Has your beloved dog ever gotten into the spice rack? Perhaps he’s begged for your cinnamon scones on more than one occasion. If so, then you probably wondered if dogs can eat cinnamon? Well, there are certain foods like chocolate and grapes that are toxic to dogs, so it makes perfect sense that should worry about spices like cinnamon as well.
So you’ll be relieved to know that cinnamon is not toxic to dogs. And while your dog will not suffer from any fatal toxic symptoms from consuming too much cinnamon, you shouldn’t necessarily sprinkle it on his kibble.
When Can Dogs Eat Cinnamon?
As we mentioned earlier, the simple answer is that cinnamon is non-toxic to dogs. However, you don’t want to feed Fido table scraps of food loaded with cinnamon. This type of people foods may leave your pet with an upset stomach.
And while cinnamon is not toxic, it’s likely that the same treat contains plenty of other ingredients that are.
Cinnamon is not toxic to dogs, but nutmeg is. And if nutmeg is consumed in large amounts, it causes hallucinations and accelerated heart rate in dogs. Interestingly, it also has the same impact on people.
You should be especially careful if the treat you are planning on serving your dog contains any amount of chocolate. This is because chocolate is an absolute no-no for dogs since it is fatal.
Likewise, consider the treat carefully because some of them, such as cinnamon buns are made with raisins and other ingredients that can be toxic to your dogs.
Alternatively, if you’d like to feed your dog cinnamon treats, there’s more than enough dog biscuits that combine cinnamon with other dogs-safe ingredients such as sweet potatoes, pumpkin, turkey and apples.
Treating Cinnamon Poisoning in Dogs
Cinnamon is generally well tolerated by most dogs. Cinnamon is also commonly used as an antioxidant which lowers blood sugar in people.
Cinnamon poisoning in dogs is not something that happens frequently. However, pets can be exposed to cinnamon by chewing on a cinnamon tree, being fed food seasoned with the spice, or directly consuming the essential oil that’s being used for cooking. However, it will take a large amount of cinnamon powder to cause problems in your dog.
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Large overdoses of cinnamon powder can lead to low blood sugar, vomiting, liver disease, changes in heart rate as well as diarrhea. Inhaling cinnamon powder can be really irritating to the lungs and cause choking, coughing, bronchospasm as well as difficulty breathing in your pet.
So if you believe that your pet has consumed a large amount of cinnamon or inhaled the spice in any way, contact your vet immediately so that they can assist your beloved pet on the road to recovery.
What Types of Cinnamon Are Safe for Dogs to Eat?
Cinnamon is a small tree that grows in India, Brazil, Egypt, and Vietnam. To make cinnamon the bark of the tree is rolled into cinnamon sticks and then ground into powder.
There are four varieties of cinnamon; however, Ceylon and Cassia cinnamon are the most popular. Ceylon is also known as true cinnamon and is much sweeter and lighter in color than the Cassia variety. Cassia tends to be a darker cinnamon commonly found in Starbucks and supermarkets. Irrespective of the variety you choose, it’s worth it to spend a bit more on organic cinnamon which is also more fragrant than its non-organic counterparts.
Traditionally, cinnamon is used to remedy nausea, diarrhea, flatulence, and painful menstrual periods. It’s also believed to boost circulation, energy, vitality as well as enhance cognitive function and improve the digestion of dairy products.
However, cinnamon does have health benefits for dogs as well such as improving brain function, warding off diabetes, keeping infections away, etc.
As a word of caution, when it comes to cinnamon is that some varieties such as Cassia cinnamon which is the darker variety contain the compound called coumarin which damages the liver at high levels. So this is just another reason why Ceylon cinnamon is recommended for dogs instead. Cassia cinnamon can be served to dogs as long as it is done in very small amounts.
Cinnamon also has a mild anti-clotting effect on the blood. So too much can cause bleeding problems in your dog.
The good news is that cinnamon given in small amounts, like half a teaspoon at every meal does a lot more good than harm for your dog.
