Ginger is an irresistible spice that adds a warm, zesty flavor to your favorite Asian cuisine or your festive gingerbread recipe. Plus, you may have heard of its many health benefits (including its anti-inflammatory properties). But, does this spice offer the same benefits to your best friend? Can dogs eat ginger?
Yes, most dogs can eat ginger safely — as long as you don’t feed them too much and are careful of other additives in ginger products. This rhizome, or special type of root, can have many of the same benefits for your pet as it has for people. However, some dogs have pre-existing health conditions that may not pair well with ginger.
We’ll explain how much ginger is safe for dogs, share a few safe ways to add this spice to your dog’s diet, and look at its risks and benefits. Learn how to safely feed your dog ginger.
How Can Dogs Eat Ginger Safely?
Every part of the ginger root is edible, including the skin, and dogs can eat both cooked and raw ginger. But the amount and type of ginger you feed will affect how well your dog can digest it. Here’s how to safely feed your dog ginger so they get all the benefits of this medicinal plant.
Keep the Quantity Low
Only give your dog ginger in small doses. As with any human food, giving your dog too much ginger can upset their digestive system, causing an upset stomach, bloating, and diarrhea (even though ginger is often used to treat these very same conditions).
The amount of ginger you give your dog should depend on their body weight. If your dog weighs less than two pounds, talk to your vet before sharing this spice. And keep in mind that powdered ginger is the most concentrated form of ginger. So, you’ll need to feed less powdered ginger by volume than you would fresh ginger.
For other small dogs (weighing 3-20 pounds), feed up to 1/4 teaspoon of powdered or 1 teaspoon of fresh minced ginger per day. You can feed medium dogs (weighing 20-50 pounds) as much as 1/2 teaspoon powdered or 2 teaspoons fresh ginger each day. And for large dogs (weighing 50+ pounds), feed 3/4 teaspoon powdered or 3 teaspoons fresh ginger per day.
Only Feed Fresh or Powdered Ginger
A lot of forms of ginger, like crystallized ginger, are full of sugar and other added ingredients that aren’t good for dogs. To safely feed ginger to dogs, you should stick with its purest forms, which are the fresh ginger root from the produce section and the dehydrated powdered ginger that you find in the spice section.
Ginger tea, which is an herbal tea made from dehydrated ginger root, is also fine for dogs, as long as it’s cooled to room temperature. But, you shouldn’t give your dog spice or tea blends.
Spice blends often contain spices from the allium family — like garlic, onion, and chives — which are toxic to dogs. Or they may contain spices from the capsicum family — like cayenne pepper or chilis — which can cause discomfort and irritation. Tea blends often contain caffeine, which is toxic to dogs.
Other ginger products, like stem ginger, ginger syrup, ginger snaps, and ginger ale are full of added sugars. Consuming excess sugar is bad for dogs, much like it is for humans, and over time it can lead to health problems like diabetes. And ginger tinctures made for humans often have an alcohol base, which is toxic to dogs. Stick to pure ginger when you’re sharing this spice.