Ginger may be famous for its anti-nausea properties, but this powerful spice packs a punch when it comes to your dog’s overall digestive health. Plus, recent research shows that the benefits of ginger for dogs also include improved cognitive functions and anxiety relief.
A review of the research on the benefits of ginger found that it has “immense value” for treating gastrointestinal issues like constipation, bloating, gastritis, indigestion, and, of course, nausea and vomiting.
But why is this?
Ginger contains several bioactive compounds including gingerol and shogaol. (A bioactive compound is something found in a food source that promotes good health in the body.) Combined, these compounds make ginger a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, which eases nausea and can help prevent vomiting.
Additionally, ginger has a strong effect on gastric emptying, a critical digestive process that moves food from the stomach to the small intestine. Ginger speeds up gastric emptying and stimulates the digestive grinding process. As a result, your dog is less likely to experience issues like indigestion and constipation.
Because of its gastrointestinal-boosting properties many veterinarians recommend adding ginger for dogs to chicken broth to help constipated pups have healthier, easier bowel movements.
Because ginger keeps the digestive tract working smoothly, it can be helpful for dogs prone to bloat. Bloat is a dangerous condition that can lead to organ failure, shock, and death. Ginger gets the stomach emptying faster, which reduces the build-up of gases that cause bloat.
Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, ginger as a cure-all for motion sickness-related nausea is well-known. But dogs undergoing chemotherapy (specifically cisplatin) may also benefit from ginger.
One study found that giving dogs an acetone extract of ginger, combined with cisplatin “exhibited significant protection” from vomiting.
In recent years, research on the benefits of ginger has expanded beyond the gastrointestinal. One avenue of study has focused on the effect of ginger on the brain. Both in terms of cognitive function and mental health.
Several studies found that ginger’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties slow down neurodegeneration and neuroinflammation. In other words, it helps with the prevention and treatment of dementia in people. Similarly, ginger was found to enhance attention and improve the cognitive processing capabilities of healthy, middle-aged women.
For dog owners with high-strung dogs, every day can be a struggle. Loud noises, sudden movements, or new people can trigger their dog’s anxiety. This may result in bathroom accidents, stress-induced chewing or digging, and even aggression. Ginger can help.
In a 2017 study, researchers found that giving mice an extract of ginger was as effective as diazepam in reducing symptoms of anxiety.
An earlier study found that ginger boosts the serotonin receptors in the brain believed to be responsible for relieving depression.
At Veterinary Formula Clinical Care, we use the potent anti-inflammatory properties of ginger extract in two of our once-a-day chews.
In our digestion-boosting Complete Probiotic, ginger helps even out your pooch’s digestive tract, reduce indigestion, and improve his bowel health.
We also use ginger in our Pet Calm Plus daily supplement to help boost serotonin levels and keep your dog happy and at ease.