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Can Dogs Have Cinnamon? Vet-Approved Facts & FAQ

Written by: Ashley Bates

Last Updated on June 26, 2024 by Dogster Team

cinnamon sticks are decorated on a wooden table with cinnamon powder placed on a dish

Can Dogs Have Cinnamon? Vet-Approved Facts & FAQ

VET APPROVED

Dr. Chyrle Bonk Photo

REVIEWED & FACT-CHECKED BY

Dr. Chyrle Bonk

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

We have to be very careful as pet owners when it comes to our spice cabinets. Some are perfectly harmless to pets while others can cause reactions, or even toxicity. Cinnamon is a very common household spice. It’s good in a variety of food dishes, and has its own major health benefits for humans as well.

But is it toxic to our canine friends? We are happy to say that, according to the ASPCA, cinnamon is non-toxic to dogs.1 However, quantity matters! Too much of anything is a bad thing, and cinnamon is no exception. Let’s dig in a little more and explore cinnamon for dogs.

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What Is Cinnamon?

Cinnamon is an incredibly popular spice that fills many cabinets across the globe. It is used classically in cooking, baking, and aromatics—plus, it has a bounty of health benefits. Luckily, it’s pretty safe to have around the house for the majority of pets and people.

Cinnamon for Dogs

So can dogs east cinnamon? Cinnamon is perfectly safe for dogs and can even be nutritionally beneficial if given to dogs in the correct quantities. However, too much can cause some major gastrointestinal upset—and can even affect their liver.

So, if your pup has broken into your spice cabinet and gobbled down a lot of cinnamon powder or they gnawed up some cinnamon sticks, you might have an issue. Also be aware that cinnamon essential oil can be extremely toxic when consumed, inhaled, or touched.

bowl of ready-to-use ground cinnamon and a few pieces of whole cinnamon
Image Credit: Lilik Uswatin Chasanah, Shutterstock

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Benefits of Cinnamon for Dogs

In the right context, cinnamon is good for dogs and even has a few pretty fabulous benefits for them, but keep in mind that feeding them cinnamon is certainly not a necessity. Always check with your vet before serving and be sure to measure correctly. If your dog eats too much, it can make them pretty miserable.

While these scientific benefits haven’t been fully proven yet, cinnamon may provide the following benefits. Just be aware that the amount of cinnamon that is safe for your dog may not be enough to provide much in the way of these benefits.

Anti-inflammatory Properties

Inflammation is the body’s response to healing illness and injury. However, if there’s inflammation chronically, it can lead to disease. Cinnamon has anti-inflammatory properties that can be terrific for dogs if offered in moderation.

Antioxidants

Antioxidants can help to remove free radicals in the body. Cinnamon bark contains procyanidins and catechins that possess antioxidant activity. This can protect your dog’s body from cancer and other chronic diseases.

Blood Sugar Regulation

Cinnamon is a natural insulin stimulant. Because of this, it can be useful in blood sugar regulation in dogs. If your dog has diabetes, absolutely discuss giving them cinnamon with your veterinarian to ensure its safety.

dog owner talking to vet
Image Credit: SeventyFour, Shutterstock

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Risks of Cinnamon for Dogs

So when is cinnamon bad for dogs? Even though it is non-toxic, that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily good for them to have it unsupervised. If your dog has chewed up a cinnamon stick or lapped up some cinnamon powder, it can cause some real issues.

Lung Irritation

Inhaling cinnamon can be really harmful for your dog’s lungs. Any strong powder substance such as this can lead to wheezing, coughing, and other lung irritation. It can also dry out and irritate the nasal passages.

Sensitivities and Allergies

All dogs are different. Some of them can be extremely sensitive to things like cinnamon. Not only can it cause irritation of the inner lining of the nose and lungs, but it can cause an allergic reaction.

If your dog is experiencing an allergic reaction, some of the signs might include:

  • Wheezing
  • Skin irritation
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

If your dog is experiencing any of these symptoms, get them to your vet right away.

Digestive Upset and Other Issues

As briefly mentioned before, eating lots of cinnamon can lead to digestive upset, including vomiting and diarrhea. This should be mild and go away within a few days, but see your vet if it doesn’t.

Dogs may also experience a drop in blood sugar and changes in heart rate that could lead to collapse and liver disease if large amounts of cinnamon or cinnamon oil are eaten.

dog in vet clinic
Image Credit: Pickadook, Shutterstock

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When to Call Your Vet

If you know your dog has eaten a substantial amount of cinnamon, don’t hesitate to call your vet. It could require veterinary attention. At the very least, it might cause nausea, diarrhea, or vomiting, which can be challenging to deal with, too. It’s always best to seek out advice from a professional.

If you notice any adverse side effects whatsoever when you give your dog cinnamon, it’s best to contact your vet. Even though cinnamon is non-toxic, it can still cause general upset and even allergic reactions in dogs.

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So, Can Dogs Eat Cinnamon?

Yes, generally speaking, dogs can have cinnamon as it is non-toxic, but that doesn’t mean that no risks are involved. Some dogs can be sensitive to it, and it shouldn’t be eaten in large quantities or inhaled. Always ask your vet before administering supplemental foods to your dog’s diet.

Cinnamon is a wonderful spice to have on hand and has so many uses. So, you can have this spice in your home guilt-free—it won’t hurt your pups in moderation!


Featured Image Credit: Light Stock, Shutterstock

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