If you are a dog owner, you may have had the following experience: you are cutting up some delicious peppers for a snack when you notice your canine pal looking at you with longing in his adorable eyes. Can you share the wealth? Sweet peppers are a favorite vegetable for many humans due to their delicious taste and health benefits, but can dogs have sweet peppers to eat, too?
Dogs can have sweet peppers to eat, and they are quite nutritionally beneficial for them. However, it is important to know the facts before giving your canine friends peppers to eat so you can keep them happy and healthy.
What exactly are sweet peppers, and how can they benefit your dogs? How many can they eat and how should you prepare them? And are there any risks when feeding your dogs peppers? Read on to find out.
Can Dogs Have Sweet Peppers To Eat?
Dogs can eat sweet peppers. But before slicing up a tasty snack for your four-legged friend, it is important to make sure you are giving him appropriate types of peppers. You also need to pay attention to how many peppers you are giving him because too much of a good thing can be a bad thing in this case.
What Are Sweet Peppers?
Sweet peppers may mean different things to different people. For many, sweet pepper is synonymous with bell pepper, which can include yellow, red, orange, green, and the less popular purple and white varieties.
Others classify sweet peppers as the multi-colored mini sweet pepper and long sweet pepper varieties.
Some sources include a much larger variety of peppers under the umbrella term “Sweet Pepper,” including but not limited to pimientos, pepperoncini peppers, cubanelle peppers, poblanos, and banana peppers.
Some people believe sweet peppers are just the yellow, red and orange varieties.
No matter how you classify sweet peppers, the important thing to think about is heat when deciding on the type of pepper it is safe to feed your dog. Almost all peppers contain the chemical compound capsaicin; the higher the concentration of capsaicin, the spicier the pepper, and the less safe it is to feed to your pup.
Peppers that rank higher on the Scoville scale (a scale of the amount of capsaicin present in the pepper) can cause harmful effects on dogs, such as upset stomach, mouth irritation, diarrhea, vomiting, and dehydration.
Below are some of the peppers that rank lowest on the Scoville scale and are considered safe to feed your dogs in moderation:
- Sweet bells/bell peppers. By far, the most common sweet pepper given to dogs as an occasional snack, and your safest bet is the sweet bell pepper (red, orange, and yellow).
- Banana peppers. Make sure to only give mild banana peppers, not the hot or Hungarian wax varieties.
Pimientos/ sweet cherry peppers. There are some hotter varieties, so be sure to only offer the mild pimientos.
How Many Peppers Can My Dog Eat?
When first introducing peppers to your dog’s diet, you should start off with a very small amount. Then gradually increase how much you offer in order to see how your dog responds to the peppers.
Once you have determined that your dog likes and can handle sweet peppers, the final amount of pepper they can eat will depend on their size.
Larger dogs can be given up to one-half of a pepper at a time, while small dogs may eat 1-3 medium slices a day. It is important to keep peppers, as well as any other additions to their normal dog food, to less than 10% of their daily diet.
Benefits Of Sweet Peppers To Dogs
Sweet peppers are rich in vitamins and minerals and are healthy for your dog to eat. Below are some of the nutritional facts of different peppers.
|Pepper (1 cup, raw, chopped)||Fiber||Vitamins||Minerals||Carbs||Protein||Calories|
|Sweet green peppers||2.5||A: 551 IUC: 120 mg||Calcium: 14.9 mgMagnesium: 14.9 mgPotassium: 261 mg||6.9 g||1.3g||29.8|
|Sweet red peppers||3.1||A: 4666 IUC: 190 mg||Calcium: 10.4 mgMagnesium: 17.9 mgPotassium: 314 mg||9.4 g||1.5 g||46.2|
|Sweet yellow peppers||1.7||A: 372 IUC: 341 mg||Calcium: 20.5 mgMagnesium: 22.3 mgPotassium: 394 mg||11.8 g||1.9 g||50.2|
Ways To Serve Sweet Peppers To Your Dog
While you can give raw sweet peppers (red, orange and yellow) to your dogs, the skin of certain peppers, like bell peppers, can be tough and may make it difficult for adequate chewing.
