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. Thankfully, this spice isn’t toxic to them. In fact, some dog treats contain cinnamon.
However, it can be harmful if your dog eats too much cinnamon or has certain foods with cinnamon as an ingredient. So, when is cinnamon considered safe, and when is it dangerous for your pup?
Is Cinnamon Bad for Dogs?
Pet Poison Helpline warns that for most pets, eating more than a teaspoon of cinnamon powder or just a small drop of cinnamon essential oil can lead to serious toxicity.
Eating cinnamon powder or chewing on cinnamon sticks can cause dogs to have skin irritations and/or redness inside their mouths.
Here are a few tips for keeping your dog safe from excessive amounts of cinnamon:
Be careful when using cinnamon sticks for decoration or in cider—do not let your pup near them.
Store cinnamon and other spices in high places in your house, where your dog can’t get into them.
If your dog has inhaled or eaten an abnormal amount of cinnamon, ingested or inhaled any cinnamon essential oil, or chewed up some cinnamon sticks, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Are Cinnamon Treats Safe for Dogs?
Because of its nutrients, cinnamon can be safe—and often beneficial—when baked into your pup’s treats in small amounts. Cinnamon is known for these health benefits:
Promotes heart health
Helps lower blood sugar levels
May relieve digestive discomfort
Before giving cinnamon to your dog, speak with your vet about whether it’s best for them.
Typically, the main health claim that dog treat manufacturers emphasize when using cinnamon in their products is its antioxidant benefit.
Here are a few dog treats that contain cinnamon:
Can Dogs Eat Cinnamon Rolls or Cinnamon Bread?
Although dog treats containing small amounts of cinnamon may provide health benefits for your pup, you shouldn’t feed them any human food that contains cinnamon.
Eating raw cinnamon roll dough or bread dough is very dangerous if consumed in large amounts and if the product has yeast, which is highly toxic for pups.
Additionally, these sweets have high amounts of fat, sugar, and butter, which isn’t healthy for your pet, especially when fed regularly over time.
These human foods can cause health issues in your four-legged companion, including:
How Much Cinnamon Can Dogs Eat?
Commercial dog treats contain safe amounts of cinnamon.
However, contact your veterinarian to determine how much cinnamon is safe for your individual pup to ingest, as this may depend on the size of your dog.
What To Do if Your Dog Eats Cinnamon
The amount of cinnamon that is unsafe for your dog will depend on their size.
If your dog has eaten or inhaled too much cinnamon, chewed up a cinnamon stick, or ingested any amount of cinnamon essential oils, contact your vet and Pet Poison Helpline right away.
Take your dog to the nearest veterinary clinic or emergency animal hospital.
Ingestion of cinnamon may cause the following symptoms:
- Difficulty breathing
Also check for the following symptoms in their mouth:
If your dog has ingested cinnamon essential oil, your vet needs to treat them quickly to prevent any toxic effects.
Once you’re at the clinic, your vet will likely recommend bloodwork and urine testing to check your dog's liver and kidney function.
Depending on your dog’s situation, they may use IV fluids for hydration and soft foods. They may also use 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.
Do not induce vomiting at home.
Other possible treatments that your vet may suggest are stomach protectants, pain medication, and medication to protect your pup’s liver.
The best way to prevent cinnamon toxicity in your dog is ensuring they never ingest, inhale, or are exposed to unsafe amounts of cinnamon.
Although certain human treats are tempting to give to your dog, it can often cause more harm than good.
Essential oils, including cinnamon, are not safe to be ingested or inhaled in any way.
If you have pets in the home, do not use a diffuser or give your dog any oils, even on the skin.
If your dog does get into cinnamon, more importantly a cinnamon stick or cinnamon oil, they should be taken to the nearest veterinarian as soon as possible for the best chance at avoiding the harsh effects of toxicity.
Can Dogs Have Cinnamon FAQs
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 a high amount of sugar in most breakfast cereals. Additionally, cinnamon cereals contain other additives and preservatives that are unhealthy or dangerous for your dog to eat.
Can dogs eat cinnamon oatmeal?
No. Cinnamon oatmeal typically contains a lot of sugar, preservatives, and other additives that are toxic to 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 for your pup.
Can dogs eat snickerdoodle cookies?
No. Snickerdoodle cookies are very high in sugar, butter, and fats that make them unhealthy for dogs to eat. Some snickerdoodle cookies may even contain nutmeg or xylitol, both toxins.
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.
Can dogs eat cinnamon applesauce?
Avoid giving cinnamon applesauce for your pup.
It can contain high amounts of sugar and may have unhealthy or toxic ingredients for your dog, such as xylitol or nutmeg.
Featured Image: iStock/Anastasiia Shavshyna
Flint, Charlotte. Nutmeg And Cinnamon Toxicity. Pet Poison Helpline. 2013.
Is Cinnamon Safe for Dogs? Saint Francis Veterinary Center of South Jersey. 2020.
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