Can Turmeric Help Stave off Obesity in Dogs?

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What we eat and how much of it we eat can have a major impact on our overall health and lifespan. The same is true for our dogs. Our decisions on which foods to buy, and how much to serve at each meal, will have a marked impact on the dog’s overall health and wellness.


If you or your pet needs to lose (or gain) weight, the single biggest driver to accomplishing the weight change is creating a calorie deficit, for weight loss, and a calorie surplus, for weight gain. If a body is burning more calories than it consumes, over time, a weight loss will occur.   The reverse is true for weight gain.


Yet, there are other ways that food can have an impact on our pet’s weight, and for that matter, their overall health. We have written recently about Nutrigenomics (the study of how food can influence a body’s gene expression) as well as functional foods. Functional foods are foods that provide health benefits over and above basic nutrition. In the case of obesity, there have been several studies that show how specific ingredients or macronutirent profiles can alter gene expression in a body. Because obesity is an inflammatory disease, it turns out that foods that can help prevent obesity (either through gene expression or through other means) can also provide a plethora of other potential benefits. One such food is curcumin, or in its more common form, turmeric.
Turmeric helps fight pet obesity

What is Turmeric

Turmeric, responsible for the yellow/orange color of Indian curry and mustard, is derived from the underground stems of the plant Curcuma longa, which is a member of the ginger family. Curcumin, which has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, is the most active constituent of turmeric and primarily responsible for Turmeric’s health benefits.


Health Benefits of Curcumin

Besides having an influence on obesity genes (more on this below), curcumin has been shown to provide many health benefits, stemming from its string anti-inflammatory properties. Some of the benefits of curcumin include:

  • Relieves symptoms of osteoarthritis
  • Acts as a cancer inhibitor
  • Helps in the treatment of some forms of cancer (colon cancer- where it appears to induces programmed death of the cancer cells)
  • Reduces gastrointestinal distress


As of these benefits are not enough, there have been studies showing that cucurmin can aid in the prevention of obesity.


In a review study published in 2010, Bharat B. Aggarwal found that scientific evidence shows that curcumin can impact obesity gene expression. The author concluded that cucurmin can downregulate genes linked to obesity and reduce inflammatory processes in the body that are symptomatic of obesity. In his conclusion, Aggarawal states that:

These curcumin-induced alterations reverse insulin resistance, hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia, and other symptoms linked to obesity. Said another way, curcumin appears to curtail obesity as well as the symptoms associated with obesity.


This is one powerful spice for sure.



Turmeric in Dog Food

Turmeric is used in some commercially available dog foods and treats. It appears in almost 5% of dog foods, although I notice that many of these occurrences are in foods falling under the Blue Buffalo brand. In my opinion, this spice should be much more prevalent due to its myriad benefits and the fact that it can act as a flavor enhancer as well. When we launch our dog food brand, you can bet it will be part of our recipes 😉 That said, because it is a spice, turmeric is easy to add to any food. Keep a space shaker full of turmeric handy, and sprinkle a dab into the food bowl before each of your dog’s meals.

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  1. great information! and I can’t wait to see the first slimdoggy food… please make one with seafood for me :o)
    easy rider recently posted…easyblog TEETH TUESDAYMy Profile

  2. Such interesting information, I’m hearing more and more people talking about tumeric and have been using it in there dogs.
    Sand Spring Chesapeakes recently posted…Class Is In Session~Chewy.comMy Profile

  3. WOW! Who knew? Thanks for the info on that one! Can’t wait to see the Slim Doggy Food!!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!
    Jenna,Mark “HuskyCrazed” Drady recently posted…Party time with Bowzer BoxMy Profile

  4. We’ve been adding sprinkles of organic Turmeric to each of the pups’ meals after having read one of YOUR posts about all the health benefits of this interesting spice 🙂
    Can’t wait to see your dog food!!!! I believe it’s safe to say that we’d try it.
    Barbara Rivers recently posted…Meet A Gentle Giant: The Bloodhound!My Profile

  5. My dog is borderline overweight so we are trying to put him on a diet (something he does not like) and we have been trying to find very healthy ways to do that and this is a great tip. We also had a fence installed in the back yard so we can incorporate more exercise into his daily routine.
    Brittney recently posted…Nashville Home Show this weekend!My Profile

  6. Who knew? Is this typically found in the spice aisle? I am going to have to look for it and sprinkle it on B’s food.
    Blueberry’s human recently posted…What is Blueberry Thinking?My Profile

  7. Fascinating! Having Hashimoto’s, I have to stay away from inflammatory foods – nightshades. No tomatoes, white potatoes, peppers or eggplant for me. But I didn’t know about tumeric being an anti-inflammatory. Thank you!
    Flea recently posted…Dog Writers and GiveawayMy Profile

  8. Will definitely give this a sprinkle on Harley’s food. Thanks Slim 🙂

  9. My typist has been reading more about turmeric and its health benefits. Great article!
    Buddy recently posted…How Not To Spend Valentine’s DayMy Profile

  10. I have some in my cabinet and will go get it now to put by Bentley’s food! ☺
    M. K. Clinton recently posted…Adopt a Dog during #Winterfest 2015My Profile

  11. That is quite interesting! I will send mom down to the local spice store to pick up some for us. Why not give it a try! I wonder how much we need on the food? A shake or two, a teaspoon?
    Emma recently posted…Chew BlueMy Profile

  12. Oh, wow, thanks so much for this. I had been hearing a lot about turmeric as a supplement for dogs lately, but never really saw what the specific benefits were. The cancer benefits are something I would really like Sheba to have. I am definitely going to get some!
    Jan K recently posted…Tuesday’s Tails – Meet Feline ShebaMy Profile

  13. This is great news for our dogs! Thank you. I started adding turmeric to our dogs diet last month.
    Kimberly Gauthier recently posted…Are There Side Effects of Turmeric for Dogs?My Profile

  14. Great to know, because my boy, Cash, LOVES Indian food!! In fact, I think it’s his favorite….. yes, he loves spicy yellow Indian food. LOL!

  15. I’m happy to know the great benefits of turmeric. I am adding it to my shopping list.
    M. K. Clinton recently posted…Happy National Dog Day on the BayouMy Profile

  16. Wooftastic post!

    We get turmeric in our food. Our huMom told us it was good for us & we loved it anyway!

    Nose nudges,
    CEO Olivia
    Olivia recently posted…National Dog DayMy Profile

  17. I can only hope Sam enjoys it as much as his ‘mom.’ Add the health benefits and what’s not to love about this amazing spice?!

  18. Great info! Do you buy it at any grocery store or should I look for it in a natural health store, etc….?

  19. Pawsome information! Thanks for sharing. Good to see a post from you again. Here’s to a great weekend!

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