Ginger for Dogs: Uses, Benefits, and Risks

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Several herbs and spices are used to treat a variety of health conditions in dogs. One of the commonly used spices for dogs is ginger. In reality, many pet owners are skeptical about giving their pets ginger. This is because ginger can cause a mild gastrointestinal irritation as one of its side effects.

Some people believe ginger should be included in a dog’s diet because of its many health benefits. On the other hand, there are pet owners who think their dogs can get along just fine without ginger. If you are in doubt about giving ginger to your pet, read this article for further information.

Can Dogs Have Ginger?

Yes, ginger is something you can safely share with your dog. Just be careful about giving foods that contain ginger as only one of the ingredients. They might have other ingredients that can harm your pet.

One of the foods you cannot share with Fido are the ginger snap cookies as they contain only a little amount of ginger and lots of sugar. Sugar-free ginger snaps can be twice as dangerous because they may contain xylitol that can cause ill effects in dogs.

You may give your pet ginger regularly but it should only be in small amounts. Excessive amounts of ginger can negatively affect a dog’s blood pressure. It can lower the blood pressure in unhealthy levels.

While ginger is recommended for treating gastrointestinal issues, high doses of it can cause diarrhea. Ginger can speed up the passage of food through your dog’s intestines.

Uses of Ginger in Dogs

Ginger is a time-tested remedy for nausea and vomiting in humans because it can increase motility and the gastric tone. In dogs, there is not much evidence that it really works the same. Still, many holistic veterinarians believe it works in canines just like it does in people.

Motion sickness, poisoning, and the administration of medications are some of the main reasons why dogs experience nausea. You can give your pet a few drops of ginger infusion or in the form of powder.

If your dog often suffers from motion sickness after a car ride, it will help if you give him some ginger root extract half an hour before your trip.

Uses of ginger for dogs include the following:

  • Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV) – ginger has been used in preventing GDV, more commonly known as bloating. If your pet has GDV, his stomach is twisting. This occurs when there is a build-up of food and gas inside his stomach and it was not discharged immediately. Given that, you can give him ginger because it can empty his stomach at a fast rate. When the stomach movement is stimulated, it is easier to relieve or even prevent GDV.
  • Stomach upset – ginger is an effective digestive aid. It can be given to a pet suffering from acid reflux because it can induce motility. Your dog will have fewer chances of developing stomach aches when he eats ginger because it can improve the absorption of food.
  • Reducing cholesterol – a 100-gram ginger root contains zero cholesterol. A research conducted in 2014 suggests that ginger is effective at lowering one’s total cholesterol levels. Just like people, dogs with high cholesterol should also have changes in their diets. Aside from avoiding foods that are high in fat, it will help to give a dog some foods that naturally lower in cholesterol.
  • Treating allergies – ginger can also relieve allergy symptoms, thanks to its potent anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger has compounds, namely shogaol and gingerol, that suppress the pathway. Because it helps boost the immune system, it will be easier for your pup to keep allergy symptoms at bay.
  • Arthritis – a dog with arthritis will find it difficult to move around because of his swollen joints. There are a lot of conventional drugs given to dogs with arthritis but if you prefer a natural anti-inflammatory remedy, you cannot go wrong with ginger.
  • Cancer – several studies suggest that ginger can help in treating gastric and melanoma types of cancer. As with humans, dogs can also suffer from malignant melanoma or skin cancer that affects their melanocytes.
  • Heartworm disease – Canines become infected with heartworm disease after being bitten by an infected mosquito carrying the larvae. These larvae grow within your dog’s tissues and become young adult worms roughly after five months. A study during the late ‘80s suggests that there was a partial destruction of adult worms in dogs that were treated with ginger extract.

How to Give Ginger to Dogs

Adding ginger to your dog’s diet should be done carefully. There is a dosage you have to follow depending on the size of your pet. Ginger comes in different forms. It can be as a dry powder, tea, capsule, or tincture.

For dogs weighing 1-10 pounds, a pinch of dry powder will be enough. It should not be more than one-eighth of a teaspoon. You can give your pet a large pinch if he is weighing 20 pounds or more. You can give around one tablespoon if you have a large dog.

Ginger Recipes for Canines

Aside from adding the spice into your pet’s food, you can also incorporate ginger into doggie treats. Below are some creative ways of using ginger for dog food:

Ginger Biscuit for Canines

Does Fido crave for ginger snap cookies? Why don’t you give him this ginger biscuit instead? This recipe is a more wholesome choice since it does not contain refined sugar. It does have molasses, which is healthier than sugar because it has traces of nutrients per serving.

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine one cup of water, 3/4 cup of molasses, and half a cup of canola oil.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix 4 cups of all-purpose flour, 2 cups of whole-wheat flour, and 3 teaspoons of ground ginger.
  3. Add in half a teaspoon of ground cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves.
  4. Combine the flour mixture and the molasses mixture. Continue stirring until you get a thick consistency.
  5. Roll it to 1/4-inch thick on a floured surface.
  6. Cut using any cookie cutter of your choice.
  7. Place the cut dough on baking sheets.
  8. Bake in a preheated oven at 325°F for 25 minutes. Transfer on cooling racks once done. Serve to your pet once cooled!

Ginger Apple Dog Treat

This recipe is no doubt a healthy treat for doggies. The addition of fresh ginger will balance the sweetness of the apples. The brown rice flour and the plain yogurt makes it a good source of fiber.

  1. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine a cup of brown rice flour and 2/3 cup of plain Greek yogurt.
  2. Add in half a cup of finely diced apple and a tablespoon coconut oil.
  3. Add half a teaspoon of finely minced or grounded fresh ginger.
  4. Keep stirring until all the ingredients are well-combined and you formed dough with a slightly thick consistency.
  5. Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured surface.
  6. Roll it out to ¼-inch thick using a rolling pin.
  7. Cut using any cookie cutter of your choice.
  8. Arrange on a baking sheet sprayed with a small amount of oil.
  9. Bake in a preheated oven at 350°F for 25 minutes.
  10. Transfer on cooling racks. Serve to your dog once cooled.

Can Dogs Have Ginger Tea?

Yes, canines can have ginger tea but it should only be in small amounts. You can give it once a day but if your pet wants more, you can safely offer ginger tea up to three times a day.

A small dog weighing 10 pounds and below should not have more than one-fourth cup of ginger tea. Dogs weighing 10 to 20 pounds can have a one-fourth cup per day. For pets weighing 20 to 100 pounds, it is safe to give up to half a cup. Lastly, those weighing more than 100 pounds can drink up to a cup.

When Not to Give Ginger to Canines

Don’t feed ginger to your dog if he is about to undergo surgery as it has the tendency to make the blood less dense. Because of its effect on the blood, ginger is also not recommended if you have an anemic dog. A pregnant dog should also not be given ginger.

If your pet is suffering from any condition, better consult your veterinarian first before using it as a home remedy. This is important especially if your pet is diabetic or prone to cardiovascular issues.

The Bottom Line

Ginger is an effective remedy for nausea and stomach problems in dogs. It can be safely given to our pets as part of their regular diet, as long as it is done in moderation. Remember that there is a general guideline that you have to follow when giving canines ginger root. You cannot simply sprinkle it on top of your pet’s food, because there are side effects if your pet ingests too much of it.

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