Dogs can eat ginger as part of a healthy and balanced diet. In small quantities, it is a perfectly safe food to give to your dog and can actually be beneficial to their overall health.
Ginger has long been used as a natural remedy for bloating and stomach upset in humans and appears to have the same beneficial impacts in dogs too.
If you are at all unsure about feeding your dog ginger then we recommend talking it over with a qualified veterinarian.
They will be able to give you specific advice catered to your dog to ensure you feel happy and confident when feeding them.
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How often can you feed your dog ginger?
The exact quantity of ginger that your dog can eat will vary according to its size and weight. As a general rule, your dog should be able to handle between 10 and 25 milligrams of ginger per pound of body weight.
What are the health benefits of ginger?
Sliced fresh ginger is a great food to feed to your dog if you suspect an upset stomach or an IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) flare-up.
It helps to relieve trapped gases and can halt spasms of the intestinal tract. This is what is known as a carminative herb – meaning it helps to expel gases and prevent gaseous buildups in the digestive tract.
Ginger is also a great natural remedy for general nausea, motion sickness, and chemo-induced nausea. If your dog is undergoing chemotherapy then we strongly advise that you discuss the plan of action with your veterinarian before you feed your dog ginger.
This is because there are some chemotherapeutic agents that may react with ginger. Administering your dog with ginger 30 minutes before a car journey is reported to have the same impacts as Dramamine.
Ginger is an anti-inflammatory agent too. This makes it ideal to supplement with if your dog has dysplasia, arthritis, or just generalized joint pain. It will reduce the levels of pain that they are experiencing.
There are also high levels of antioxidants in ginger. These are used to negate the effects of harmful free radicals which can lead to cancer developing.
It is believed that antioxidants are also good to use to support dogs with cognitive dysfunction. They also help to boost your dog’s immune system, their natural defense against pathogens and bacteria.
Heartworm is a disease in dogs that can lead to heart failure, lung disease, organ damage, and even death. Many treatment plans for this rely heavily on the use of neurotoxic chemicals which can further harm your dog.
Ginger can be injected in the form of alcohol extracts into your dog. Studies have shown this to reduce the microfilariae (early-stage infection) in dogs by 83 to 98%.
Are there any dangers to feeding your dog ginger?
The spice levels of ginger can be a little much for some dogs. If fed in small amounts, this is not usually too much of an issue.
In very rare cases, ginger can react with some medications. These include NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and blood-thinning drugs.
Dogs with blood disorders like von Willebrand’s disease or hemophilia should not consume ginger. This is because the risk of bleeding can become increased by ginger.
How should you feed your dog ginger?
Generally speaking, we do not advise feeding your dog a whole root of raw ginger. Anyone who has ever munched on a ginger root knows how spicy and overwhelming the taste can be. This can be very unpleasant or even uncomfortable for your dog.
You can feed it to them in a grated or sliced form. This gives you the ability to control the portion they consume and means that the flavor will not overwhelm their sensitive olfactory systems.
If you make your dog some homemade snacks or treats, it is a great idea to incorporate some ginger into the recipe. This will allow them to reap the health benefits of the food without you needing to worry about feeding them an excessive amount.
We love feeding our dogs smoothies with ginger in during the warmer summer months.
You may also like to sprinkle a little grated ginger onto the top of their food at dinner time. This will not overwhelm them and will ensure that they get the goodness in.
Fresh ginger tends to be preferred to powdered and dried versions. The flavor of these tends to be more intense and can be too much for some dogs.
You can also give your dog cooled ginger tea or ginger-infused water. Pet-safe forms of ginger can also come in the form of capsules, tablets, and tinctures.
As with any new food that you are introducing to your dog’s diet, you should begin with just a little and gradually increase the quantity over time.
What should you not do?
You should not ever throw them a ginger root to gnaw on as they will become unwell. This is far too much ginger for them to consume and will lead to serious discomfort for your dog.
As a general rule, you should not feed your dog more than 1 teaspoon of raw, grated ginger at a time.
If your dog is due to undergo surgery soon, has anaemia, or is pregnant, it is probably best to avoid feeding them ginger. The same applies to dogs with low blood sugar or blood pressure, as ginger can cause these levels to decrease.
Can dogs eat gingerbread?
No, they cannot and should not ever be fed gingerbread. This is not due to the ginger, but rather the nutmeg contained within the biscuit. Nutmeg contains a toxin known as myristicin which can be very toxic to dogs if ingested.
As well as this, gingerbread contains high proportions of fats and sugars. Excess fat and sugar in your dog’s diet can be very dangerous and can lead to them developing a condition known as pancreatitis.
This condition is incredibly painful for them and if left untreated, can become fatal.