Is cinnamon toxic for dogs?

Is this spice really safe for dogs? Should you be worried if your pet swallows it?

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Is cinnamon bad for dogs?

Cinnamon is generally not toxic to dogs when the amounts consumed are not too large. So there is nothing to worry about when your dog swallows a few crumbs of your cooking preparations containing cinnamon.

However, it is better to avoid giving it to your pet every day or giving it large amounts.

Cinnamon does indeed contain coumarin, a natural compound found in plants, which can be toxic to the liver and kidneys when ingested in high doses.

Although both varieties contain relatively low concentrations of coumarin, Ceylon cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) is said to contain fewer coumarin compounds than Chinese cinnamon (Cinnamomum cassia).The first can be recognized by its light color and sweet flavor, while the second is darker in color and has a slightly more bitter flavor. Unfortunately, it is often the second that is found in the spice department in supermarkets as well as in industrial preparations because it costs less than Ceylon cinnamon.

In humans, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has set the maximum authorized dose at 0.1mg of coumarin per kg. In terms of spices, this represents 3g of Chinese cinnamon for a 60kg person.

But, as we do not know the daily dose of coumarin likely to cause liver or kidney toxicity in dogs, caution is still in order. It is therefore best to avoid giving foods containing cinnamon to your dog to avoid any danger. Also keep in mind that, as with any toxic substance, the smaller your dog, the faster toxic doses will be reached!

Beware of cinnamon essential oil!

The most common source of dog poisoning with cinnamon has more to do with cinnamon essential oil than ingesting the spice itself. Cinnamon is indeed more toxic by the dermal or respiratory route than by the oral route because it has a strong irritant potential.

Thus, accidents or poisoning can occur in dogs if:

  • this essential oil is used inappropriately as a natural repellent against external parasites in dogs (in animals that are too young, when the product is overdosed or when the dog can lick the preparation based on essential oils) ,
  • the animal's skin comes into contact with pure essential oil,
  • the dog ingests this essential oil,
  • we diffuse cinnamon essential oil in the dog's living environment.

The best thing is to always seek advice from a specialized veterinarian before using this type of essential oil in your pet.

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