4 min read

Can Dogs Have Ginger?

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By Joe Holyoake

Published: 04/15/2024, edited: 05/12/2024

Reviewed by a licensed veterinary professional: Dr. Linda Simon, MVB MRCVS

More articles by Joe Holyoake

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Ginger has to be one of the most impressive natural ingredients in global cuisine. Not only is its distinctively tangy flavor equally at home in dishes both savory and sweet, but the knobbly root comes with a wide range of health benefits, too.

As with anything that does good for human bodies, pet parents can’t be blamed for wondering if there are benefits of ginger for dogs, too. The good news is there are — however, the challenge may be getting your dog to eat it…



fresh and ground ginger - can dogs have ginger

Is Ginger Good For Dogs?

Yes. As well as bursting with flavor, ginger has been known as a superfood way before the term became fashionable. This is because it has been seen to have a positive effect on health and it’s thought that the benefits of ginger for dogs are similar to those of humans. Here are just a few.

Antioxidants

Like many plant foods, ginger has been found to be a great source of antioxidants, which help fight free radicals in the body. What does that mean in practice? Well, this process stops cell damage, which can ward off chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, heart conditions or even cancer.

Anti-inflammation

Scientific evidence has found that ginger also has anti-inflammatory qualities, too. This will be especially welcomed by any dogs suffering from joint pain or swelling from arthritis.

Given that some cancers are inflammatory in nature, it’s not surprising that there are several studies that show ginger to have a positive effect in slowing down the spread of the disease. Obviously, ginger alone won’t cure cancer, but it can form part of a holistic approach.

Nausea and Bloating

Ginger tea is a popular home remedy for humans suffering from a poorly tummy and the same ingredient can be given to dogs with similar symptoms, be that from motion sickness or a side effect from chemotherapy. 

It’s also thought to help fight bloating, which in some cases can be dangerous for dogs. In addition, ginger is sometimes recommended as an aid against flatulence — something pet parents might be thankful for as well!

If there’s one person who has undisputed knowledge about your dog’s health, it’s your vet — taking out a wellness plan keeps you and your pet in regular contact with this expert.


fresh ginger

How to Feed Ginger to Your Dog

Not only is ginger safe for dogs to eat, it could have long-term benefits for their health. This raises the question — how can you add the famously strong-tasting foodstuff into their diet?

You might be able to find a dog food recipe with ginger in the ingredient list, but it’s not a common sight. Instead, parents will have to find sneakier ways to incorporate it into their pet’s diet.

In some cases, you might find this easy. Try removing the woody skin from some raw ginger, chopping it up into small chunks and mixing it into wet food — often, this will be enough to mask the scent and taste.

Canines with sensitive palettes might see through this ruse and refuse to eat it. In this case, parents can also try mixing the powdered version of the root into dog food, which will be slightly less intense and spicy in flavor. 

Otherwise, why not try baking fresh or powdered ginger into homemade treats? You can just take a recipe that your dog already loves and add the ginger root directly into it. 

Whenever you’re introducing a new ingredient or recipe into your dog’s mealtimes, it’s important to do so gradually, starting with small quantities and only increasing if your pet is able to tolerate it.

It’s also well worth running the idea by your vet quickly beforehand — they will know of any reasons why ginger might be unsuitable for your dog’s body.

Looking for pet food recipes that are packed full of nutritional goodness? Our partner Dog Food Advisor is dedicated to finding the best dinner for your dog.

How Much Ginger Can a Dog Eat?

When it comes to ginger for dogs, a little goes a long way. Dogs weighing under 35 lbs should consume no more than half a teaspoon in one go and those over this weight can get by on three-quarters of a teaspoon.

One of the other good things about ginger is there’s no worry of poisoning or an overdose should you overdo it. That said, it’s not recommended to go overboard, as it can lead to gas and bloating in your dog.

Are There Any Dogs That Shouldn’t Eat Ginger?

Although ginger has many purported health benefits, there are some dogs that should be kept away from the plant. As ginger acts as a blood thinner, this includes any dogs with blood clotting disorders, those taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or going into surgery imminently.

Ginger has also been reported to lower blood sugar and pressure, which would make it unsuitable for dogs suffering from hypotension, diabetes or heart conditions. For similar reasons, some vets recommend exercising caution when it comes to giving the ingredient to pregnant dogs.

As some dogs may develop an upset stomach after eating it, it should be avoided in those with very sensitive stomachs.

Can Dogs Have Pickled Ginger?

Although somewhat of an acquired taste, some humans love pickled ginger. When it comes to dogs, a little bit is unlikely to be harmful to them, but parents should refrain from feeding them too much.

This is because pickled ginger can contain excessive amounts of sugar and salt, both substances that need to be carefully moderated in a dog’s diet. Some products might also contain other substances that are toxic to dogs, such as xylitol.

Can Dogs Have Ginger Ale?

It’s a similar story when it comes to ginger ale or beer. Not only is the carbonation unsuitable for a dog’s digestive system, there’s likely to be a lot of sugar in these drinks — bad news for teeth and waistlines. Again, harmful artificial ingredients, such as xylitol, might be present, too.

An alternative option, however, is to add grated or powdered ginger into your dog’s water bowl, which could help them to absorb the plant’s goodness easily. Do make sure they actually like this, however — you don’t want to give your dog reason to stop drinking water, as this could lead to dehydration.

If you’re worried your dog has consumed something that they shouldn’t, your vet will know just what to do in a crisis — this is just one reason to take out a pet insurance policy from one of the USA’s top providers today.


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