Can Dogs Eat Cinnamon?
Written by: Dr. Merliza Cabriles
Yes, dogs can eat cinnamon, but in moderation. It can be added to pet food or as an ingredient in a treat. Take note, however, that consuming large quantities of cinnamon can leave your pet with a variety of health problems.
Perfectly safe as long as it’s the right kind
There are two types of cinnamon available – Ceylon Cinnamon from the bark of the Ceylon Cinnamon Tree and the Cassia Cinnamon from the bark of the Chinese Cinnamon Tree. The one that can be safely given to dogs is Ceylon Cinnamon because it contains low levels of a natural organic chemical compound known as coumarin. Higher levels of coumarin are present in Cassia Cinnamon, which may pose a potential health risk to your pet.
Benefits of Cinnamon for Dogs
Adding a sprinkle of cinnamon powder to your dog’s meals can enhance the flavor while offering various medicinal benefits. Cinnamon has anti-inflammatory properties; it has also been shown to slow or stop growth and multiplication of bacteria.
Cinnamon can also help regulate blood sugar and help raise insulin resistance. Several studies were also able to demonstrate the antifungal properties of cinnamon.
As a safety precaution
Always be sure to check product labels before buying. And make sure to check the ingredients of goodies or treats before offering one to your dog. There are baked goodies with cinnamon that may contain other ingredients that are harmful to pets, such as chocolate and raisins.
While cinnamon is known for its health benefits to both humans and pets, moderation is very important. Too much consumption of the powder or exposure to even a small amount of the essential oil can be harmful to pets. Harmful effects include:
- Low blood sugar
- Liver disease
- Irregular heart rate
Some dogs may also inhale cinnamon when ingesting the powdered spice, and this can cause serious irritation of the lungs leading to coughing, choking, breathing problems, and bronchospasm. If you observe any of these effects cll your vet or pet poison helpline right away!
There are several ways by which pets can be exposed to cinnamon:
- Chewing on the Cinnamon Tree
- Eating human food seasoned with cinnamon
- Cinnamon sticks left in cider cups
- Ingestion and/or inhalation of a larger amount of cinnamon powder
- Consumption of the essential oil that is used for cooking or aromatherapy
In summary, dogs can have cinnamon, but moderation is always the key. And make sure you have the right cinnamon (Ceylon Cinnamon), so you won’t have to worry about adverse reactions.
Did we miss anything? Your comments are most welcome!