Just because a food is safe for humans doesn’t mean it’s automatically safe for dogs. So, it’s common to wonder if dogs can eat red peppers and other more unusual human foods. Peppers might be tasty flavor enhancers for us, but our dogs won’t always agree. So, before you sneak a red pepper to your dog or let them eat it off the floor, you might want to do some research.
Can Dogs Eat Red Peppers?
Dogs can eat some red peppers, but it depends on the type. When people think of a red pepper, they either picture a red bell pepper or a red chili pepper. If you know anything about basic dog nutrition, you can probably conclude that the chili peppers are the ones your dog should avoid.
Red bell peppers are safe and even healthy for dogs to eat in small amounts. However, any type of spicy pepper could cause digestive issues. Even small amounts of spicy food could irritate your dog and lead to vomiting or diarrhea. So, if you want to share some red peppers with your pooch, always stick to red bell peppers.
When serving these peppers to your dog, make sure they’re always plain with no added salt or seasoning. It’s also a good idea to remove the skin and seeds if you can. The skin, seeds, and stems of fruit are always much more difficult for dogs to digest. While many humans believe peppers are a vegetable, they actually fall under the fruit category, making red bell peppers one of the many healthy fruits for dogs.
Health Benefits of Red Peppers for Dogs
Red bell peppers are rich in vitamins A, E, B6, C, and lutein, along with healthy antioxidants like beta-carotene. These items can help your dog maintain a healthy immune system and reduce inflammation. You might also see improvements in your dog’s skin, coat, and eyes. Whether you serve red bell peppers raw or cooked, your dog will likely still enjoy them and reap all these benefits. In fact, red bell peppers are considered the most nutritious peppers for dogs.
Risks of Red Peppers for Dogs
Aside from the countless risks of red chili peppers, your dog can also face some problems with red bell peppers too. Specifically, if they eat too many peppers, they could suffer consequences. When serving any new food to your dog, you should always do a slow transition since some dogs are more tolerant to new foods than others. A recommended serving for dogs is less than a half pepper for a large dog and less than a quarter pepper for a small dog.
If you feed your dog too many bell peppers, they could get an upset stomach, which will likely lead to vomiting or diarrhea. While fruits and vegetables are typically known for their health benefits, large quantities of any of them can cause digestive issues for your dog. So, always serve peppers and other human foods to your dog in moderation. Oftentimes, less is more.
Can Dogs Eat Other Types of Peppers?
All bell peppers are safe for dogs to eat, but red bell peppers are simply the healthiest. Whether the pepper is green, yellow, or orange, it doesn’t matter. All of them have similar benefits and risks. These different colored bell peppers should also be served similarly to red bell peppers.
As mentioned earlier, any spicy peppers like red chili peppers are off limits. This even includes black pepper, even though it’s not a fruit. Black pepper, or peppercorn, is a seasoning, which means it isn’t safe for your dog to eat. While humans love adding extra flavor to their foods, dogs don’t feel the same way. Seasoning like black pepper can lead to upset stomachs and even more serious health concerns if consumed in large quantities. So, the food you serve your dog should always be free of black peppers.
Red bell peppers aren’t ideal for every dog, but dogs can eat them as a healthy snack now and then. If your dog eats a pepper when your back is turned, it won’t be the end of the world. However, you should still try your best to be cautious. If you ever plan to serve red bell peppers to your dog, always remove the skin and seeds, and make sure the servings are small. That way, both you and your dog will feel happy in the end.