Ginger has been used for centuries for medicinal purposes. It’s also a favorite baking ingredient in cookies and cakes. But can dogs have ginger? Is it safe for dogs to eat ginger? The answer is a definite yes! Ginger is often used, in small doses, to treat nausea and motion sickness in dogs. It may also boost the immune system.
Learn more about some of the health benefits of ginger for your dog below.
Often used in traditional Chinese medicine, ginger and ginger root have been used in folk medicine in Europe since the Middle Ages. Prior to that time, it was used by the Greeks and Romans. Ginger, which grows as an herbaceous perennial, comes from the same family as turmeric, cardamon, and galangal. Ginger is popular all over the world.
Raw ginger or ginger root contains about 18 percent carbohydrates, 1 percent fat, and 2 percent protein. 100 grams of ginger has about 80 calories. It has moderate amounts of vitamin B6, magnesium and manganese.
Used as a spice, one tablespoon (5 grams) of dried ground ginger contains a negligible amount of essential nutrients other than manganese.
Ginger is “generally recognized as safe” by the United States Food & Drug Administration – a designation meaning that the substance is considered safe by experts. However, ginger can interact if it is taken by people who use the anticoagulant drug warfarin and the cardiovascular drug nifedipine.
Many people take ginger in the form of ginger snaps or cookies for nausea and vomiting resulting from motion sickness, chemotherapy, or pregnancy. The ginger is not harmful in these cases but it doesn’t work in every case.
Ginger is also taken as an anti-inflammatory and to improve digestion.
In some cases there are people who have an allergic reaction to ginger. This usually results in a rash. Some people can have heartburn after eating ginger, especially from eating the powdered form. People with gallstones may also have difficulty eating ginger.
Can Dogs Have Ginger?
Yes, dogs can eat ginger unless your dog shows indications that the ginger is a problem for him. Many people use ginger snaps and ginger cookies to help puppies and dogs with motion sickness in cars. Ginger can also help dogs with digestive problems. It helps to settle an upset stomach. Humans often drink ginger ale in these cases. Your dog may or may not like ginger ale but you can offer him a ginger snap (or two).
According to some reports, ginger can also be used to help with bloat, at least in the early stages. Ginger can help move things along in your dog’s stomach and it can help prevent the build up of gas.
As for gas, no one likes a gassy dog. A small amount of gas is normal when your dog’s digestive system is working but a big build-up can make him uncomfortable and leads to a big stink. Fortunately, ginger is a carminative herb. It’s good at preventing and getting rid of gas from your dog’s digestive system.
Experts have mixed opinions about whether ginger is good for arthritis. Ginger is good as an anti-inflammatory. Some practitioners believe that ginger may help reduce the inflammation association with arthritis. However, studies haven’t really backed this belief up yet. But it probably doesn’t hurt to give your dog a little ginger if he has arthritis.
How Much Ginger Can You Give Your Dog?
You can give your dog small amounts of ginger. If you are using raw ginger, don’t let him have more than 1 teaspoon. If he eats too much, he could experience some of the symptoms you’re trying to avoid such as gas and nausea.
You can also use ginger in homemade treats such as gingerbread cookies for dogs or sprinkled on your dog’s food.
If you are cooking or baking with ginger, fresh ginger can be substituted for ground ginger. The ratio for fresh ginger to ground ginger should be 6:1. There is a slight taste different between fresh and dried ginger but both are safe for your dog to eat.
Ginger comes in many forms: tea, spice/powder, capsules, root.
These doses are suggested:
Fresh organic ginger root:
Remove the skin with a knife and finely mince the yellow part of the root.
Demian Dressler DVM (Dog Cancer Vet), recommends the following dosages to help prevent nausea related to cancer treatments:
10 lbs or less … ¼ tsp, 3 times daily
10 to 35 lbs … ½ tsp, 3 times daily
35 lbs or more … ¾ tsp, 3 times daily
Start slow and work your way to the full dose. If your dog is being treated for cancer, talk to your veterinarian about any herbal medicines or folk remedies that you plan to give your dog. They could affect his treatment.
For other forms of ginger, Ottawa Valley Dog Whisperer recommends the following dosages:
1 to 10 lbs … up to ⅛ tsp
10 to 20 lbs … ⅛ to ¼ tsp
20 to 50 lbs … 1 tsp
50 to 100 lbs … 2 tsp
Over 100 lbs … up to 1 tbsp
You can buy ginger tea or make your own from fresh ginger root.
1 to 10 lbs … less than ¼ cup, 1 to 3 times daily
10 to 20 lbs … ¼ cup, 1 to 3 times daily
20 to 50 lbs … ¼ to ½ cup, 1 to 3 times daily
50 to 100 lbs … ½ to 1 cup, 1 to 3 times daily
Over 100 lbs … up to 1 cup, 1 to 3 times daily
1 to 10 lbs … ½ capsule, 1 to 3 times daily
10 to 20 lbs … ½ to 1 capsule, 1 to 3 times daily
20 to 50 lbs … 1 to 2 capsules, 2 to 3 times daily
50 to 100 lbs … 1 to 2 capsules, 3 to 4 times daily
Over 100 lbs … adult human dose
1 to 10 lbs … 1 to 3 drops, 2 to 3 times daily
10 to 20 lbs … 3 to 5 drops, 2 to 3 times daily
20 to 50 lbs … 5 to 10 drops, 2 to 3 times daily
50 to 100 lbs … 20 drops, 2 to 3 times daily
Over 100 lbs … adult human dose
How Often Can You Give Your Dog Ginger?
Since ginger is often used medicinally, you can give your dog the spice or root as often as needed. This can vary. Your dog may need ginger when he gets in the car for motion sickness. Or he may need it when he has cancer treatments (talk to your veterinarian).
If you are giving your dog ginger snaps or gingerbread dog cookies as a treat, you can give them to your dog as you would other treats, on an occasional basis.
Ginger has been used medicinally and in cookery for centuries. Ginger snaps and gingerbread dog cookies are favorite treats for dogs. Ginger is also a good treatment for dogs with gas and some digestive problems. If you are using ginger medicinally, check the dosage and talk to your veterinarian.