Can Dogs Eat Cardamom? (Uncovering The Spice Mystery)

can dogs eat cardamom

Whenever I hang out with other dog owners, one topic that often comes up is unconventional ways of keeping our dogs healthy.

Someone mentioned feeding cardamom extract to his dog and that kinda stuck in my head.

I’m sure that many dog owners are always on the lookout for ways to improve their dog’s health. But just how safe is cardamom for your dog?

Cardamom is a natural spice that is non-toxic to dogs. Even though there have been many known health benefits of cardamom for humans, not much research has been done on pets. Some dog owners believe that cardamom is good for your dog’s digestion, immune system and inflammation.

In this article, we will be taking a closer look at what cardamom really is and whether should you really be feeding it to your dog.

What Is Cardamom?

Do you know that cardamom is the third most expensive spice in the world after saffron and vanilla?

Cardamom is a pod spice that is part of the ginger family that goes back many thousands of years.

It is widely used when it comes to Asian or Indian cuisine in particular.

Cardamom can come in a number of varieties such as:

  • Black cardamom
  • Green cardamom
  • Cardamom oil
  • Cardamom seeds

I like the use of cardamom in food but it can taste rather intense if you bite into it almost to the point of being herbal and minty.

Health Benefits Of Cardamom

Besides being used for cooking, there have been many studies done on the health benefits of eating cardamom.

These health benefits include:

  • Powerful antioxidant
  • Reduces high blood pressure
  • Helps with inflammation
  • Anti-cancer properties
  • Improves digestive system
  • Supports dental health

Can Dogs Safely Consume Cardamom?

The good news is that your dog can safely consume cardamom as this spice isn’t known to be toxic to dogs.

With that being said, there isn’t any official benchmark as to how much cardamom you should be giving your dog.

I’m definitely not against giving our pets such dietary supplements as I have done it myself as well.

But it is best to start off with a very small amount in relation to your dog’s weight to see how your dog’s body reacts to cardamom.

Health Benefits Of Cardamom For Dogs

Here’s the thing when it comes to feeding your dog such spices. There aren’t sufficient thorough studies to really ascertain the health effects on pets or animals.

Most preliminary studies were conducted on mice and stock animals but some dog users might take it to work on their pets too.

If you are keen on introducing cardamom to your dog’s diet, here are some potential health benefits.

Antioxidant Properties

“There are more than 6 million cases of cancer in dogs every year.”

A study was conducted to see if cardamom was able to prevent colon cancer in mice. The mice in this study were injected with cancer cells and treated with cardamom1.

The scientists found that the mice which were treated with cardamom showed the following results:

  • Reduction in cancer cell growth (80.4%)
  • Increase death rate of cancer cells (327%)

Another study was conducted to demonstrate the effectiveness of cardamom against skin cancer in mice2.

The findings showed that the mice that were treated with cardamom powder showed a substantial reduction in tumor growth and the size of the tumor.

This could be due to cardamom improving the body’s natural defenses against cell damage.

What Does This Mean For Your Dog?

I’m not implying that cardamom is the holy grail when it comes to preventing and curing cancer.

But preliminary studies have shown notable success with using cardamom to reduce cancer growth and bolster the body’s natural defenses.

There are more than 6 million cases of cancer in dogs every year.

That is something no dog owner ever wants to happen to their dogs.

A small amount of cardamom in your dog’s diet may help reduce the risk of cancer.

And for dogs with cancer, cardamom might help the immune system fight off cancer growth.

Improves Digestive Health

dog cross section

A number of studies have also shown how cardamom has a positive effect on the digestive system of animals.

Cardamom can protect the stomach lining in animals which helps to reduce the size and severity of existing stomach ulcers3.

Cardamom extract can help relax the muscles in the digestive tract making it easier for food to pass through in rats.

Cows that were given 0.1% of cardamom in relation to their body weight, showed better nutrient digestibility.

What Does This Mean For Your Dog?

If your dog suffers from digestive issues that can cause diarrhea, constipation or flatulence, adding some cardamom to your dog’s diet can help relieve some of the symptoms.

Fighting Inflammation

A study was conducted to test the effectiveness of cardamom extract and oil on a rat’s swollen paw4.

Results showed that cardamom extract worked the best by reducing inflammation by up to 31%.

Cardamon oil came in second best with a 11% reduction in inflammation.

The study found that cardamom extract has notable anti-inflammatory properties and can help reduce inflammation.

