea. This may also improve dogs ‘ digestive and complete health of dogs that are feeling lethargic and sluggish.
Aside from alleviating nausea in dogs that are undergoing cancer treatments, apparently ginger also has some cancer-fighting properties. According to a study conducted by Dr. Demian Dressler, ginger can slow down the growth and spread of breast cancer in mice.
Another study shows that in a test tube experiment, ginger could wipe out blood cancer cells. Ginger’s anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties can be enormous support in dog cancer treatment and prevention.
9. Muscle Aches
Topically, you can create a ginger poultice or ointment to treat muscle pains and aches in your dog. You can either use freshly diced ginger roots or ginger essential oils to make your ointment.
For instance, to create a calming and fragrant oil blend for your dog’s arthritis, you can add ginger oil to essential oils such as lemon, lavender, and peppermint. Ginger plus Roman chamomile oil can also be created when she experiences stomach problems to be rubbed on the belly of your pooch.
Benefits of Ginger for Dogs: A Summary
To summarize, here are some of the things that make ginger a good ingredient for your dog’s consumption:
- Stimulates appetite
- Soothes canine colds
- Reduces internal and superficial pains
- Provides relief for nausea and vomiting
- Stimulates digestive processes
- Alleviates common digestive problems like diarrhea
- Helps manage cancer pains and fight cancer
- May help in cancer prevention
- Helps in health maintenance
Ginger generally has a proven track record of dog edibility and health. To make a calming concoction or ointment for immediate relief, it is often combined with other ingredients.
Of course, there are some precautions that you must be aware of before you administer ginger to your dog. These are the following:
1. It May Cause Stomach Upsets
Although ginger is used to cure stomach and digestive issues, too much of it can also cause stomach upsets. It can also lead to stomach irritation in dogs who have sensitive stomachs.
2. Remember that in order to get its best effects, ginger should only be supplied in small doses. Otherwise, you’re only going to do your pet more harm than good. Make sure you check with your veterinarian about the best way to administer ginger, particularly when you use it for problems with its stomach.
3. It Can Act as a Blood Thinner
4. Because ginger has blood thinning properties, a pregnant pooch that is almost due or a sick pet that is about to undergo surgery should not be given. It can also reduce blood sugar or blood pressure, so if your dog has diabetes or heart problems, you must be vigilant.
5. It Might be a Contraindication for Your Pet’s Other Medications
If your dog is undergoing treatment and is taking various medications, as a result, don’t feed ginger unless your veterinarian gives you the go signal. Ginger is typically a contraindication for anti-inflammatory meds like Deramaxx, Metacam, or Rimadyl.
Does Ginger Need a Prescription?
Ginger does not usually require a prescription, like most home-made remedies. You may need proper planning and veterinary advice, however, to make sure you give your dog the right mix.
As for ginger-infused canine supplements, you must be careful when buying because the supplement industry is not exactly highly regulated.
Therefore, you can not be certain that the product actually contains the quantity of ginger on the bottle. In any case, if it is merely a part of a more natural herbal supplement or formula, dogs can handle ginger better.
How Should You Give Ginger to Your Pooch?
Because ginger can be taken in various forms, a general guideline would be helpful when it comes to giving your pooch some ginger.
If you are preparing the roots of the raw ginger, it is recommended that you peel the skin and trim it until it is perfect. If you want a finer thing, you can also grate it. Afterward, mix it well with the food of your dog so that it would not be possible to identify the bits of the ginger.
Here are the recommended servings of minced or grated ginger according to weight:
- Toy and miniature breeds (under 20 lbs.): ¼ tsp.
- Medium breeds (under 35 lbs.): ½ tsp.
- Large breeds (over 35 lbs.): ¾ to 1 tsp.
And here’s a more complete general guideline for other forms of ginger:
|1 to 10|| 0.5 pc. |
1x to 3x daily
|Small pinch or 1/8 tsp.||1 to 3 drops 2x to 3x daily||Under ¼ cup 1x to 3x daily|
|10 to 20|| 0.5 to 1 pc. |
1x to 3x daily
|Large pinch or 1/8 to ¼ tsp.||3 to 5 drops 2x to 3x daily||¼ cup 1x to 3x daily|
|20 to 50|| 1 to 2 pcs. |
2x to 3x daily
|2 pinches up to 1 tsp.||5 to 10 drops 2x to 3x daily||¼ to ½ cup 1x to 3x daily|
|50 to 100|| 1 to 2 pcs. |
3x to 4x daily
|2 pinches up to 2 tsp.||20 drops 2x to 3x daily||½ to 1 cup 1x to 3x daily|
|Over 100||Recommended dose for adult humans||Up to 1 tbsp.||Recommended dose for adult humans||Up to 1 cup 3x daily|
No matter which type of ginger you choose to give to your dog, make sure that you start with low doses first and see how your dog reacts to it. Then, when everything seems fine enough, work your way up to the recommended dosages.
Ginger for Dogs FAQs
Now that we know a little bit more about feeding our dogs fresh ginger, we may wonder if some ginger-infused human foods are all right to give to our dogs. Here are the most frequently asked questions by dog owners:
Can dogs eat gingerbread?
While gingerbread is not necessarily a toxic substance for pets, but for canine consumption, it is still advisable to avoid it altogether. This is because there is nutmeg in gingerbread, which has a toxin called myristicin. If myristicin is eaten in large quantities, dogs will have stomach problems.
Additionally, gingerbread is full of fats and sugar that are unhealthy for dogs. Basically, nutmeg “poisoning” is what you should watch out for should your dog accidentally munch on the gingerbread on your table.
Can dogs eat ginger cookies?
It may be called ginger cookies or ginger snaps as such, but ginger is not their primary ingredient. To bring out their distinct taste, it is mostly filled with sugar, flour, and other additives. If specifically made for human consumption, skip the ginger cookies, although it is unlikely that one piece will cause anything wrong.
Can dogs eat ginger candy?
Just like gingerbread and ginger cookies, you’re better off skipping ginger candies for your dog. Though it is not entirely toxic, the sugar content may lead to bad symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, and pancreatitis, just to name a few.
Conclusion: Use Ginger as Advised!
It can be really difficult for you as a dog owner to see your dog in pain. Natural alternatives such as ginger, luckily, are readily available. This is particularly helpful if you’ve got a senior dog, or you’re just looking for a treatment option that doesn’t include medications or chemicals.
Although ginger is a generally safe ingredient for dogs, it is still recommended to seek the opinion of your veterinarian before you proceed with the remedy you have chosen. In any case, ginger for several canine pains proves to be a healthy and affordable treatment.