Last week I wrote about why I started supplementing my 7 year old Papillon, Kitsune, with turmeric. Because I already went over it, I won't get too much into the 'why' in this post, but feel free to go back and read about all the awesome benefits Kit's received from consuming turmeric. Basically, I started giving it to him for his arthritis, and was pleasantly surprised when it started improving not only his sore legs, but a couple of other issues as well.
When I first decided to try turmeric for Kitsune I started by mixing it in his regular food. Kit is OBSESSED with food. I joke with my fiance that Kit isn't going to miss a meal until the day he dies. While Kit was still eating his food with the turmeric mixed in, I could tell he wasn't as excited about his food as he usually is. Not wanting to decrease his enthusiasm for his regular meals, I started making him these very simple turmeric treats.
I start out by making Golden Paste. You should be able to easily find the recipe and information about what each ingredient does but just to have it all in one place, here's the recipe I use to make Golden Paste...
Mix all the ingredients together and put over low heat. I don't set a timer for my Golden Paste, but instead mix continuously until I get the desired texture. It shouldn't take too long, a few minutes or so, for the mixture to start becoming thicker and looking more uniform.
The treats I make for Kit are very simple. I just use equal parts Golden Paste and ground beef. I usually use a half a cup of each. Any extra Golden Paste can be stored in a jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
I use my blender to mix the Golden Paste and beef together. Hand mixing would be fine too. For dosing accuracy you want to make sure the ingredients are mixed together very well. The dosage of Golden Paste that I use for Kitsune is 1/4 a teaspoon per 10 lbs. Kitsune is 20 lbs so he needs 1/2 a teaspoon of Golden Paste a day.
For Kit's treats, after they are well mixed, I use measuring spoons to make 1/2 teaspoon balls. As long as you mixed well each 1/2 tsp ball will contain 1/4 a teaspoon of Golden Paste and 1/4 a teaspoon of ground beef. So Kit, at 20 lbs, gets two of his turmeric treats per day. When I first started using turmeric with him I initially gave him his daily dose all at once, with breakfast. After doing more research I decided to try splitting his dosage up, so now he gets one treat with breakfast and one with dinner.
I normally don't cook our turmeric treats. Once I create the 1/2 tsp balls I set them on a baking sheet in the freezer until they freeze solid. Once they are frozen I store them in a Tupperware container in the freezer. No need to thaw, when I feed Kit I just take a treat out of the freezer and add it to his dish.
Since I know not everyone is comfortable feeding raw meat to their dogs, I decided to try cooking some of the turmeric balls to see what happened. I just placed the 1/2 tsp balls on a clean baking sheet (no need to add oil to prevent sticking since the treats already contain a good amount of coconut oil) and cooked them at low heat (150*F) for 20 minutes. The treats came out a nice golden brown color, and stayed pretty soft. Here's a picture to show the difference between the treats I froze and the ones I baked.
The frozen treats look bigger because the baked treats did loose some of their liquid (including the coconut oil) while cooking. There was quite a bit of coconut oil on the bottom of my baking sheet when the treats were done, which leads me to believe that if you are concerned about keeping the proportions of coconut oil stable the frozen treats would be better.
I did a bit of research on whether or not cooking turmeric in this way decreases it's benefits at all and came across this article. It's rather long but points to note are that the oil and water used to create Golden Paste help to protect the active ingredients in turmeric from degrading. While cooking has been shown to break down the active ingredients in Golden Paste, the good news is that the particles the ingredients are broken down into work just as well, if not better, than the original ingredients. Take a look at the article I linked to above for more information, it explains this concept a lot better than I do.
Frozen or baked, Kit loves his daily meat balls! Simple as they are, he eats them readily. In fact Fen, my picky eater, begs for these treats too and that's saying a lot because there aren't many foods he'll beg for.
If you try using turmeric for your dog, my last suggestion would be to give it some time before you evaluate whether or not it's working. It took about a week before I could really tell that it was helping Kit feel better, and a bit longer than that for me to begin seeing additional benefits such as the improvement to Kit's teeth.
Comment below! Have you ever tried turmeric for any of your pets? Did you see any benefits from it? How do you feed it to your pets?
Please remember to talk to your pet's vet before starting any new supplement, especially if your furry friend is experiencing any health issues.