Saturday, 2 November 2013

Cinnamon - Herbs for Dogs and Cats

Safe to use as a dietary supplement, alternative medicine
for most dogs and cats

In this article...
1. Cinnamon
2. Health Benefits
3. Cautions

4. Side Effects
5. Drug Interactions
6. General Guideline for Daily Herbal Intake

1.0 Cinnamon

Cinnamon has been used for many centuries as a spice and as a medicine. Cinnamon is actually the brown bark of the cinnamon tree. There are two varieties of cinnamon tree:
  • Ceylon Cinnamon Tree - the bark is used to make Ceylon Cinnamon;
  • Chinese Cinnamon Tree - the bark is used to make Cassia Cinnamon.

Which Type of Cinnamon is Safe for Your Dog and Cat?

Ceylon cinnamon does not contain measurable amounts of courmarin;
Cassia cinnamon does contain levels of courmarin that may pose a health risk;
  • Courmarin is a naturally occurring organic chemical compound that is present in many plants;
    •  However some plants contain a much higher level of courmarin (i.e. cassia cinnamon, sweet clover, sweet grass and sweet woodruff);
    • Courmarin has a bitter taste as it is meant to help the plant defend itself against threat of consumption;
    • This explains why Ceylon cinnamon has a sweeter taste than cassia cinnamon;
  • When high levels of courmarin are consumed on a daily basis in combination with other substances that may contain a naturally occurring mold - a powerful anticoagulant is formed within the body which may lead to bleeding disorders.
For this reason ONLY use Ceylon Cinnamon, not Cassia Cinnamon for your dog and cat.

Medicinal Properties in Cinnamon
The healing properties of cinnamon come primarily from three essential oils (listed just below) and from a number of volatile substances. The essential oils are:

  • Cinnamaldehyde
  • Cinnamyl acetate;
  • Cinnamyl alcohol.

Cinnamon can be used in various forms:
  • Dry powder;
  • Dry tubular form (also known as quills);
  • Oil;
  • Tea - infusion;
  • Tincture - use alcohol-free only;
  • Supplement - capsule, pill.
2.0 Health Benefits
      Ceylon Cinnamon

A partial list...
  • Anti-Clotting;
  • Anti-inflammatory;
  • Anti-Microbial;
    • Cinnamon is known to stop the growth of:
      • Bad bacteria;
      • Fungi, and;
      • Yeast - candida
        • Cinnamon has been shown to mitigate and often stop yeast Candida that were resistant to the commonly prescribed drug fluconazole. 
  • Atherosclerosis and heart disease prevention - see 'Cholesterol' below.
  • Appetite stimulation;
  • Blood Sugar Control;
    • Adding cinnamon to high carbohydrate food lowers the gastric emptying rate and significantly lessen a rise in blood sugar levels;
    • For type two diabetes, cinnamon improves the bodies ability to respond to insulin - thus lowering blood sugar levels.
    • Diabetes - see 'Blood Sugar Control' above
  •  Brain Activity Enhancer;
    • The scent of cinnamon produces positive effects on brain function including:
    • attentional process and working memory;
  • Cancer fighting - Colon Health;
    • Cinnamon is an excellent source of:
    • Calcium;
    • Fibre;
    • Magenese;
    • Calcium and fiber can bind to bile salts thereby helping with elimination from the body;
    • Certain bile salts can cause damage to the colon cells, thus protecting the body from colon cancer.
  • Carminative;
  • Cholesterol;
    • The process of making new bile requires that the body breakdown cholesterol;
    • This process can help to lower cholesterol levels, thus cinnamon also contributes to preventing atherosclerosis and heart disease.
  • Dental Health;
  • Digestive Health;
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome:
    •  The fiber in cinnamon can help provide respite from both constipation and diarrhea. 
  • Food Preservative;
    •  Cinnamon's antimicrobial properties make it an excellent food preservative;
      • Food grade Cinnamon essential oil can be added to refrigerated food to inhibit food borne pathogenic Bacillus cerus.
      • For every 100ml /3oz of food add several drops of the oil.
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome:
    •  The fiber in cinnamon can help provide respite from both constipation and diarrhea.  
  •  Cinnamon does not contain measurable amounts of oxalate or purines - this means that dogs and cats with kidney and bladder stones can have cinnamon in their diet. 
3.0 Cautions…

If your dog or cat:
  • Is pregnant or lactating do not use cinnamon oil, Ceylon cinnamon powder is generally safe in small daily amounts.
  • Has a bleeding disorder or is on anticoagulants do not use cassia cinnamon;
  • Type 2 Diabetes - cinnamon may lower blood sugar levels, diabetic medicines may require adjustment.
  • As cinnamon may effect blood sugar levels and might make it more difficult to manage blood sugar levels during surgery - cease consumption of cinnamon 2 weeks prior to scheduled surgery.

4.0 Side Effects...
Cinnamon oil by mouth - for some individuals, may cause:
  • Irritation of skin and mucous membranes in the:
    • Intestine;
    • Stomach;
    • Urinary Tract;
  • Diarrhea;
  • Dizziness;
  • Drowsiness;Vomiting. 

5.0 Drug Interactions…
  • Anti-diabetes drugs;
  • Anticoagulant, Antiplatelet drugs if using Cassia cinnamon, no interaction for Ceylon cinnamon.

