It’s fun to indulge in sugar and spice and everything nice, like cinnamon. Just a whiff of cinnamon can bring back memories of snow day baking sessions with mom. And now that you’re a pet parent, you may want to give your pup a sprinkle of it, whether it’s in a homemade dog biscuit or by itself. So, can dogs eat cinnamon? Here’s what pet parents should know.
Is cinnamon good for dogs?
There aren’t any peer-reviewed studies on the benefits of giving your dog cinnamon, but some people swear by it.
“Anecdotally, people will say it has anti-inflammatory properties and helps regulate blood sugar,” says Dr. Antje Joslin of Dogtopia, a brand of dog daycare centers that also offers boarding, spa, grooming and training services at more than 150 locations throughout the U.S.
If your dog has underlying gastrointestinal (GI) sensitivities, experimenting with her diet is probably not recommended. But most dogs have relatively iron stomachs. Start with a tiny amount, and see how she responds. Dr. Joslin says it’s OK to put some in a homemade dog treat or let your pup lick it off your finger while you’re baking.
But when it comes to cinnamon and dogs, there’s such a thing as too much of a good thing.
“It should be in small quantities…anything more than a teaspoon can be an irritant to the stomach,” Dr. Joslin warns, adding that too much cinnamon can also raise blood sugar.
When to not let your dog eat cinnamon
Cinnamon can cause GI irritation. If your dog is prone to it, it may be best to find another way to treat them. Also, steer clear of cinnamon in oil form.
“It can irritate the skin,” Dr. Joslin says.
And though the smell is comforting to us, try not to let your dog inhale it if, for example, it spilled on the floor.
“It can be an irritant to the nose,” Dr. Joslin says.
If your dog had cinnamon, look out for any signs of discomfort.
“Vomiting, soft stool or frequent stool [are red flags],” Dr. Joslin says. “If they inhale it after getting into the spice cabinet, look for coughing, sneezing or choking.”
Check in with your vet and consider treating your dog with something else if cinnamon isn’t sitting well with them. But if it is, a little sprinkle in moderation is perfectly fine.