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Featuring Demian Dressler, DVM and Sue Ettinger, DVM, Dip. ACVIM (Oncology), authors of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide

Ginger to Help Dogs with Cancer

Updated: May 7th, 2021


Ginger to help dogs with cancer? YES! This inexpensive, great-smelling, pungent root is great for your dog. Learn why and how to use it.

Okay, I got a great one for you today.  It’s cheap, easy and safe, and it smells good too: ginger to help dogs with cancer.

Why Ginger? Here’s Why:

Sound too easy, too good to be real? It’s not.  Ginger has some decent anticancer effects, and some major other benefits relevant to dogs tumors.

First the anticancer effects, which are pretty fair:

Ginger slowed the rate of breast cancer growth in mice, and kills lymphosarcoma cells in a test tube.  Ginger has been shown to decrease tumor necrosis factor alpha, which is a chemical signal in dogs’ bodies that stimulate cancer cell growth. It also decreases inflammation.  Inflammation is a central process in cancer development. This aromatic tuber has immune stimulating ability as well, a plus since dogs with cancer usually are immune suppressed. Chemo, radiation and surgery also weaken immunity. These are all nice effects, good stuff.

But, the real winner with ginger is that it decreases nausea.  Decreased appetite caused by nausea is really common in dogs with cancer.  Feeling sick to the stomach can be caused by the cancer itself, or by chemo, surgery or radiation.  Ginger has been shown to decrease vomiting as much as the most popular injection to fight nausea on vets’ shelves, metoclopramide. There is also published literature showing it fights vomiting caused by cisplatin, a common chemo drug, in dogs.

Not too shabby for an item sitting in the veggie section of the grocery store!

How to Prepare Ginger for your Dog

Ginger can also be found in extracts and powders, but I like the raw stuff. Remove the skin of the root with a knife.  The inside will be yellow and smell quite pungent.  Using a heavy, sharp chopping knife, finely mince the yellow portion of the root.

  • Dogs 10 pounds and under: give 1/4 teaspoon, ideally three times per day
  • Dogs 10.1-35 pounds: give 1/2 teaspoon, ideally three times per day
  • Dogs 35.1 pounds and over: give 3/4 teaspoon, ideally three times per day

When to avoid ginger:

Don’t use ginger within 10 days of surgery, as it may have mild blood-thinning effect. Avoid it if your dog is on aspirin, and discuss with your vet if your dog is on anti-inflammatory medication like Rimadyl, Metacam, Deramaxx, Etogesic, and others. Ginger may have blood sugar lowering effects and reduce the insulin requirement, so talk it over with your vet BEFORE starting, or simply avoid ginger if your dog is on insulin. Avoid using ginger in dogs with gallstones (rare) or ulcers.  And finally, don’t use if your dog is on heart or blood pressure meds, as it may lower blood pressure slightly by itself.

Like any food, medication, or supplement, ginger can occasionally cause digestive upset in some dogs.

Hope it helps!!!!

Best to all,

Dr Dressler

Leave a Comment

  1. Jay Bonstingl on September 12, 2020 at 4:15 am

    Can this be given to cats who have cancer?

    • Molly Jacobson on September 14, 2020 at 10:56 am

      Hi Jay! In general, ginger is OK to give to cats, but you should definitely check with your veterinarian about caring for your cat. Dogs and cats are VERY different from each other!

  2. Barbara Braun on May 6, 2020 at 2:16 am

    I asked my bed and she was not familiar with ginger tincture my dog is on prednisone every other day has gastric carcinoma in operable. We are trying to keep him comfortable as he seems not quite ready to go but he is bloating. Someone recommended ginger tincture since my vet is Unfamiliar with contraindications for Ginger can I give tincture along with Prednisone also on Torbutrol.
    Your feedback would be greatly appreciated

    • Kay Taylore on September 11, 2020 at 2:26 am

      I’m a cancer survivor and have been drinking ginger tea for years … you can grow your own ginger easily. I’ve grown it from a plant I bought at a nursery and from grocery store ginger root. The grocery store root grew the fastest. Try searching for instructions on youtube.

