Dogs & Cinnamon: This Suspicious Spice is Safe in Small Amounts

Posted by Erin McDade
Can Dogs Eat Cinnamon

Can a dog eat cinnamon? Is cinnamon safe for dogs?

Actually, yes! Cinnamon has many health benefits for both dogs and their owners. Dogs can eat cinnamon and it is often used as an ingredient in homemade dog treats. However, dog owners need to be aware of how to correctly feed their dogs cinnamon to avoid any health issues.

Is Cinnamon Bad for Dogs?

Cinnamon sticks, ground cinnamon, cinnamon essential oils, and cinnamon in baked goods are all edible and non-toxic for dogs. Chewing on cinnamon sticks and consuming ground cinnamon or essential oil can cause side effects such as mouth irritation and abdominal pain in your dog, and inhaling cinnamon powder can cause coughing, choking, and difficulty breathing. Like most human foods, adding cinnamon to your dog's food should be done in extremely small amounts. More than one teaspoon of cinnamon powder can cause irritation. Additionally, cinnamon oil and other essential oils can cause problems in lower dosages, and small breed dogs may be more sensitive to cinnamon than large breeds.

However, dog owners should be aware that feeding dogs highly processed people food, such as baked goods, is not always a good idea. High fat, high sugar, and high calorie foods (such as cinnamon rolls or cookies) can lead to obesity, diabetes, and complications such as pancreatitis or even liver disease. Some baked goods may also contain the highly toxic sweetener xylitol. Xylitol toxicity can cause disorientation, extremely low blood sugar, and a change in heart rate.

If you do choose to feed your dog cinnamon-flavored baked goods, do so in small amounts and on an irregular basis, and make sure they do not contain other ingredients that could be toxic or harmful to your dog, such as xylitol, chocolate, or raisins.

What Are the Health Benefits of Cinnamon?

Cinnamon is said to have a variety of health benefits for people, though these claims have yet to be proven conclusively. If you want to give cinnamon to your dog's diet as a supplement, consult with your veterinarian about the potential risks and benefits. In the meantime, look into other supplements that have been shown to help your dog.

Cinnamon is non-toxic, has numerous health benefits for both humans and dogs, and is commonly used in dog treats. Pet parents whose dogs are diabetic may add cinnamon to their dog's diet as it helps to regulate blood sugar by slowing the absorption of sugar in the bloodstream after a high-carbohydrate meal via insulin resistance. Cinnamon's anti-inflammatory properties can help manage joint pain and swelling, and increase brain function. It is high in antioxidants and may help maintain heart health by reducing high blood pressure.

A Warning About Nutmeg

Myristicin, a toxin found in nutmeg, can cause hallucinations and seizures in dogs. In general, the small amount used in baked goods is safe, but large amounts can be poisonous. If you suspect your pooch has gotten into the spice cabinet, contact your veterinarian or a pet poison helpline immediately. Keep nutmeg and nutmeg-containing baked goods out of your dog's reach. It takes large quantities of nutmeg to make dogs sick, but even less than a tablespoon will cause mild stomach upset.

What foods do your furry friends enjoy? Share with us on the Wide Open Pets Facebook page!

READ MORE: My Dog Ate a Peach. Will They Be O.K.?

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Dogs & Cinnamon: This Suspicious Spice is Safe in Small Amounts