The Ultimate Guide to Cinnamon For Dogs

Key points

  • There are two types of cinnamon, namely Cassia cinnamon and Ceylon cinnamon. Generally, Ceylon cinnamon is considered to be safer for dogs;
  • Cinnamon is a very concentrated source of antioxidants that can lower blood sugar and improve your dog’s heart health. Moreover, it might help your pet deal with joint pain and muscle soreness;
  • Although nutmeg is often seen as a supplementary spice to cinnamon, you should never give it to your dog. Nutmegs can cause life-threatening intoxication in dogs.

Cinnamon has many benefits in a human diet. It is a powerful antioxidant with an abundance of anti-inflammatory properties, and the spice can even help lower blood sugar levels. Moreover, cinnamon improves insulin sensitivity in those who have diabetes. It can also aid patients with neurodegenerative diseases and much more! Cinnamon is also delicious, which is why it is a common staple food in pantries worldwide. But is it actually safe for your dog to consume cinnamon?

The short answer is yes. However, the type and amount of cinnamon you can feed your dog play an important role.

Types of Cinnamon Suitable for Dogs

Cinnamon spice is a staple in many cuisines around the world. It can be used for sweet desserts and breakfast meals, as well as savory dishes. Cinnamon is derived from the bark of the Cinnamomum tree.

Two different types of cinnamon are found around the world. There is Ceylon cinnamon, also called “real” cinnamon or “sweet” cinnamon, and Cassia cinnamon.

brown wooden sticks

Cassia cinnamon comes specifically from the Cassia tree, also known as the C. aromaticum tree, which is found across China and Indonesia. In contrast, Ceylon cinnamon comes from the C. verum tree, found in Sri Lanka. Cassia cinnamon is dark brown in color, and it comes in thicker sticks with a coarser consistency than Ceylon cinnamon. Cassia cinnamon has a more powerful taste, and it’s also cheaper and more popular than Ceylon cinnamon. So unless you’re shopping in an upscale specialty spice market, the cinnamon sticks and ground cinnamon in your pantry and local grocery store are definitely of the Cassia variety.

Like many other plants, both types of cinnamon contain the toxic compound coumarin. However, since Cassia cinnamon is richer in coumarin, Ceylon cinnamon is safer for dogs.

Health Benefits of Cinnamon for Dogs

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, cinnamon is not toxic for dogs. Moreover, a diet containing cinnamon has numerous health benefits. Cinnamon is such a concentrated source of antioxidants that it beats 26 different spices, including “superfoods” garlic and oregano! In addition, it has been shown to lower total cholesterol, “bad” LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides while keeping “good” HDL cholesterol levels stable.

person feeding dog during daytime

The Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advance published one study that showed that dogs that consumed cinnamon as part of their diet had better heart health than pets that didn’t eat the spice. Research has also shown that canines that eat the spice have lower blood pressure and heart rate.

By adding a little Ceylon cinnamon to dog food from time to time, you can lower both the pet’s blood sugar and lipid levels.

Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, cinnamon can also help your pal with joint pain and muscle soreness. In addition, Ceylon cinnamon is said to have a soothing effect on diseases such as arthritis.

Cinnamon is also good for the brain since it helps to improve cognitive functions (for example, memory) in your dog. It may even prevent both humans and dogs from getting neurological disorders. Some research also shows that the spice has potent antibacterial and antifungal properties!

Cinnamon can also act as a breath freshener. So if your canine is suffering from bad breath, consider rubbing a bit of cinnamon on its gums, and it should do the trick!

How Much Cinnamon Is Safe For Dogs?

brown powder on silver spoon

A safe dose of cinnamon is ½ teaspoon per approximately 25 kilograms of weight. Vets believe that giving your dog more than one teaspoon of cinnamon is too much! As we already mentioned, cinnamon is considered to be non-toxic for dogs. However, it might pose some risks.

What To Do If Your Dog Ate Too Much Cinnamon?

If you feed your dog cinnamon sticks, it might result in the animal having coughing and breathing problems. So, if you plan on giving cinnamon to your pet, just sprinkle the spice directly onto dog food or on a treat.

Keep in mind that you should not feed your dog too much cinnamon. Large amounts of the spice can cause serious problems such as:

  • stomachache (vomiting, diarrhea)
  • mouth sores
  • lung irritation (breathing difficulties, coughing)
  • increased heart rate

If you notice that your dog has any of the symptoms mentioned above after consuming cinnamon, call a vet immediately. Do not panic, cinnamon is not fatal for dogs. However, the side effects of eating too much cinnamon can be uncomfortable. Also, according to the Pet Poison Helpline, cinnamon powder can irritate dogs’ lungs and cause coughing, choking, and difficulty breathing.

Nutmeg vs. Cinnamon For Dogs

Although cinnamon and nutmeg are often used as complementary spices, dogs should never eat nutmeg. Unlike many other spices, nutmeg is very toxic to dogs. Even small amounts can cause poisoning and even lead to the pet’s death.

person holding brown wooden stick with white and black short coated dog

Nutmeg contains elemicin, myristicin, and safrole. These substances are known hallucinogens. They can have a mind-altered effect and lead to intoxication. The molecules act on the pet’s brain and nervous system, dogs poisoned by nutmeg will mostly experience neurological symptoms. The following symptoms are typical:

  • Nausea with or without vomiting
  • Weakness and malaise
  • Tremors and convulsions
  • Swollen extremities
  • Disorientation
  • Death from respiratory paralysis

Remember that nutmeg is poisonous for your dog even in very small quantities.


What does cinnamon do for a dog?

Cinnamon has been shown to improve heart health in dogs. It can lower blood pressure and decrease blood sugar and lipid levels. Its anti-inflammatory properties can help with joint pain and muscle soreness. Ceylon cinnamon is also considered to have a soothing effect on arthritis.

How much cinnamon is safe for dogs?

Generally, it is not recommended to give your dog more than one teaspoon of cinnamon. A safe dose is ½ teaspoon per approximately 25 kilograms of weight.

Can dogs eat things with cinnamon?

According to ASPCA, cinnamon is not toxic to dogs. However, you should be careful with the quantity of cinnamon you give to your dog. Consuming too much spice can lead to health problems.

How do I give cinnamon to my dog?

You can sprinkle cinnamon directly on your dog’s food. ½ teaspoon per approximately 25 kilograms of weight is considered to be a safe dose. However, keep in mind that you should not give cinnamon sticks to your dog.