You’ve probably heard that consuming ginger can be beneficial for your own health and well-being. Ginger for Dogs – So you may have wondered if it’s safe to give ginger to your dog. After all, besides enhancing the flavor of various culinary dishes, the spice has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. In fact, research shows consuming ginger delivers a host of benefits for humans: It can relieve nausea and vomiting due to motion sickness, pregnancy, or chemotherapy. It can also improve gastrointestinal function, menstrual cramps, low back pain and pain from osteoarthritis. It’s even been shown to improve blood sugar and insulin sensitivity in humans. So what about ginger for dogs? Are there similar benefits? We asked veterinarians and other experts. Read on for their advice.
Is ginger for dogs safe?
The short and simple answer is yes but there are caveats. For one thing, ginger should be given in small amounts because “too much ginger can cause stomach upset in dogs,” says Tina Wismer, DVM, MS, DABVT, senior director of the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.
Also, dogs that are pregnant or nursing or who have bleeding disorders or gallbladder disease should avoid ginger, says Carol Osborne, DVM, an integrative veterinarian in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, and founder of the Chagrin Falls Pet Clinic. “Ginger or any other herb could have potential adverse effects in unborn puppies or enter the milk of a nursing dog.” And because ginger increases circulation, it could cause bleeding problems in dogs with these disorders.
The benefits of ginger for dogs
When given in appropriate amounts, ginger can be beneficial to a dog’s health and well-being. Here are a few of perks:
ginger for dogs eases GI upset for dogs
“Ginger has proven to be effective in people and dogs to help relieve nausea and vomiting as well as motion sickness for traveling canines,” says Dr. Osborne. “It also fights inflammation, has antioxidant properties, boosts circulation and enhances memory.”
Ginger helps dogs heal after surgery
While less research has been conducted on the effects of ginger on our canine companions than on humans, some studies have shown that ginger can ease various ailments that affect dogs. For example, research published in a 2021 issue of the Iranian Journal of Veterinary Surgery found that dogs that were given an oral ginger capsule before being surgically neutered and daily for 10 days after the procedure had reduced inflammatory reactions to the surgery compared to dogs in a control group.
Ginger eases stress for dogs
By contrast, a study in a 2018 issue of the journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science found that shelter dogs who were exposed to the scent of ginger or coconut had reduced barking behavior and agitated movements and they slept more than dogs exposed to other scents. In other words, the scent of ginger for dogs had a calming effect on the pups in what is naturally a stressful environment.
How to give your dog ginger
It’s safe to give a dog small amounts of ginger from a powder, capsule, tincture, tablet or as the grated fresh root, Dr. Osborne says. If you add a dash of dried ginger to your dog’s food, be sure to mix it in thoroughly so your dog won’t inhale the fine powder. And if you’re eating a ginger snap cookie, there’s no harm in giving your dog a small piece.
But avoid giving your dog candied ginger or ginger ale because these are high in sugar. Also, don’t give pickled ginger to your pup because it contains salt that your dog doesn’t need, as well as vinegar or citric acid, which your dog won’t appreciate, according to the American Kennel Club.
Ginger for dogs – stay on safe side
To stay on the safe side, Dr. Wismer says you can give a dog that weighs up to 10 pounds ¼ teaspoon of fresh ginger (chopped into small bits or grated) mixed into their food. Pups that weigh between 10 and 35 pounds can have ½ teaspoon; those above 35 pounds can have ¾ teaspoon of the aromatic spice. If you’re using powdered ginger, cut those amounts in half.
This article first appeared on The Spruce Pets and was written by Dotdash Meredith.
Dr. Carol Osborne is an author and world-renowned integrative veterinarian of twenty-plus years. After graduating from the Ohio State College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Carol completed a prestigious internship at the Columbus Zoo. Shortly afterward, she launched a very successful private practice and became the founder and director of the non-profit organization, the American Pet Institute. Dr. Carol offers traditional veterinary care for dogs and cats with a softer, natural touch. Her approach highlights the importance of nutrition and utilizing holistic avenues in combination with traditional treatments. Currently, she offers holistic therapies and traditional veterinary medical care for dogs and cats at the Chagrin Falls Pet Clinic in Chagrin Falls, Ohio.