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Can Dogs Eat Nutmeg? Understanding the Risks and Benefits

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At Dog Child we want to teach dog parents who to cook for their pups at home. But when home-cooking it is crucial to only feed your dog safe ingredients. Good news is most foods are safe but the few that are not safe can be really harmful. This brings us to a favourite holiday spice nutmeg and if our dogs can have it. This nutty spice is found in many baking recipes and holiday favourites such as gingerbread and eggnog. In this blog, we'll explore the potential risks and benefits of dogs consuming nutmeg.

What is Nutmeg and Myristicin?

Nutmeg, derived from the evergreen tree Myristica fragrans, is a common spice found in many households. It contains a compound called myristicin, which contributes to its distinctive aroma and flavor. Nutmeg is filled with antioxidants & has anti-inflammatory properties for people.

So.....Is Nutmeg Safe for Dogs?

While nutmeg is widely used in human foods like gingerbread and pumpkin pie, it's important to note that dogs metabolize certain substances differently. In small amounts, nutmeg might not pose an immediate threat to dogs, but caution is crucial.

Potential Risks of Nutmeg Consumption for Dogs:
  1. Myristicin and Nutmeg Toxicity: Myristicin, found in nutmeg, can lead to nutmeg poisoning in dogs if consumed in large amounts. This compound may cause disorientation, hallucinogenic effects, and other symptoms that affect a dog's well-being.
  2. Heart Rate and Blood Pressure Concerns: Ingesting large quantities of nutmeg may lead to an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, posing a risk to a dog's cardiovascular health.
  3. Stomach Upset and Abdominal Pain: Dogs may experience stomach upset and abdominal pain if they consume a significant amount of nutmeg, leading to discomfort and potential digestive issues.
  4. Symptoms of Nutmeg Poisoning: Keep an eye out for symptoms such as difficulty breathing, upset stomach, dry mouth, and disorientation if you suspect your dog has ingested nutmeg.
Safe Practices for Dog Parents:
  1. Avoid Adding Nutmeg to Dog Food: To prevent accidental ingestion, refrain from adding nutmeg to your dog's meals or treats.
  2. Always Read the Labels of any Human Foods: Educate yourself on the ingredients of human foods, especially during the holiday season when spices like nutmeg are prevalent in dishes like pumpkin pie. Always read the labels of any ingredients and check if safe for your pup.
  3. Pet Insurance and Poison Helpline: Consider having pet insurance and keep the pet poison helpline number handy for emergencies. Also, many pet telehealth services can come in handy if you’re unsure. Quick action can make a significant difference in your dog's well-being.
Spices Safe to Feed Your Dog

While nutmeg is on the no list there are plenty of spices that are safe and healthy for your dog. Check out our blog on what spices you can and never feed your dog.

What Spices Can Dogs Have?

What to do if your dog eats nutmeg?

If it is a small amount best to simply monitor your dog. However, if it is a large amount you should seek out medical help either by calling poison control or a vet.

Dog Child Cooking for Your Dog at Home

If you’re interested in learning more about how to safely cook for your dog at home. Join our weekly recipe club where we send tips, tricks & weekly recipes to you. All our meal recipes have been developed with a nutritionist to ensure they are complete & balanced. We also have a selection of products which make home cooking easy. From our Meal Mixes to Essential Nutrient Mix we are the go to source when you want to cook for your dog. Check out our recipe community for meal ideas.

Recipes for your Dog

If you’re looking to share a holiday treat with your dog. Check out our gingerbread recipe for dogs that does not include nutmeg.

Gingerbread Cookies for Dogs


While nutmeg can add a delightful flavour to human dishes, it's best to avoid feeding your dog. Nutmeg poisoning can lead to health issues for dogs.

Can dogs eat a small amount of nutmeg without any adverse effects?

While small amounts may not immediately harm dogs, it's best to avoid giving them nutmeg due to the risk of myristicin toxicity.

Is nutmeg used in dog treats or commercial dog food?

Nutmeg is not a common ingredient in dog treats or commercial dog food, as its safety for dogs is questionable.

What are the symptoms of nutmeg poisoning in dogs, and how soon do they appear?

Symptoms include disorientation, upset stomach, and difficulty breathing. Onset time varies, but immediate veterinary attention is crucial.

Can nutmeg be found in supplements for pets?

Nutmeg is not a typical ingredient in pet supplements, and using such products without consulting a vet is not recommended.

Are there alternative spices or herbs safe for dogs that can be used in dog treats?

Yes, many dog-friendly herbs and spices, such as parsley and turmeric, can be used as safe alternatives to nutmeg.

Are there specific breeds more susceptible to nutmeg toxicity?

Nutmeg toxicity is not breed-specific, but the impact may vary based on a dog's size, age, and overall health.

Are there any reported cases of nutmeg poisoning in dogs from accidental ingestion?

While not common, there have been reported cases of nutmeg poisoning in dogs, emphasizing the need for caution.

Can nutmeg be found in popular dog treats like gingerbread-flavoured biscuits?

Nutmeg is not a standard ingredient in dog treats, but it's crucial to check labels, especially during the holiday season.