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Cinnamon has been one of the most popular spices in the world for thousands of years. Today, it’s used as an ingredient in everything from pies to tea. If you spend any time in the kitchen, odds are you have a jar of cinnamon somewhere. You’ve also probably wondered, “Can dogs have cinnamon?” There’s a lot of conflicting information out there. The answer is less about whether they can and more a question of whether they should.

Is Cinnamon Bad for Dogs?

Can dogs eat cinnamon? The simple answer is yes. Cinnamon is not toxic to dogs. That means that if your pooch gets into some cinnamon or food that contains cinnamon, they won’t suffer any fatal effects.

Still, you probably shouldn’t make cinnamon a regular part of your dog’s diet. Both cinnamon and cinnamon oils can irritate the skin and cause digestive issues, especially when consumed in larger quantities.3 In powdered form, cinnamon can also cause respiratory problems.

How much your dog can consume depends on their breed and size. A teaspoon of powdered cinnamon is not likely to cause problems for an average-sized dog. Cinnamon sticks and essential oils are more dangerous, since they contain higher concentrations of cinnamon. According to the Pet Poison Helpline, large overdoses of cinnamon can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and cardiac arrhythmia.4 If your dog is exposed to cinnamon in large quantities over time, they can also develop low blood sugar and liver disease.

Is cinnamon good for dogs in any way?

The short answer is no. While cinnamon has been used by humans for centuries as an herbal medicine, there’s little scientific research that backs up its supposed health benefits.5 There’s even less data on what, if anything, it can do for dogs. Other foods, like plain canned pumpkin, do a much better job of soothing an upset stomach.6 So, while a little cinnamon won’t endanger your dog, there aren’t any benefits to be had either. If you’re still considering adding cinnamon to your dog’s diet, speak with your veterinarian first.

Can dogs eat cinnamon rolls?

The amount of cinnamon in baked goods like rolls is usually low enough that it won’t make your dog sick.3 But there are plenty of other reasons not to give your dog cinnamon rolls. Baked goods are high in sugar and fat, which can lead to obesity and diabetes. Foods made with cinnamon also often contain nutmeg, a spice that can be toxic to dogs. Specifically, nutmeg contains myristicin, a toxin that can induce hallucinations, high blood pressure, abdominal pain, and seizures.4 The good news is that baked goods don’t contain enough nutmeg to cause an overdose, so no need to panic if your dog accidentally snatches a bite from the counter.

What if My Dog Eats Cinnamon?

If your dog does eat cinnamon (or nutmeg), call your vet. They’ll likely tell you to observe your dog and watch carefully for any of the symptoms listed above. Even if no symptoms are present, your vet might also want you to bring your dog in for an examination, just to be sure.

How to keep dogs away from cinnamon

Unless you live in East or Southeast Asia, you’re not likely to have cinnamon trees growing anywhere near where you live. That just leaves the cinnamon in your kitchen to worry about. If it’s in powdered form, make sure the lid is closed when not in use. If you have cinnamon sticks, keep them up high and out of reach of curious noses. When baking with cinnamon, carefully measure the spice and clean up any spills around you.

The Spice Must Flow, but Not for Dogs

It’s easy to see why we love the great taste of cinnamon, but this is one treat your dog can afford to miss. While it’s not likely to cause severe issues, there’s also just no good reason to add cinnamon to your dog’s diet.

If you’re still considering giving cinnamon to your dog, you’ll want to be prepared for the worst. According to the ASPCA, more than 17,000 pets are poisoned by toxic foods each year.7 A dog insurance policy can help cover the cost of emergency treatment.2 Learn more about how MetLife1 Pet Insurance can help keep your furry family safe.  

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Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances.  

1Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.

2Provided all terms of the policy are met. Application is subject to underwriting review and approval. Like most insurance policies, insurance policies issued by IAIC and MetGen contain certain deductibles, co-insurance, exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force. For costs, complete details of coverage and exclusions, and a listing of approved states, please contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC.

3”Can Dogs Eat Cinnamon?,” American Kennel Club

4”Nutmeg And Cinnamon Toxicity,” Pet Poison Helpline

5”Cinnamon: Health Benefits, Uses, Nutrition, Risks,” Nourish by WebMD

6”Can Pumpkin Help With Dog Diarrhea?,” American Kennel Club

7”Pet Emergency Statistics and Veterinary Costs,” Preventive Vet