If cinnamon is one of the spices that never misses in some of your dishes, it is a smart idea to know if it is safe or ok to your dog for not and if it does have any benefits.
Cinnamon is a warming aromatic spice with a savory fragrance obtained from the inner bark of various species of genus Cinnamomum in the family Lauraceae, which when dry curls or rolls to form cinnamon sticks or grounded into a powder.
Common species include C. burmannii, C. loureiroi, C. verum, and C. cassia. While C. cassia (Chinese or Cassia cinnamon) is most available commercially, including in supermarkets and referred to as ‘cinnamon’, the C. verum (Ceylon or true cinnamon) is superior and more expensive. It is less bitter and has a trace amount of coumarin (which has various side effects in excessive amounts).
Finally, typical dishes that this spice include savory chicken and lamb dishes, breakfast cereals, bread-based baked goods like toasts, pickling, in tea, or in fruits where after combining it with sugar, among many other uses.
Cinnamon health benefits and side effects
Before we address the issue of cinnamon and dogs, you deserve to know some benefits and effects that this spice may have on your health.
Benefits include having anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antibacterial, and antioxidants properties. Also, it may help reduce risks of heart disease, improve sensitivity to insulin, lower blood sugar, fight against some cancers, and minimize neurodegenerative diseases, among others. (1)
However, excessive amounts may interact with diabetes, liver disease and heart disease medicines, and lower blood sugar. Furthermore, if inhaled, it may cause breathing problems.
Finally, too many cinnamaldehyde (responsive for the taste and scent and accounts for 90% of cinnamon essential oil) may trigger oral allergies while excessive coumarin (high in C. cassia) may cause liver damage and cause certain cancer types.
Can dogs eat cinnamon?
Yes. Dogs can have cinnamon (powdered or sticks). It is nontoxic, nonpoisonous, or harmful to not only dogs but also cats and horses, notes ASPCA. However, these pets should only have only a small amount once in a while the essential oil, keep the amounts much lower.
Keep the amount no more than a teaspoon or less for average dog size. For toys, puppies, and smaller dogs, the amount should lower, such as 1/8 of a teaspoon, while giant breeds weighing over 100 pounds can tolerate up to two teaspoons of this spice.
When giving spice to your dogs, you can mix it in homemade dog foods. Also, eating any canine safe human food with cinnamon is ok. However, ensure the food doesn’t have any other harmful spices or ingredients such as nutmeg, cloves, onions, garlic, chocolates, raisins, xylitol, among others.
While some dogs may lick cinnamon powder or eat sticks without any issues, some may suffer from local oral irritation, and gastrointestinal tract notes American Kennel Association and Rover.com. Things will only be worse if it licks cinnamon essential oil, a popular aromatherapy oil.
Finally, if your pet is diabetic, is using any other medication, including those for treating heart or liver diseases, discuss with your vet on the safety of this spice.
Is cinnamon any good to dogs – benefits?
Besides its flavorful warming taste which your pooch will enjoy if added to their food and the fact that it may stimulate appetite, this spice may offer the following benefits to your pet:
1. May better heart health
A study on the Effect of the Cinnamon on Dog’s Heart Performance by Focus on Korotkoff Sounds concluded that it might improve heart health. Dogs that received a small amount of this spice, consistently showed a decreased heart rate and systolic blood pressure when compared to those that didn’t.
2. Help regulate blood sugar
Since it slows “the absorption of sugar in the bloodstream after a meal high in carbohydrates” (2), it doesn’t have a potential of regulating blood sugar that may be beneficial to overweight and diabetic dogs including in senior canines who have a higher likelihood of having high blood sugar.
3. It is antioxidant-rich
It is an undeniable fact that cinnamon is high in antioxidants like phenols, and it outranks even oregano and garlic. These antioxidants will neutralize free radicals that cause oxidative damage and may have beneficial effects in canines with cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases as well as neurological disorders.
4. Help in brain development
This spice may help “helps improve cognitive functions like memory.” It is food to the brain, notes Wild Earth
Help fend against bacteria and fungi
Since it has antifungal and antibacterial properties, this spice may help boost oral and dental hygiene as well as minimize tooth decay. Also, it will reduce instances of fungal infections.
Help arthritis and muscle soreness
As a potent anti-inflammatory, senior dogs suffering from arthritis pain or muscle soreness have a chance to benefit from this spice.
Offers some nourishment
This spice is rich in calcium, iron, and vitamin K. Also, it has some dietary fiber and carbohydrates, all of which your pet needs.
When is cinnamon bad for dogs?
While we have given it a clean slate concerning its safety to dogs and has some notable benefits, there are times when it may hurt to your canine which include:
If given in large amounts
As Petpoisonhelpline.com warns, “large overdoses of the powder or exposure to the essential oil can lead to low blood sugar, liver disease, vomiting, diarrhea, and changes in heart rate.”
Therefore, don’t let your pet chew several cinnamon sticks or lick a lot of the powdered form as it may result in some of these symptoms. Ensure you safely keep it if your canine is at risk of munching this spice.
Like it happens to humans, expect symptoms such as coughing, breathing difficulties, choking, and dog inhales cinnamon powder.
Dog and Cinamon FAQs
Yes. Dogs can have foods cinnamon are safe since the amount present is low and within the tolerable range. However, ensure the food doesn’t have any other ingredient that is harmful to your pooch.
Avoid pumpkin pies, cinnamon raisin bagels or raisin bread, or any that have toxic ingredients to this pet include nutmeg, cloves, xylitol, avocado, onions, garlic, caffeine, grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, chocolate, fat trimmings, raw eggs
No. Your dog shouldn’t eat this mixture of cinnamon powder and granulated used in food flavoring, especially cereals, fruits, tortillas, churros, French toasts, Belgian waffles, Snickerdoodle cookies, etc.
While they are not toxic or harmful, sugar isn’t good for dogs. Instead, they need carbohydrates. Sugary foods may predispose this pet to obesity and, consequently, diabetes as well as dental caries and cavities, increased insulin secretion, among other effects.
Yes. These are nothing other than breakfast cereals made by Nestlé and General Mills that have wheat and rice, fortified with vitamins and minerals, and coated with cinnamon and sugar.
They have other common names, including Croque-Cannelle and Curiously Cinnamon. However, let them only have a small amount as a treat occasionally and ensure they don’t have any harmful ingredients
No. Also, known as cinnamon rolls, swirl, Danish, or snail, these rolled sheets made using yeast-leaved dough are not good for Fido. Why? The answer is simple. They have raisins which makes them harmful to your dog, i.e., raisins, sultanas, currants or grapes may cause an acute kidney failure
Furthermore, and some may also have macadamia nuts, which are dangerous to these pets too. Also, ensure they don’t eat the yeast dough.
Yes. Dogs can eat these bread that commonly has are butter, vegetable oil, baking soda, baking powder, wheat flour, sugar, margarine, egg, and cinnamon. However, ensure they don’t have chocolates or any other harmful additive.
Don’t panic. Instead, monitor for any stomach upsets, vomiting, and diarrhea, coughing, choking, or breathing difficulties such as panting, drooling, and so on. If you notice any of these signs of distress, talk to your vet. While waiting, if possible, let your dog drink as much water as possible.
To avoid accidental consumption, always ensure you keep this and any other spice, especially the harmful ones in places that your canine friend cannot access.