This suggests that cardamom extract could potentially be helpful in managing various inflammation-related issues in animals.

What Does This Mean For Your Dog?

As your dog gets older, it can start to suffer from joint and muscle aches and pains.

Dogs that are very active can also suffer from an early onset of joint degeneration.

It is important to know how many miles to work out your dog to prevent too much joint stress.

For such dogs, some cardamom extract can help reduce the inflammation in their joints and provide pain relief.

Weight Management

A study was conducted to study the effects of cardamom powder on obese rats5.

These rats were fed a diet that was high in carbs till they became obese.

The rats were then separated into 3 groups that were given either a regular diet, a high-carb diet or a high-carb diet with cardamon powder.

It was discovered that the rats that were fed cardamom powder had lost close to 32% in body weight. And this was on a high-carb diet.

This study shows the effectiveness of cardamon in managing obesity and glucose intolerance.

What Does This Mean For Your Dog?

More than 50% of dogs in the United States are overweight due to having a bad diet.

If you have a dog that is trying to lose weight, having some cardamom powder in its diet can help manage its glucose levels a lot better.

Is Cardamom Oil Safe For Dogs?

cardamom oil

Cardamom oil is an essential oil that is extracted from the seeds of the cardamom pod.

It is edible and there are some who will drink it mixed with tea.

Cardamom essential oil is safe for dogs and can even be consumed by your furry friend. However, not all essential oils are dog friendly.

There are some oils that contain chemical compounds that are toxic to dogs.

These oils are:

  • Citrus
  • Peppermint
  • Pine
  • Tea tree
  • Wintergreen
  • Sweet birch
  • Ylang Ylang

Please do not let your dog inhale or ingest any of the above essential oils.

How Can You Safely Add Cardamom To Your Dog’s Diet?

“Just a drop of cardamom oil or a pinch of cardamom extract is a good amount to start off.”

Even though cardamom is safe for your dog to consume, getting your dog to eat it can be more challenging.

Dogs have very sensitive noses and the strong smell of this spice is enough to send your dog running in the other direction.

The easiest way to give cardamom to your dog is to add cardamom oil to its water or food.

You can even buy some cardamom powder or extract and add it to some homemade dog treats.

As mentioned earlier, you should be mindful of the serving size.

Just a drop of cardamom oil or a pinch of cardamom extract is a good amount to start off.

It isn’t something that you need to give your dog on a daily basis as well.

2-3 times a week would be sufficient for your dog.

Are There Any Side Effects Of Cardamom?

Most dogs should be able to handle cardamom well. But too much cardamom can certainly give your dog a tummy upset and diarrhea.

Your dog might even have an unknown allergic reaction to cardamom which you might not be aware of.

Just be sure to monitor your dog closely for the first few feedings to make sure there are no adverse reactions.

And it is also best to not give cardamom to your dog if she’s pregnant or nursing her pups. There’s no telling how it can affect her puppies during those periods.

Veterinarian Insights On Cardamom For Dogs

Not all vets will be able to sufficiently advise you due to the lack of data on the effects of cardamom on dogs.

Most conventional vets will tell you to err on the side of caution and not feed your dog cardamom.

Holistic vets on the other hand might have a different point of view.

These vets tend to believe more in natural healing and prefer to avoid drugs when necessary.

My cousin has a 16 year old Samoyed called Phoenix that has an acupuncture and aromatherapy session twice a week.

samoyed on bed

He’s in really good shape and seems so relaxed once the holistic vet is done.

At the end of the day, you have to personally make the judgment call to feed cardamom to your dog.


Chemopreventive effects of cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum L.) on chemically induced skin carcinogenesis in Swiss albino mice [1]

Bhattacharjee S, Rana T, Sengupta A. Inhibition of lipid peroxidation and enhancement of GST activity by cardamom and cinnamon during chemically induced colon carcinogenesis in Swiss albino mice. Asian Pac J Cancer Prevent. 2007 [2]

Gastroprotective effects of combination of hot water extracts of turmeric (Curcuma domesticaL.), cardamom pods (Ammomum compactum S.) and sembung leaf (Blumea balsamifera DC.) against aspirin–induced gastric ulcer model in rats [3]

Anti-inflammatory effect of resin fraction of cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) in carrageenan-induced rat paw edema [4]

Cardamom powder supplementation prevents obesity, improves glucose intolerance, inflammation and oxidative stress in liver of high carbohydrate high fat diet induced obese rats [5]

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