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

Can Dogs Eat Nutmeg?

No, dogs should not eat nutmeg. Nutmeg contains a compound called myristicin, which can cause serious health problems for dogs, including hallucinations, increased heart rate, and even seizures. Even a small amount of nutmeg can be dangerous, so it's best to keep it completely out of your dog's reach.

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

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

Updated on Jun 17, 2024

Did You Know?

Nutmeg contains a toxin called myristicin which is harmful to dogs and can cause severe health issues including hallucinations and seizures.




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Feeding Frequency


Allergic Risk


Why is Nutmeg Bad for Dogs?

Nutmeg is bad for dogs because it contains myristicin, a compound that is toxic to them. Myristicin can cause severe symptoms such as disorientation, high blood pressure, and abdominal pain. In worst cases, it may even lead to seizures or death. Additionally, nutmeg can irritate a dog's stomach and cause vomiting and diarrhea.

How Much Nutmeg Can Dogs Eat?

Ideally, dogs should not consume any nutmeg at all. There is no "safe" amount of nutmeg for dogs because even small quantities can cause toxic symptoms. Always err on the side of caution and ensure that nutmeg is not part of your dog's diet or accidentally included in their treats.

Common Misconceptions

Some people might think that small amounts of nutmeg, such as those sprinkled on certain baked goods, are harmless. This is not true. Even minute quantities of nutmeg can potentially harm your dog, leading to significant health risks. Always be vigilant about checking ingredients in any food your dog might consume.

Similar Toxic Products

Be aware of other spices and foods that pose risks to dogs. A few examples include:

  • Cinnamon: In large quantities, can cause irritation and sensitization in your dog's mouth.
  • Chocolate: Contains theobromine and caffeine, which are harmful to dogs' nervous and cardiovascular systems.
  • Grapes and Raisins: Can cause kidney failure in dogs, even in small amounts.

What to Do If Your Dog Eats Nutmeg?

If your dog ingests nutmeg, it is crucial to act quickly. Immediately call your vet for professional guidance. Do not attempt to induce vomiting or give any home remedies without consulting a vet first.

Signs and Symptoms of Nutmeg Poisoning in Dogs?

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

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Disorientation or Hallucinations
  • Increased heart rate or high blood pressure
  • Seizures

How Long After Eating Nutmeg Will a Dog Get Sick?

Symptoms can start to appear anywhere from 3 to 8 hours after ingestion, but it's best not to wait for symptoms to appear before seeking veterinary help.

When to Contact Your Vet for Advice?

Contact your vet immediately if you know or suspect that your dog has eaten nutmeg. Early intervention can make a significant difference in preventing severe outcomes.

How to Treat Nutmeg Poisoning in Dogs?

Veterinarians typically start treating nutmeg poisoning by inducing vomiting and administering activated charcoal to inhibit further absorption of toxins. Hospitalization might be required for intravenous fluids and continuous monitoring, especially if severe symptoms like seizures occur.

The cost of such treatment can vary significantly depending on the severity of the poisoning and the length of hospitalization needed. Pet insurance can help manage these unexpected expenses and ensure that your dog receives the best possible care.

What are Healthy Alternatives?

Instead of nutmeg, consider these dog-friendly alternatives for flavor:

  • Carrots: Crunchy and tasty, they're great for your dog's teeth.
  • Blueberries: Packed with antioxidants and safe for dogs.
  • Pumpkin: A fantastic source of fiber and beneficial for digestion.


In conclusion, nutmeg is harmful to dogs and should not be part of their diet. Always consult with your vet regarding any food concerns. By being vigilant and informed, you can keep your furry friend safe and healthy!