Pile of cinnamon with cinnamon sticks

Can Dogs Eat Cinnamon?

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Cinnamon is a decadent spice most of us enjoy in baked goods, holiday drinks, and even savory dishes. For humans, cinnamon has many health benefits like antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, and it can lower the risk of heart disease and some cancers. But, can dogs eat cinnamon, too?

Logically, it’s not a far leap to assume that your dog might benefit from these properties as well.

So, can dogs eat cinnamon?

Is Cinnamon Safe for Dogs to Eat?

No, dogs shouldn’t consume cinnamon. While there is nothing inherently toxic in cinnamon, its consumption can lead to some less than ideal results in dogs.

What to Avoid

You may think cinnamon is bad for dogs because loose powder can obstruct their airways, but cinnamon can cause problems for dogs even when cooked in other dishes.

Avoid giving your dog raw cinnamon powder, cinnamon sticks, or food that contains cinnamon. However, if your dog does consume a food that contains cinnamon, such as baked goods, it likely won’t cause serious issues.

Potential Risks of Cinnamon for Dogs

Now you know the answer to “Is cinnamon bad for dogs?” But what are the reasons behind this? Several issues may result if a dog eats cinnamon.

Firstly, the types of oils in cinnamon may irritate your dog’s mouth and make them feel uncomfortable and even ill.

Secondly, because cinnamon affects blood pressure and insulin absorption, it may drop your dog’s blood sugar levels. In turn, your dog could experience an increase or decrease in heart rate, diarrhea, vomiting, and, with prolonged exposure, liver disease.

Additionally, giving dogs, or people for that matter, anything in a granular or powder form invites the risk of accidental inhalation. Inhaling powders like cinnamon can lead to coughing, difficulty breathing, respiratory distress, and choking.

The Real Problem with Cinnamon

As stated earlier, cinnamon is not toxic for dogs, and while it may have adverse effects, the issue lies in quantity.

While it’s best to avoid giving your dog any cinnamon, trace amounts aren’t likely to pose any risk. If you give your dog lots of cinnamon, then you can expect an unhappy dog and probably several messes to clean later.

The other main issue with cinnamon is the foods it’s used in conjunction with. In a cinnamon bun, for instance, there may be nutmeg or raisins, both of which are toxic to dogs.

Cinnamon is also often found in confectionery and treats, things that are likely to contain chocolate. Chocolate is very harmful to dogs.

Some treats that include cinnamon might also include macadamia nuts, which are another big no-no.

Final Thoughts

While you may want your dog to share the potential benefits of cinnamon, and it isn’t technically toxic, it’s not ideal for your dog to eat cinnamon, especially in large quantities. So, the answer to “Can dogs eat cinnamon?” is no, but it’s probably not the end of the world if your pup snags a cinnamon bun from the counter – as long as it doesn’t contain any other ingredients that could be harmful.

It’s a good idea to avoid giving your dog anything that contains cinnamon as it can cause immediate and long-term health issues.

If you have any more foods in mind that you’re curious about, check out these posts to learn about other foods that your dog can (and can’t) eat:

Pet News Daily Staff
Pet News Daily writers are experts in pet care, health and behavior. We are members of Society for Professional Journalists and practice ethical journalism.