  3. Mary Ann Costilla on April 15, 2019 at 8:03 am

    Hello Dr. Dressier.

    My name is Mary Ann. I am a pet owner of a beautiful 3 year old Boxer fighting to survive & beat cancer from a mast cell tumor. I am hopeful that Your article on ginger will help my sick baby Yogi beat his fight against cancer. I am a firm believer of natural remedies. I am currently giving my Yogi natural supplements to help give him a fighting chance. The list starts with: CBD Oil,Turmeric in capsules,MSM in tablets,Valerian root in capsules,Essiac in capsules & he loves his coconut oil. He is also on his 2nd month of an antibiotic prescribed by his vet called,Cephalexin 750 MG & on an antihistamine of 50 MG twice daily. As You can Am trying my best to help my fur baby Yogi in a natural approach hoping it’ll help him beat this aggressive cancer. The vet has suggested mass removal but I am not financially prepared to pay over 3 thousand dollars. So his vets next suggestion is to euthanize my Yogi. My baby is still eating,drinking & still showing a fin wiggle side of himself & therefore giving him a chance with additional nature remedies to help him. Unfortunately Yogi escaped from his e-collar & gnawed at his tumor & made a mess of it causing what looked like rotten tissue hanging & leaving a bloody mess,I cried my heart out with him & got him cleaned up & rebandaged his tumor. PLEASE Dr. Dressier, would you offer me ANY advice or suggestions on what else I can do to help my baby Yogi? He’s NOT just a pet,he’s my comfort, my trusted companion,my emotional therapy companion. I have organic ginger root tea bags,would that help? It also contains,organic lemongrass,organic licorice root, organic peppermint leaf & organic black peper.


    • Dog Cancer Vet Team on April 15, 2019 at 11:02 am

      Hi Mary Ann,

      Thanks for writing, and we’re sorry to hear about Yogi!

      As Dr. D writes in the Dog Cancer Survival Guide, there are a number of things that you can do to help your dog with cancer. Conventional treatments (surgery, chemo, and radiation), nutraceuticals, Immune Boosters, and Anti-metastatics, diet, and brain chemistry modification. This is what he calls Full Spectrum Cancer Care 🙂

      There are also two excerpts from the Dog Cancer Survival Guide that you should read, as you may find them helpful– Supplements for Dogs with Cancer and Dog Cancer Supplements that Dr. D Excludes from the Full Spectrum Care and Why.

      You should also consider talking to your vet about what other options are available for Yogi, and what will work alongside his current treatment plan. Your vet may also be able to recommend some wound care tips to help your boy 🙂

  4. Laura Smith on March 26, 2019 at 10:57 am

    My dog has hemangiosarcoma in his spleen and liver. I want to try minced fresh ginger (and garlic) in his now homemade cancer diet, but I know that they have blood-thinning properties, and since bleeding is a particular danger with this specific cancer, I am unsure if the risks would outweigh the benefits. Do you have any thoughts or recommendations on this?

    He is on Yunnan Baiyao and Apocaps, as well as Im-Yunity and cytoxan, and his supplements: BalanceIT, OsteoTruBenefits, fish oil, coconut oil, and Galliprant.

    • Molly Jacobson on March 26, 2019 at 2:40 pm

      Aloha Laura, thanks for writing. I’m not a veterinarian (I’m the book editor) so I can’t offer you medical advice, but I can say that in general, Dr. D thinks the benefits of the fresh ginger and garlic in his diet outweigh the theoretical risks. But the specifics of the case matter, of course. Not every dog will bleed, even with hemangiosarcoma, and if there is a bleed, is the tiny bit of garlic and ginger going to make it much worse, or only slightly worse, or not worse at all? There may be no way to know for certain 🙁 As is often true for cancer treatment, we can’t predict the future, and we definitely can’t prove a negative. So I recommend that you talk to your veterinarian about YOUR dog’s case. Are they concerned about a bleed? Some tumors are in places where the likelihood is high, and others aren’t. Some dogs are naturally “bleeders” to begin with, and others have tons of platelets and can clot like a champ. The fact that you are already using yunnan baiyao is great because it means your veterinarian is on-board with thinking about these things from a full spectrum mindset. If you are concerned, it’s worth asking your vet about whether they are worried about a little garlic and ginger in terms of increasing the risk of blood not clotting well in the case of a bleed.

