Spicy Topic: Can Dogs Eat Cinnamon?

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We’ve all heard that variety is the spice of life, but are our animals really on board with us swapping out their usual diet of kibble for something with a more exotic flavour?  You betcha… and this is a sentiment  shared by any pet parent who has ever tried to eat a meal, snack, bag of chips, glass of wine, or other with their best friend sitting shotgun.

Related: The Shocking Truth About Dogs and Garlic

When it comes to breaking with tradition and “spicing” up their menu, Rover is all for it. But can dogs eat cinnamon? Yes, they can – but it has to be the right kind, at the proper dosage. In fact recent studies have shown that cinnamon not just spices up a dog’s meal, it also provides health benefits! Apparently a few drops of essential oil or a sprinkle of powder into Rover’s chow adds not only a new flavor but also a myriad of medicinal benefits. While these may not include his breath now smelling like your favorite holiday latte, they do include anti-inflammatory properties as well as the ability to slow or stop bacteria growth.

In fact, as little as a half a teaspoon of cinnamon a day helps to regulate blood sugar and raise insulin resistance which is vital for older or overweight pets who are at risk of contracting diabetes. Some studies also show that cinnamon can combat the fungus that causes yeast infections. Pets who suffer from allergies are often prone to yeast infections that are resistant to medication but surprisingly, not to cinnamon!

Related: Gluten-Free Apple Cinnamon Dog Treat Recipe

Of course, as with any supplement, the big “but” is that dosage and more importantly type are crucial and must be respected.  For example, Ceylon cinnamon is considered safe for your pet due to its low levels of courmarin. Courmarin is a natural organic chemical compound that can be found in many plants, including both the Ceylon Cinnamon Tree (its bark is used to make Ceylon Cinnamon) and the Chinese Cinnamon Tree (its bark is used to make Cassia Cinnamon).  Ceylon cinnamon doesn’t contain measurable amounts of courmarin, making it safe for dogs to eat. However, Cassia cinnamon is not considered safe because it has higher levels of courmarin, which may pose a potential health risk to your pooch.

Daily Dosages

For dry powder daily dosages, follow this chart to ensure your dog gets the proper amount (based on pound weight):

1-10 lbs: a small pinch up to 1/8 teaspoon

10-20 lbs: 1/8 to ¼ teaspoon

20-50 lbs: ¼ to 1 teaspoon

50-100 lbs: 1 to 2 teaspoons

Over 100 lbs: 2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon

Always be sure to check your labels before making any purchase and look for creative recipes that can help you safely incorporate this wonder-spice into your buddy’s diet. And feel free to let us know what creative ways you use to add cinnamon to your dog’s diet.

Mary SimpsonMary Simpson is a writer and communications professional from Port Credit, Ontario.  A soft touch for anything stray, she shares her century home with an eclectic collection of rescues that include orange tabby Chico, tuxedo Simon, and jet black Owen.  She enjoys running, politics, exploring the wine regions of Niagara and is an avid supporter of the “shop local” movement.