My new puppy had been car sick and on phoning the rescue centre where he came from for advice, they said try Ginger biscuits to help settle his tummy now and in advance of future car trips. Therein lies my first experience of giving ginger to animals – and it’s proved to be a great success! But why should Ginger be so helpful, and what other benefits does it have? Although I’d kept animals for many years before, why hadn’t I heard about it?! On researching it, Ginger has actually been used as a medicinal plant across many cultures for centuries, in India and China alone it’s thought to have been used for 2500 years. So why is it used….It’s thought to:
- Be warming
- Help colds
- Help with digestion
- Help nausea
Some people find ginger ale soothing – and a large part of that of course, is ginger! Veterinary research into the benefit of herbs for animals is generally limited. But there have been some research/analysis of whether ginger can have any medicinal benefits, this includes:
- Sheep – this concluded that it does have gastro-intestinal benefits http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4313008/
- Sporting Horses – http://www.ivcjournal.com/articles/herb-use-in-sporting-horses/
What sort of plant is ginger?
It’s part of the same family as turmeric (which is growing in reputation as being helpful for health).
How can it help your animal?
For nausea, giving it your dog 30 minutes before a car journey is thought to be helpful to avoid car sickness. But of course if your dog is feeling nauseous for other reasons then ginger may also be helpful.
How can you give your animal ginger?
Many animal feed supplements are now available for horses, dogs and other animals which contain ginger. Alternatively you can give raw ginger – by cutting the skin off of the ginger and finely chopping the yellow part of the root. If you’re unsure how much to use then always check with your Veterinary Surgeon first.
Is Ginger safe?
It’s thought to affect blood sugar, blood pressure and the thinness of the blood. So if your dog has any kind of heart condition, diabetes, is pregnant or is on any medication then always speak to your Veterinary Surgeon first! Of course, if your animal is unwell or has any ailment, it’s always important to let your Vet examine your dog to make a diagnosis and advise on the most appropriate treatment.
As with many herbs, ginger can be tasty – and also helpful….but like any supplement or food, it’s important to consider what you’re using it for, and if you’re at all unsure about using with your animal, speak to your Vet. With that, i’m off to have a ginger biscuit! Regards,