You may already know that dogs can’t have chocolate, but you may be wondering, “Can dogs eat spicy food?” Is it an automatic trip to the vet’s office when my dog eats something that it shouldn’t?
The good news is, chili peppers aren’t lethal for dogs. While they typically cause digestive issues, they probably won’t warrant a visit to the vet. However, if your dog ate more than one or two, you may want to consult a veterinarian about what to look for in case your dog’s symptoms worsen.
Chili powder isn’t the only food that’s a no-no for pups. Other spicy foods, like cayenne pepper and other “people foods,” can be toxic to our pets.
Can Dogs Eat Spicy Food?
The best answer we can give you is: no. If your dog samples a minuscule amount of chili pepper, it may not have much of an impact. Consuming a whole pepper or its equivalent, though, will most likely affect your canine. Your dog will feel the heat of the pepper as it goes down and as it makes its way out of the digestive tract. After eating something spicy, a dog may experience pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. And if you need yet another reason not to share your spicy dinner with your dog, keep in mind that hot food can also cause your canine to have gas. If you’ve ever fed your dog something that didn’t agree with him and wished you could give him a can of Bean-O, then you know this is a scenario you want to avoid.
Having a single run-in with a little hot pepper probably won’t do any long-term harm. However, consistently feeding spicy food to your dog or allowing it to eat large amounts of spicy food at once can do long-term damage to its esophagus and intestines.
Another reason not to give chili peppers or powder to dogs is that it has no nutritional value for them. Plain chili powder that doesn’t have a kick to it seems to be less harmful to dogs, but it doesn’t contribute to a healthy diet.
Why is chili pepper so detrimental to dogs? It contains an ingredient called capsaicin, which can interfere with digestion.
Can Dogs Eat Spicy Food Besides Chili Peppers?
What if your dog ate hot pepper that’s not chili pepper? Chili peppers and powders aren’t the only things to avoid. Anything spicy could harm your pet. Cayenne pepper is one example. Like red chili pepper, it can cause burning and irritation to your dog’s digestive system, leading to pain, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Here’s another common scenario: Your dog ate hot sauce. What should you do? It’s important to note that eating a spicy pepper isn’t the only or most common way that your dog can ingest something flamin’ hot. Consuming sauces and other foods with spice in them is just as bad, which is why you should not let your pup share buffalo wings or hot tacos with you. Also, don’t leave plates of food unattended, as even the most well-trained canine will probably try to steal a bite when no one’s looking.
My Dog Ate Chili Pepper. Now What?
If your dog eats chili powder, peppers, or other spicy food, offer him plenty of water immediately afterward and for the next several hours following the incident. Like humans, dogs usually crave water to try to quench the fire in their mouths. You’ll also want to ensure your dog has access to water if he experiences diarrhea or vomiting, which could lead to dehydration.
Offering your dog a treat can help absorb some of the spice in his mouth and provide a much-needed distraction from the discomfort.
It’s also a good idea to contact your veterinarian if your dog consumes something spicy. A trip to the doctor may not be in order, but it’s wise to make your vet aware of what happened. A professional can give you advice about making your pet more comfortable and telling you what signs to be on the lookout for if he is in distress.
Certainly, if vomiting and diarrhea become severe, you may need to bring your pet in for emergency care.
What Other Types of Peppers Are Toxic to Dogs?
Certain types of peppers are grown for decorative purposes only and are not used in food preparation. Likewise, they should not be eaten by dogs either because of their toxicity to the animals. Naturally curious, dogs like to chew on our eat anything they find. If you’re growing Ornamental Peppers or something similar, they can be fatal to your pet if he ingests them. Therefore, it’s best not to grow them at all so your dog won’t be drawn to them in the first place. Otherwise, make sure he can’t get into them.
What Other Foods Aren’t Good for Dogs?
The list is exhaustive, but certain foods that many of us don’t realize are harmful to dogs. Caffeine, alcohol, onions, garlic, avocados, and baked goods sweetened with xylitol can have dire consequences for our canine companions. Even small amounts of these foods can cause health problems. And when it comes to alcohol, the smaller the dog, the less alcohol it takes to cause harm.
Grapes and raisins can lead to kidney problems in dogs. Additionally, when you’re enjoying ice cream or other dairy products, it’s tempting to offer some to your dog, especially when it’s begging for a handout. But dairy can cause digestive problems, such as diarrhea, so it’s best to keep it out of the puppy’s reach. Chocolate, of course, is off-limits, too. A variety of other foods can also pose health hazards to pups.
- Macadamia nuts may cause fever, weakness in the high legs, vomiting, and muscle tremors.
- Peaches, persimmons, and plums contain seeds that could block a dog’s intestines.
- Raw eggs, meat, and fish may expose your dog to bacteria like Salmonella and E. coli.
- Bones from pork chops, chicken, and the like can lead to choking or digestive system blockages.
- Salt may dehydrate your dog and cause sodium poisoning. Avoid giving your dog salted pretzels and chips.
- Yeast dough that hasn’t risen can stretch and damage the digestive system as it ferments inside the dog. It may also produce alcohol, which can affect the liver.
- Medications intended for humans can prove fatal to pets.
How can you prevent your dog from eating chili peppers?
If you have spicy foods on hand, keep them out of the dig’s reach. If you grow hot peppers in a backyard garden, you may want to stop cultivating them or put a fence around the garden to keep the dog out.
Can the smell of chili powder affect dogs?
Yes, so much so that some dogs avoid it. The scent of the powerful pepper can irritate the delicate tissues on the inside of their nostrils. However, instead of steering clear of the smell, some dogs try to mask it with their scent.
Why is chocolate so bad for dogs?
The culprit in chocolate is theobromine, which can cause diarrhea and vomiting and tremors, seizures, heart problems, and even death. Almost all types of chocolate contain theobromine, including the white variety. The most dangerous kinds, though, are dark chocolate and unsweetened baker’s chocolate.
How much should you feed a dog?
There’s no overall recommendation for this, so it’s best to consult your veterinarian. However, the consensus is that you feed your dog based on its current size, stage of life, and activity level.
Can dogs develop food allergies?
Yes, like humans, dogs can have food allergies and sensitivities.
So can dogs eat spicy food? The short answer is no. Eating spicy food can cause short-term digestive discomfort, diarrhea, and vomiting. So keep spicy peppers, sauces, and other foods out of your dog’s reach. Your best bet is to avoid giving your dog any tidbits from the table, as human food is not recommended for them at all.
In some cases, it can cause health problems. In worst-case scenarios, it can even be fatal. Therefore, you should give your canine companion dog food only and consult your veterinarian whenever you have concerns about your pet’s diet.
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