Can Dogs Eat Cinnamon and Nutmeg?
Cinnamon and nutmeg might be a staple in your spice cupboard, but should they be incorporated into your dog's diet?
As a general rule, no. Dogs shouldn't eat nutmeg or cinnamon.
Nutmeg contains the toxin, myristicin. In small amounts, this isn't necessarily an issue, apart from potentially causing an upset stomach.
You can also find this toxin in dill, parsley and peyote. However, in large amounts, nutmeg is toxic for dogs, so don't include it in your dog's food.
On the other hand, cinnamon is okay for dogs to a degree. The main problem that occurs is irritation or sensitivity. For dogs, this would predominantly be in the mouth.
- Abdominal Pain
- Change in Heart Rate
- Dry Mouth
- High Blood Pressure
- Increased Heart Rate
- Low blood sugar
- Liver Disease
If they've inhaled the spices directly:
- Difficulty breathing
- Irritation in the lungs
Whilst cinnamon is non-toxic, I don't recommend you feed your dog treats or human food that has this ingredient.
Your dog can eat cinnamon/nutmeg in several ways:
- Chewing on the tree
- Fed human food seasoned with the spice
- cinnamon sticks
- Eating the spice directly
- Consuming the essential oil
- Inhale cinnamon powder
- To suffer severe side effects, your dog would have to eat large amounts of nutmeg.
- It takes large quantities of cinnamon powder (1+ teaspoons) to harm your dog, but only a small amount of cinnamon essential oil.
- Make sure your dog hasn't got access to anything that could be dangerous, or contains anything toxic (e.g. extra ingredients in baked goods) and keep cupboards closed.
Symptoms from cinnamon or nutmeg will usually pass within 48 hours. If you're still concerned, contact your vet.`
If your dog vomits or has diarrhoea, withhold your dog's food for a few days to give their stomach time to detox and settle.
Offer lots of water and keep your dog hydrated; they would have lost a lot of fluids.
When they are ready to eat, give them very bland, high fibrous meals.
Realistically, if your dog has cinnamon or nutmeg, they won't eat enough of either to cause any severe damage. A more significant danger, since your dog isn't likely to be eating these spices by themselves, is the other ingredients in the food.
Whenever you give your dog new food, always check that all the other ingredients are safe for dogs. Products with raisins, chocolate, xylitol or onion powder are all highly toxic.