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Can Dogs Eat Ginger? Nutrition Facts & Benefits

Kit Copson

By Kit Copson

Ginger has been used in Indian and Chinese medicine for thousands of years and today is revered far and wide for its multitude of health benefits. So, we know that ginger is great for us, but can it benefit dogs, too? Not much research has been done into whether or not ginger has health benefits for dogs, but when fed in moderation, it’s perfectly safe for dogs to eat.

Nevertheless, some dogs may not benefit from being fed ginger due to certain health conditions, so read on for all the facts on feeding ginger to your dog.


Health Benefits of Ginger

The effects of ginger on dogs in terms of health aren’t fully known, but anecdotal evidence points to ginger being helpful for dogs experiencing nausea and vomiting, just like it is for humans. Some canine supplements, especially those designed to help dogs relax and reduce nausea on car rides, contain ginger for this reason.

Other health problems in dogs that ginger may help with include:
  • Bloating: Ginger is infamous for its stomach-settling and anti-inflammatory powers, so it might help reduce gas and bloat, which can result in gastric dilation and volvulus (GDV)—a very serious condition in dogs that can be life-threatening.
  • Cell Damage: Ginger is a great source of antioxidants, and these can contribute to preventing cell damage and improving memory in dogs experiencing cognitive conditions.
  • Joint Problems: Aside from anti-inflammatory properties, ginger also reduces inflammation due to the presence of gingerol, so it might help relieve pain and discomfort in dogs suffering from joint conditions like arthritis.
  • Cancer: Ginger might reduce nausea in dogs going through chemotherapy, and its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects might contribute to a reduced risk of certain types of cancer. Studies have shown that ginger kills lymphosarcoma cells in a test tube and can slow the rate of breast cancer growth in mice1.
  • Heartworm: Ginger does not cure heartworm, but, in one study, it was shown to reduce the microfilaria (larvae) concentration by 83%–98%2.

How Much Ginger Can Dogs Have?

Fresh ginger should be peeled to remove the skin and finely minced (inside yellow part only) before being given to your dog, and you can either feed it directly or add it to your dog’s food. Fresh ginger, powdered ginger, and ginger juice are fine, but pickled ginger, sugary ginger biscuits, and drinks like ginger ale should be avoided.

Dogs should only be fed ginger in small amounts and in moderation, and the amount you feed will depend on your dog’s body weight. As a basic guideline, small dogs should have a maximum of one-quarter of a teaspoon, and large dogs should have no more than three-quarters of a teaspoon.

If you’re considering feeding ginger to your dog for health reasons, we recommend speaking to your vet as they will be able to advise you whether or not they think it will be beneficial. Moreover, it may not be suitable for dogs with certain health conditions (more on this below), which is why it’s always a good idea to run things by your vet first.

Image Credit: congerdesign, Pixabay


Risks of Feeding Ginger to Dogs

Since there isn’t much research into the effects of ginger on dogs, there isn’t a lot of information on the potential side effects, but here are the possibilities:


It’s possible for ginger to have a mild thinning effect on the blood, so dogs with bleeding disorders and those that have had surgery within the last 10 days should not be fed ginger. It should also be avoided for dogs taking Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs).

Lowered Blood Pressure

Ginger may not be suitable for dogs with diabetes, heart disease, gallbladder disease, or who are pregnant or nursing because it can bring blood pressure and blood sugar down. If your dog has any of these conditions, we’d urge you to speak to your vet before giving them ginger.

woman talking to vet
Image Credit: SeventyFour, Shutterstock


Final Thoughts

On the whole, ginger is safe for dogs to eat in moderation and may offer some nutritional benefits, but you should always talk to your vet before feeding it if your dog has certain health conditions like bleeding disorders, gallbladder disease, diabetes, and heart disease, or has undergone surgery. Some vets may also advise against feeding it to pregnant or nursing dogs.

Featured Image Credit: Joseph Mucira, Pixabay

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