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Can Dogs Have Pumpkin Spice? Health & Nutrition Guide

Written by: Misty Layne

Last Updated on April 5, 2024 by Dogster Team

pumpkin spice

Can Dogs Have Pumpkin Spice? Health & Nutrition Guide

Fall brings with it the advent of pumpkin spice everything—pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin spice cookies and bread, pumpkin spice scented candles, and more! There’s really no better way to get into the fall season than with some pumpkin spice. But when you’re enjoying all things pumpkin spice, you might wonder whether giving your dog a bit of whatever you’re eating or drinking is safe.

Can dogs have pumpkin spice? The answer is a resounding no!

When enjoying the ultimate fall flavor, you should keep it to yourself, no matter how pleading your pup’s eyes get. Why can’t canines enjoy pumpkin spice along with you? Here’s why!

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Why Can’t Dogs Eat Pumpkin Spice?

Dogs can’t eat pumpkin spice because it contains toxic ingredients. Pumpkin spice isn’t actually pumpkin. Instead, it’s a mix of different spices used to flavor things, and it often doesn’t have pumpkin in it at all. Some of the spices used in pumpkin spice can be deadly for your pup if they eat a lot, so it’s safest to just not give them any at all.

Then, you have the foods and drinks pumpkin spice is used in. These, too, could be dangerous for your pet, depending on the item. For example, lattes contain caffeine, which is a huge no-no for our canine companions. Or a food or drink could contain xylitol, which is incredibly toxic to dogs.

Pumpkin Spice
Image Credit: Karolina Grabowska, Unsplash

Dangers of Feeding Pumpkin Spice to Dogs

What spices in pumpkin spice make it dangerous for our dogs to eat? Here’s a closer look at the dangers of feeding pumpkin spice to your dog.

1. Allspice and Cloves

Allspice and cloves contain something called eugenol, an oily substance that can be extracted from these ingredients and is toxic to canines (and other pets). It can often be found in essential oils, too, so avoid using essential oils with this ingredient around your dog, as well. If a dog eats too much allspice or cloves, they could experience vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, dizziness, and lethargy. There’s even a risk of liver disease and toxicity if your pet eats enough.

2. Cinnamon

Cinnamon can have health benefits for dogs when used in small amounts (such as a dash), as it has antifungal properties, anti-inflammatory properties, and is an antioxidant. However, too much cinnamon is a whole other story. If a dog consumes an overabundance of cinnamon, they could experience lowered blood sugar, changes in their heart rate, irritation of the mouth, diarrhea, vomiting, or issues with the liver. Plus, if your canine pal inhales cinnamon, it could cause them to choke, cough, and have trouble breathing.

Image Credit: weinstock, Pixabay

3. Ginger

Ginger isn’t considered toxic to canines so long as it’s given to them in minute amounts. This ingredient can actually be helpful at times, especially for pups who get carsick, as it can help prevent them from getting nauseous. However, dogs shouldn’t have more than 0.07 ounces of ginger for every 2 pounds of their weight. If a dog has more than that, it can lead to some pretty strange things, such as “ginger jitters”, which is when the central nervous system becomes overstimulated, causing jumpiness. Dried ginger root can also cause a dog to have stomach upset, diarrhea, and lethargy. Speak with your vet before giving your pet any ginger so they can tell you just how much is safe.

4. Nutmeg

Now, nutmeg is quite toxic to dogs, and most pumpkin spices contain it. This is because it has something called myristicin, which has been shown to cause hallucinations. Not only can it cause your pup to hallucinate, but it can also cause high blood pressure, disorientation, a higher heart rate, dry mouth, stomach pain, and possibly seizures. And all of those can last for as long as 48 hours.

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What Do I Do if My Dog Eats Pumpkin Spice?

If your dog has managed to consume pumpkin spice, don’t immediately panic. Chances are, they only had a minimal amount, so they should be fine. However, you should still keep an eye on them for the next few hours to see if they develop symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, dizziness, or jitteriness. If they do, contact your vet.

If you believe your dog has eaten a large quantity of pumpkin spice, reach out to your vet immediately. They can let you know whether you should bring your dog in for a visit or simply watch over them for the next couple of days.

pumpkin slices on parchment paper and the whole pumpkin
Image Credit: Regesha Iryna, Shutterstock

Can Dogs Eat Pumpkin?

Pure pumpkin is perfectly safe for canines! Not only will it not make them ill (provided it’s given to them in moderation), but it also has some health benefits. Pumpkin is high in fiber, low in fat, and has essential vitamins your dog needs. You can even use pumpkin to help your dog with digestive issues, such as diarrhea!

Can Dogs Eat Pumpkin Pie?

Now, we’re back in the area of unsafe foods to give to your pet. Unfortunately, pumpkin pie has ingredients that aren’t healthy for your dog and some that may be toxic. Canned pumpkin pie filling and pumpkin mix typically contain pumpkin spice (which we’ve already ascertained is dangerous), as well as sweeteners that could be unhealthy or toxic. Then, you have sugar, butter, and condensed milk, which are all unhealthy and could cause your pup to have an upset stomach.

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Pumpkin spice in absolutely everything may be fantastic for us when fall rolls around, but it’s less fantastic for our dogs. Pumpkin spice contains several spices (but surprisingly, not usually pumpkin), which can harm canines. Plus, most food and drink items that come with pumpkin spice are unhealthy for your pup, either because they contain unhealthy ingredients or toxic ones. So, skip the pumpkin spice for your dog and stick with pure pumpkin in small amounts or pumpkin-flavored dog-specific treats!

Featured Image Credit: Min Ling, Pixabay

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