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Is Mace Safe For Pets?

Herbs For Pets 3 min read
Nutmeg fruit components including mace, nutmeg seed, and the seed kernel

Don’t let the name of this herb fool you, mace is a herb that comes from the layer between the fruit and the seed of nutmeg. It is often used as a spice in savory dinners and decadent desserts for its flavor similar to cinnamon, pepper, and nutmeg. Not only can mace be used for its flavor but it is also used for its medicinal properties. It can be beneficial for supporting human health, but is mace safe for pets?

What Is Mace And Where Does It Come From?

The nutmeg tree (Myristica fragrans) is a tropical evergreen that produces both nutmeg and mace. The nutmeg tree is indigenous to the Moluccas and Banda Islands in Indonesia (aka the Spice Islands). Until the mid 19th century, these islands were the world’s only source for nutmeg and mace. However, in 2019, the largest producers of nutmeg and mace were Guatemala, Indonesia, United Arab Emirates, India, and Nepal.

Nutmeg fruit sliced in half to show the aril (mace) and the seed (nutmeg).

Nutmeg is the inner seed of the pod, while mace is the red lacy coating (called the aril) that surrounds the nutmeg seed. When the tree’s fruit reaches maturity, it splits open and reveals the aril and seed. The fruit is harvested and the aril is removed by hand and left to dry outside for 10 to 14 days. The red seed covering takes on an amber, yellow, or orange-brown color as it dries and, when left whole, a curled segment is known as a “blade” of mace. The blades are sold as is or ground into a spice.

Medicinal Uses Of Mace

Pets should only be given Mace at a dose recommended by a veterinarian.

Both nutmeg and mace have similar medicinal properties and both contain the active compound myristicin. Mace has a more pungent scent/flavor and a higher concentration of myristicin compared to nutmeg. For humans, these herbs are often used medicinally used to stimulate digestion and support digestive health. Mace and nutmeg are also used externally to help with rheumatic conditions as they can help reduce irritation and stimulate blood flow.

Is mace safe for pets?

How To Use Mace Safely For Pets

For pets, both mace and nutmeg should only be used when formulated at a safe dosage for pets by a veterinarian. In large doses, the active compound myristicin can have hallucinogenic effects and can be toxic.

We use mace in one of our products, Target Spray, which has been formulated by a holistic veterinarian and master herbalist to ensure that it is safe for pets. Target Spray is a natural, topical spray that helps deter insects like mosquitos, ticks, and fleas. Mace is included in Target Spray to help calm itchy and uncomfortable insect bites and because of its scent which can help ward off insects. Mace’s anti-inflammatory properties and ability to increase blood circulation are what help reduce skin irritation from insect bites. Before going outdoors, mist Target Spray from the back of your pet’s neck, down to the base of their tail, and then brush through to help limit insect bites. If your pet has an insect bite, spritz Target Spray directly on the bite and gently rub or brush to work the spray through the fur to the skin.


If you have any questions about whether or not a herb is safe for your pets, feel free to reach out to us! Our pet expert team of veterinarians, vet techs, and nutritionists is here to help. To ask a question, click the button below to start chatting with a pet expert.

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Published: July 7, 2021

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