Is cassia toxic to dogs?

Answered by Michael Wilson

Cassia cinnamon can be toxic to dogs if consumed in large quantities. This is because cassia cinnamon contains high levels of a compound called coumarin, which can be harmful to both dogs and humans when ingested in large doses.

Coumarin is a naturally occurring substance found in many plants, including cinnamon. While it is generally safe for occasional use in small amounts, excessive consumption of coumarin can lead to toxicity symptoms in dogs.

It’s important to note that there are two main types of cinnamon: cassia cinnamon (also known as Chinese cinnamon) and Ceylon cinnamon (also known as true cinnamon). Cassia cinnamon is the more commonly available type and is often used in baking and cooking. However, it has much higher levels of coumarin compared to Ceylon cinnamon.

The problem with coumarin is that it can cause liver damage in both dogs and humans. In dogs, excessive consumption of cassia cinnamon can lead to liver toxicity, which can manifest as symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, increased thirst, increased urination, and in severe cases, even liver failure.

To ensure the safety of your dog, it’s best to avoid giving them cassia cinnamon or any foods or treats that contain high levels of coumarin. Instead, opt for Ceylon cinnamon, which has lower levels of coumarin and is considered safer for dogs. However, even with Ceylon cinnamon, it’s important to use it in moderation and consult with your veterinarian before introducing any new spices or ingredients into your dog’s diet.

Cassia cinnamon can be toxic to dogs due to its high coumarin content. It’s best to err on the side of caution and avoid feeding your dog cassia cinnamon or any products containing high levels of coumarin. Always consult with your veterinarian if you have any concerns or questions about specific foods or spices that may be potentially harmful to your dog.