Can Dogs Eat Cinnamon?

Victoria Lynn Arnold
By Victoria Lynn Arnold
Published: November 28, 2022
Can Dogs Eat Cinnamon?

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NOTE: Always check with your veterinarian first before giving your dog any new foods, especially “people foods.” What might be OK for one dog might not be good for yours, depending on multiple factors such as their age, health history, health conditions, and diet. Dogs on prescription diets should not be fed any food or treats outside the diet.

Have you ever accidentally spilled some cinnamon on the floor, and your dog licked it up? Some dogs love the taste of cinnamon, and thankfully, it’s not toxic to them. In fact, some dog treats include cinnamon as an ingredient. 

But too much cinnamon or eating some foods that contain cinnamon can be harmful to your dog. Find out when cinnamon is okay and when it’s dangerous for your pup. 

Is Cinnamon Bad for Dogs?

A small amount of cinnamon isn’t toxic for dogs—unlike nutmeg, which is always toxic to dogs. But if your dog inhales the spice, it can cause coughing, choking, lung irritation, or difficulty breathing.

The Pet Poison Helpline warns that for most pets, eating more than a teaspoon of cinnamon powder or just a small amount of cinnamon essential oil can cause problems.

Eating cinnamon powder or chewing on cinnamon sticks can cause dogs to have skin irritations or redness inside their mouths. 

Larger amounts of the powder or exposure to the oil can lead to low blood sugar, liver disease, vomiting, diarrhea, and changes in heart rate.

Keep your dog away from cinnamon essential oils, be careful when using cinnamon sticks for decoration or in cider, and store cinnamon and other spices where your dog can’t get into them.

If your dog has inhaled or eaten a lot of cinnamon, ingested any cinnamon essential oil, or chewed up some cinnamon sticks, contact your veterinarian immediately. 

Are Cinnamon Dog Treats Safe for Dogs?

In small amounts baked into your dog’s treats, cinnamon can be safe and even beneficial because of the nutrients it contains. Cinnamon is known for these health benefits:

  • High in antioxidants

  • Fights against spread of bacteria, fungi, and viruses

  • Reduces inflammation

  • Promotes heart health

  • Helps lower blood sugar levels

  • May relieve digestive discomfort

If you plan to give cinnamon to your dog, consult first with your veterinarian about proper portions and whether it’s best for your individual dog. 

Typically, the main health claim that dog treat manufacturers emphasize when using cinnamon is the antioxidant benefit. Here are a few dog treats that contain cinnamon:

Can Dogs Eat Cinnamon Rolls or Cinnamon Bread?

Although a little cinnamon may be beneficial for your dog, feeding them your sweet cinnamon-baked human treats is not. All the fat, sugar, and butter in cinnamon rolls and bread is not healthy for your dog. And other added ingredients such as nutmeg, raisins, and xylitol are toxic to dogs

Even without the toxic ingredients, eating things that are high in fats, sugar, and butter—especially when fed regularly over time—can cause health issues in dogs, including:

Can Dogs Eat Cinnamon Applesauce?

Store-bought cinnamon applesauce could be okay, depending on the ingredients, but watch the sugar content.  It’s not toxic if it only has apples, water, ascorbic acid, cinnamon, and no added sugar. But check the label carefully, as some could contain unhealthy or toxic ingredients for your dog, such as xylitol or nutmeg. 

If you’ve made your own applesauce from whole apples and you add a very small amount of cinnamon, this would be safe for your dog.

Are Dogs Allergic to Cinnamon?

Food allergies come from repeated exposure over time, so it’s rare for a dog to be allergic to cinnamon, but not impossible.

Can Dogs Eat Cinnamon Cereal?

No, you should not give your dog cereal that contains cinnamon. There is quite a bit of sugar in most breakfast cereals, as well as other additives and preservatives that might be unhealthy or dangerous for your dog to eat. 

Can Dogs Eat Cinnamon Oatmeal?

Cooking plain oatmeal and adding a very small amount of cinnamon should be safe for your dog. However, typical store-bought cinnamon oatmeal that comes in ready-to-make packages typically contains a lot of sugar, preservatives, and other additives that aren’t healthy for your dog. 

Some brands list part of their ingredients as “cinnamon and other spices.” This means there could be nutmeg in the oatmeal, which is toxic to dogs. 

Can Dogs Eat Snickerdoodle Cookies?

No. Snickerdoodle cookies have way too much sugar, butter, and fats that make them unhealthy for dogs to eat. Some snickerdoodle cookies may even contain nutmeg or xylitol, which are both toxic to dogs. 

Can Dogs Eat Cinnamon Sugar?

No, dogs should not be eating cinnamon sugar, especially in large amounts. This is unhealthy for them, may upset their stomachs, and could cause numerous health problems if fed regularly over time. 

What To Do if Your Dog Eats Cinnamon

The amount of cinnamon that is unsafe for your dog will depend on their size. If you’re worried that your dog has eaten too much, contact your veterinarian right away. 

If your dog has eaten or inhaled too much cinnamon, chewed up a cinnamon stick, or ingested any amount of cinnamon essential oils—watch out for the following symptoms, contact your veterinarian right away, and take your dog to the veterinary clinic or animal hospital. 

  • Coughing

  • Choking

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Bronchospasms

Also check for the following symptoms in their mouth:

  • Irritation

  • Redness

  • Blisters

If your dog has ingested cinnamon essential oil, your vet needs to treat them quickly to prevent any toxic effects. 

The vet team will probably recommend bloodwork to check your dog's liver and kidneys. And depending on your dog’s situation, they may use IV fluids for hydration and soft foods or a feeding tube if your dog has any chemical burns in their mouth or esophagus. 

They may also give your dog anti-vomiting medication, or if your dog ate the cinnamon recently, they may induce vomiting. Other possible treatments include stomach protectants, pain medication, and medication to protect the liver.

References

  1. Flint, Charlotte. Nutmeg And Cinnamon Toxicity. Pet Poison Helpline.  2013.

  2. Is Cinnamon Safe for Dogs? Saint Francis Veterinary Center of South Jersey. 2020.

Featured Image: iStock/Anastasiia Shavshyna


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