Cinnamon spice provides a scent that can instantly transport one to home, to a kitchen filled with freshly baked goods and loved ones. We fill our homes with cinnamon candles, sticks, and oils to keep the scent around. Your dog may have even become accustom to the smell, realizing it means treats of cookies or other baked goods are on the way. But is cinnamon actually safe for a dog’s consumption? I decided to conduct some research of my own and discover if dogs can eat cinnamon.
Verdict: Yes! In moderation cinnamon is a welcome, but unnecessary, addition to any dog’s diet.
While cinnamon is listed as non-toxic by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and can even provide some health benefits to your dog, there are still many things to consider before allowing your dog to ingest cinnamon.
Things to consider
Cinnamon can still pose a threat to your dog
I’m sure many of you have seen videos of the ‘cinnamon challenge’, where a person attempts to swallow a tablespoon of cinnamon in less than a minute. These videos showcase negative effects large doses of cinnamon can have on humans when the participant inevitably fails, often while simultaneously experiencing difficulty breathing, bloody nose, bronchospasm, and light headedness.
Cinnamon can have negative effects on your dog in as doses as little as one teaspoon, and even less than that in essential oil. Never give your dog cinnamon essential oil or large doses of the powder, as overdoses can lead to low blood sugar, liver disease, vomiting, diarrhea, and heart irregularity.
Cinnamon powder can also be harmful when directly inhaled by your dog, causing coughing, choking, difficulty breathing, and bronchospasm. If you believe your dog has ingested a large amount of cinnamon, call your local veterinarian or the Pet Poison Helpline in order to determine necessary care for your pup.
Dogs don’t require cinnamon in their diet
Unlike other meats, fruits, or veggies that are safe for canine consumption, cinnamon doesn’t offer any real nutritional value to a dog, and is not an essential part of their natural diet. Dogs would most likely never come across cinnamon in the wild, and certainly not think to ingest a tree if they did.
While it is true that there are benefits that cinnamon has to offer your dog, they are superfluous and can often be found in foods that are more nutritious for your dog.
If you do decide to implement a small amount of cinnamon into your dog’s diet, keep in mind any household objects you have that are cinnamon scented, as you do not want your dog confusing these with treats! The ingestion of cinnamon sticks, candles, oils, fragrances, etc. can all be highly toxic to your dog.
Ceylon vs. Cassia
There are two types of cinnamon readily available for purchase: Ceylon cinnamon, which derives from the Ceylon Cinnamon Tree, and Cassia cinnamon, which derives from the Chinese Cinnamon Tree.
Cassia cinnamon contains the organic compound courmarin, which can pose several health risks to your dog, including liver failure. Courmarin is still present in Ceylon cinnamon, but in much smaller amounts making it the safer choice.
Ceylon cinnamon is usually slightly more expensive and darker in color than its Cassia counterpart.
While a small amount of cinnamon may be perfectly fine for your dog, pastries and desserts made for human consumption are still not. Many ingredients that often accompany cinnamon, such as nutmeg and chocolate, can prove lethal to your dog.
Only provide your pooch with small amounts of Ceylon cinnamon powder in a form that they are not able to accidently inhale.
Spice up your pup’s food
If your dog, like mine, is a picky eater, then you are probably always looking for new ways to get your dog enticed with its food. A small amount of cinnamon sprinkled onto your dog’s food bowl could be the missing ingredient you were looking for.
Cinnamon’s strong scent and flavor can help increase your dog’s interest in its food. When adding cinnamon to your dog’s food, only a small amount is required, less than one teaspoon.
Cinnamon has been hailed as a natural healer for humans for decades, and has been hailed for its anti-inflammatory properties as well as its ability to fend off diabetes. Combined with honey, cinnamon has shown to be a natural healer for dogs as well.
A blend of locally produced raw, organic honey, cinnamon, and hot water can assist in the cure of your dog’s heart disease, arthritis, toothache, indigestion, respiratory illness, obesity, and even allergies.