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Cinnamon 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 it is best to 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 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
Weight
Dry Powders

Teas
Capsules/Tablets
Tinctures
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

About Karen

Dogs are my life, my work, my passion… I am a Dog Whisperer, Dog Behaviorist and Holistic Canine Wellness Adviser with a wealth of real-time, real-life experience living and working with dogs. For two and a half decades I have worked with and shared my life with dogs. My own dog pack is comprised of eleven dogs, various breeds and ages. I provide a full range of services including Obedience Training for puppies and dogs; canine Behavior Modification; canine Psychological Rehabilitation, specializing in assisting dogs that are experiencing extreme states of insecurity, anxiety and aggressive-reactive behavior; Diet, Nutrition and Wellness Advice and Plans for canines and felines…natural wisdom for you and your companion animal.

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2 comments

  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 :)

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