Can dogs eat cinnamon?
Cinnamon, a popular and favorite dessert spice, is commonly used in many baked goods. It’s a common sight for dogs to wait around while their owners bake in the kitchen, hoping they can pick up falling crumbs here and there, and occasionally they will be able to. It’s normal for a dog owner to worry if their pet gets ahold of cinnamon since several food ingredients can prove toxic and fatal to dogs if ingested. Most spices are usually not recommended for dogs because of potentially toxic or adverse reactions, but does this hold true with cinnamon as well? Let’s discuss if dogs can eat cinnamon and the health implications that can result.
Is cinnamon harmful to dogs?
Humans and dogs share tons of similarities. Many medications and food ingredients for humans are generally safe for dogs because they process and metabolize these substances the same way.
However, despite the many similarities between a dog and a human, there are several important differences that can have serious health implications in dogs. There are several food ingredients and medications that dogs can’t digest and process properly, which can cause serious health problems when ingested.
Fruits like raisins and grapes are highly toxic and can cause kidney failure and even death in dogs when ingested. Onions and garlic can lead to excessive bleeding and can be fatal if taken in significant quantities. Other medications and food ingredients can cause a wide range of clinical signs, depending on how much is eaten and how fast a dog can metabolize and clear it from his body.
Fortunately, cinnamon is not considered toxic to dogs. It can be ingested, digested, and absorbed by dogs properly without causing any serious health problems. To a certain extent, cinnamon can even be beneficial to a dog’s health. In fact, many commercially available dog treats have cinnamon as an ingredient.
Are cinnamon-based treats safe for dogs?
Cinnamon is generally safe to give to dogs and can be beneficial to their health to a certain extent. This particular dessert spice can provide several health benefits that can help manage certain illnesses and conditions in dogs.
Cinnamon has great anti-inflammatory properties, making it a great treat option for dogs that have inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. Regularly giving treats with cinnamon can help control inflammation and inflammatory signals produced by the body, which immensely helps in painful inflammatory conditions in dogs.
It is also rich in antioxidants, a substance that fights off and helps eliminate free radicals from the body. Free radicals are byproducts of normal physiological processes and metabolism which can damage cells, causing a wide range of diseases. Giving treats with high concentrations of antioxidants, like cinnamon, can help control and eliminate free radicals and prevent serious health problems in dogs. It also contributes to the cognitive and mental health of canines.
Diabetic dogs can also benefit from the occasional cinnamon treat, as it has been shown to regulate and slow down the absorption of glucose from food. Giving cinnamon treats helps to control the elevation of blood sugar levels, especially after meals, which helps manage diabetes in dogs. It can also reduce insulin resistance of different cells, improving the diabetic dog’s response to insulin injections during treatment of the condition.
Studies have also shown that dogs receiving cinnamon regularly as a treat have a healthier heart and are less predisposed to developing cardiac problems. It has been demonstrated that cinnamon helps lower systolic blood pressure and help manage cardiac conditions in dogs.
But don’t go getting your cinnamon powder and infusing it into your dog’s diet just yet. Despite all of the listed health benefits, cinnamon also can have health hazards that dog owners should be aware of.
Can cinnamon make my dog sick?
Cinnamon is generally safe and can be beneficial to a dog’s health. But if not given correctly, this popular spice can cause several health problems which may need immediate veterinary attention.
While cinnamon is safe and beneficial to a dog’s health, it can potentially cause severe gastrointestinal upset when given in large quantities. Dogs tend to develop gastrointestinal signs like vomiting and diarrhea after ingesting huge amounts of cinnamon or a cinnamon-based treat.
Cinnamon powder can also cause severe respiratory problems when inhaled or ingested. Dogs that attempt to eat pure cinnamon powder are at risk of choking, as it can stick and remain on the mucosal surface of the dog’s esophagus and larynx. Inhalation of cinnamon powder can cause inflammation of the respiratory tract, resulting in bronchitis or worse, pneumonia.
In certain desserts, cinnamon is usually accompanied by nutmeg. While cinnamon is not toxic in dogs, nutmeg is. It contains a substance called myristicin, a toxin that causes hallucination, heart rate elevation, and seizures in dogs. Because of the close association of both spices, dog owners should be very careful when giving cinnamon-based treats to their pets and make sure that nutmeg is not one of the ingredients used.
How to Safely Add Cinnamon to Your Dog’s Diet
Given the potential health benefits and hazards surrounding cinnamon in dogs, it’s safe to assume that dogs can be given cinnamon treats, provided it’s done properly. Like with any treats and supplements, cinnamon is not meant to be a meal replacement and should only be given sparingly.
Dog treats containing cinnamon are the ideal way to give cinnamon to pets. These treats usually contain controlled amounts of cinnamon to avoid any stomach upset, even if eaten in high amounts. It can be given regularly during training or while playing with your puppy.
Avoid giving raw dough with cinnamon as it can expand in the dog’s stomach and cause severe bloating, gastroenteritis, or even obstruction. Baked desserts with cinnamon should only be given if there are no traces of nutmeg in them and fed in small amounts only.
Consult with your vet on how to properly introduce your dog to cinnamon and cinnamon-based treats to avoid any health problems.
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