A dog sniffs some holiday spices.

Tis the season for pumpkin spice lattes—and pumpkin spice dog treats. We love baking for our pets, although the dogs aren’t always thrilled with the results. (Let’s face it, they’ll take a lump of chicken I boiled for 10 minutes over an exquisitely cooked pup cake I spent hours slaving over any day.)

If your pet does love those baked goodies, it’s important to know what seasonings can go into your dog’s treats, and which ones are dangerous. Let’s look at 5 common fall spices, and whether they are safe for your dog’s cookies or not.


Nutmeg is toxic to dogs. It contains a compound called myristicin. Myristicin can cause hallucinations in pets (and actually humans too, but in larger doses.) Other symptoms include seizures, tremors, high temperature, and vomiting. In the case of a large overdose, nutmeg can be fatal.

If you suspect your dog ingested nutmeg, especially if it’s a large amount (2 or 3 whole nutmegs, a teaspoon or more of powdered nutmeg) you need to contact a pet poison control center immediately.

We actually didn’t know this was toxic until doing this post and were thinking about putting it in treats!


Allspice is another no go for dogs. Allspice is the unripe fruit of the pimento, and it contains eugenol. Eugenol is toxic to dogs. Luckily, if your pet sneaks the pumpkin pie or gets into one of your pumpkin spice cookies, it’s unlikely the amount in it will cause permanent harm—but you should probably not add it to any dog treats.

Eugenol may cause lethargy and vomiting. In rare cases it can cause kidney trauma. If you think your dog ate allspice, watch for symptoms and if your pet starts feeling ill, immediately take it to the vet.


Cloves also contain eugenol, making it another spice to avoid for your pet. Cloves in very small quantities are unlikely to cause harm to your pet, but be mindful if they get into a clove container, clove oil, or other concentrations of cloves.


Cinnamon is one of the few fall spices considered non-toxic to dogs. If you want to give your pet a little taste of the season, cinnamon is a great choice! Feel free to add this flavor to your pets cookies, pupcakes and other goodies.


Ginger is another ingredient that is safe (in all forms, no less) for your pet. That means if you want to make a gingerbread cookie for your dog, it is perfectly safe to do so.

Baking for your pets can be fun, but only if those goodies don’t give them a sore tummy. Be mindful about which seasonings you put in them so your pet can enjoy the holidays as much as you do.

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By Andrea

Andrea is a dedicated dog mom of three chihuahuas. She has over a decade of experience as a dog groomer, chihuahua owner, and more recently as a dog trainer. She loves all things canine, particularly chihuahuas.

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