  5. Janice Davis on July 15, 2018 at 1:07 pm

    Hi, when you write “Give roughly 1/2 teaspoon for dogs under 35 lbs” then you say “Ideally it is to be given three times a day. Mix in food. ” Are you saying give 1/2 a teaspoon three times a day for a total of 1.5 teaspoons? Or are you saying take that 1/2 teaspoon of ginger and divide it up over three times a day? Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us.

    • DogCancerBlog on July 17, 2018 at 10:18 am

      Hey Janice, thanks for writing! To clarify, Dr. Dressler is saying to give your dog 1/2 a teaspoon of ginger, ideally three times a day. So, your dog would receive a total of 1.5 teaspoons of ginger per day 🙂

      We hope this helps! 🙂

  6. Why Ginger Is So Good For Your Dog! on April 19, 2018 at 7:51 am

    […] even shown benefits as a cancer fighter in some studies. According to Demian Dressler, DVM, in the, one study showed that ginger could slow the rate of breast cancer growth in mice; while another […]

  7. Can Dogs Eat Ginger and Is Ginger Good for Dogs? on September 27, 2017 at 10:24 pm

    […] properties, the spice has been carefully examined as a holistic method for preventing cancer. In scientific studies, ginger was found to slow the growth of cancerous tumors and kill cancerous cells. The key to this […]

  8. John on June 15, 2016 at 6:08 am

    If I were to use the powder form of ginger root, what mg dosage would be good for a 60 lb dog?

  9. Susan Kazara Harper on March 15, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    Hello NataLee,
    Very sorry to hear about your fight, and we all know what it’s like to battle for our lovely dogs. It’s good that you have a vet oncologist. I understand your hesitancy about chemo, but I would love you to read the blogs here about chemo if you haven’t already. Chemo for dogs is nothing like the extreme chemo humans go through, and the truth is that you are in a fire fight here. We totally love and support all holistic and natural supportive therapies. Dr Dresslers book, The Dog Cancer Survival Guide, co-written with vet oncologist Dr Susan Ettinger (both also contribute to this blog) has chapters on the ingredients you mention as well as cautions of when they can be helpful, when not to use (as you mentioned with ginger) and frankly, they are not likely to help at all, in their opinion. Cancer is truly a wild fire, and holistic therapies while effective, are not proven to be able to stop wild fires. Surgery and chemo can be incredibly effective with an experiened vet oncologist at the helm. My own dog didn’t bat an eyelash through his chemo and did very very well. We supported him with great, natural nutrition, Apocaps, and all the holistic use to support him along with joy every day. It’s your decision, and you know what is best for you both. I’m simply asking you not to turn your back on conventional treatments such as chemo out of hand. Take a breath and a fresh look please. You can walk both roads if you wish. Download the Dog Cancer Diet (at the top of this blog) or at and use soft broths and delectible pureed foods like chicken to help her nutrition. Good luck my dear, and a big hug to your girl.

  10. Nataway on March 7, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    I am dealing with a rare cancer in my basset hound, matrical carcinoma. Our vet & oncologist know nothing of it nor how to treat it. She has had 3 surgeries to remove the mass amount of tumors that have grown out of control. Them being all over her body.
    The oncologist tried to push chemo but I am not really for that at this time.
    I have elected to do a more holistic approach, using coconut oil, turmeric, & cannabis oil.
    It seemed to help until this last surgery, well she was ok, then caught some form of infection that the vet wants to pass off as a reaction to rimadyl.
    I have been using anti nausea meds because she wouldn’t stop throwing up, she now won’t eat & barely drinking water.
    I am wondering if the ginger would help, & how much, it will have to be in a liquid form for now, also with her having surgery on February 13 would she be ok on it? I have read not yo administer before or shortly after a surgery, what are your opinions for this
    Thank you in advance I am desperate to help her get well & have the best quality of life

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