Are you a fan of the pepper family like I am? If so, then you most probably like to use the likes of green peppers, bell peppers, red peppers, sweet peppers and jalapeno peppers in your cooking and like to get creative with them, which can surely make for some delicious meals.
And, if you’re a big fan of the pepper family and like to incorporate different varieties of peppers in the food you eat, it’s only normal for you to wonder about whether it’s safe or not for dogs to eat peppers in their food as well or just chew on a few pieces now and then as a well deserved treat perhaps.
Coupled with the health benefits of peppers that have become renowned over the last few years, what’s there about peppers to hold us back from considering giving Fido some?
So, regardless of what kind of peppers you’re considering feeding your dog, be that green peppers, bell peppers, red peppers, sweet peppers or any other kind of pepper, this article will let you in on all the information you need to know in order to ensure Fido’s safety and well being.
Can Dogs Have Peppers? Or Are Peppers Bad For Dogs?
The short answer to this question is YES, dogs can have peppers safely.
However, not all kinds of peppers are created alike when it comes to giving them to our dogs, so you do have to continue reading to find out what kinds of peppers are best to give your dog, what kinds are best avoided and other best practices that you should also know about.
What Kind Of Peppers Are Good For Dogs? And What Kind Of Peppers Are Bad For Dogs?
The best and safest kind of peppers for dogs to eat would probably be bell peppers (also known as sweet peppers).
On the other hand, any kind of peppers that are spicy or have that “hot burn” feeling to them should never be fed for dogs, similarly to how any hot spices are also off limits for dogs.
So, for example, the likes of chili peppers are completely off limits for dogs, as well as any other pepper type that may have a spicy taste to it as well.
Are All Bell Pepper Colors Alike For Dogs?
As for what color of bell pepper is good to feed your dog, bell peppers in all colors are healthy and nutritionally beneficial to humans and dogs alike, but possibly the best out of them all is the one that comes in the color red.
Bell peppers of other colors such as yellow bell peppers, green bell peppers and orange bell peppers are also great options to feed your dog, but the best of the best would be the red colored bell pepper because its much more rich in nutrients and antioxidants than its other peers.
Don’t let that stop you from including bell peppers in your dog’s diet if you can’t get a hold of a red colored one, though, as the other colors are perfectly fine as well.
Contrary to what many people assume (and I used to be guilty of doing this a while back), red bell peppers aren’t hot or spicy peppers that’ll burn your tongue or that of anyone that comes anywhere near it.
On the contrary, red bell peppers are some of the sweetest peppers you could ever taste, so don’t make the mistake of disregarding red bell peppers as a treat for Fido just because the color red drives you to think that it’s spicy.
Also, and in order to make sure that your dog is getting all the health benefits they can from eating bell peppers in their diet, no matter how small the amount and infrequent this may be, try your best to only feed them ripened bell peppers as those tend to be the most vitamin and nutrient-rich.
Besides being much richer in vitamins and nutrients, ripe bell peppers tend to be much more tasty than their unripe counterparts, and your dog will appreciate you for offering them something that tastes to heavenly.
If, for any reason that may be, you’re unable to wait until the bell pepper ripens and you have to feed some to your dog while it’s still unripe, then that’s perfectly fine as well, your dog just won’t be getting as much nutrients/vitamins from whatever portion they eat, and it won’t taste as good as it could have were it ripe.
There are no health risks whatsoever associated with feeding dogs unripened bell peppers, so you’re good to go from that standpoint.
Why Are Peppers Good For Dogs?
So, what makes these wonderfully colored vegetables good for humans and dogs alike?
The following list summarizes some of the most important benefits that humans and their pets alike can get out of including peppers in their diet.
Keep in mind that dogs don’t necessarily get the same net benefit out of bell peppers the same way we do, because of differences in digestive systems and nutritional needs, but they still benefit from the health advantage peppers have to offer to a certain degree nonetheless.
– Low Caloric Value: Bell peppers (and the whole pepper family in general) are some of the lowest caloric vegetables available out there, which means they can be an excellent snack for Fido to munch down on without risking getting overweight.
– Antioxidants: Bell peppers are rich in antioxidants that go a long way in fighting cancer from developing in dogs, as well as help ease joint pain that senior dogs may feel because of conditions they have such as arthritis.
– Improve Digestive Functions: Bell peppers are notorious for the digestive system improvements they’re able to offer our bodies, and the same is believed to hold true when it comes to the digestive systems of our dogs as well.
– Decreased Gas: Is your dog feeling a bit too gassy because they ate one of their meals way too fast or ate something that their stomach is sensitive to? Bell peppers have the ability to decrease flatulence in your dog.
– Improved Immunity: Thanks to the high levels of Vitamin C found in bell peppers, your dog’s immunity and illness-fighting capabilities will be getting a boost.
How Can Dogs Eat Bell Peppers?
This one is up to you, really.
You can serve your dog a small amount of tiny cut pieces of bell peppers raw perfectly fine, and you can do so by giving your dog these pieces to eat on their own or by mixing these pieces in with one of the meals of dog food they’re having for the day if they find it tasty that way and enjoy it more.
Probably the best way to go about feeding your dog bell peppers would be to cut one down into tiny pieces and feed a few of these pieces to your dog as is, without any sort of toppings off course.
Or, you could mix in some tiny cut pieces of bell peppers with your dog’s food in one of their meals if it makes sense to and enhances the taste.
Although it’s perfectly fine to feed your dog raw bell peppers, some dogs may have a bit of a difficult time properly chewing and digesting tiny bits in this form.
If this is the case with your dog, you may want to consider steaming any bell pepper pieces you want to feed your dog to make for a much easier consumption process.
However, always remember that it’s best that you don’t go overboard with feeding your dog such human food not really meant for canine consumption, and that you keep this “tool” for use when you need it most, i.e as a positive training reward.
If this is the first time ever that you’re giving your dog a few pieces of bell pepper to eat, then make sure that you only give them a very limited amount so you can “test the waters” and see if their bodies will negatively react to them because of an allergy or sensitivity.
In such a case, symptoms will start to appear shortly after and you’ll want to refrain from giving your dog any bell peppers in the future.
If, on the other hand, your dog’s body doesn’t negatively react to the consumption of bell peppers and all seems to be fine a few hours later (all the way up to a few days), then you’re cleared to start incorporating this vegetable into your dog’s diet in moderate amounts and from time to time, whenever your dog seems to need it most (hint, hint: treats!).