If you like to make baked goods like pumpkin pie and cinnamon rolls, your dog is probably there keeping you company and hoping to get their paws on some crumbs. In this case, you’re probably wondering whether cinnamon is safe or toxic to dogs?
So, can dogs eat cinnamon? The short answer is yes; dogs can eat cinnamon in small amounts. Cinnamon is non-toxic to dogs and shouldn’t harm your pet unless ingested in large quantities. Eating too much cinnamon can cause vomiting and diarrhea, and inhaling powdered cinnamon can lead to choking and difficulty breathing.
In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about the benefits and risks of cinnamon to dogs. Keep on reading to find out more!
Is Cinnamon Good for Dogs?
The good news is that cinnamon isn’t toxic to dogs. It’s unlikely that your pooch will suffer serious consequences if they ingest a large quantity of cinnamon.
However, this doesn’t mean that you should let your dog eat cinnamon sticks or mix cinnamon powder with their food on a regular basis.
Some holistic veterinarians claim that cinnamon is good for dogs and can offer health benefits. But, research is still being conducted to determine the exact effect various forms of cinnamon have on dogs.
Benefits of Cinnamon for Dogs
Cinnamon is thought to be relatively safe and can offer certain health benefits to dogs when consumed in a small amount. However, a clear dose has not yet been identified, so if you want to start feeding your dog cinnamon, talk with your vet first!
Potential benefits of cinnamon for dogs are:
1. Improved Brain Function
Cinnamon is full of antioxidants and some researchers believe that eating cinnamon can reduce oxidation in the brain and improve cognitive function in dogs. Furthermore, eating small amounts of cinnamon may protect dopamine production systems and improve your dog’s motor function as well.
2. Manage Symptoms of Arthritis
Cinnamon is chock full of eugenol, an aromatic substance that has an anti-inflammatory and antiseptic action. Due to these properties, cinnamon is often used to treat symptoms of arthritis and can be especially helpful for older dogs with mobility issues.
3. Improved Digestion
Cinnamon’s warming flavor and high fiber content can help soothe an upset stomach in dogs and improve digestion. In small amounts, this spice also acts as a natural remedy for constipation, gas, and vomiting in dogs.
Risks of Cinnamon for Dogs
While small amounts of cinnamon shouldn’t harm your pooch, ingesting large quantities of this spice can be problematic. The most common side effects of eating a large amount of cinnamon are:
1. Digestive Irritation
Ingesting large amounts of ground cinnamon, cinnamon essential oils, or cinnamon sticks can lead to digestive irritation in dogs. After gorging themselves on too much cinnamon most dogs exhibit symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea.
Call your vet immediately, if your pooch managed to steal a large amount of ground cinnamon or cinnamon stick from your pantry.
2. Mouth Irritation
Consuming too much cinnamon powder or cinnamon sticks can cause irritation in your dog’s mouth and even create mouth sores. Call your vet if you notice that your pup’s mouth or gums are bleeding or if they have trouble eating after consuming cinnamon.
3. Breathing Problems
The biggest risk with feeding your dog cinnamon is that they will accidentally inhale it. Inhaling cinnamon powder can cause your dog to cough, choke, and have difficulty breathing.
Therefore, it’s best that you keep ground cinnamon stashed away, out of your dog’s reach.
How Much Cinnamon Can I Give My Dog?
If you decide to feed cinnamon to your dog, don’t offer more than half of a tablespoon of ground cinnamon to your pooch. Generally, most dogs experience issues if they consume more than one tablespoon of cinnamon powder, so don’t overdo it (source).
Bear in mind, small dog breeds may need a lower amount of cinnamon than large dog breeds. To avoid any adverse reactions, talk with your vet before feeding cinnamon to your dog.
What Kind of Cinnamon Can I Give My Dog?
There are two types of cinnamon that you can purchase in grocery stores – Ceylon cinnamon and Cassia cinnamon.
Ceylon cinnamon is lighter in color, has a sweeter taste, and is safer for dogs to eat. This type of cinnamon has lower levels of coumarin, which can cause liver damage in dogs when consumed in large quantities.
The Cassia cinnamon, on the other hand, is darker in color, has a strong flavor, and is easily found in every grocery store. However, this type contains higher levels of coumarin and can be toxic to dogs if consumed regularly or in large amounts (source).
How About Cinnamon Flavored Dog Treats?
Cinnamon is a common ingredient in many commercial dog treats that are perfectly safe for dogs to eat. These treats are formulated to meet the nutritional needs of dogs, and you can feed them to your pooch as you would any other dog treat.
However, you should refrain from feeding cinnamon-flavored people foods and baked goods to your dog. Cinnamon cookies and pies are also high in sugar, and may also contain other harmful ingredients such as xylitol, chocolate, and raisins.
Furthermore, cinnamon and nutmeg are often used together in baked recipes, and nutmeg can have toxic effects on dogs. Nutmeg contains the toxin myristicin which can cause hallucinations, increased heart rate, high blood pressure, dry mouth, and even seizures in dogs.
How to Feed Cinnamon to Your Dog?
If you decide to feed cinnamon to your dog, talk with your vet first about the appropriate dose. Once you know how much cinnamon is safe for your dog, here are several ways you can feed it to your pooch:
- Sprinkle cinnamon powder over your dog’s food
- Make apple and cinnamon treats for your dog
- Make peanut butter and cinnamon treats for your pooch
- Use raw pumpkin and cinnamon to make dog treats
Dogs can eat small amounts of cinnamon without experiencing any side effects. Unless your pooch inhales cinnamon powder, this flavorful spice shouldn’t harm them in any way.
While some claim that small amounts of cinnamon may offer health benefits to dogs, studies are still to prove or disprove these theories. To be on the safe side, talk with your vet first to see whether or not your dog can benefit from eating cinnamon.