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Can Dogs Eat Spicy Food? What Should You Do If Your Dog Has Eaten Spicy Food?

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Mary Nielsen

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Can Dogs Eat Spicy Food

Once in a while, we’ve got to spice up our lives to get the most out of it. And this definitely includes adding spicy foods into our diet.

If you simply love hot sauce and hot peppers on your foods, it’s natural to be curious whether your four legged friend would love them, too. But, can dogs enjoy eating spicy food as much as we do? And more importantly, can dogs eat spicy food?

Can You Add Spicy Foods to Your Dog’s Diet?

Most dogs will obviously love their owner's food no matter how spicy it may be. But, is it safe to feed your dog spicy people food? And again, can dogs eat spicy food?

Well, the short answer is no. Sharing spicy snacks with your furry friend comes with a lot of risk to his health and safety. Spicy foods can be toxic for them and could cause stomach issues like vomiting, diarrhea, gas, and stomach pain.

If your dog consumes spicy food, he may also experience excessive thirst, which can cause your dog to vomit and lead to more pressing health issues like dehydration.

So, you don’t have to spice up your dog’s food because he won’t enjoy it, anyway. Spicy human food can only cause uncomfortable, and even harmful side effects to your dog. In worst-case scenarios, it can even be fatal.

Can Spicy Food Kill Dogs?

The spicy flavor of our foods can be due to the different spices, chilies, and peppers added to them. And unfortunately, some of these toxic ingredients can be fatal to our canine companions.

There are also several factors to take into consideration. For instance, eating chili peppers and other spicy food can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs, which, if not treated promptly can lead to dehydration.

And as we know, more serious health issues could be triggered once there is an inadequate amount of fluid running inside a dog’s body. Hence, as mentioned earlier, in extreme cases, spicy food can indeed kill dogs.

Your dog could also experience short-term problems after eating hot pepper or other foods that contain spices. He can develop diarrhea, gas, thirst, and even more permanent health problems such as canine pancreatitis.

What’s more, oftentimes, spicy human food contains other toxic ingredients, such as garlic and onions. And sadly, these two ingredients are even more dangerous when eaten by your pup.

When your dog eats even a small amount of spicy or fatty food that is packed with garlic and onions, he can develop anemia, which can then lead to a series of more serious complications and even death.

Can Dogs Eat Spicy Food? What Should You Do If Your Dog Has Eaten Spicy Food? 1

Can Dogs Taste Spicy Food?

Correct us if we’re wrong, but the primary reason why we are hooked to spicy foods is because of their distinctive flavor. The same food would have a different taste and aroma with just a sprinkle of chili powder, or chopped chili peppers.

But how about our dogs? Can they also taste spicy human foods the same way we do? If they can’t, then, why give them hot food in the first place?

Dogs and humans are similar in many ways but it also relates to their taste perceptions. Dogs can taste usually the same flavors that we, humans do, except salt. Their taste sensitivity to salty food and drinks is lesser due to their lower taste buds and salt receptors.

Unlike humans, a dog has fewer taste buds. The American Kennel Club claims dogs have about 1,700 taste buds as compared to the 9,000 in humans. Simply saying, the taste of spicy foods does not make any sense for our canine buddies.

Dogs won't appreciate, more so enjoy a spicy treat the way that we do, and it will only affect their stomach or digestion. When it comes to preparing a healthy dog diet, there is a lot to consider.

You should experiment with different flavors of the food that your puppy likes. However, typically speaking, dogs love to get the same food each day.

What Dogs Can and Can’t Taste?

The researchers found that dogs are sensitive to four different tastes: salty, bitter, sour, and sweet. However, the fact that they can taste the same flavors as humans does not make them react the same way.

Dogs generally have lesser taste sensitivity. For instance, your dog can love the smell and taste of meat the same way you do, but they can't distinguish the difference between chicken and beef as effectively. What's more, dogs also don't like salt.

Scientists say dogs evolved to find salt less enjoyable because the diet of their wild ancestors was primarily made up of meat, which is naturally salty food.

So, they already consumed too much of this mineral from their regular carnivorous diet and did not need it from other sources.

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What Are The Effects of Spice on Dogs?

Whether you're a novice dog owner or a newbie dog enthusiast, there are some things to be noted here. Dogs may not taste pepper exactly as humans do, but they still can cause digestive issues in dogs. They may also suffer temporary symptoms from eating spicy foods, such as stomach discomfort, flatulence, and intense thirst.

