Today we’re diving into a spice-rack staple that you probably use in your morning oatmeal or sprinkle on your lattes: cinnamon. But can dogs have cinnamon? That’s the million-dollar question we’ll tackle in this blog post.
Before we get started, remember that while we’re here to provide useful insights, this blog is not a substitute for professional veterinary advice. If you’ve got questions about your fur baby’s health, call us at (303) 442-6262 or book an appointment online with Boulder Veterinary Hospital.
What is Cinnamon? A Quick Overview
Cinnamon is more than just a delicious addition to your favorite recipes. It’s a spice that comes from the inner bark of cinnamon trees. The bark is then dried and rolled into sticks, or ground into a powder. In the human world, it’s lauded for its potential health benefits like anti-inflammatory properties and blood sugar regulation. But what about in the world of wagging tails and wet noses?
Types of Cinnamon
Believe it or not, not all cinnamon is created equal. There are two main types: Ceylon cinnamon (also known as “true” cinnamon) and Cassia cinnamon (the more common variety you’ll find in grocery stores). The distinction is important because Cassia contains more coumarin, a compound that can be toxic in large quantities.
Can Dogs Eat Cinnamon? The Short Answer
The quick answer is yes, dogs can eat cinnamon in small amounts. But, as with any treat or spice you’re considering giving to your pup, there are pros and cons you should weigh carefully.
The Benefits of Cinnamon for Dogs
First, let’s chat about the good stuff. Some research suggests that cinnamon could have anti-inflammatory properties and can act as an antioxidant. It might also help ward off bacteria and fungi. While research specific to dogs is limited, these potential benefits could be reason enough to sprinkle a tiny bit of cinnamon over your dog’s food—under the supervision and guidance of your vet, of course.
The Risks and Considerations
Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty. Cinnamon isn’t toxic to dogs, but it’s not exactly a superfood for them either. As mentioned earlier, Cassia cinnamon contains more coumarin, which could be harmful in large doses. Plus, giving your dog too much cinnamon can cause stomach upset and possibly lead to an allergic reaction. Always start with a small amount and monitor your pup closely for any adverse reactions.
What Do Vets Say? Professional Advice is Key
If you’re thinking of incorporating cinnamon into your dog’s diet, the first step should always be a chat with your vet. Even small dietary changes can have a big impact on your dog’s overall health and well-being. So before you start shaking that cinnamon bottle over your dog’s dinner, make that call to your vet. The safe amount of cinnamon can vary from dog to dog based on factors like size, weight, and overall health. That’s why it’s crucial to consult your vet before making any changes to your pet’s diet.
As always, if you have concerns or questions, Boulder Veterinary Hospital is just a phone call or a click away. Call (303) 442-6262 to make an appointment or book one online.