Yes, dogs can eat ginger. It is safe for dogs when eaten in small quantities. In addition, ginger and ginger roots provide several health benefits to dogs. It contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that promote blood circulation, relieve bloating, and improve the functioning of the heart. Yet, always consult your vet before feeding Ginger to your dogs. Ginger also causes side effects in some dogs, but it is an essential ingredient in a dog’s diet that will keep your dog healthy and prevent many health problems.
What is Ginger?
Ginger is a tropical flowering plant whose roots are used widely as a spice and included in medicines for its medicinal properties. It is a perennial plant that bears flowers with pale yellow petals. Ginger belongs to the family Zingiberaceae or Ginger family. Ginger has its origin in Maritime Southeast Asia and was believed to be first domesticated by the Austronesian People.
Dr. Lori M. Teller, clinical associate professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Texas A&M University, says, “The root is thick and knobby with a brown exterior and a pale light tan interior.” Ginger has been included in Asian medicines for thousands of years to treat stomach aches, diarrhea, and nausea and is used as an herbal supplement in Western Medicine. According to the National Institute of Health, Ginger has been mentioned for its medicinal properties in various ancient texts, including Sanskrit, Greek, Chinese, Roman, and Arabic.
Ginger Nutritional Value
Ginger – a medicinal supplement globally, has an array of health benefits. Five grams of ginger powder provides a good amount of essential nutrients. The ginger or ginger root contains the below nutrients:
- Water – 79%
- Carbohydrates – 18%
- Protein – 2%
- Fat – 1%
Ideally, 100 grams of raw ginger contains Vitamin B6, other dietary minerals, magnesium, and manganese.
History of Ginger
The first written record about ginger can be seen in the Chinese book Analects of Confucius during the Warring States Period (475 – 221 BC). In this book, it is told to eat ginger with every meal. The monk Faxian wrote in 406 AD that ginger was grown in pots and carried in Chinese ships to treat the scurvy disease. The Song Dynasty (960 – 1276) imported ginger into China from the Southern countries. The ginger root was first introduced to the Mediterranean by the Arabs, and the period is unknown. In 150 AD, ginger was produced in Ceylon, now called Sri Lanka, and imported into Europe during the middle ages. In the 14th century, a pound of ginger cost as much as a sheep in England. Ginger is one of the oldest spices to be cultivated and traded from Southwest India despite growing worldwide. India is the 7th largest ginger exporter globally.
Is Ginger Safe for Dogs?
Ginger or ginger root is safe for dogs when consumed in small quantities. Ginger benefits the dogs in settling an upset stomach, preventing nausea, and aiding digestion. A homemade gingerbread also helps to avoid motion sickness and nausea in dogs. In addition, according to research and studies, ginger has an antiemetic effect and helps reduce heartworm microfilaria in dogs. Ginger also helps to reduce chemotherapy-induced nausea in dogs. However, ginger has some side effects, and not all dogs can safely eat ginger. Always consult your vet before feeding your dog with ginger or ginger root.
Raw Ginger: Some dogs enjoy the smell and flavor of raw ginger. Raw ginger should always be peeled before adding to the dog food, and it also can be boiled in water and steeped to get the ginger tea. Ginger tea can be mixed with wet dog food. Alternatively, a piece of raw ginger can be wrapped in a slice of meat and added to a dog’s treat.
Ginger Powder: Ginger powder is safe for dogs to consume. Remember to check any additional ingredients to avoid any health hazards.
Ginger Capsules: Ginger capsules usually contain raw, natural ginger and are safe for dogs. Yet, it is always safe to check for added ingredients that may not suit your dog.
Essential oil: The essential oil is not for consumption, but a drop or two can be applied to the paws during nausea or heartburn.
Why Is Ginger Good for Dogs?
The nutrition benefits of ginger for dogs include the following:
Antioxidants and vitamins: Ginger contains several vitamins and minerals, including vitamins B6, C, iron, and magnesium. It also helps to maintain the immune system. In addition, ginger has a chemical compound called gingerol, which contains antioxidants that prevent cell damage, the leading cause of cancer. It also helps to improve a dog’s memory and cognition.
Magnesium: Magnesium is essential for a dog’s health and helps in numerous ways to keep your canine’s health on point. Magnesium helps in improving:
- Urinary Tract Issues
- Digestive disorders
- Cures the irregular heartbeat
- Generate energy
- Reduces stress and anxiety issues
- Helps in bone development
Vitamin B6: Vitamin B6 is essential for a healthy immune system. However, vitamin B6 is engaged in over 100 different interactions during the breakdown and digestion of meals. Vitamin B6 also aids the correct development of a puppy’s brain during pregnancy and early puppyhood.
Manganese: It is required to produce energy, metabolize protein and carbs, and form fatty acids in dogs. In addition, manganese is a component of many enzymes and aids in the health and preservation of bone and cartilage in joints. Manganese is also essential for growth and metabolism.
Vitamin C: Vitamin C serves as a powerful antioxidant. It can help prevent inflammation and cognitive aging by scavenging damaging free radicals in the body. Although dogs’ livers can generate vitamin C on their own, supplementation may provide health advantages in some situations.
Zinc: Zinc is a mineral found in numerous things in the dog’s body, including enzymes, proteins, and hormones. Zinc is also necessary for the immune system and thyroid function. Therefore, zinc insufficiency can cause various issues in dogs, including incapability of infection protection.
