A dog with a concerned expression looking at cloves, indicating it's toxic for dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Cloves?

No, dogs should not eat cloves. Cloves contain a compound called eugenol, which can be toxic to dogs. Ingesting even small amounts can cause severe health problems, including liver toxicity. Cloves are used in many dishes and can pose a hidden danger if your dog manages to get into your spice rack.

A photo of Stefan Stumpfl, the co-author of this article.

By Stefan Stumpfl, in collaboration with Dr. Ali Raza.

Updated on Jun 24, 2024

Did You Know?

Eugenol, found in cloves, can cause liver toxicity in dogs.




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Why are Cloves Bad for Dogs?

Cloves are dangerous for dogs because they contain eugenol, which can cause serious liver problems. Even a small amount can lead to symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. More severe cases can result in respiratory distress and damage to the liver. It’s best to keep cloves and foods containing cloves far away from your furry friend.

How Many Cloves Can Dogs Eat?

Ideally, your dog should not consume any cloves at all. Even small amounts can be harmful and potentially life-threatening. If your dog accidentally eats a clove or something that contains cloves, it’s crucial to monitor them closely and consult your veterinarian immediately.

Common Misconceptions

Some people think that because cloves are natural, they must be safe for dogs. This belief is misleading. Natural does not always mean safe. While cloves have health benefits for humans, they can wreak havoc on a dog's system. It's best to stick to dog-safe herbs and spices.

Similar Toxic Products

Be cautious of other household items that might contain cloves or other risky ingredients:

  • Nutmeg: Contains myristicin, which is toxic to dogs.
  • Allspice: Another common spice that contains eugenol.
  • Clove oil: Sometimes used in natural remedies but highly toxic to dogs.
  • Pumpkin pie: This often contains both nutmeg and cloves, making it a double whammy for your pet.

What to Do If Your Dog Eats Cloves?

If your dog eats cloves, don’t panic but act quickly. Contact your veterinarian immediately. Do not induce vomiting unless advised by a professional. In the meantime, try to keep your dog calm and comfortable until you can get them to the vet.

Signs and Symptoms of Clove Poisoning in Dogs?

Watch out for these signs if you suspect your dog has ingested cloves:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Lethargy
  • Difficulty breathing

How Long After Eating Cloves Will a Dog Get Sick?

Symptoms can appear within a few hours of ingestion. The faster you act, the better the prognosis for your dog.

When to Contact Your Vet for Advice?

Contact your vet as soon as you realize your dog has ingested cloves. Immediate professional advice can make a significant difference in the outcome.

How to Treat Clove Poisoning in Dogs?

Your vet will likely start by inducing vomiting if the ingestion was recent, followed by giving activated charcoal to absorb the toxin. Intravenous fluids may be administered to flush out the toxin and maintain hydration. The treatment could require a hospital stay depending on the severity.

Treating clove poisoning can be expensive. Having pet insurance can help offset these costs, making it easier to manage unexpected medical emergencies. It’s always a good idea to be prepared for such instances.

What are Healthy Alternatives?

Instead of cloves, you can treat your dog with safer alternatives:

  • Carrots: A crunchy, safe snack for dogs.
  • Blueberries: Packed with antioxidants and perfectly safe.
  • Pumpkin (plain): Good for digestion and dogs love it.


In conclusion, cloves are not safe for dogs and can cause serious health issues. Always keep cloves and similar spices out of reach. If your dog does ingest cloves, immediate veterinary consultation is crucial. Remember, there are plenty of safe, healthy alternatives to spoil your furry friend without the risk!