Cinnamon is one of the most popular spices in the world, used for baking, cooking, and even aromatherapy. But what about your canine companion? Can dogs have cinnamon too? And if so, how much and in what form?
In this article, we will answer these questions and more, exploring the benefits and risks of cinnamon for dogs, as well as some tips on how to safely and responsibly share this spice with your furry friend.
What Is Cinnamon and Why Is It Good for You?
Cinnamon is a spice derived from the inner bark of several tree species belonging to the genus Cinnamomum. There are two main types of cinnamon: cassia and ceylon. Cassia is the more common and cheaper variety, while ceylon is considered the true or pure cinnamon.
Cinnamon has been used for centuries as a medicinal herb, as well as a flavoring agent. It has many health benefits for humans, such as:
- Providing antioxidants that protect against oxidative stress and inflammation
- Lowering blood sugar levels and improving insulin sensitivity
- Fighting bacterial and fungal infections
- Boosting brain function and memory
- Supporting dental health and freshening breath
- Enhancing blood circulation and heart health
Can Dogs Have Cinnamon? The Benefits and Risks
The good news is that cinnamon is not toxic to dogs, unlike some other spices such as nutmeg or garlic. In fact, some dog treats and foods contain cinnamon as an ingredient, as it can provide some of the same benefits for dogs as it does for humans.
However, that does not mean that you can give your dog unlimited amounts of cinnamon or any food that contains it. Too much of anything can be harmful, and cinnamon is no exception. Here are some of the potential benefits and risks of cinnamon for dogs:
- Cinnamon can help regulate blood sugar levels in diabetic dogs or dogs with metabolic issues
- Cinnamon can prevent or treat bacterial infections in the mouth, digestive tract, or urinary tract
- Cinnamon can reduce inflammation and pain in dogs with arthritis or joint problems
- Cinnamon can repel fleas and ticks naturally, as they dislike the smell of it
- Cinnamon can stimulate appetite and digestion in dogs with nausea or low appetite
- Cinnamon can cause irritation or allergic reactions in the mouth, skin, or respiratory tract of some dogs
- Cinnamon can lower blood pressure too much in dogs with hypotension or heart problems
- Cinnamon can interact with some medications or supplements that affect blood sugar or blood clotting
- Cinnamon can cause vomiting, diarrhea, changes in heart rate, low blood sugar, or liver damage if ingested in large quantities
How Much Cinnamon Can Dogs Have?
As a general rule of thumb, you should not give your dog more than one teaspoon of cinnamon powder per day. This amount is safe for most dogs, unless they have a pre-existing medical condition or are taking certain medications that may be affected by cinnamon.
However, you should always consult your veterinarian before giving your dog any new food or supplement, especially if they have any health issues or dietary restrictions. Your vet can advise you on the appropriate dosage and frequency of cinnamon for your dog based on their weight, age, breed, and health status.
You should also avoid giving your dog cinnamon essential oil, as it is highly concentrated and can be toxic for dogs even in small amounts. Similarly, you should keep your dog away from cinnamon sticks, as they can pose a choking hazard or cause intestinal obstruction if swallowed.
How to Give Your Dog Cinnamon?
The best way to give your dog cinnamon is to sprinkle a small amount of the powder on their food or mix it with some plain yogurt or peanut butter. You can also bake some homemade treats with cinnamon as an ingredient, but make sure they do not contain any other harmful substances such as chocolate, raisins, xylitol, or nutmeg.
You should also monitor your dog’s reaction after giving them cinnamon for the first time. If you notice any signs of discomfort, irritation, allergy, or toxicity such as coughing, sneezing, itching, redness, swelling, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, or abnormal behavior, stop giving them cinnamon and contact your vet immediately.
Cinnamon can be a tasty and healthy spice for your dog if given in moderation and under veterinary guidance. It can provide some benefits such as lowering blood sugar levels, fighting infections, reducing inflammation, and repelling pests. However, it can also cause some risks such as irritation, allergy, low blood pressure, or liver damage if given too much or in the wrong form.
Therefore, you should always check with your vet before giving your dog any new food or supplement. You should also use only pure ceylon cinnamon powder and avoid cinnamon essential oil or sticks. And remember to always keep an eye on your dog’s reaction after giving them cinnamon.
Cinnamon may be the spice of life for you and your furry friend if used wisely and responsibly!
If you want to learn more about cinnamon and dogs, here are some additional topics that you may find interesting:
Can Dogs Eat Foods That Contain Cinnamon?
