If you’ve ever asked yourself: “Can my dog eat cinnamon?” — you’re not alone.
Cinnamon truly is the “the spice of life,” whether you like sprinkling it on coffee, tossing it in with apples, or drinking it down with a cup o’ cider. It’s a natural spice that can bring warmth, flavor, and joy to your life.
Cinnamon has been used for centuries as flavoring in food and even as an all-natural medicine. Fresh cinnamon is so fragrant and delicious, the ancient Greeks believed it could attract the attention of their gods!
So of course, cinnamon is sure to draw the attention of your dog.
“The Spice of Life”
In small amounts, cinnamon can have numerous potential health benefits for your furry best friend
However, there are also some potential risks surrounding this popular spice, so it’s important to be informed about what’s true and false when it comes to cinnamon safety for your dog.
So, if you want to know how cinnamon can benefit your dog, what potential risks are involved, and how this sweet spice can support your dog’s health, keep reading!
Is cinnamon toxic to dogs?
The short answer is: No, in small quantities cinnamon will not hurt your dog. This cinnamon is not toxic for dogs. That said, you definitely don’t want to give your dog heaping spoonfuls of cinnamon.
See, cinnamon contains an all-natural compound called coumarin. Coumarin is organic and found in many plants, but your dog (or any dog) will have a very upset tummy if they eat large amounts of it.
In fact, there are two different types of cinnamon, one with less coumarin, and one with more. So you have to be careful what type you give our dog.
What type of cinnamon is best for your dog?
There are actually two types of cinnamon you’ll see in the grocery store: Ceylon and cassia cinnamon. The safe one for your dog is ceylon cinnamon.
This is because ceylon cinnamon contains very low levels of coumarin, so it will be easier on your dog’s stomach.
By contrast, cassia cinnamon contains very high amounts of coumarin, so you don’t want to give your dog this type.
Are there safety concerns with cinnamon?
As with any spice or herb, you want to be careful if you’re going to introduce cinnamon to your dog’s diet.
Remember: Anything other than pure, powdered ceylon cinnamon can be harmful to your dog. Also, there are certain types of “cinnamon foods” that can be dangerous for your pup.
Here are 3 “cinnamon snacks” your dog should NOT eat.
These may look like chew toys, but your dog should never be allowed to chew on cinnamon sticks.
Cinnamon sticks can cause sores in your dog’s mouth and tummy trouble. Also, if your dog were to inhale any cinnamon, it could cause them to cough and choke.(1)
Cinnamon extract or cinnamon oil
Cinnamon extracts and essential oils aren’t safe for dogs. They’re very strong, with high amounts of concentrated cinnamon (and coumarin.)
So it’s very difficult to know exactly how much cinnamon is in a drop of oil, and it could lead to accidental poisoning. (2)
Cinnamon baked desserts
Yummy cinnamon treats like cinnamon buns or cinnamon rolls often contain other ingredients which can be harmful to your dog, like raisins, nutmeg, cream cheese, and chocolate.
Not to mention, sugary “people foods” like donuts, coffee cake, and cookies can really upset your dog’s stomach and lead to serious health problems, like liver disease, high blood sugar, and obesity.
What’s the best way to give my dog cinnamon?
Adding just a touch of cinnamon to your dog’s diet can actually help your pooch feel better…
But if you want to add cinnamon to your dog’s diet, it’s best to talk to your veterinarian about the safe way to give your dog a little extra “kick” with this healthy spice.
In general, you should only feed your dog a small amount (a teaspoon or less) of organic, pure ground ceylon cinnamon every once in a while.
Never give your dog “spice blends,” because many powdered cinnamon blends contain added sugar, nutmeg, and other spices that can cause major health problems for your dog.
The easiest way to add ceylon cinnamon to your dog’s diet is to add a small amount to your dog’s food and stir it up.
Talk to your veterinarian about the right “cinnamon dosage” for your dog. Once you know exactly how much cinnamon your dog can have, you can try some fun, dog-safe recipes with this healthy spice.
QUICK RECIPE: Frozen Cinnamon Spice Cubes
- 1 Standard ice tray
- A fork or butter knife
- A freezer
- 100% organic sweet potato puree (make sure this is pure sweet potato, with no salt or sugar added.
- 100% pure ceylon cinnamon
- Fill the wells of an ice tray half full with 100% organic sweet potato puree.
- Sprinkle a teaspoon or less of ceylon cinnamon powder into each well, on top of the sweet potato.
- Gently stir the mixture in each well with your fork or butter knife.
- Freeze until solid, then serve one to your pup!
Now you have “Cinnamon Spice Cube” treats for your pup! Your dog is going to LOVE these. Also, since they’re frozen, these treats will keep in the freezer for up to a month.
Your dog will love the extra flavor of cinnamon every now and then, and because this spice is an antioxidant, it can help support their healthy joints, too.
However, if you’re looking for a faster, more effective way to help keep your dog limber, playful, and active…
Dr. Marty’s joint-supporting formula, Free & Active, has helped countless pups get back to running, jumping, and playing their favorite games with more ease. It’s formulated with the powerhouse antioxidants Boswella Serrata and Indian Gooseberry (also known as phyllanthus emblica fruit.)
HELP SOOTHE YOUR DOG’S STIFF JOINTS
Like cinnamon, the all-natural ingredients in Free & Active are filled with polyphenols — plant compounds that can help soothe stiffness and discomfort in your dog’s joints — but they don’t run the risk of upsetting your dog’s tummy.(3)
Best of all, Free & Active comes in a tasty chew that your dog will think is a treat — so it’s an even easier, more fun way to help support your pup’s limber joints and active lifestyle.
- Burke, A. (2020, January 21). Can Dogs Eat Cinnamon? American Kennel Club.
- F. (2021, May 11). Essential Oils and Animals | Essential Oils for Pets | Found Animals. Michelson Found Animals Foundation.
- Tapiero, H., Tew, K. D., Ba, G. N., & Mathé, G. (2002). Polyphenols: do they play a role in the prevention of human pathologies?. Biomedicine & pharmacotherapy = Biomedecine & pharmacotherapie, 56(4), 200–207.