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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. m on March 7, 2015 at 11:30 am

    metacam works well here for swelling. blessings to you and yours.

  2. Betty on March 20, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    Hi. I have an 11yr. old miniature fox terrier named Layla. I found three small tumors or cysts on her stomach and breast area around the first of November .Tests showed she has one between her liver and pancreas, and because of an irregular heartbeat and seizure problems the vet won’t do a biopsy,so it’s really unclear if it’s cancerous I started a regimen of Dr. Budwigs cottage cheese and flax oil diet twice daily as the vet said that these small tumors can become cancerous if left unchecked. She gets minimal amounts as she also gets pancreatitus quite often,and I give she cayenne pepper to regulate her heart.(her heart was stopping occasionally before the use of cayenne) she no longer passes out. I give her minimal amounts of ginger for any nausea.She gets about a teaspoon of crushed cucumber for liver and pancreas support twice daily and a drop of dandelion extract every other day for the liver.I read the message from the lady who’s pet had pancreatic cancer and she needs to know that the liver needs treatment right along with the pancreas. I have tried several other herbs but because of the seizures there are some she can’t take and I give minimal in the ones she can so as not to cause a problem there. Now after this long commentary of her life my question to you is, since she was basically sent home to die with all the antibiotics and pain killers I ask for, do you think I’m doing more harm than good? My vet says to keep up what I doing as long as she’s tolerating the herbs. Thanks for listening.

    • Dr. Demian Dressler on March 26, 2013 at 4:39 pm

      Dear Betty,
      it does not sound to be that you are doing more harm than good.
      I’d add some milk thistle or Denamarin, some Apocaps, some immune support like ImYunity or K-9 Immunity or active hexose correlated compound too (but check with your vet first)
      Have you read the Guide? Might help. Start everything slow, and introduce each after 5-7 days to be sure the prior one is tolerated without pancreatitis flare ups….
      Dr D

  3. yhet on February 23, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    Hi, i have my japanese spitz mix chihuahua aged 1& 1/2 years. She was diagnose with gardiasis and some other bacteria in her intestine. The effect of it on her is that she vomits every foods she eats, loss of appetite and having bloodand liquid ize poops with those yellowish part on it. The vet prescribe my pet to take antibiotics in two kinds. But i still dont have it now. Doc. Can i have something that i can use any home remedies for my pet, in order for her to get back her loss appetite and be treated. Your answer and suggestions may help us alot. Thanks ^_^

  4. Byron on December 27, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    Can ginger help destroy prostate cancer in my dog?

    • Dr. Demian Dressler on January 2, 2013 at 11:50 am

      Byrong, the short answer is no, ginger root does not “destroy” prostate cancer. High concentrations of gingerols may help but I cannot say they cure cancer. So we think of using as many tools that may help, and use them all together. You are dealing with a forest fire in prostate cancer that a squirt gun is not enough for, if you get my drift.
      Perhaps this post will help:
      Dr D

  5. John Bulmer on December 22, 2012 at 10:45 am

    Dr. Dressler, thank you for this information.

    Researched the potential benefits associated with ginger for humans, so it was good to find your blog that this may be effective for dogs as well.

    On 21 December 2012 my faithful companion was diagnosed with prostate cancer, which has spread to the lungs. The tumors in the prostrate have enlarged it sufficiently to pressure the bowels / colon and the bladder / urethra, which means it is almost impossible for my boy to pee or poop. The cancer may be the evil killer, but the inability to pee / poop is the biggest discomfort so far.

    My only objective at this point is to prevent discomfort for my boy. Have you read or been able to determine how long it takes for the ginger to reduce the inflamation?

    I can not get him in for radiation treatment for 2 – 3 weeks and would not want him to suffer during this period.


    John B

  6. Lauren on June 30, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    Dear Doctor Dressler,
    I have started my Airedale, Ursa on cooked food as suggested by your book and my veterinary oncologist (she was on raw). She has multiple myeloma, pretty rare for dogs. I am a psychiatrist and do appreciate the mindfulnes and hope in your guide. So I watch her eat her new food with great satisfaction.
    My Questions:

    1. Your list of veggies is short, I do understand not giving high carb things like peas, carrots, root veggies; what about celery, asparagus, tomato?

    2. For people who want to go the extra mile, is acidophilus fermentation a good thing?

    3.Are there vegetables you would not feed to dogs, or dogs with cancer? I understand that vegetable is a term that is not accurate. Can you elaborate?


    • Dr. Demian Dressler on July 10, 2012 at 10:08 pm

      Dear Lauren
      Hope this helps:
      1. Yes to those veggies but watch out for the low calories creating weight loss. Also lots of acid in tomato so use sparingly for most dogs..
      2. If you would like to go the extra mile, I have no problem with fermentation but again I do worry a bit about the acid. I prefer puree of low temp cooked veggies with digestive enzymes..
      3. onions, (grapes/raisins), possibly avocado, starchy or sugary ones (artichoke hearts, beets, etc and of course the others in the Guide…hard to give a list of all the veggies in the world though…but those are the biggies…

  7. […] good health benefits especially for dogs with cancer. Here is some info if anyone is interested: Ginger to help dogs with cancer __________________ Sue – Mom to […]

  8. constantin on December 4, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    Dear Doctor Dressler,
    The wonderful blog you have gave me a little bit of courage at a time of its greatest challenge. After x-rays showing the left upper part of my dog’s pelvis simply disappeared when I brought him to the vet for his lameness, limping, and tremor following a jump over a ditch that collapsed him in great yelp, the diagnosis was osteosarcoma with days to live. Not having the financial means for a follow up with cat scans to identify a tumor in hospital and also knowing that at his almost 10 year old age this rottweiler would not make it with the tests, I combined the prescribed by the vet tramadol and amoxicillin with budwig protocol, turmeric spread over his food (always natural meat and bone, both raw and soup), recovazol, vitamin D but now I decide to add the topical treatment with ginger as well. As I read over the internet that the ginger in topical compress is a very dangerous game to play over a tumor (I still do not know for sure if there is one or he fractured very severely his pelvis) PLEASE CLARIFY FOR ME:
    If applied over the place of the injury/tumor only for 3 minutes before applying a taro potatoe plaster is the ginger compress still dangerous and … if taro potatoes plaster has any power over the injury/tumor WITHOUT the ginger compress preceding it. Thank you so much.

    • Dr. Demian Dressler on December 10, 2011 at 6:05 pm

      Dear Constantin
      I have not used taro or potato compresses for dog cancer. I doubt the topical ginger would do harm one way or another to be honest, just be sure to have your vet supervising the treatment so there is no skin irritation.
      You may want to learn a bit more about diet and supplements too in the Guide, which has quite a lot on supplements and nutrition for this type of thing. I’d be thinking about apoptogens (this one has gingerols in it), neoplasene, immune support, anti metastatics, etc.
      Dr D

  9. Lene Olshove on October 8, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    DR Dressler
    Just open your website for the first time, it was wery informative,

  10. Lene Olshove on October 8, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    I would like to know more about lymphoma cancer, as my St Poodel has just
    been diagnoised w/ cancer, she has been on med, for one week, Prednisone 20mg 2 time a day and Doxycycline 100mg 2 time a day. she has started to
    eat again. As I take ginger I thought it may be good for Natasha, but your report
    said no ginger w/ med.
    Thank you Lene

    10-8-2011 at 9:50 pm

    • Demian Dressler on October 12, 2011 at 8:53 pm

      Dear Lene,
      do you have a specific question about lympho? The Guide has a whole chapter on this cancer, so of course that would be a good option.
      You should have no problem giving ginger with these meds.
      I hope this helps

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