Dog owners must be extra careful when feeding their dogs foods with herbs and spices because there are many kinds that aren’t safe for dogs to eat. Fortunately, small quantities of cinnamon are safe for dogs to eat.
Like humans, dogs may experience some health benefits from eating cinnamon, while eating too much can cause health issues. So, make sure you’re well informed about the benefits and potential health risks associated with cinnamon before you start feeding it to your dog.
Can Dogs Benefit from Eating Cinnamon?
Cinnamon is mainly known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It may also help increase insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels, which can benefit pre-diabetic and diabetic individuals. Another beneficial component of cinnamon is its antibacterial and antifungal properties. Some studies show that cinnamaldehyde, an active component of cinnamon, may inhibit the growth of Listeria1.
Can Cinnamon Be Bad for Dogs?
As with most things, too much cinnamon can cause health complications for both humans and dogs. In general, dogs can safely consume up to 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, but smaller dogs should eat even smaller quantities of it. Dogs that eat too much cinnamon can end up with digestive issues or get an upset stomach. Your dog may experience vomiting or diarrhea and can also have changes in heart rate if they eat a larger amount of cinnamon.
It’s also important to note that different varieties of cinnamon can have unique effects on dogs. The most common varieties of cinnamon you’ll come across are Ceylon cinnamon and Cassia cinnamon. Cassia cinnamon is most commonly found in stores, but it contains significant amounts of coumarin, which is harmful to both humans and dogs when consumed in large doses.
Ceylon cinnamon is most often sold in holistic health stores and contains lesser amounts of coumarin. You may also find cinnamon essential oil on some occasions. It’s not recommended to feed dogs cinnamon essential oil because it’s more potent than powdered forms.
Another potential safety risk of cinnamon is that it’s an irritant when inhaled. It can cause coughing, choking, difficulty breathing, and bronchospasms. Some dogs may also experience skin and mouth irritation after eating cinnamon.
How Can Dogs Safely Eat Cinnamon?
It’s best to consult your veterinarian before adding cinnamon to your dog’s diet, as cinnamon may interfere with some medications or cause further health complications. If you get clearance from your veterinarian, make sure never to exceed the daily recommended amount of cinnamon for dogs. You can sprinkle cinnamon into your dog’s food, but make sure that it’s well-incorporated to prevent your dog from accidentally inhaling it. You can also choose to mix it thoroughly with wet dog food, broth, or a meal topper.
One of the best ways to feed your dog cinnamon in safe quantities is to incorporate it into a baked dog treat. This ensures that your dog only eats a small amount, and it’s also mixed with other delicious ingredients.
It’s best to stick to making homemade dog treats with cinnamon in them rather than feeding your dog cinnamon-baked goods intended for humans. Desserts and pastries like cinnamon rolls and cookies usually contain other unhealthy ingredients, including butter and sugar. Some desserts containing cinnamon also commonly contain nutmeg, which is toxic to dogs. By making your own dog treats, you can know and be in control of every single ingredient that goes in them.
Cinnamon is safe for dogs to eat as long as it’s given in small quantities. One of the safest ways to feed your dog cinnamon is to incorporate it into a homemade baked dog treat. Just make sure to consult with your veterinarian before feeding cinnamon to your dog if your dog has a chronic health condition or is taking medication.
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