Ginger, or “luya,” has been used for 5,000 years to heal many ailments such as inflammation, colds, nausea, arthritis, and some infections. It has 115 bio-active components, with Gingerol being the primary one and many anti-oxidant properties.
It is a good natural supplement to help in certain ailments. But ask the vet first if your dog or cat is on medication.
“It has some powerful and amazing natural components so you don’t want it to interfere with your pet’s medication. Or work with your holistic vet to incorporate ginger into your pet’s diet, especially if your cat or dog is suffering with one of the ailments listed below,” said Jessica Peralta.
If your pet is fit and healthy, then ginger can be given to your pet when needed. But do not give too much.
Peralta, in “Ginger for Cats & Dogs” in authenticpets.com, cited “Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects (2nd edition)” which mentioned scientific studies that showed ginger can help as or with the following:
Ginger has “a positive impact on the digestive enzymes,” Peralta said.
“This is important because we know that digestive enzymes are abundant in the stomach, small intestine, and the pancreas. They break down food you and your pet eat into smaller nutrients. In these building block forms, the body can then absorb them, transport them to where they are needed to make organs and tissues function correctly and optimally,” Peralta said.
If the digestive enzymes are not enough, then the body will have problems absorbing nutrients from the food. This applies for pets who are eating healthy food, Peralta said.
“If the digestive enzymes don’t function at their optimum levels then nutritional deficiencies are inevitable. These deficiencies can develop into a more pressing issue such as nutrients leaking from the small intestine into the bloodstream. Then damaging the body because the immune system attacks the foreign nutrients in the blood thinking it is being invaded,” Peralta said.
If your pet has insufficient digestive enzymes, the pet will inevitably end up with poor digestion, then toxins will build up in the gut, Peralta said.
“This can lead to irritable gut syndrome, then liver insult which creates bile problems and increased pancreatic enzyme demand. Ultimately, what your pet is left with is inflammation in their body that becomes the foundation for disease, that develops into chronic illness,” Peralta said.
How to give to pets
You do not need to give ginger every day. It can be used as a medicinal herb, and not a herb for everyday use, Peralta stressed.
“There have been full scientific studies of the effects of ginger for dogs but none actually conducted for cats and there doesn’t seem to be enough studies determining if there are any serious side effects if ginger is given regularly and long term to pets,” Peralta said.
She added, “Many holistic practitioners for both people and animals use ginger as a medicinal herb. Use the recommended dosages for the short time needed. If you’re looking to use it more regularly and long term then works with your holistic vet so they can monitor your pet.”
Stop giving ginger if your cat or dog begins to show adverse side effects. But a little ginger for your pet in the short term to help with things like vomiting should be fine.
Cats do fine with ginger if you are giving a small amount or as part of a herbal formula. Dogs are generally okay with ginger, Peralta added.