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Can dogs eat cinnamon?

Written by FOTP Team



Fresh cinnamon rolls, sweet potato casserole or breakfast cereal – cinnamon makes everything taste better!  If your dog agrees and they’ve swallowed a cinnamon treat today, don’t worry.  Unless they’re unexpectedly allergic, dogs CAN eat cinnamon – in small amounts.  Does that mean they SHOULD eat cinnamon?  Let’s find out.

If your dog is a curious eater, you’re probably no stranger to the Pet Poison Helpline  You’ll find all kinds of weird and wonderful ingredients there – from common garden plants to household favourites like garlic.  

When it comes to cinnamon – a popular holiday ingredient which is used in cookies, bakes, and sprinkled on cocoa – well, it affects dogs in a similar way to people.

In other words, some dogs will be allergic to cinnamon.  You might not find out until they’re suffering the consequences of the cinnamon roll they snaffled from the breakfast table today...

Cinnamon can cause irritation or blistering, and you’ll notice it in or around your dog’s mouth and lips.  To have a reaction, your dog would have to eat a lot of ground cinnamon, or just a little bit of essential oil (as this is far stronger).   Another cause of irritation – in the lungs – is inhaling cinnamon powder.  

So if your dog’s eaten a cinnamon roll which contained a little bit of ground cinnamon, you should monitor them for a reaction, but they should be OK.  On the other hand, if your dog swallowed essential oil or inhaled ground cinnamon, it’s best to call your vet. 

Cinnamon can be beneficial for dogs – just like humans.  If you want to give it a try, it is always wise to introduce new ingredients with caution.  

It’s a powerful antioxidant...

In fact, cinnamon has been proven to reduce oxidative stress in the human body.  What’s that?  Oxidative stress (when there aren’t enough antioxidants to neutralize free radicals) is a factor which contributes to the development of diabetes, heart disease and cancer. It also ages the body and organs.  That’s why you’ll often read about the superpowers of antioxidant foods (like blueberries and kale). We love those antioxidants! In a study, cinnamon was shown to contain the second highest level of antioxidants (cloves came first).  

Lowering blood pressure

Several studies have shown that cinnamon lowers blood sugar by increasing the body’s sensitivity to insulin.  Because cinnamon increases glucose levels in cells, it acts a bit like insulin, and this makes the body think it is insulin.  Studies have shown that cinnamon has a very fast effect, lowering blood pressure – so it’s a good supplement for people with pre-diabetes, and might help diabetic dogs, too.  

Lowering blood sugar

One interesting study asked people to eat a bowl of rice pudding with or without 1.2 tsp of cinnamon.  Those eating their portion with cinnamon had lower blood sugar after eating.  Low blood sugar can reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease.  While these studies examined humans, not dogs, we can expect some of the same benefits to apply in canines.   

Be aware that cinnamon, especially in larger amounts, can cause allergic reactions.  If you decide to try it, go slow and steady.  And if your dog has health problems and you’re trying to increase the variety of vitamins in their diet, why not try The One/products/the-one?

Are cinnamon rolls OK for dogs?

Cinnamon rolls are undoubtedly very appetising to dogs!  But they’re not a great food-source for the long term.  And they can contain ingredients which are far worse than cinnamon. 

They’re high in fat and sugar, both of which can cause complications such as obesity and diabetes.  When you feed your dog any treat, you should subtract calories from their dinner bowl – and that means taking away protein and nutrients if they’ve had a pastry.  You can see why that’s not a wise idea. 

Can your dog be poisoned by cinnamon rolls?

Cinnamon rolls (or other baked goods) often contain additional ingredients which are more toxic to dogs.  If you used nutmeg or xylitol (or these are listed on the pack) then you should be extra-observant of your dog.  A lot of nutmeg can cause serious symptoms such as a raised heart-rate or blood pressure, and gastrointestinal upset.  Xylitol is very toxic, as it affects blood sugar very rapidly, causing symptoms such as wobbliness, confusion, and seizures.   

If your dog ate a significant amount of cinnamon rolls, call your vet for advice.