Can dogs eat nutmeg? Can dogs eat nutmeg-based goods? These are all important questions that need to be answered before you decide to bake something for your dog or feed your dog with nutmeg-based products.

This blog post will take you through what is nutmeg the harmful effects of nutmeg, what you can do if your dog eats nutmeg. Read on to know how toxic nutmeg can be for dogs.

What Is Nutmeg?

Nutmeg is a spice derived from the seed of the fruit of an evergreen tree native to Indonesia, Myristica fragrans. Nutmeg trees take a minimum of 9 years to give produce and about 20 years to give full yield.

It has been used for thousands of years as a spice and flavoring agent in many different types of food. Nutmeg is used mainly as a spice. It is also used to make essential oil, butter, jams, and cosmetics too. Nutmeg is sometimes used as medicine in alternative medicine.

Can Dogs Eat Nutmeg Or Nutmeg Based Goods?

Dogs cannot eat nutmeg because nutmeg is toxic for dogs. Nutmeg contains Myristicin which is poisonous for dogs in high doses. Small doses can cause other health issues. If your dog eats nutmeg, it may hallucinate, have seizures, or even die. Nutmeg can increase heart rate and blood pressure in dogs. Since it has narcotic properties it can agitate the nerves of your dog and lead to severe complications.

Dogs are like humans in that they come in all shapes and sizes. They also have different dietary needs, just like their human counterparts.

So, the question of whether or not dogs can eat nutmeg is a valid one. Unfortunately for dog owners everywhere, the answer is no. Nutmeg contains myristicin, which is toxic to dogs in high doses. In fact, it can even be fatal.

So if you’re wondering whether or not you can give your pooch a sprinkle of nutmeg this holiday season, the answer is a definitive no. Stick to safe and dog-approved snacks instead!

Even in small doses, nutmeg can cause side effects in dogs. So when you have lots of alternatives available, you can happily leave the nutmeg out.

What Are The Harmful Effects Of Nutmeg In Dogs?

When the consumption of nutmeg is more than 4 grams, it can result in harmful effects in dogs. At a lower dose, as would likely be contained in food a human might share with a pet, you may see no side effects or some mild reaction depending on the quantity consumed the size of the dog and its tolerance level.


Most dog owners know that chocolate is toxic to their pets, but many may not be aware of the dangers of nutmeg.

Although it is a spice commonly used in cooking, nutmeg can be harmful to dogs can cause disorientation in dogs.

So if you’re ever planning on giving your pooch a sprinkle of nutmeg powder as a treat, you may want to think again!


While it is not common, it is possible for a dog to experience hallucinations after ingesting nutmeg.

‘When ingested, nutmeg is broken down into two primary metabolites: myristicin and elemicin. Myristicin is a psychoactive compound that causes hallucinogenic effects.

Elemicin is also a psychoactive compound that has strong neurotoxic properties. These two compounds are what cause the stimulant effects in dogs.

Increased heart rate & Blood Pressure:

The reason nutmeg causes increased heart rates in dogs is that it acts as an acetylcholine receptor agonist at higher doses.

This can cause changes in heart rate and electrocardiographic changes can be noticed.

Dogs are more sensitive to the effects of nutmeg than humans, so it causes increased heart rate in them because their body is reacting differently to the spice.

Dry mouth:

The compounds in nutmeg, such as myristicin and elemicin, might interact with the dog’s serotonin receptors to produce this effect.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is involved in regulating several physiological processes, including mood, appetite, and sleep.

It’s possible that when these compounds bind to the serotonin receptors in the dog’s brain, they may cause an increase in serotonin activity which leads to a dry mouth.

Nutmegs also have anticholinergic effects on animals which means they reduce the production of sweat and saliva in your dog’s mouth

Abdominal pain:

Nutmeg is one of those spices that affects some dogs negatively because it stimulates the production of prostaglandins which cause inflammation in the stomach lining.

Production of large amounts of prostaglandins can lead to serious health problems such as gastric dilation volvulus (GDV), which is a life-threatening condition that causes the stomach to twist.

Symptoms of GDV include severe abdominal pain, vomiting, and excessive drooling.


Nutmeg contains a compound called myristicin which is toxic to dogs. Myristicin causes seizures in dogs because it’s a potent neurotoxin.

