Critter Culture
Is Cinnamon Safe for Dogs?

Is Cinnamon Safe for Dogs?

Critter Culture Staff



Cinnamon is one of the most common spices found in baked products. You might also use cinnamon in regular, everyday cooking as well to add a Middle Eastern or sweet flair to a meat dish. If your dog smells you baking cookies or making a sweet treat with cinnamon, you know for sure that he will be right at your ankles, begging for a taste. There is good news: cinnamon is non-toxic for dogs. However, it is important to check all ingredients in your foods – even those with cinnamon – before letting the little pup have a taste.



non-toxic, cinnamon, canine, cats Christine Ann Bournias / Getty Images

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, cinnamon is perfectly safe for canines to consume. It is also not harmful to give cinnamon, or cinnamon-laced treats, to both cats and horses. However, with all foods, too much of a good thing can end badly. Moderation with all treats, including cinnamon treats, must be exercised if you do not want to leave your dog with an upset stomach, or miserable side effects.


Dog Food and Cinnamon

dog food, cinnamon, dairy, digestion Tim Graham / Getty Images

Sprinkle some cinnamon on your dog’s food for as a treat or for a special occasion. Most dogs are interested in the new aroma and flavor of the spice, and will eagerly consume their regular, boring dog food with relish. Cinnamon has been used for centuries as an additive, and some claim that it encourages wellness and health, particularly with regard to vitality, energy, and circulation. It could even help aid in the digestion of dairy products. Dogs can have difficulty digesting lactose, and cinnamon could be a help.


Brain Function

brain function, cognitive, cinnamon, training olaser / Getty Images

Use cinnamon to potentially increase your puppy’s cognitive powers. One study released claims that the ingestion of cinnamon helps the brain retain information, concentrate, and hold memories. Experiment with cinnamon while teaching your dog to perform tricks. It may also aid in training exercises when the dog is young and not yet housebroken or has yet to learn the rules of the home. While there is not widespread agreement on this healthy side effect, as a non-toxic additive to your dog’s diet, it is certainly worth a try.


Blood Sugar and Diabetes

diabetes, obesity, blood sugar, glucose Joe Raedle / Getty Images

Add some cinnamon to your dog’s diet to potentially increase his capacity to process sugars and deploy insulin. Several studies have shown that half a teaspoon of cinnamon a day could help your dog regulate his blood sugar. This could be particularly helpful if your dog is at risk of contracting diabetes, or if he is overweight. Some older dogs are more prone to these conditions and may benefit from a small addition of cinnamon to their regular diet. In combination with healthy dog food, adding cinnamon in could be a good preventative tactic.


Antibacterial Properties

antibacterial, freshness, e-coli, bacteria bbszabi / Getty Images

Sprinkle some cinnamon on stored dog food to ensure its freshness. Since cinnamon contains antibacterial properties, it can slow the process of food breaking down on its own when exposed to air. Some researchers also found that cinnamon can help prevent the growth of much more harmful bacteria in food and beverage products. Store any unused dog food – particularly wet dog food – covered in the fridge, and add a bit of cinnamon to the top to keep it free from any harmful substances forming on your pup’s next dinner.


The Danger of Cinnamon Treats

nutmeg, danger, raisins, dairy GMVozd / Getty Images

Check all ingredients and labels before giving your dog a cinnamon-based treat. While cinnamon itself is non-toxic, other products could cause your dog discomfort or worse, illness. For example, nutmeg is a common ingredient found in many cinnamon-enriched baked goods. Nutmeg, when ingested in relatively high quantities, could cause your dog to experience rapid heart rate and hallucinations. Other common products, like raisins and dairy products, could also cause gastrointestinal problems and should be avoided in a cinnamon treat.



arthritis, joint pain, inflammation, honey Kintarapong / Getty Images

Try giving your dog cinnamon if he is experiencing problems or pain relating to arthritis. Cinnamon is a well-known anti-inflammatory spice and has proven to show results in relieving pain from the joint aches caused by arthritis. Researchers at the University of Copenhagen suggest that providing a half teaspoon of cinnamon with honey each day could help lessen the painful aches in arthritic joints. Additionally, cinnamon has shown to be an aid in lowering blood pressure and helping to reduce the harmful LDL cholesterol. Again, experimenting with this spice on a special needs or senior dog is worth the attempt.



blood thinner, anti-coagulant, blood, uterus hafakot / Getty Images

Provide cinnamon to your dog in moderation. Like all treats and food, it is best to moderate their daily, weekly, and monthly intake to ensure a balanced, healthy diet. Cinnamon is known as an anti-coagulant, meaning that it can thin the blood. This is good news for people who suffer from a heart condition or from arterial plaque damage. However, in dogs, this could spell problems if he receives a serious injury and bleeds considerably. It is also advisable to keep cinnamon in moderation for female dogs, as the spice may unnecessarily stimulate uterine activity.


Delivery Methods

dog food, treats, cinnamon, mixture Christine Ann Bournias / Getty Images

Mix any cinnamon powder well into your dog’s food. The powdery substance is fine and, when ingested directly in this state, difficult or even impossible to eat. This has even inspired an internet phenomenon in people attempting to ingest an entire tablespoon of raw cinnamon powder, with hilarious, inevitable results. But for dogs, you must be careful not to cause them to experience bronchial or respiratory problems. This is simple: just mix any cinnamon powder into their food well. This is especially true of any powder you have sprinkled on his food the night before.


Final Warning

candle, potpourri, cinnamon sticks Nirian / Getty Images

Keep a close eye on your dog’s behavior after introducing any cinnamon or treats with the spice into his diet. This new, exciting flavor will encourage the dog to seek it out elsewhere. Many household items contain a cinnamon aroma, but certainly not a cinnamon flavor. Keep any candles, potpourri, soap, cologne, and regular cinnamon sticks out of reach of your dog’s hungry, cinnamon-crazed mouth. Substances in these products will likely have some negative properties, leading to unfortunate trips to the veterinarian.



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