Dietary fiber: Fiber is an excellent source of nutrients for a dog’s digestive system. The healthy bacteria in your dog’s colon digest fiber into fatty acids. This fatty acid then aids in the recovery of the colon by preventing the expansion of harmful bacteria.
Phosphorus: Necessarily healthy for bone health, fights free radicals, and boosts brain health.
Vitamin B3: Vitamin B3 or Niacin helps in energy production and blood circulation, keeps the heart healthy, and helps in various chemical signals.
Potassium: Potassium is an electrolyte that is essential for the health of your dog. Potassium helps electrical charges in the heart, nerves, and muscles work correctly. If your dog lacks this vital mineral, you may notice that they are constantly fatigued, which is not normal, or have no desire to eat.
Potassium also helps in:
- Regulating muscle contractions and heartbeats
- Optimizing cognitive functions
- Boosting metabolism
- Aiding normal blood flow
- Increasing bone density
Iron is required to accomplish critical processes, including carrying oxygen throughout the body in the hemoglobin of red blood cells so that the cells can generate energy. Iron is also required to function various enzymes in the body properly.
Folate: Folate ensures fast cell development during puppyhood, adulthood, and pregnancy, regulates homocysteine levels in the blood, and employs amino acids to construct new proteins. Vitamin B9 or folate has a role in regular blood production, immunological function, cell division, and tissue development.
Water: Water helps your dog’s body to be hydrated. It reduces the chances of dehydration in dogs. Apart from hydrating, it also keeps the digestive tract clean and aids in proper bowel movement.
Anti-inflammatory properties: The chemical compound called gingerol has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce joint pain and arthritis and relieve discomfort.
Riboflavin: Riboflavin is one of the complex B vitamins that work to repair and boost your dog’s metabolic system. It helps to cure GI issues and digestive problems. It also helps to cure
- Underweight dogs
- Indigestion problems
- GI issues
- Stomach bloating
Additionally, ginger helps to
Maintains Heart Health: Gingerol also helps lower your dog’s blood pressure and improve blood circulation. This component in ginger roots thus helps to break blood clots. In addition, this acts as a helpful supplement for elderly dogs. Finally, ginger also helps to treat heartworm disease in dogs.
Helps in nausea and motion-sickness: Ginger consumption helps treat gastrointestinal problems in dogs. A small amount of ginger soothes nausea and motion sickness related to dogs. It also helps treat canine bloat, reduces gas, stimulates the stomach, and, thus, prevents dogs from chronic bloat.
However, it is safe to feed ginger after peeling the skin as some dogs may have allergic reactions like itching, inflamed skin, and rashes when they consume along with the skin.
Why Is Ginger Bad for Dogs?
Ginger is mainly suitable for dogs, but it has some health risks that include:
Blood Thinning: Ginger lowers the blood pressure yet thins the blood. Dogs with diabetes, heart disease, and pregnancy should not be fed with ginger. It is always advisable to consult the vet before providing your dog with ginger in any medical conditions.
Upset stomach: While ginger helps to soothe your dog’s stomach, the spiciness may create heartburn in some dogs. Add only a smaller amount to your dog’s diet and always look for side effects like drooling, fatigue, vomiting, and allergic reaction.
Skin rashes: Ginger skin may cause skin allergies that include rashes, inflammation, and itching in some dogs. Ginger has to be peeled and sliced before adding to the food.
How Much Ginger to Feed Your Dog?
The amount of ginger a dog can eat depends on the dog’s size. Small dogs below ten pounds can consume a one-quarter teaspoon of ginger daily. Dogs between 10 and thirty-five pounds can take one and a half teaspoons of ginger every day. Large breed dogs can have three-quarters of fresh ginger a day.
How to Serve Ginger to Your Dog?
- Bake Gingerbread Treats: Bake sugar-free, dog-friendly ginger cookies with fresh or powdered ginger, a tasty and healthy treat for your dog.
- Steep Ginger Tea: Mix a small amount of ginger powder or fresh ginger in hot water and steep for a few minutes. This can be added to the wet dog food or pup-friendly smoothie.
- Grated Raw Ginger: Add a small amount of grated ginger to your dog’s daily food, that can be either wet food or kibbles.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can dogs eat fresh Ginger?
Yes, dogs can eat fresh ginger. Fresh ginger is a healthy option for dogs that can be sliced or grated when mixed with regular food.
Can dogs eat raw Ginger root?
Yes, dogs can eat Ginger root but in a smaller amount. Make sure the dog doesn’t swallow a large piece.
Can dogs eat Ginger?
Yes, dogs can have ginger in smaller amounts. Ginger has many health benefits for dogs.
Can dogs eat Ginger biscuits?
No, dogs should not eat ginger biscuits due to their high sugar and fat content. However, a small amount of ginger biscuit with no nutmeg will cause no harm to the dog.
Can dogs eat Ginger cake?
No, dogs should not eat ginger cake because ingredients like nutmeg, butter, sugar, fats, and oil may harm the dog’s health.
Can all dogs eat Ginger?
No, ginger is not safe for some dogs. Dogs with any underlying health condition or under medication should not consume ginger. Consult with a vet before feeding your dog ginger.
Dogs can eat ginger with absolutely no problem. It provides various health benefits, including digestive relief, heartworm prevention, and cancer prevention. Most healthy dogs can be fed ginger in small amounts depending on the dog’s size. In addition, ginger can be added to homemade dog food and treats to help your pooch with nausea and upset stomach. However, always consult your vet before adding ginger to your dog’s diet.