Can dogs eat cinnamon? Or is cinnamon bad for dogs?
When it comes to feeding your pooch, finding the right advice can be tricky.
Especially if you add in the complexity of an array of spices into the mix.
But don’t worry, we’re here to help!
Can dogs eat cinnamon? Let’s find out!
Cinnamon is, after all, an extremely common spice.
It’s in everything from pastries to cookies and even on meats.
What if your pooch swipes one of these goodies off of your plate?
Should you call your vet immediately or is cinnamon safe for your pet?
Perhaps you’ve heard of the human health benefits that come from consuming cinnamon. And are wondering if this delectable spice has similar benefits for your pooch?
These are the exact questions we are aiming to answer in this quick guide!
We’re explore what exactly cinnamon is, and learn about a dog’s ideal diet and allergies.
Then, using this information, we’ll figure out whether cinnamon is ok for dogs.
First, let’s look at what cinnamon is and where it comes from.
What is Cinnamon?
Cinnamon is a commonly used spice that comes from the inner bark of several trees.
These trees, more particularly, are from the genius Cinnamomum, which is where cinnamon gets its name!
Cinnamon has been used by humanity for an extremely long time.
It was even imported to Egypt in 2000 BCE!
This prized spice was used as a gift to monarchies and even gods!
In fact, there are reports of cinnamon being offered at the temple of Apollo in Greece.
Cinnamon is collected after letting the tree grow for two years, and then cutting the stems at ground level.
The next year, the stems grow back and the process is repeated.
To understand the answer to can dogs eat cinnamon is yes, however, let us look at what exactly cinnamon is made of.
What Is Cinnamon Made Of?
The flavor of cinnamon comes from the essential oil cinnamaldehyde.
This oil is harvested from the cinnamon stalk by basically pounding and rinsing it.
This produces what is commonly called “oil of cinnamon”.
When aged, this essential oil gets darker and stickier.
This is why cinnamon can have lots of subtle differences depending on its age.
Cinnamon also includes about 80 other components, including eugenol.
Luckily, cinnamon contains none of the things dogs are commonly allergic to.
It is not toxic to dogs in its normal form. Still, there is one version of cinnamon that is toxic to dogs.
Can dogs eat cinnamon oil?
When harvested in a specific way, as we discussed previously, cinnamon becomes very concentrated.
This substance is called “oil of cinnamon” or simply “cinnamon oil”.
This substance is usually used in cooking or drink flavoring.
However, it is almost always used in a very small amount – normally only a drop or two.
If a whole container is ingested, however, it can be toxic to dogs.
Even in people, ingesting a large amount of cinnamon oil can cause stomach upset, diarrhea, and dizziness. Luckily, ingestion is usually not fatal.
However, if you suspect that you pooch has ingested cinnamon oil, it is always best to call your vet.
They can use their expertise to review the situation and choose the best plan of action for you and your pet.
Furthermore, even if not ingested, cinnamon oil can be a skin irritant.
If you accidently spill some on your pet, it is best to wash them as soon as possible.
This prevents the oil from irritating your pet’s skin and causing a rash or sores.
Is Cinnamon Toxic to Dogs?
An average amount of cinnamon is not toxic to canines.
The amount that is generally put in food will not harm your pet.
So, can dogs eat cinnamon safely then?
Well, don’t jump up and feed your dog a spoonful of cinnamon.
Ground cinnamon is toxic in large quantities.
It can cause low blood sugar, vomiting and diarrhea, just to name a few.
Plus, consuming ground cinnamon by itself can irritate your pup’s mouth because it has a tendency to sit on the gums and tongue.
Inhaling lots of cinnamon powder, as well, can cause coughing and irritation if prolonged.
It also probably isn’t a good idea to let your dog chew on cinnamon sticks either.
While it probably won’t cause any internal problems, the prolonged exposure can cause irritation on his or her lips, tongue, and gums.
Basically, cinnamon in amounts usually used in cooking is completely okay to spice up your pup’s food.
But, don’t let your pup eat large amounts of powdered cinnamon or cinnamon stalks.
And definitely don’t give your pup cinnamon oil.
Is Cinnamon Good for Dogs
As we have seen, normal amounts of cinnamon is not toxic to dogs.
However, this does not necessarily mean that it provides benefits when consumed by dogs.
Truthfully, there has not been very much research regarding the health benefits of dogs consuming cinnamon.
Actually, it was only recently that the benefits towards humans were scientifically explored.
We really do not know if cinnamon is particularly good for dogs or not.
However, small amounts probably won’t hurt.
In fact, you can find some recipes for cinnamon dog treats!
Recipes with Cinnamon for Dogs
There are actually lots of cinnamon recipes out there for dogs.
One of my favorites are these super simple dog treats.
They are very easy to make and have my dog’s seal of approval.
However, they do contain flour, so be aware if your dog has a gluten allergy.
There is also this recipe that contains both apples and cinnamon.
I have not tired this recipe specifically. However, it sounds pretty good!
This recipe is slightly more involved, since you have to cut and peel the apples.
But anything for your favorite pooch, right?
This recipe boasts that it taste good for both you and your dog!
Plus, they really do look good as well!
Can Dogs Eat Cinnamon?
Dogs can have cinnamon in the amount usually used for cooking.
Cinnamon is only dangerous if consumed in large amounts, whether in powder or liquid form.
It can also be an irritant if the stalks are chewed on or if it gets stuck in your canine’s teeth.
However, generally cinnamon is pretty safe for your pooch.
In fact, there are even a number of recipes available for dog treats that contain cinnamon!
Of course, we don’t really know whether cinnamon has any specific health benefits for dogs.
There just hasn’t been enough studies or research done to tell us if there are any benefits!
However, an average amount of cinnamon won’t hurt your pup.
So there really isn’t a reason NOT to let them have it!
References and Further Reading
Toussaint-Samat, Magueloone. “A History of Food”. John Wiley & Sons. 2009
“FAOSTAT Crops”. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
“Top 10 Most Frequently Reported Poison.” Pet Poison Helpline.
“Oil of Cinnamon”. U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Angle, Catherine. “Nutmeg and Cinnamon Toxicity”. Poison Pet Helpline.