Pups and Spices: Will Cinnamon Hurt a Dog?

Cinnamon is delicious, and we’re sure it’s in your plans for some holiday sweets prep these days. After all, what’s a Christmas without the smell of cinnamon cookies?

Besides being popular around December, the spice offers health benefits for us, but what about our furry friends—can dogs eat nutmeg and cinnamon? Will cinnamon hurt a dog? It’s time we settle this once and for all, so continue reading to discover how cinnamon can help your pup, get tips on adding it to your dog’s food, and learn what to avoid.

Can Dogs Eat Cinnamon

Is cinnamon good for dogs?

A small amount of cinnamon isn’t toxic for dogs.However, any essential oils containing this spice are harmful to your pup. Cinnamon can cause skin and intestinal inflammation and hypersensitivity in both pets and humans, especially if taken in high quantities, so moderation is key.

Cinnamon sticks, ground cinnamon, or cinnamon in any food get a green flag.

However, if your dog inhales cinnamon powder, it’ll likely experience coughing and breathing problems. Similar to oil leading up to hypersensitivity, cinnamon sticks and ground cinnamon can cause irritation in your dog’s mouth.

Your dog also may not tolerate cinnamon due to an allergy.

Is Too Much Cinnamon Bad for Dogs

Cinnamon is definitely bad for dogs if one is not careful with the quantities. Below is a table of the pros and cons of giving dogs cinnamon, showcasing how vital moderation is for achieving physical health benefits.

Benefits of moderate amounts of cinnamon for dogs

Drawbacks of overusing cinnamon for dogs

The smallest dosage added to any dog food can improve the dog’s appetite. If a dog inhales powdered cinnamon, possible side effects include disorientation, drowsiness, dry mouth, irritation, and choking.
Improves immunity. Potential side effects if the dog eats too much cinnamon include low blood sugar, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Has anti-inflammatory properties. Side effects if the dog is allergic to cinnamon include sensitivity of the skin, changes in the heart rate, swelling, and indigestion.
Good brain food.

As you can see from the table, cinnamon carries plenty of benefits for dogs. However, it’s important to note that things can go downhill very quickly. This can easily be avoided if you give your pup more than the recommended dose. But how much is too much?

When it comes to cinnamon powder, you shouldn’t go for more than one teaspoon. On the other hand, you should keep the dosage even smaller with the cinnamon essential oils. The dosage also depends on how big your dog is, so naturally, the smaller the dog-the less cinnamon.

An emergency visit to the vet may be a significant financial concern for owners who do not have dog insurance policies to cover the cost of treatments.

Can Dogs Eat Baked Goods With Cinnamon

Most baked foods with cinnamon contain a modest quantity of it, so it shouldn’t be alarming if your dog eats some. Plenty of dog treats and pills include cinnamon because it benefits the canine’s well-being.

While these quantities of cinnamon are safe, most baked goods and snacks contain sugar, which should be avoided. Make sure to read the ingredients list before giving anything out of the ordinary to your pup.

Although cinnamon is not poisonous to dogs, nutmeg—another ubiquitous baking spice frequently included with cinnamon in recipes—can be.

Myristicin, a toxin found in nutmeg, can induce hallucinations, neurological disorders, an increased heart rate, dizziness, high blood pressure, abdominal pain, a dry mouth, and seizures.

Again, this is only valid if your dog ingests an abundant amount of said spice, so if this is the case, a trip to the vet is a must, as myristicin toxicity can cause severe issues.

Read this comprehensive article for more details on what human foods dogs can eat.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Is cinnamon toxic to dogs?

Cinnamon toxicity to a dog’s digestive tract depends on the amounts you give it. On the other hand, cinnamon oil should be avoided because it can be toxic if the dog consumes more than the recommended amount (less than a teaspoon).

Can dogs eat cinnamon bread?

You should not feed your dog any cinnamon sweets that you might make for yourself. Baked foods using cinnamon often contain a variety of substances that might be harmful to dogs. On the plus side, there are plenty of cinnamon treat recipes online that your dog might love.

Can dogs have cinnamon rolls?

Cinnamon alone is not hazardous to dogs, but the components in cinnamon buns are. Overall, they are not a good choice for your dog.

Key Takeaways

So, will cinnamon hurt a dog?

We know that dogs can make it incredibly difficult with their puppy eyes not to give them food, but for the sake of your dog’s health, avoid giving it more than a teaspoon of cinnamon powder. 

You can sprinkle it on their food to add a bit of flavor, or you can get creative and involve your pup in the Christmas festivities by baking them sweets made explicitly for them. There are tons of recipes online that incorporate cinnamon, so you’ve got many options.

Bon Appétit!


[1] AKC

[2] Pet Poison Healthline

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