Can dogs eat cinnamon?

Answer
Cinnamon is not toxic to dogs in small quantities, but there are important considerations and potential risks involved when it comes to feeding your dog this common spice. According to the American Kennel Club and PetMD, while cinnamon itself is not fatal to dogs, certain forms of it, such as cinnamon essential oil, can be toxic. Consuming large amounts of cinnamon can lead to irritation in the mouth, difficulty breathing if inhaled, and more severe health issues like vomiting, diarrhea, changes in heart rate, low blood sugar, and liver disease. The Pet Poison Helpline advises that problems can arise from consuming more than one teaspoon of cinnamon powder for most pets, with essential oils being dangerous in even smaller amounts. Small-breed dogs may be more sensitive to cinnamon than larger breeds12. Commercial dog treats may contain safe amounts of cinnamon, leveraging its antioxidant benefits. However, it's crucial not to feed dogs human foods containing cinnamon, such as cinnamon rolls or bread, especially if they contain other toxic ingredients like nutmeg, raisins, and xylitol. These foods can also be high in fat, sugar, and butter, which are not healthy for dogs and can lead to obesity, diabetes, and other health issues12. If a dog consumes too much cinnamon or any amount of cinnamon essential oil, it's important to contact a veterinarian or the Pet Poison Helpline immediately. Symptoms to watch for include coughing, choking, difficulty breathing, irritation, redness, and blisters in the mouth. Treatment may involve bloodwork and urine testing to check liver and kidney function, IV fluids, soft foods, a feeding tube for chemical burns, anti-vomiting medication, or induced vomiting by a professional. Preventative measures include ensuring dogs do not ingest, inhale, or are exposed to unsafe amounts of cinnamon and avoiding the use of essential oils around pets12. In summary, while a small amount of cinnamon is not harmful to dogs and may even be found in some dog treats, it's essential to be cautious with its use and avoid feeding dogs large quantities or any human foods containing cinnamon and other harmful ingredients. Always consult with a veterinarian if you're considering adding cinnamon or any new food to your dog's diet12.
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