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Fall Baking: Can Dogs and Cats Eat Pumpkin Spices?

By Stacy Painter
published: October 21, 2020 - updated: December 21, 2022 • 2 min. read
pumpkin spice latte

Key Takeaways

  • Pets can eat cinnamon in moderation.
  • Pets cannot eat nutmeg or cloves because they are toxic to dogs and cats.
  • Ginger is safe for dogs and cats and can be used as a homeopathic remedy too.
  • Pets should not eat allspice or pumpkin pie spice because it might contain spices that are toxic.

Table of Contents

Colder weather is here, which means many of us are taking to indoor activities, including getting back into baking. Nowadays, you can find just about anything pumpkin spice; in addition to coffee, there’s also snacks, cereals, candy, liqueur, and even deodorant. It’s clear that we love our fall spices, and as you pull them out for this year’s baking, it’s a good idea to know which ones may be toxic to pets. So, which of the following spices are safe for dogs and cats to eat? Let’s review.

Can my pet eat…

Cinnamon: Yes. Cinnamon is not toxic to pets, so it is safe to consume in small amounts when mixed in with other ingredients. Dry cinnamon can pose respiratory problems because it could be accidentally inhaled. Cinnamon offers many benefits, including anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It can also help regulate blood sugar levels for diabetic dogs.

Nutmeg: No. In significant amounts, nutmeg is toxic to dogs and cats and can cause symptoms like disorientation, increased heart rate, high blood pressure, and seizures. However, because it a pet would need to consume a great quantity of nutmeg to experience toxic symptoms, the amount of nutmeg baked into a pastry (most recipes are usually only ¼ to ½ teaspoon) is typically not enough to cause serious problems.

Ginger: Yes. Ginger is safe for dogs and cats in small doses, and can even be used as a homeopathic treatment for motion sickness, nausea, and gastrointestinal problems. Ginger is also a natural anti-inflammatory and may be sprinkled onto your dog’s food or baked into homemade dog treats to help dogs with arthritis.

Cloves: No. High quantities of cloves or clove oil are dangerous to pets because they contain eugenols, according to Patton Veterinary Hospital. Eugenols can cause liver toxicity in cats, including symptoms like vomiting, seizures, and staggering. Patton Veterinary Hospital states that cloves appear to be relatively safe for dogs.

Allspice: No. Allspice also contains eugenols, so it’s best to avoid sharing this spice with pets. If your pet consumes a baked good made with allspice or cloves, it is unlikely to pose serious health issues since the quantity and concentration of the spice is typically very low. But because these spices are toxic to cats, be sure to keep allspice, cloves and clove oils well out of paws’ reach.

Pumpkin pie spice: No. Pumpkin pie spice is a blend of spices, containing nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and sometimes allspice. Because it contains nutmeg and cloves, pumpkin pie spice should not be shared with your pet or included in homemade pet treat recipes.

Too much of any dry spice can cause coughing and choking because it can be accidentally inhaled into the respiratory tract. Be sure to consult with your veterinarian before adding spices to your pet’s diet.

The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical diagnosis or condition.

Stacy Painter profile
By Stacy Painter

Stacy has always been an animal lover and has worked in the pet industry and pet insurance specifically for over a decade. As a writer since early childhood, content writing for Healthy Paws pet insurance was a natural career path to combine her two passions. She currently lives in Florida with her boyfriend and Taiwanese rescue dog, Kaya.

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