As mentioned earlier, some baked goods and other foods that contain cinnamon may also contain other ingredients that are toxic or harmful to dogs. For example:
- Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine which can cause vomiting diarrhea seizures heart problems coma death
- Raisins grapes currants contain an unknown toxin which can cause kidney failure anemia death
- Xylitol is an artificial sweetener which can cause hypoglycemia liver failure seizures death
- Nutmeg contains myristicin which can cause hallucinations high heart rate disorientation high blood pressure abdominal pain dry mouth seizures
Therefore you should always check the label of any food that contains cinnamon before giving it to your dog. Better yet avoid giving your dog any human food at all unless you are sure it is safe for them.
What Are Some Dog Treats That Contain Cinnamon?
If you want to treat your dog with some cinnamon flavored snacks there are plenty of dog treats that contain cinnamon along with other dog safe ingredients such as apples turkey sweet potatoes pumpkin etc Here are some examples:
- The Dog Bakery Apple Pie Bites These bite sized treats are made with natural ingredients such as oat flour applesauce honey eggs coconut oil vanilla extract baking soda salt nutmeg cloves ginger allspice cardamom mace coriander cumin fennel fenugreek turmeric black pepper paprika cayenne pepper saffron rosemary thyme sage marjoram oregano basil parsley dill weed bay leaf celery seed caraway seed mustard seed cumin seed fennel seed fenugreek seed turmeric black pepper paprika cayenne pepper saffron rosemary thyme sage marjoram oregano basil parsley dill weed bay leaf celery seed caraway seed mustard seed They are soft chewy and delicious for your pup
- Zuke’s Mini Naturals Turkey & Cranberry Recipe These moist mini treats are made with natural ingredients such as turkey ground rice ground barley malted barley vegetable glycerin tapioca gelatin natural flavor cranberries cherries sunflower oil salt lecithin phosphoric acid sorbic acid turmeric citric acid mixed tocopherols rosemary extract They are low calorie grain free and perfect for training rewards
- Old Mother Hubbard Classic P-Nuttier Biscuits These crunchy biscuits are made with natural ingredients such as whole wheat flour oatmeal wheat bran chicken fat cane molasses peanut butter eggs apples carrots garlic salt mixed tocopherols They are oven baked wholesome and satisfying for your dog
How to Make Your Own Cinnamon Dog Treats?
If you want to make your own homemade treats with cinnamon you can try some simple recipes that use common ingredients that you may already have in your kitchen Here are some examples:
Cinnamon Apple Dog Cookies
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl combine flour oats applesauce water honey and cinnamon Mix well until a dough forms
- On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch (6 mm) thick Cut out shapes using a cookie cutter of your choice Place them on the prepared baking sheet leaving some space between them
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown Let them cool completely on a wire rack before serving Store in an airtight container for up to a week
Peanut Butter Banana Cinnamon Dog Muffins
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup rolled oats
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 ripe banana, mashed
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
- 1/4 cup plain yogurt
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C) and grease a mini muffin pan.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, mash banana with a fork. Add peanut butter, yogurt, honey, and egg. Whisk well until smooth.
- Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir until well combined.
- Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling them about three-quarters full.
- Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let them cool slightly in the pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to three days or freeze for up to two months.
More Tips on Cinnamon for Dogs
If you want to make your own cinnamon dog treats or use cinnamon in other ways for your dog, here are some more tips to keep in mind:
- Always use pure ceylon cinnamon powder and avoid cassia cinnamon, which contains more coumarin, a compound that can be harmful to dogs in large doses.
- Always use organic or natural peanut butter and avoid brands that contain xylitol, salt, sugar, or other additives that can be toxic or unhealthy for dogs.
- Always use plain yogurt and avoid flavored or sweetened varieties that can contain artificial colors, preservatives, or sugar alcohols that can upset your dog’s stomach or cause other problems.
- Always use fresh or frozen bananas and avoid dried or candied ones that can contain added sugar or sulfites that can be harmful to dogs.
- Always check the ingredients of any store-bought dog treats that contain cinnamon and make sure they do not contain any other substances that can be toxic or harmful to dogs such as chocolate raisins macadamia nuts xylitol nutmeg garlic onion etc
Cinnamon can be a wonderful spice for your dog if used correctly and moderately. It can offer some health benefits such as regulating blood sugar levels fighting infections reducing inflammation and repelling pests However it can also pose some risks such as causing irritation allergy low blood pressure or liver damage if used too much or in the wrong form
Therefore you should always consult your vet before giving your dog any new food or supplement You should also use only pure ceylon cinnamon powder and avoid cinnamon essential oil or sticks And remember to always keep an eye on your dog’s reaction after giving them cinnamon
Cinnamon may be the spice of life for you and your furry friend if used wisely and responsibly!