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Food & Diet

Can My Dog Eat Nutmeg?

At A Glance

Nutmeg is known to have many health benefits for humans. However, when it comes to dogs, it is another story altogether.

This spice is highly toxic for dogs and can cause severe damage to their health. We give you a low-down on why nutmeg is not meant for dogs.

Last Updated on: Jun 04, 2022

Nutmeg is one of the rare spices that can be used in sweet as well as spicy dishes. It has a sweet and inviting aroma and is used by humans to relieve pain, aid digestion, and lower blood pressure among other things. However, can my dog eat nutmeg?

Dog parents might want their pets to benefit from this wholesome spice. But nutmeg has to be added to your list of the most harmful food items for dogs. Read on to find out why.

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Is Nutmeg Safe for Dogs?

While this spice is 100% safe for human consumption, can my dog eat nutmeg? Unfortunately, no. If we were to make a list of the harmful substances for dogs, we would place nutmeg in the top 5.

This hard seed of a tree named Myristica fragrans has no benefits for dogs at all. Dogs cannot eat nutmeg. It does not fall under the category of safe spices for dogs. Simply put, nutmeg is poisonous for dogs.

Nutmeg contains myristicin, a toxin, and even a small amount of this spice can cause stomach upset, diarrhea, and vomiting in dogs. 

As a responsible dog parent, you must be aware of how much nutmeg can kill a dog. Just one teaspoon (10 to 15 grams) of powdered nutmeg and three whole nutmegs are enough to cause fatality in dogs.

What about other spices? Can dogs eat nutmeg and cinnamon? Nutmeg is a no-no. However, cinnamon is considered safe for dogs.

Read More: Can My Dog Eat Cinnamon?

Is Nutmeg Oil Harmful for Dogs?

What about other forms of nutmeg-like nutmeg oil? Is it as harmful to dogs as the whole seed? It is essential to know this as a dog owner. This is because sometimes oils are used in diffusers at homes.

However, is nutmeg essential oil safe for dogs? No. Anything that has nutmeg as its primary component is toxic to dogs.

Nutmeg is considered extremely neurotoxic to canines. It is a hallucinogenic substance and can cause serious damage to their nervous systems.

fresh nutmeg

Health Hazards of Feeding Nutmeg to Your Pet

What happens if a dog eats nutmeg? If it is just a tiny amount, keep a close watch on your dog. Mostly, nature will take its course and get it out of your dog’s system.

We suggest the following to your query, my dog ate nutmeg, what do I do? Firstly, you need to calm down and contact your vet right away.

Secondly, answer all their questions in a detailed manner. Some common questions would include: How much nutmeg might your dog have consumed? When did it eat nutmeg? How did it get access to it? Depending on the severity of the case your vet would recommend inducing vomiting or getting your pet admitted for observation.

Nutmeg can cause a dog’s nervous system to go haywire leading to seizures and tremors. The dog will then experience hallucinations, disorientation, dehydration, and severe body pain.

The following are the symptoms that indicate whether your dog is hallucinating: staring off into space, frantically nipping, biting, or barking at the air, etc.

If your pet gets dehydrated, then its system will be unable to handle all the required bodily processes. In extreme cases, a dog’s nervous and digestive system will be forced to work overtime to try to keep up until it gets tired and shuts down.

Also Read: Can My Dog Eat Peas?

dog with stomach issues

Symptoms of Nutmeg Toxicity

The symptoms of nutmeg poisoning are almost the same as other food toxicity in dogs. It can take hours before the signs of nutmeg toxicity become apparent and they can last for several days.

The severity of the symptoms also depends on certain factors like your dog’s overall health, size, weight, age, etc. Smaller breeds are also likely to experience more severe symptoms than bigger ones.

Some of the symptoms to watch out for are:

  • Abdominal pains
  • Dry mouth
  • Prong collars
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Hallucinations
  • Increased heart rate
  • Lethargy
  • Muscle spasms
  • Muscle tremors
  • Panting
  • Seizures
  • Stomach pains
  • Vomiting

If your dog’s body is unable to handle the toxicity, its systems may shut down and your canine might collapse. In extreme cases, it may even lead to your dog’s death.

Dog with bowl

How to Prevent Your Dog from Eating Nutmeg?

Dogs are curious by nature. It won’t be difficult for them to sniff out and find your spice stash. Hence it is best to keep nutmeg off-limits from them lest they accidentally ingest it.

Store your nutmeg in an airtight container and immediately place it back on the spice shelf after use.

That said, you also need to be conscious of the ingredients you put into your pet’s food. Whenever you cook or bake some treats for your dog, be mindful of the ingredients you use.

Talk to your family members and educate them about human foods that aren’t meant to be shared with your dog. This step is crucial especially if you have kids.

When you have visitors coming over, gently remind them not to give anything to your dog unless they have your permission.

dog in pain

Now that you know nutmeg is akin to poison for dogs, it’s best to keep your pet as far away from the spice as possible. No matter how tempting it might feel, never give your dog nutmeg or any dish that has this spice in it. While nutmeg is 100% safe for humans the opposite holds true for dogs.

Remember what matters the most is to keep your dog away from anything that might harm its health and well-being. A healthy dog equals a happy dog parent.



Meet Paul, a devoted dog dad to the delightful French Bulldog, Cofi. With a flair for humor and a deep understanding of Frenchie quirks, Paul brings a lighthearted touch to his writings. His relatable stories and practical insights are a blend of laughter and valuable advice and resonate with fellow dog owners.

Through his words, Paul aims to celebrate the joys and challenges of being a dedicated pet parent, reminding you that life is simply better with a four-legged, snorting sidekick by your side.