In certain conditions, consuming spicy foods can cause serious chronic illnesses including canine pancreatitis. Canine pancreatic infections are usually found in middle and older dogs. It's also worth noting that the dangers of eating spicy foods don't only come from cayenne pepper and other spicy ingredients.

Most often, spicy human foods also have ingredients that are toxic to dogs, such as garlic and onion. Also, what may taste like a mild spicy flavor for us, humans, may already be too spicy for your pup. And even a small amount of this food can already upset your dog's digestive tract.

What Should You Do If Your Dog Has Eaten Spicy Food?

First, determine if there are other potentially toxic ingredients present in the food. If there was, try to get an estimate of how much your dog has eaten and contact your vet for veterinary guidance. If there are no toxic ingredients, then, your primary concerns are stomach problems and dehydration.

Usually, the gastrointestinal problems caused by eating spicy food are temporary. Wait until your dog expels the chili peppers out of his stool. You don't need any further action except removing your dog from the spicy food and continue observing him for changes in his behavior.

Additionally, whenever your puppy has eaten a spicy dish, make sure he has lots of water. Unlike humans, dogs need water when attempting to fight off an irritant in the mouth. Offering treats can also help absorb the spice and distract your dog's irritation.

If your dog is consuming anything spicy, then please talk to your veterinarian. A medical visit might not be necessary, but make a veterinarian aware of the incident.

The Spice Takeaway

Are dogs a good eater of hot or spicy foods? It's not that simple. Eating spicy foods is likely to cause diarrhea and vomiting, so it's best to simply keep all spicy food from your dog's reach. Humans and dogs have different physical needs. Your job as a pet parent is to be cautious with food that might be toxic to your pup.

Spicy foods are not for everyone, and your dog will definitely love and thank you if you refuse to share these potentially dangerous foods with him.

dog with chilli

Other Frequently Asked Questions

Can Dogs Eat Hot Sauce?

Nope. Hot sauces are not suitable for dogs. This spicy mixture often contains chili, which is unsuitable food for dogs. You should also take into consideration all the dangerous ingredients that are present in hot sauces.

Can Dogs Eat Hot Peppers (Cayenne in particular)?

Cayenne pepper poses a risk for dogs when eaten or in contact with their skin. Cayenne can cause burning sensations and can cause trouble with your dog's bladder and bowels. And some pet-care websites say they are toxic.

What Other Types of Peppers Are Toxic to Dogs?

Certain pepper varieties are grown only as decoration and cannot be used in food preparation. Similarly, dogs shouldn't eat these peppers because of their danger to animals. Sadly, curious dogs can eat everything humans eat.

When you grow ornamental peppers or similar, they are potentially fatal to your pup if he ingests them. Therefore, it is best to stop growing them, or at least make sure that your dog can't reach them in any way.

What Spices Can Be Eaten by Your Dog?

Your dog can consume spices including parsley, basil, ginger, and cinnamon easily without irritation. Spices like basil can also aid dogs by alleviating the pain caused by arthritis and also enhancing their moods.

However, it is important to keep in mind that dogs are not allowed to be exposed to certain spices and foods. It is therefore recommended that pet owners exclusively feed their pets dog food to ensure that they can safely get complete and balanced nutrition.

What Other Foods Are Not Food for Dogs?

The list is exhaustive, and sadly, many pet owners don't realize that the foods they let their dogs munch on are packed with dangerous ingredients.

Caffeine, alcohol, garlic, onions, and avocados are harmful to dogs even in tiny doses. Grapes and raisins can cause renal disease in dogs. Sugarless desserts that contain Xylitol can also be toxic for dogs. And of course, chocolates are off limits, too.

Dairy products can also be problematic for dogs since most canines are lactose intolerant. Hence, even a small serving of ice cream may already upset your dog’s digestive system. Also, depending on a dog’s sensitivity, some may be allergic to grains, and other foods that contain gluten.

Macadamia nuts are also bad for dogs, as these can cause fever, vomiting, and muscle tremors for them. You should also avoid feeding bones to your pup as these are choking hazards, and they can also cause intestinal obstruction.

Without a doubt, the list doesn’t end here. But again, to keep your dog safe, it’s best to stick with dog food. You may also want to ask your vet for guidance. He will be more than willing to provide veterinary advice for your pet’s health and safety.

And of course, feel free to look around our site for more useful tips and valuable information.

Can Dogs Eat Spicy Food? What Should You Do If Your Dog Has Eaten Spicy Food? 3

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