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Can Dogs Eat Nutmeg?

By Stacy Painter
published: March 26, 2019 - updated: June 9, 2022 • 2 min. read
whole nutmeg in a bowl

Table of Contents

The quick answer: No, dogs should not eat nutmeg because it is toxic to dogs.

Key Takeaways

  • Nutmeg is toxic for dogs, and dogs should never eat it.
  • Nutmeg poisoning can cause disorientation, high heart rate, seizures, and hallucinations in dogs.
  • The amount of nutmeg in a baked treat is not likely to be toxic for a dog but should still be kept out of reach.
  • Though the amount of nutmeg baked into a pastry is typically not enough to cause serious implications, this spice is toxic to dogs in large quantities.

Often finely ground and used as a spice, nutmeg is the hard seed of a dark-leaved evergreen tree called Myristica fragrans. Nutmeg is toxic due to a compound called myristicin which, when consumed in large quantities, is toxic to both pets and people.

Hazards of nutmeg

A pet would need to ingest a significant amount of nutmeg to experience toxicity. Nutmeg is a hallucinogenic, so consuming a large amount of it can be a frightening experience for your dog or cat. Too much nutmeg can also cause symptoms like disorientation, increased heart rate, dehydration, high blood pressure, and seizures. If your pet has gotten into your spice collection and consumed a considerable amount of nutmeg, be sure to contact your veterinarian or the Pet Poison Helpline.

If your dog ate a baked treat that contains nutmeg, it is unlikely to cause toxicity, though it could cause mild stomach upset, vomiting, or diarrhea. Regardless, baked goods should be kept well out of reach because they could contain ingredients that are toxic to dogs. Such ingredients that are highly toxic to dogs include raisins, chocolate, macadamia nuts, onion powder, and xylitol. Other ingredients like sugar, salt and butter can also cause tummy troubles for your dog. The best way to keep your pup safe and healthy is to avoid sharing baked goods with them and educating your guests on the matter as well.

Getting pet insurance for dogs will also help alleviate financial worries should your dog get into something toxic and needs to visit the vet.

While on the subject of spices, you may also be wondering whether or not cinnamon is toxic to dogs. Find out if dogs can eat cinnamon.

Want to find out more about what dogs can and cannot eat? Check out our comprehensive guide for more information on “What Human Foods Dogs Can and Can Not Eat.”

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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