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Can Dogs Eat Nutmeg? Vet Approved Risks & Safety Guide

Adam Mann

By Adam Mann

Can Dogs Eat nutmeg

Vet approved

Dr. Karyn Kanowski Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Karyn Kanowski

BVSc MRCVS (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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There are a whole host of foods in your kitchen that your dog would want to eat. Some of them are safe, and some are not.

Whilst the spice rack is unlikely to be your dog’s primary target when searching for a snack, you may still want to know what ingredients could be harmful if they were to eat any. Nutmeg is one ingredient that we need to keep out of paw’s reach, as it can be toxic to dogs.

But what should you do if your dog happens to eat a little nutmeg, and what are the signs of nutmeg poisoning? We’ll answer all those questions and more for you here.


Why Nutmeg Isn’t Safe for Dogs

Nutmeg comes from the seed of a plant called Myristica fragrans, and contains a toxin called Myristicin. In small amounts, this toxin can cause gastrointestinal signs like vomiting or diarrhea. If ingested in large volumes however, the effects can include hallucinations, disorientation, increased heart rate, high blood pressure, dry mouth, abdominal pain, and possibly seizures.

Fortunately, it would be extremely rare for a dog to ingest enough nutmeg to have any serious toxic effects, and the strong taste of nutmeg means that, even if your dog managed to help themselves to your spice cabinet, they would be put off eating much more than a tiny taste.

However, if your dog eats a large amount of nutmeg all at once, you can play it safe and take them to the vet right away. It’s better to take them to the vet and not need it, than to not take them to the vet and risk their health.

The amount of nutmeg used in recipes is generally too low to be of any concern, but that doesn’t mean we should drop our guard and start feeding our dog’s our baked creations. Not only do we risk causing an upset stomach, there may be other ingredients that could also cause harm.

Image Credit: Quique, Pixabay

How Much Nutmeg Is Too Much?

Typically, most human foods containing nutmeg don’t have much of it. This means if your pup happens to get a little bite of pie or a cookie or two that contains some nutmeg, it usually doesn’t warrant a trip to the vet. However, one of the biggest factors that determine how much nutmeg your dog can eat before you need to take them to the vet is their size.

Larger dogs can generally consume more nutmeg without ill effects than smaller dogs or puppies, but no matter their size, you should do your absolute best to keep all nutmeg away from your dog, even smaller quantities.

What to Do if Your Dog Has Nutmeg Poisoning

If you suspect your dog has nutmeg poisoning, there are two things you can do. First, you can take them to a vet right away. Don’t wait until your dog’s signs start to get worse; play it safe and get them to a vet as fast as you can.

The second thing you can do is reach out to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center hotline on (888) 426-4435, or the Pet Poison Helpline on (888) 764-7661  . They can give you helpful advice on what you should do and direct you to the closest emergency center for your dog.

woman making a phone call
Image Credit: guvo59, Pixabay

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Final Thoughts

While you should never give your dog nutmeg, if they accidentally get into a very little bit doesn’t always mean you need to rush them to the vet. Keep an eye on them, and if you suspect any level of nutmeg poisoning, take them straight to the vet. However, if you’re unsure of the amount they consumed, it’s best to play it safe.

See Also:

Featured Image Credit: scym, Pixabay

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