Health Benefits of Cinnamon for Dogs
Improves Brain Function
It is believed that sniffing cinnamon may improve brain function in dogs. So if you’re training your dog on learning new tricks, then giving them a bit of cinnamon may very well help him to perform better. Cinnamon is, therefore considered brain food. It is antioxidant-rich and helps to defend dogs against neurological disorders. It also improves cognitive functions such as memory and brings both mental and physical health benefits.
Wards Off Diabetes
It is also believed that cinnamon wards off diabetes in dogs. Just half a teaspoon a day can regulate blood sugar and increase insulin resistance. So ultimately, it boosts the body’s ability to use insulin to improve blood glucose levels. So cinnamon is vital for anyone who is at risk for diabetes, and that also includes senior or overweight dogs.
Staves Off Yeast Infections
Cinnamon can also help stave off yeast infections in dogs. Research shows that cinnamon is antifungal and combats Candida albicans. This is a fungus that causes yeast infections. They often resist medication; however, they cannot resist cinnamon. Dogs who have allergies are usually susceptible to infections. So if you know that your dog has some allergies, why not help him build immunity to yeast infections by serving him small amounts of cinnamon each day.
Good for Arthritis
If your dog is suffering from arthritis, cinnamon may just be what he needs. This is especially if your dog is older. By mixing half a teaspoon of cinnamon with a tablespoon of honey and serving it to your dog, it will help to alleviate pain and help your dog walk easier.
Cinnamon also lowers blood pressure, cholesterol and slows the growth of Lymphoma and Leukemia cells. A study which was published in The Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances revealed that dogs who ate cinnamon had improved heart health. The dogs that were served cinnamon had significantly lower systolic blood pressure and heart rate as compared to dogs in groups that were not given cinnamon.
Preserves Dog Food for Longer
Cinnamon is also antibacterial and increases the shelf life of your food. So in the event that you have left-over dog food in a can, simply empty it into a glass dish, sprinkle some cinnamon powder over it, cover with a plastic lid and refrigerate overnight. This process preserves palatability and also prevents the growth of E.Coli bacteria in various foods.
How to Add Cinnamon to your Dog’s Diet?
Cinnamon is not toxic to dogs. However, this is only if it is served in its natural form.
Cinnamon bread, cinnamon toast crunch, cinnamon rolls, or any other holiday desserts should not be given to your dog under any circumstances.
Cookies, cakes, and baked goods that are made with cinnamon usually have a lot of other ingredients that could be fatal to your dog. So here are some of the foods to stay away from:
Raisins, nutmeg, nuts, sugar and cocoa powder or chocolate.
The foods listed above are extremely toxic to dogs and can cause a series of health problems. So to remain on the safe side, avoid serving up any of these foods. Alternatively, if you want to share holiday desserts with them, consider making your dog’s home treats or buying their favorite dog snacks.
Cinnamon for Dogs
- Cinnamon adds flavor to your dog’s meals
- It improves your dog’s brain development
- It is okay to use small quantities of cinnamon to add some nice spice to Fido’s dog treats
- A little bit of cinnamon added to your dog’s food can stimulate their appetite
- Too much cinnamon can lead to vomiting and diarrhea.
- Cinnamon in powder form usually causes choking, irritation, or difficulty breathing.
The Bottom Line
So the final verdict is that dogs can eat cinnamon and live to bark about it. So this as long as they don’t inhale it in powdered form. However, cinnamon should never be given to dogs in the form of baked goods as they may contain other fatal ingredients. Also, ensure the cinnamon is introduced gradually and only introduce one new food at a time. Also, steer clear of cinnamon sticks as it can cause stomach and mouth irritation in dogs. Overall, dogs tend to enjoy the flavor of cinnamon, and the fact that it has health benefits such as anti-inflammatory properties for your dog is a plus.
Shawn Manaher is a serial entrepreneur but when he isn’t working, he loves dogs. He’s owned different pets over the years, and always gives a part of his heart to each pet.