Bell pepper comes in so many different colors...red, orange, yellow, and green, to be exact! Bell peppers are flavorful, sweet, delicious and a healthy snack or addition to meals. Bell peppers are generally inexpensive as well, making them an awesome veggie for your daily diet. Plus, they are packed with health benefits.
Since bell peppers are likely a staple in your house, you may have wondered if they are safe for your dog to eat and if they have any health benefits for your dog. In short, bell peppers are healthy and perfectly safe for dogs to snack on, but there are some things you should do to make sure they are eating them safely.
Signs of a Dog Liking Bell Peppers
Bell peppers have a mild and often sweet taste and are not overwhelming in flavor, making it a great veggie for your dog to eat. Many dogs will like the flavor and crunch of bell peppers and will eat them without any issues. Cooked peppers are also a good, soft choice.
However, all dogs are different, so there is a chance your dog will not be a fan of bell peppers. If you determine your dog does not like bell peppers, we recommend not trying to force it into their diet as there are other foods your dog can have that have similar benefits to bell peppers but are foods your dog will actually like to eat.
If your dog does like the flavor and texture of bell peppers, you can tell by the signs they show and the way they react to the bell peppers. Many dogs will bark, whine, and cry when they are begging in an attempt to get more food. If they keep staring at you, drool a lot, pace around in front of you, stare at your while you have the food, or even paw at you, this suggests they like bell peppers.
History of Dogs and Bell Peppers
Prehistoric remains of bell peppers have been found in Peru, which suggests these colorful peppers have been around for centuries. Peppers were most commonly grown and picked in Central and South America some years later and were widely available.
By the time 1493 came about, Columbus took these delicious and healthy peppers to Europe with him where they gained popularity very quickly. However, the peppers available around this time were not like the bell peppers we know today - they were a small, black and white variety of peppers. The bell pepper was not cultivated until many years later.
Bell peppers were not mass produced and cultivated in the United States until the 1920's, according to the US Department of Agriculture.
We do not have a ton of recorded history about bell peppers and since bell peppers are a relatively newer variety of pepper, it is unlike dogs would have had access or have developed a taste for peppers. Since peppers from thousands of years ago were often very spicy, dogs would not have been attracted to this type of food. It is safe to assume bell peppers were not part of an undomesticated dog's diet. Today, bell peppers are still not a common veggie to include in a dog's diet.
Science Behind Dogs and Bell Peppers
Although bell peppers are not a common veggie to give to dogs, they do have a lot of health benefits that are great for your pooch. Bell peppers contain Vitamin A and lutein, which are beneficial supporting eyesight and a strong immune system. Vitamin E in the peppers will keep your dog's fur and skin strong and healthy and B6 is wonderful for help to maintain a healthy nervous system.
Bell peppers are also about 93% water and only have 30 calories per cup, so they are a very low-calorie and nutrient-rich veggie that give your dog tons of nutrients but without the issue of weight gain.
Feeding Your Dog Bell Peppers
If you want to add bell peppers to your dog's diet, you can choose to cook the peppers first or just give it to them raw. You want to make sure you prepare the peppers properly, which means you should remove the seeds, the white membrane, and the tough stem from the pepper.
If your dog has an issue with chewing food, they are very young or older, cooking the peppers first is the best option, as raw peppers are a bit harder and crunchier. Furthermore, peppers are also high in fiber and some dogs have more trouble digesting foods with a high fiber content. Cooking the bell peppers first will make them much easier for your dog to digest.
Bell peppers can be chopped up and added to your dog's regular food during meal times. You will want to start off with smaller amounts when you first introduce this veggie to their diet, just to make sure they don't have any adverse side effects or reactions to the peppers. If you do notice any side effects like changes in bowel movements, such a loose and runny stools, you should remove the peppers from your dog's diet.
Red peppers have the most nutritional benefits and also contain high levels of beta-carotene, so we recommend red bell peppers as the first variety you should choose for your dog. If you have an older dog that suffers from inflammation from arthritis, the special properties in the red bell pepper can reduce this inflammation.
By a Samoyed lover Kayla Costanzo
Published: 04/27/2018, edited: 08/26/2022