6.0 General Guideline...
Daily Herbal Intake Based on Dog’s or Cat’s Weight
Dry Powders

1-10 lbs
a small pinch up to 1/8 tsp
less than 1/4 cup, 1-3 times/day
1/2 capsule, 1-3 times/day
1-3 drops, 2-3 times/day
10-20 lbs
1 larger pinch - 1/8 to ¼ tsp
1/4 cup, 1-3 times/day
1/2-1 capsule/tablet, 1-3 times/day
3-5 drops, 2-3 times/day
20-50 lbs
2 pinches - 1 teaspoon
1/4-1/2 cup, 1-3 times/day
1-2 capsules/tablets, 2-3 times/day
5-10 drops, 2-3 times/day
50-100 lbs 10-
2 pinches - 2 teaspoons
1/2-1 cup, 1-3 times/day
1-2 capsules/tablets, 3-4 times/day
20 drops, 2-3 times/day
Over 100 lbs,
up to 1 tablespoon
up to 1 cup 3 times/day
adult human dose
adult human dose

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Article and graphics by Karen Rosenfeld


  1. i just need a clarification on the dosage you indicate for the dry powder my dog is 60 lbs so is it 1 tsp or 2 tsp and is it once daily or twice and is it divided example : is it 1tsp divides into 2 doses or 1 tsp once or twice a day.
    Thank you ever so much and I must congratulate you on you very informative and thorough blog I love it :) and my digs do as well :)

    1. Hi Denyse - you can split the daily dosage of one tsp between tow meals - so each meal you sprinkle 1/2 tsp on top of the food. Cheers, Karen

  2. Hi just want to know if organic is better for the bottles don't say what kind of cinnamon is used and the closest I've seen is organic. Thanks!

    1. No - if it's not specified don't buy it. Go-online and check with the manufacturer or product supplier.

  3. Thank you for you site. I am researching and picked up some cinnamon. It's label is: Made with Organic Herb - True cinnamon - non GMO. On back of bottle (capsules) its says: Organic Cinnamon bark (Cinnamomum verum). Is this Ceylon Cinnamon? Or is this NOT the right kind? Thank you for your response!

    1. Thank you soooo much for your quick response. I can now give the cinnamon. If it's ok, can I ask you about a dog spray? Ingredients are: purified water, organic grapefruit extract grape seed extract, propolis extract and stevia last ingredient. The gel has natural xanthan gum in it. Thank you for your time and effort you put in to helping people make the right decisions for their babies (doggies)

    2. no to xanthan gum - allergen, toxic, carcinagonic

    3. Thank you so much Karen. I will use just the spray then and NOT the gel...TY TY TY.....I also will be looking to make some homemade doggie treats that you have on here too.....Thank you for being so caring about our life companions.

    4. Hi Karen, Great information. Have you heard if it helps with urinary tract issues in small dogs? And since my father told me about the use of Cinnamon, the research seems to a combination of Cinnamon and Honey for humans. Is there any research for this combo for dogs? And is raw organic honey ok for dogs if one is to combine the two or would it be better to just use the cinnamon alone?

    5. Read my articles on honey, on cinnamon and on UTIs

    6. Thanks, Karen--Very interesting information. Can I give my dog cinnamon even though she's currently on insulin twice a day for diabetes?
      Many thanks, Jeanne

    7. Hi Jeanne - yes you can use cinnamon, she won;t be consuming large enough amounts to cause any interactions with insulin :>)

    8. I picked up Ceylon Cinnamon capsules 500mg for my dog with yeast/ fungal problems. She weighs approx 45lbs do you think 1 x capsule/ day is a safe dose? Thank you

  4. I thoroughly enjoy your website! Thank you for all your information and quick replies.

  5. Does cinnamon given to dogs deter mosquitos? I read somewhere that the mosquitos don't like the smell and therefore avoid the animal.

    1. No, cinnamon powder will not deter mosquitoes. Use one of the solutions provided here


Important Note

1.0 Use of Foods, Herbs, Alternative Medicines:

Safe use of items and protocols in the article above, is your sole responsibility.

Foods, herbs and alternative medicines have health issue, condition and conventional drug interactions. Safe use of all substances and protocol are your responsibility.

Before you use any substance or protocol do your research. Check for cautions, contradictions, interactions and side effects. Do not use substances or protocols not suitable to your animal's individual circumstances.

If your animal has an underlying condition substances and protocols may conflict.

2.0 Definition of Holistic…

Food, herbs, alternative medicines are NOT ‘holistic’ they are a substance and MAY, or may NOT be ‘NATURAL’.

If you use a ‘natural’ substance (ie. an herb) you are using a natural substance, not a holistic substance.

Holistic is not defined by use of one or several substances. Holistic is an approach.

Definition of “holistic” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press


"relating to the whole of something or to the total system instead of just to its parts"

"Holistic medicine attempts to treat the whole person, including mind and body, not just the injury or disease."

Holistic is a way of approaching life, and within that health, and well-being.

3.0 Expectation a natural substance remedies a health or behavioral situation.

A natural substance used to treat symptoms. But, if factors causing the underlying issue remain you do not have a remedy.

Remedy requires a comprehensive approach. It is necessary to identify root cause. Remove items that trigger, cause or otherwise contribute to issues. Holistic approach includes design, implementation to treat, remedy and maintain long-term health.

4.0 Leave a Comment

I review all comments and publish those deemed appropriate for this site.

I answer questions deemed appropriate when I have time to do so.

Wishing your dog and cat the best of health!

Karen Rosenfeld
Ottawa Valley Dog Whisperer
Holistic Behaviorist - Dogs
Holistic Diet Nutrition Wellness Adviser – Dogs and Cats