Can My Dog Eat Cinnamon?
What to do when he's begging for that cinnamon roll 🤔
Your dog pulls out his puppy-dog eyes whenever a batch of freshly made cinnamon rolls comes out of the oven.
While a whole cinnamon roll probably isn’t the best idea, you might be curious if dogs can safely indulge in its staple ingredient: cinnamon.
The Dodo reached out to Dr. Jennifer Coates, a veterinary advisor for Pet News Daily, to find out if dogs can eat cinnamon safely — and what some of its benefits and dangers might be.
Is cinnamon bad for dogs?
A small amount of cinnamon is actually totally OK for dogs to eat.
“Small amounts of cinnamon that are mixed thoroughly with other appropriate ingredients shouldn’t cause any problems for dogs,” Dr. Coates told The Dodo.
You shouldn’t give your dog more than one teaspoon of cinnamon at a time, according to Dr. Coates (and of course, it should be mixed with something appropriate). Any more than that might make your dog sick.
“A teaspoon or less of cinnamon powder thoroughly mixed with food should be safe for medium-sized (or larger), healthy dogs,” Dr. Coates said.
Cinnamon benefits for dogs
Just like in humans, there are actually some health benefits of cinnamon for dogs when given in the right amount.
“At appropriate doses, cinnamon is sometimes used to help manage diabetes, soothe the intestinal tract and treat arthritis,” Dr. Coates said.
When sprinkled on food, it’s also a common at-home remedy for bad breath in dogs.
If you want to add cinnamon to your dog’s diet safely, you can try just mixing some normal cinnamon powder in with your dog’s food.
There are also a ton of pre-made dog treats available that feature cinnamon as a key ingredient.
How cinnamon can be harmful to dogs
While dogs can safely eat a small amount of cinnamon, too much can be bad for your dog.
If your dog eats too much cinnamon, he might develop some stomach problems and low blood sugar levels — and ingesting a huge amount could even lead to long-term illness, like liver damage.
“If a dog were to eat a lot of cinnamon at one time, it could cause gastrointestinal upset and symptoms like vomiting or diarrhea,” Dr. Coates said. “Cinnamon may lower blood sugar levels, so it’s possible that eating a large amount could lead to hypoglycemia. Liver damage is also a possibility.”
Not only should you be wary of the amount of cinnamon you’re giving your dog, but the type of cinnamon you give your dog also matters — since cinnamon powder, sticks and essential oils can pose dangers of their own.
“Inhaled cinnamon powder is irritating to the respiratory tract,” Dr Coates said, so it’s best to mix cinnamon in with your dog’s food or sprinkle it on top, instead of giving him a straight spoonful of cinnamon powder, in case he breathes it in.
“Swallowing cinnamon sticks could lead to an upset tummy or potentially to blockage of the gastrointestinal tract,” Dr. Coates said.
It’s also important to note that ingredients like cinnamon powder, which are designed for use in cooking, are very different from cinnamon essential oils, which are extremely concentrated and are usually designed for use in scent products, like a diffuser.
“Cinnamon essential oils are especially dangerous because they are so concentrated. Never use an essential oil on or around pets without first consulting with a veterinarian,” Dr. Coates said.
(If you’re obsessed with the scent of cinnamon, a candle is a much more pet-friendly option, as long as you keep it out of reach.)
Can dogs eat cinnamon rolls?
Even though dogs can have cinnamon in small amounts, you probably shouldn’t give your dog a bite of your cinnamon roll or other baked goods with cinnamon.
“Other common ingredients in baked goods are more problematic than cinnamon,” Dr. Coates said. “Any food that contains a lot of butter or other fats can cause pancreatitis in dogs, and xylitol (a sugar substitute) can lead to dangerously low blood sugar levels and liver damage.”
So in general, cinnamon can actually be healthy for dogs, but only in the right amounts. By following the tips above, and steering clear of baked goods, your dog can enjoy the benefits of cinnamon safely.
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