Here are some alternative ways you can prepare sweet peppers for your dog:
|Steam the peppers||Steaming the peppers will soften the skin and make them easier to chew.|
|Cook the peppers||You can also cook your peppers to soften the skin. However, you should not cook your peppers with any seasonings or other vegetables that are harmful to dogs, such as onions or garlic. Be sure to chop peppers into small pieces.|
|Puree the peppers||Using your food processor to puree the peppers will make it easier for your dog to eat and digest the vegetables.|
|Mix peppers with dog food||You can chop up the peppers and mix them into your dog’s food.|
Can dogs have green peppers?
Many people associate the color red with heat and green with mildness when it comes to peppers.
While green bell peppers are a safe treat in moderation for your dog, other green peppers may be more harmful. Jalapenos and other spicy green peppers can cause digestive and other health issues and should never be given to dogs.
A note of caution: There is some disagreement in whether green bell peppers contain the poisonous substance solanine, which can be harmful if consumed in large amounts.
While many sources cite green bell peppers as being completely safe and nutritious for dogs, if you want to err on the side of caution, you can stick with red, yellow, and orange peppers for your dog.
Can dogs eat bell pepper seeds and stems?
While the seeds and stems of bell peppers are not toxic to dogs, they can pose a choking risk.
They may also cause indigestion or an upset stomach, so it would be a good idea to remove the stem and seeds before giving peppers to your dog.
Can dogs eat hot peppers?
Dogs should not be given hot peppers in any amount.
The capsaicin found in hot peppers can irritate your dog’s stomach and cause mild to severe digestive issues.
Dogs hate the smell of spicy peppers. It causes intense burning in your dog’s nose. For this reason, people use the powder of hot chili, jalapeno, or cayenne peppers as a repellent for dogs to wee and poo on a lawn or garden.
Can dogs eat jalapenos?
As with hot peppers, it’s not recommended to feed your dog any spicy peppers to avoid upsetting their stomach.
Can dogs eat cracked black pepper?
Black pepper is not considered toxic to canines.
However, if eaten in larger quantities, it can cause digestive issues like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, as well as respiratory problems.
Black peppers also have very little health benefits for dogs, so it is best to avoid feeding them to your dog.
If a small amount is eaten, there will likely be no adverse effects, but if your dog accidentally eats a large amount of black pepper, keep a close eye in case any serious issues arise.
Can all dogs eat sweet peppers?
Just as humans can have allergies or sensitivities to certain foods, dogs can also have issues with seemingly safe and nutritious foods.
This is why it is important to introduce peppers, and any new food, to your dog’s diet in very small quantities and gradually increase in size.
If you notice any adverse effects from eating sweet peppers, stop serving them to your dog and seek advice from your veterinarian.
What can dogs not eat?
Whilst we’re on the subject of what peppers dogs can and can’t eat, here’s a list of other vegetables and fruits they cannot eat:
- Onions, garlic and chives (in any form – whole, powdered, cooked or raw)
- Persimmons, peaches and plums pits
- Rhubarb and tomato leaves
- Corn on the cob
- Apple seeds
- Raw potatoes or potato plants in your garden.
If your dog eats something they should not have or you are unsure, always keep the number of your local vet, 24-hour pet emergency clinic or the Animal Poison Center (888 426-4435), somewhere handy.
Sweet peppers can be a healthy addition to your dog’s diet and provide important nutritional benefits. Be sure to give peppers that have little to no heat, such as bell peppers, and offer them in moderation to avoid any negative health effects.
What Else Can Dogs Eat/Not Eat?
What other vegetables can dogs eat or can’t eat, like tomatoes. Have a read of our tomatoes article here.