Can Dogs Eat Cinnamon?

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Introduction

Sprinkle it on coffee, toss it in with apples, drink it down with a cup of cider - cinnamon is a delicious spice that brings warmth, flavor, and yum to your life! But did you know it does more than just add taste? Did you know that a spoonful of cinnamon could actually benefit your dog's life?

Often thought to be toxic (confused with large amounts of nutmeg), cinnamon is a great supplement to your dog's diet. Cinnamon is non-toxic for your dogs (and for your cats and horses, for that matter), and feeding your dog just a touch of cinnamon can actually offer some health benefits. 

That being said, you definitely don't want to give your dog tons of it, as the excess can upset their sensitive stomachs. You always want to make sure you're giving them the right kind of cinnamon, as well. There are two types of cinnamon you can buy, ceylon and chinese cinnamon. The one that's safe for your pup to eat is Ceylon Cinnamon because of the very low levels of Courmarin - but we'll get more into this in a moment! 

If you want to know how cinnamon can benefit your dog, what signs you should look for that cinnamon might help or might be hurting your pup, or just want to know more about the science behind adding cinnamon to your dog's diet, we've got your back. Check out our guide below that should tell you everything you need to know about cinnamon and your pooch!

Signs Your Dog Might Benefit From Cinnamon

It might not seem so far-fetched to you - cinnamon has tons of health benefits for people, so why wouldn't it for dogs? Dogs have different digestive and internal systems than people, so often you have to be really careful when using logic like that; in this case, though, your dog can benefit from cinnamon! 

If your dog is aging or is getting a bit chubby (which is something you should be trying to monitor all of the time), a pinch of cinnamon in their food can help them fight diabetes by regulating their blood pressure and raising their insulin resistance. Do you have a dog who is prone to yeast infections? Cinnamon can help them fight the fungus that causes those - often, doggy fungi are resistant to medicine, but not to cinnamon! 

More than that, cinnamon can help your doggo if they suffer from inflammation. Cinnamon has special anti-inflammatory properties that can help slow or stop the bacteria growth that causes inflammation.

With everything though, moderation and quantity are important. Your dog can potentially have too much cinnamon. 

First, talk with your vet to determine if cinnamon is a good choice for your pup and in what amounts you should be giving it to him. Next, always be familiar with the signs that go along with over-consumption. If your dog is vomiting, is having strange bowel issues, has diarrhea, is constipated, has bloody stool, is exceptionally itchy, is coughing, choking, or is having difficulty breathing, it's possible he's ingested too much cinnamon! 

Body Language

Though cinnamon can be beneficial for your dog's health, it's important that you always make sure it's in moderation. Too much of anything can be harmful for your dog, and cinnamon is no exception. Here are  some body language cues you might want to watch out for if you think your dog has maybe had too much cinnamon.
  • Panting
  • Pacing
  • Drooling
  • Dropped Ears
  • Ears back
  • Licking
  • Pupils dilated

Other Signs

Here are a few other signs that your dog has ingested too much cinnamon! Like we said, cinnamon isn't toxic for your pup, but eating too much of it can definitely hurt your doggo. Look out for these signs if you're thinking your dog ate too much of the good stuff:
  • Liver Issues
  • Low Blood Sugar
  • Change in Heart Rate
  • Bowel Problems
  • Upset Stomach
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

Historic Health Benefits of Cinnamon for Dogs

People have used cinnamon for centuries to help improve their health and combat illness, and sometimes, this can be useful for your dog, too. Historically, people have used cinnamon to lower blood sugar, eat as an antioxidant, and to stop bacterial growth. The same is true for dogs! 

If you feed your dog appropriate, healthy amounts of cinnamon, it can often gift your pooch with anti-inflammatory properties, slow bacterial growth, and can even help older and obese dogs fight the risk of contracting diabetes by regulating blood sugar and raising their insulin resistance. Some studies have even shown that eating cinnamon can help your dog fight fungus that causes yeast infections. 

Of course, checking with your dog-tor is a must before you start feeding your pup cinnamon. Research does show, however, that in the right amounts, cinnamon can be beneficial for your doggo's health and well-being.

The Science of Cinnamon

Sure, some people think that cinnamon can be helpful for dogs, but how much cinnamon is too much cinnamon, and how should you be giving it to your dog? When it comes to cinnamon safety, it's important to understand what's in cinnamon that can make it good or bad for your dog. 

As we said before, there are two types of cinnamon - Ceylon cinnamon and Chinese cinnamon. The safe cinnamon choice for your dog is Ceylon cinnamon because it has low levels of coumarin. Courmarin is a natural, organic compound that is found in lots of plants - this can cause issues for your dog if too much is ingested, so it's best to stay away from Chinese cinnamon (packed with lots of coumarins). 

When it comes to quantity, experts say that about one teaspoon of powder can begin to cause issues for your doggo. So, how should you give it to your dog? We don't recommend that you sprinkle it onto his kibble directly. Instead, look into essential cinnamon oils with trace amounts of cinnamon. Don't hand over a cinnamon stick to your dog and expect him to be okay - that kind of thing can cause irritation in your doggo's mouth, and cause your pup to cough, choke, or have a hard time breathing. 

Research suggests that the amount of cinnamon that's safe for your dog is dependent on his weight. So, if your dog weighs 1-10 pounds (tiny, little pups), you shouldn't give him more than 1/8 teaspoon daily. If, however, you have a dog that's over 100 pounds, you can likely give him up to 2 teaspoons safely. However, never feed your dog cinnamon without consulting with your dog-tor first.

How to Train your Dog to Eat Cinnamon

If you have a picky eater but want to make sure your dog is getting a pinch of cinnamon in his food, train him to realize that the meal you're giving him is the only meal he'll be eating. We certainly don't mean that you should ever starve your dog, however, if your pup is hungry enough, he'll eat whatever you put in front of him. If he expresses little to no interest in his cinnamon-sprinkled food or his essential oiled food, we suggest a few things. 

First, feed your dog at a specific time and don't falter. Make sure he knows that breakfast and dinner are at specific times, and if he doesn't eat the food in front of him, he has to wait until the next meal. This will help your dog understand that what's put in front of him is what he'll eat, and that pickiness will fly right out the window! 

Additionally, if you're trying to get your dog to ingest a touch of essential cinnamon oil, begin training him how to take things from an eye dropper. Start with water and reward him greatly when he takes the water from the dropper or syringe. Then, move onto the oils. All of his training should have positive reinforcement, so make sure he's getting lots of cuddles, attention, and treats for good behavior.

How to React if Your Dog Has Had too Much Cinnamon

  • Call the vet immediately!
  • Don't panic - it's not toxic, though it will cause your dog some discomfort.
  • Get your dog a lot of water.
  • If the vet advises, get your dog to purge.
  • Go for an emergency vet visit.