Pumpkin spice can cause serious toxicity when ingested by pets: BC SPCA

Pumpkin spice can cause serious toxicity when ingested by pets: BC SPCA
Jill Wellington / Pixabay

One of the favourite seasonal spices for humans during the fall months, pumpkin spice, can actually cause problems for pets, according to the BC SPCA.

On Monday, the BC SPCA released an advisory that highlights pumpkin spice as posing a risk of toxicity to pets, if an animal gets into essential oils or the spices directly.

While the society outlines that small amounts of these spices added to foods will usually not be toxic to pets, the SPCA says that ingesting a large spoonful of dry cinnamon powder could cause respiratory issues for animals.

Nutmeg, another ingredient incorporated with pumpkin spice, could cause vomiting, abdominal pain, changes to blood pressure and heart rate and even disorientation, seizures or hallucinations in pets.

Likewise, the BC SPCA says the ingestion of cloves, another ingredient in pumpkin spice, becomes an issue with something like clove oil or the ingestion of whole cloves.

“Clove oil, as well as the clove spice, contain compounds called eugenols which can cause liver toxicity in cats. Clove oil may also cause vomiting, tremors or seizures and staggering in cats,” reads a statement from the society.

Once pumpkin spice is added into flavoured foods or beverages, more toxic concerns can be created as well, according to the advisory. One example provided by the SPCA is the caffeine added in pumpkin spice lattes, which can cause serious toxicity when ingested by pets.

“Word of advice: leave the pumpkin spice latte, or any pumpkin spice-flavoured treat, out of reach when it comes to your pets,” says the BC SPCA.

Along with pumpkin spice, the BC SPCA outlines antifreeze, scented candles, candy and chocolate as other seasonal treats that can be dangerous for pets at this time of year.

The BC SPCA says anyone who suspects a pet to have ingested toxins should call a veterinarian or an emergency veterinary clinic immediately, highlighting that quick treatment for toxicity can be the difference in survival.

Graham CoxGraham Cox

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