Get out your boots, scarves, and your favorite fuzzy sweater. It’s time to grab your best buddy and hit the pumpkin patch for some fun photos. After a long day crunching through the leaves, what could be better than enjoying a warm mug of apple cider, or that seasonal favorite, a pumpkin spice latte?
It’s fall, and that means it’s pumpkin spice season. You can find this yummy spice in food, drinks, candles, and even in lotions and soaps! With all the pumpkin spice products available this time of year, you might be wondering if there is anything with pumpkin spice that you can share with your dog.
Is pumpkin spice safe for dogs? What about other flavors we associate with fall, like cinnamon and caramel? Let’s take a more in-depth look at some of our favorite fall flavors and find out which ones we can enjoy with our canine companions.
Can You Give Pumpkin Spice To Your Dog?
Let’s start with the most popular flavor, pumpkin spice. Believe it or not, pumpkin is in the name but not always included in the flavor. Pumpkin spice is the name for the group of spices traditionally used to flavor pumpkin pie and other delicious fall dishes.
Pumpkin is a tasty and healthy way to get extra fiber and vitamin A in your dog’s diet. We know the pumpkin is safe, but what about the spice ingredients in pumpkin spice? The spices found in pumpkin spice are a blend of:
- Cinnamon- Cinnamon is safe for your dog in small quantities. Too much can cause some irritation. While the spice itself is mostly safe, please note that cinnamon essential oil can cause irritation if applied to the skin or inhaled.
- Nutmeg- Nutmeg is absolutely off-limits to dogs. One of the compounds found in nutmeg, called myristicin, can cause a number of side effects. A small amount will most likely only cause an upset stomach and possibly some vomiting and diarrhea. In large quantities, however, you can see much more serious symptoms like increased blood pressure, hallucinations, and disorientation.
- Cloves- A very small amount of cloves is not harmful to your dog. It may be best to avoid them though. They contain a compound called eugenol which can be toxic.
- Ginger- Ginger is non-toxic to dogs and even has some benefits. Ginger settles upset stomachs and can help decrease inflammation in achy joints.
- Allspice- Allspice is very similar to cloves in its chemical makeup. A small amount is harmless, but some dogs may have a reaction to even a small amount.
So is pumpkin spice safe for dogs?
If your dog accidentally gets a smidge of pumpkin spice as you’re baking up a fall dessert, we wouldn’t worry. Small amounts of pumpkin spice shouldn’t harm your dog. Even though some of the spices it contains can be toxic in large amounts, your dog would have to eat an extremely large amount to suffer the ill effects.
Some dogs tolerate smaller amounts of certain ingredients than others. In other words, if your dog steals a taste of your pumpkin spice muffin there’s no need to panic, but it’s best not to go out of your way to feed them foods containing pumpkin spice.
As always, your vet is the best person to talk to when it comes to adding ingredients to your dog’s routine. Your vet is also the place to go if you’re concerned about how much pumpkin spice your dog accidentally consumed.
Other Fall Flavors For Your Dog To Avoid
Even though it’s the ingredient most commonly associated with autumn, pumpkin spice isn’t the only ingredient you will want to avoid for your dog:
When it comes to sharing fall tastes with your dog, it’s not just the spices and fruit you need to keep an eye on. Sugar and fat can be just as dangerous as raisins and nuts if eaten in large quantities. Too much fat can lead to pancreatitis, and vets start seeing an increase in dogs with pancreatitis as fall approaches.
Artificial sweeteners can be even more detrimental to your dog’s health than sugar. Xylitol, which is used as a substitute in sugar-free items, is highly toxic to dogs. Small amounts can cause hypoglycemia, seizures, and liver failure.
Speaking of sweeteners, caramel is another example of an ingredient you don’t want to feed to your dog. While not toxic, caramel is made of pure sugar and can cause hyperactivity, tummy trouble, and rotten teeth in your dog.
But that doesn’t mean your dog can’t enjoy a little caramel surprise at bath time! Fido Fizzies Salted Caramel Bath Bombs (found in the Spicy AF Gift Set) are the perfect addition to your dog’s bath during the chilly fall months. Warm your dog up with a cozy bath and let the delicious caramel scent take over both of you!
Dog Safe Fall Flavors
Your dog doesn’t have to avoid everything delicious about fall. Here are some common fall ingredients that are safe and even beneficial for your dog:
- Cardamom- You may have seen cardamom in fall scented candles. Cardamom is also used in gingerbread and other fall favorites. Cardamom is not just safe but actually beneficial for your dog. It can help keep their digestive tract moving and can help with constipation or diarrhea.
- Cranberries- Pass your pup the cranberry sauce as long as it doesn’t have any sugar. Cranberries are packed with antioxidants and can aid your dog’s urinary tract health.
- Apples- High in fiber and vitamins, apples make a great fall snack for your dog.
- Star Anise- With a subtle licorice flavor, anise has been called catnip for dogs. The smell can get some dogs excited and get those tails wagging. Plus, small amounts of anise seed can help ease the stomach of a gassy dog.
Don’t be afraid to use some of these safe autumn favorites as a treat to pamper your pup. Give your dog some plain, pureed pumpkin with a little ginger mixed with their dry food, or hand them some apples and natural peanut butter as a sweet treat. All while you kick back with your pumpkin spice latte and watch the leaves change color.