3 min read

Can Dogs Eat Peppers?


By Kevin Hughes

Published: 05/10/2024, edited: 06/14/2024

Reviewed by a licensed veterinary professional: Dr. Linda Simon, MVB MRCVS

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We slice and dice them to slide them onto kebabs, add them to salads, and grill them to serve alongside barbecued meats — peppers are a tasty veg, and a colorful addition to any plate of food. Peppers are also a healthy food, that’s low in calories and low in fat.

The question is, can dogs eat peppers? We know that our four-legged friends are always interested in our food (as well as their own), so if you wanted to share peppers with your pup, is it safe to do so? Can dogs eat bell peppers? Are peppers good for dogs? Do dogs even like eating peppers?

Here, we’re going to learn more about whether dogs can eat peppers.

Can dogs eat bell peppers?

Yes! Dogs can eat bell peppers. Peppers come in a variety of colors — so can dogs eat green peppers, orange yellow peppers, red peppers? Yes, to all of them, though red peppers provide more nutritional value and green might be slightly tougher to digest (these aren’t as ripe as other types). Green peppers have a harder skin that dogs may not like crunching through.

Peppers are a healthy snack, best given as an occasional treat. Peppers are low in calories and low in fat, and have lots of nutritional benefits, containing good levels of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K.

Can dogs eat all types of peppers?

No, dogs can’t eat all types of peppers so it’s important any pet parent knows what can and can’t be fed to dogs. Some peppers contain something called capsaicin, a component that gives peppers heat and spice. Basically, any pepper that has capsaicin in it is out of bounds; it will just be too spicy for your dog’s sensitive stomach to cope with.

Those types of peppers include chili peppers, jalapenos and habaneros. You might enjoy super-hot and spicy peppers, but your dog most definitely will not thank you for having any.

Can dogs eat banana peppers? There’s a bit of a debate about this. It all depends on which variety of banana pepper it is; some are mild to moderate, others are closer to hot and spicy. So, be careful — it might be safer to avoid banana peppers and take a cautious approach.

Can dogs eat bell peppers raw?

Yes — dogs can eat bell peppers raw, so if you’re chopping one up to include in a salad, it’s fine to share a small piece with your pup. Just be sure to dice the peppers into small portions rather than slicing them lengthways; this way is much easier for a dog to eat and reduces any potential choking risk.

Don’t give your dog the stalk or stem of a pepper, and do remove all the seeds, too.

Can dogs eat red peppers that have been cooked?

Cooked peppers are fine to give to your dog. In fact, they might be better for your dog to eat, as that tough skin softens when heated, and the texture becomes easier to digest.

When cooking peppers for your dog though, some rules apply — as with any food that’s cooked and given to your pup.

When cooking peppers, make them as plain as possible. A tiny amount of salt and pepper is unlikely to cause issues, but it’s best to avoid any seasoning, if you can. Don’t add extra spices, and definitely don’t cook peppers in garlic or onions, if you’re planning on sharing any with your dog. If you’re shallow frying your peppers, so easy on the amount of oil you use, too.

How many peppers should dogs eat?

Whatever you feed your dog, don’t overdo it. Dogs can easily put on weight if they eat too much, which risks obesity. So, the golden rule to abide by with feeding your dog peppers is small amounts, occasionally. Don’t give your dog peppers every day; apart from anything else, he or she may not even like bell peppers. Many dogs won’t touch vegetables at all.

Observe your dog’s behavior closely after eating peppers, especially for the first time. You never quite know how a dog will react to a type of food. If your dog displays signs of an adverse reaction — vomiting or diarrhea are the most common symptoms of being upset by food — then stay away from peppers in the future.

Read our guide to choosing the best dog food for your pet here, and our advice on reading and understanding what’s in your dog food here.

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© 2024 Wag Labs, Inc. All rights reserved.