Dogs are carnivores, meaning that their natural diet consists purely of meat. Domesticated pets have become acclimated to a more diverse diet, and the benefits of some fruits and vegetables can help improve a dog’s immune system response.
Peppers are healthy for humans, offering lots of vitamin C and beta carotene. But can dogs eat peppers safely? Thankfully, if you’ve just dropped a piece of a bell pepper on the floor, you’ve got nothing to worry about (source).
In short, peppers are safe for dogs to eat. The high beta carotene levels, especially in red bell peppers, can provide a boost to your dog’s immune system. However, remember that dogs are carnivores, so too many carbs will cause an upset stomach.
Many pet owners make their own dog treats at home, and may wonder if peppers can be a part of the recipe. While peppers are okay for dogs, they should probably not be the primary ingredient in any treat.
Peppers are primarily made up of carbs, while protein is only about 1% of the wet weight of a pepper. Here, we will cover some of the common questions about peppers for dogs. We will also illustrate the health benefits of peppers, and some of the potential risks of giving them your dog.
Are Peppers Bad For Dogs?
While dogs are not allergic to peppers, you may still wonder if peppers are bad for your dog. There are two sides to the answer.
No, peppers are not bad for dogs, however, they are not essential in the natural diet of a canine. Being natural carnivores, the diet of any canine should be primarily protein-based.
However, that doesn’t mean that dogs don’t need nutrients. There are some health benefits of feeding your puppy peppers, but it should only be done in moderation as an occasional supplement.
What Are The Health Benefits of Peppers For Dogs?
So we’ve established that dogs can eat peppers, but that it should be done in moderation. But there are numerous health benefits of peppers (for both dogs and humans). For dogs, this comes primarily in the form of beta carotene.
This is a pigment found in many fruits and veggies and is found in high concentrations in red bell peppers. This is what gives red peppers their deep red color.
Dogs will benefit from beta carotene as it is converted into vitamin A during digestion. This is thought to give an immune system boost to your dog. If your pup seems to be getting sick, you could try giving a small bite of fresh red pepper to help stave off illness.
What Are Toxic Foods For Dogs?
We primarily know about peppers, but this resource can give you a quick glance at the vegetables that you can (and can’t) feed your dog. Here is a short list of safe foods for your dog, and a few toxic foods.
Safe For Dogs To Eat
- Sweet Potatoes
- Brussels Sprouts
NOT Safe For Dogs To Eat
Knowing which foods are toxic for dogs is essential for every pet owner. Be sure to do additional research if you plan to feed your dog excessive amounts of any fruit or vegetable at home. You can never be too sure that what you’re feeding is safe!
Are Hot Peppers Bad For Dogs?
So, bell peppers and other sweet peppers are okay for dogs, but what about a jalapeno? Can dogs eat spicy peppers?
While spicy peppers are safe for your dog to consume, they will feel the burn. Dogs and cats are not immune to the hot sensation of eating spicy peppers (like birds are). Therefore, it is generally not recommended that you feed your dog hot peppers.
Many dogs will happily chomp into a hot pepper without knowing the burning effect that will follow. It can cause discomfort, sneezing and pain for your puppy, so stick to the sweet peppers!
Can Cats Eat Peppers?
Similar to dogs, cats can safely consume common peppers. Though many cats will simply choose not to eat peppers, they are safe for felines to consume. If you want to feed your cat peppers, try slicing them into tiny bits. This will help make the peppers much easier for your cat to chew.
Cats can benefit from eating peppers in the same way humans and dogs can. Peppers contain beta carotene, which is converted into vitamin A. This is an essential nutrient that can help give an immune system boost. This can aid in healing and avoiding sickness.
I hope this article helped you feel safe feeding your dog (or cat) peppers. Dogs can eat peppers, and they can be a nice little treat for your pet, but only in moderation. Stay safe!