If you think your dog has eaten a lot of nutmegs, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Treatment typically includes emptying the stomach and giving activated charcoal to absorb any remaining toxins. Seizures may also require treatment with seizure medication.


Myristicin is a hallucinogen, and it’s possible that when dogs eat nutmeg, they start to experience hallucinations which leads to them drinking less water.

Another possibility is that the high levels of oil present in nutmeg can cause gastrointestinal problems in dogs, leading to diarrhea and consequent dehydration.

So until more is known about why nutmeg causes this reaction in dogs, it’s best to avoid giving your pet any food containing this spice.

Severe Stomach Upset:

The reason dogs get sick from eating too much of this spice is that their bodies can’t break down the chemical compound myristic acid, one of its main components.

This causes an upset stomach and vomiting in pets who are especially vulnerable – such as those with liver or kidney problems or allergies to certain foods or chemicals.

Nutmeg should be avoided by these kinds of pets for their own safety! Myristicin is also a potent hepatotoxin, meaning it can damage the liver.

Agitated Nervous System:

Dogs have a much higher concentration of an enzyme called methyl-cysteine-lyase in their liver than humans do.

This enzyme breaks down the essential oils in nutmeg, which leads to the production of highly toxic compounds called alkylphenols.

These compounds are responsible for the agitation and other adverse effects that can occur in dogs who eat nutmeg.

Decrease in Body Temperature:

It’s believed that nutmeg can decrease your dog’s body temperature by regulating their blood flow.

It’s not just nutmeg that has this effect though; any food containing high levels of myristic acid will have an impact on your dog’s body heat regulation systems. 

Nutmeg can actually decrease the body temperature in dogs – apparently by affecting their hypothalamus gland.

General Body Pain:

The high levels of myristicin present in nutmeg can also lead to general body pain and inflammation.

A combination of all the harmful side effects of nutmeg can either themselves be the cause of the body pain or it can be a singular side effect of nutmeg. Excessive nutmeg can trigger the central nervous system.

So, as you can see, there are a number of potential negative side effects that can occur in dogs who eat nutmeg.

What To Do If Your Dog Eats Nutmeg?


Nutmeg is one such item that can be harmful to dogs, so if you think your pup has ingested it, take a look at these symptoms and what to do next.

Keep in mind that not all dogs will exhibit symptoms after eating nutmeg, so it’s important to observe them for two days after ingestion just in case.

Pet poison helpline:

If your curious canine has consumed any nutmeg, and you see any symptoms like vomiting, dullness, abnormal behavior, dry mouth, low temperature, etc, it’s important to contact the Pet Poison Helpline as soon as possible.

Although it may seem harmless, nutmeg can be toxic to dogs and cause serious health problems. So before you can reach the vet, contact the helpline to begin first aid.

Contact the Vet:

Reaching the vet in time is very important in cases of nutmeg toxicity and even the slightest symptom must prompt you to reach out to the veterinarian immediately.

Timely handling of the symptoms can prevent aggravating your dog’s condition and can help save your dog.

Pro Tip: It is always best that you keep products away from the reach of your dog since prevention is always better than cure.

A Word About Baked Goods

While most people probably wouldn’t give their pup a piece of cake or a cookie, they might not think twice about sharing a bit of their muffin or biscuit.

But before you hand over that next baked good, you might want to take into consideration what’s in it. Many baked products contain large amounts of sugar or artificial sweeteners apart from nutmeg – all of which can be harmful to dogs.

Amongst the artificial sweeteners, xylitol is particularly known to be fatal for dogs. Some products may even contain chocolate or cocoa which is also toxic.

So the next time your furry friend begs for a snack, make sure you are not handing him out a lethal combination and you give him something he or she can actually eat.

Wrapping Up:

Dogs cannot eat nutmeg because it can be harmful and toxic. The spice is not digestible by a dog’s body. Nutmeg contains myristicin, which has been shown to cause seizures in animals as well as humans who have consumed the substance.

Baked goods often contain other ingredients that may harm your pup especially if they are allergic or sensitive to any of those particular foods, or diabetic. so don’t let them lick your plate or consume nutmeg-based goods.

Always examine the label for ingredients before sharing anything with your pet.