Several years ago in the West we began to ‘rediscover’ the multiple therapeutic properties of ginger. After the publication of a series of scientific studies that support its benefits at a medicinal level, more and more people are encouraged to include this ingredient in their diets, either in natura or as a supplement to enhance their diet. However, what many still do not know are the uses and benefits of ginger in dogs.
Yes, you read it right! Our best friends can also benefit from the incorporation of this root in their diet, and it is precisely about this that we will talk about below from Soyunperro. Keep reading!
What nutrients does ginger contain?
Ginger can be purchased fresh or dehydrated, ground, powdered or even found in dietary supplement formulas, it is only the root (or rhizome) of the Zingiber officinale plant. It is made up of 79% water, 18% carbohydrates, 2% protein and only 1% fat, so it can even be used in diets for obese or overweight dogs.
Furthermore, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 100 grams of raw ginger provide:
Health benefits of ginger for dogs
Just by looking at its nutritional profile, we perceive that ginger offers an interesting pool of micronutrients (minerals and vitamins) that are essential to strengthen the immune system and promote numerous physiological processes in the dog’s body, such as the production of hormones, the strengthening of bones and teeth, and protein synthesis for muscle development.
But beyond this first impression, we want to share with you 5 beneficial properties of ginger for the health of dogs that have been demonstrated in scientific studies. Check out:
Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant action
One of the main uses and benefits of ginger in dogs is related to its powerful anti-inflammatory properties that help in the treatment and prevention of the most common degenerative diseases in dogs, especially those of older age, such as arthritis and osteoarthritis.
In addition, its moderate intake can help with the management of acute pain in cases of trauma and contusions, and even chronic pain related to degenerative diseases of the musculoskeletal system.
On the other hand, the antioxidants found in ginger root help fight free radicals in the body, preventing cell damage and oxidation of “bad” cholesterol (LDL)as well as the deposition of insoluble lipid plaques in the arteries, which translates into better protection against heart disease, stroke and arteriosclerosis.
Ginger anticancer properties
A study by the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, also in the United States, has revealed that the controlled administration of powdered ginger can promote self-destruction of tumor cells in the tissues of the ovary, in addition to inhibiting the emergence of new cancer cells.
Other research carried out at Georgia State University, again in the United States, has shown that ginger extract can be useful in the treatment of prostate cancer, promoting a significant reduction in the size of tumors. Experiments with laboratory rodents have reached a reduction greater than 50% in individuals of the control groups.
Digestive effects of ginger in dogs
Ginger root was already used by classical civilizations, such as the Greeks and Romans, to treat different gastrointestinal conditions. And today we know that these benefits at the digestive level are due to its ability to stimulate the production of gastric juices and the segregation of bile juices in the gallbladder, in addition to promoting intestinal transit in dogs.
For this reason, a moderate intake of ginger, or its extract, can help relieve stomach pain and other symptoms associated with indigestion in dogs, although if we are talking about a dog that tends to always overeat or ‘swallow’ everything go ahead, it is necessary to investigate the cause of this inappropriate behavior, as it could be an indication of nutritional deficiencies, parasite infestations and other health problems.
Ginger it is also useful in controlling nausea and dizziness that can affect our furry friends in different situations, including during pregnancy in bitches, preventing the occurrence of vomiting and allowing them to enjoy a more comfortable pregnancy.
Protective action of the respiratory system
Different studies confirm that ginger has protective properties of the respiratory system. The infusions prepared with this root favor the expectoration of colds and relieve coughs and other common symptoms of colds and flu, and can even prevent these cases from getting worse and causing bronchitis or pneumonia.
In addition, due to its anti-inflammatory action, ginger also helps in the treatment of respiratory allergies and asthma in dogs, acting as a natural antihistamine and antiallergic.
Ginger to regulate cholesterol and blood sugar
Ginger also shows a stimulating action on the pancreas, favoring the production of insulin and optimizing its use to control blood sugar levels. Consequently, its inclusion in the diet of dogs with diabetes can help regulate blood glucose more efficiently.
By enhancing the functions of the pancreas, ginger root can also help in the treatment and prevention of pancreatitis in dogs and in cases of pancreatic insufficiency. Finally, and to conclude the most outstanding benefits of ginger for dogs, it should be noted that contributes to the regulation of cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the bloodso it can be strategically included in the diet of dogs with high cholesterol.
What is the best way to give ginger to a dog?
Unnatural and fresh ginger root is usually available in most supermarkets, greengrocers and markets. In health food stores, you will also find dehydrated ginger, ground or powdered, as well as ginger extracts and oils that are generally produced for human use, although they can also be consumed by dogs with due precautions. Furthermore, more and more ginger capsules for dogs at veterinary clinics and pet specialty stores.
When choosing the most convenient presentation, keep in mind that dogs are not usually very attracted to the pungent taste of fresh ginger root. Therefore, if you prefer to use the food in natura (and not extracts or capsules), we advise you to give preference to ground or powdered ginger, since you can incorporate it into different recipes to complement the nutrition of your best friend.
In any case, remember that it is very important to have the guidance of a veterinarian to determine the dose and frequency of administration most beneficial for your dog, considering its nutritional needs, its state of health and the purpose of consumption. Each dog is different and that is why it is impossible for us to tell you what is the correct amount for your dog. It should always be the veterinarian who tells you.
Some BARF natural food experts indicate that an adequate dose for healthy dogs may be 1/4 of a small teaspoon (of coffee) per day, of fresh or chopped ginger root, for every 20 kilos of body weight. But from Soyunperro, we recommend that you consult your veterinarian beforehand.