It’s true that many table foods and spices that are healthy for humans can be beneficial for dogs too. But if you’re looking to treat your pup to homemade baked goods, one common question may come to mind: Can dogs eat cinnamon?
The health benefits of cinnamon are vast, from providing protective antioxidants to reducing inflammation and boosting heart health. But when your dog eats too much cinnamon, especially a type of cinnamon called Cassia, it may lead to a range of adverse effects. So can dogs eat cinnamon, and if so, what’s the best way to use cinnamon for your dog? You’ll be surprised to read just how easy it is to boost your dog’s health with this everyday spice.
Can Dogs Eat Cinnamon?
Here’s the good news first: Cinnamon isn’t toxic to dogs. In fact, they can eat small amounts of cinnamon, which can be added to homemade doggy treats and baked goods. This applies to Ceylon cinnamon, which only contains trace amounts of coumarin, a compound that may cause liver damage when it’s consumed in large amounts. Cassia cinnamon, on the other hand, contains higher amounts of coumarin and shouldn’t be given to your dog. Ceylon cinnamon is sometimes labeled as true or real cinnamon, so look for those terms on the label to be sure it’s the right type of cinnamon for your dog.
However, too much cinnamon can cause adverse effects to your dog’s skin and digestive system, so you really need to be careful not to go overboard. Stick to giving your dog a small amount of cinnamon, no more than one teaspoon, at a home. Even this little amount can have beneficial effects.
Can Dogs Eat Cinnamon Baked Goods?
Feeding your pup baked goods containing cinnamon is not going to hurt it. In fact, cinnamon baked goods can benefit your dog’s health in several ways. That said, you need to be mindful of what kind of baked goods you offer your loyal friend. Any food containing refined sugars, artificial sweeteners and refined carbohydrates is not good for his health and can cause issues like obesity and diabetes.
It’s a great idea to make your own homemade dog treats that include ingredients that are not only safe, but beneficial for dogs. Beyond adding cinnamon to doggy treats, you can also sprinkle a teaspoon or less to your dog’s food — but again, only use a small amount to avoid side effects.
Top 6 Benefits of Cinnamon for Dogs
1. May Improve Heart Health
A study published in the Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances shows that consuming cinnamon can improve a dog’s heart performance. When a cinnamon dose of 50 milligrams per kilogram of body weight was given to dogs for two weeks, they displayed significantly lower systolic blood pressure and heart rate than dogs in the normal group. Researchers concluded that this positive change in blood pressure may be the result of decreased vascular resistance, which enables blood to push through the circulatory system and create better blood flow.
2. Reduces Inflammation
One of the most well-known benefits of cinnamon for dogs is its anti-inflammatory effects. By reducing inflammation, cinnamon may help relieve a number of conditions, including heart disease and cancer. Plus, cinnamon can be used to help ease pain caused by inflammation, lower swelling and soothe muscle soreness.
3. Boosts Brain Function
Cinnamon is rich in powerful antioxidants that work to defend humans and animals against neurological disorders. Consuming cinnamon has been shown to protect brain neurons against oxidative stress that cause early aging and cellular damage.
4. Improves Immunity
5. Boosts Oral Hygiene
Cinnamon has antibacterial properties, which makes it a great way to improve your dog’s breath and help fight tooth decay, mouth infections, mouth sores and other dental problems.
6. Stabilizes Blood Sugar Levels
Eating cinnamon can benefit your dog because the spice has anti-diabetic effects. It’s known to lower blood sugar levels and improve sensitivity to insulin. It does this by blocking the activity of several digestive enzymes, thereby slowing the absorption of sugar in the bloodstream after a meal high in carbohydrates. If your dog is suffering from diabetes, talk to your veterinarian about adding cinnamon to your pet’s diet for its therapeutic effects.
Side Effects of Cinnamon for Dogs
If your dog eats too much cinnamon, you may notice some adverse side effects. These can range from mild to serious, depending on how much cinnamon was consumed.
The Pet Poison Helpline indicates that when most pets consume more than one teaspoon of cinnamon powder, they may experience adverse reactions, such as coughing, choking or having difficulty breathing. Dogs and other pets may also experience diarrhea, vomiting, reduced blood sugar levels and changes in heart rate if they consume too much cinnamon.
If your dog happens to get his paws on an uncontrolled amount of cinnamon, there’s no need to panic. It’s not toxic or fatal for dogs. However, it’s a good idea to call your veterinarian, especially if you notice any side effects emerging. And be careful with cinnamon essential oil and your dog. Essential oils are extremely potent, and a very, very small amount goes a long way. When it comes to cinnamon for dogs, it’s safer to stick with Ceylon cinnamon powder.
Be mindful of baked goods that are made with a combination of cinnamon and nutmeg, as nutmeg can be toxic to dogs when eaten in large amounts. Plus, foods made with cinnamon and raisins, like cereals and cinnamon raisin bread, can be toxic to dogs, as raisins can cause kidney failure.
Final Thoughts on Can Dogs Eat Cinnamon
- Can dogs eat cinnamon? It’s safe for dogs to eat cinnamon in small amounts. Adding no more than one teaspoon to homemade dog treats or sprinkled on top of your dog’s meal will not have toxic effects and can actually boost your dog’s health.
- Be sure to feed your dog Ceylon cinnamon, not Cassia cinnamon. Ceylon contains only trace amounts of coumarin, a compound that may cause liver damage when it’s consumed in large doses.
- What happens when your dog eats too much cinnamon? Your pet may experience side effects like diarrhea, vomiting, reduced blood sugar levels and changes in heart rate. It’s a good idea to call your veterinarian if you think your pooch got its paws on a large dose of cinnamon.