Can Dogs Eat Spicy Food? Is Spicy Food Safe For Dogs?



Can dogs eat spicy food? No, dogs should not eat spicy food. It can cause a variety of problems for dogs. Spices can cause stomach issues like diarrhea, vomiting, and pain. The spiciness may also lead your dog to be extra thirsty, leading to other health issues like dehydration. In extreme cases, it may be fatal to dogs. 


What should I do if my dog ate something spicy?

  • First, check if there is anything toxic in what your dog ate.
  • If there was something toxic, determine how much was eaten and contact your veterinarian.Your vet will be able to advise if the amount that was eaten and the size of your dog warrants the need to be seen.
  • If there were no toxic ingredients, then gastric upset and dehydration are the main things to look out for. If you are concerned, always contact a vet for advise.
Signs of Gastric Upset:
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Uncomfortable stomach
  • Gas
Signs Of Dehydration: 
  • Low energy
  • Panting
  • Dry gums
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dry nose and/or eyes
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea


Busy? Get Your Hands Paws On The Answers Quickly…


Can Dogs Taste Spicy Food?


Dogs can taste spice; however, their sense of taste is not as strong as ours.

Fewer Taste Buds

Humans have around 9,000 taste buds, whereas dogs only have about 1,700 taste buds. 
The taste buds that dogs do have are not as sensitive to different flavors as our taste buds are. Dogs will likely not taste a huge difference in spicy food. 


Stronger Sense of Smell

The spicy smell will often deter dogs because it is not appealing to them. Dogs have approximately 125 million sensory glands in their noses than ours of only about 5 to 10 million sensory glands. Additionally, dogs have an organ that allows them to "taste" food through their sense of smell, and the smell of spices will be bitter or sour to them, which is not something that dogs find appetizing (think of how anti-chewing sprays have a bitter taste).


Benefits For Dogs Eating Spicy Foods


Not really, the risks of consuming something spicy will always outweigh the benefits. However, some spices are thought to offer small benefits when given in moderation. 
  • Cayenne offers many benefits to different body systems, like the digestive system and the circulatory system. 
  • Oregano has also been shown to improve some tummy troubles in dogs, like gas or bloating. 
  • Other spices that benefit your dog include turmeric (which acts as an anti-inflammatory) and cinnamon (a natural antioxidant).


Risks Of Dogs Eating Spicy Foods


May cause gastric upset - Dogs may experience diarrhea, vomiting, excessive gas, stomach pains, or excessive thirst when they eat something spicy. This is due to it not being a part of a dog's natural diet and the capsaicin (a natural chemical found in chili peppers) in the spice irritating their gastrointestinal tract.
Risk of developing pancreatitis - Dogs can develop canine pancreatitis from spice. Foods that are high in fat or very spicy can cause the pancreas to overdrive and produce enzymes that lead to digestion too early. Most dogs face a few days of hospitalizations if they experience pancreatitis, and will likely need to be put on a low-fat diet from then on.
May contain toxic ingredients - Some ingredients in spicy foods (for example, onion) may cause even more problems, such as anemia, even eaten. 


Are There Any Spices That Are Safe For Dogs?


Chili Powder - No. It is likely to cause stomach upset in dogs, including diarrhea and vomiting, leading to dehydration. It may also contain onion powder or garlic powder, which are both extremely dangerous to dogs.
Chili Flakes - No. Chili flakes contain capsaicin, which is an irritant to a dog's gastrointestinal system. This can lead to various issues like stomach ache, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Cayenne Pepper - Yes. Cayenne, in minimal amounts, is safe for dogs. Some dog food brands, such as BARF World dog foods, contain a little cayenne. Cayenne may help with circulation, heart health, digestion, and may act as a natural decongestant. Before adding cayenne to your dog's diet, be sure to talk to your vet. Dogs with certain health conditions, like kidney, urinary, or digestive problems, should not eat cayenne.
Turmeric - Yes. Turmeric can help dogs who have arthritis, diabetes, stomach issues, and maybe even cancer. Turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory, which may help dogs with inflammatory diseases. Dogs cannot digest turmeric by itself; it needs to be absorbed either in oil or paste. Dogs should start small, and they will likely not taste the turmeric paste when added to their food.
Cumin - Yes. Dogs can have small amounts of cumin seeds or powder and may gain health benefits for it.
Paprika - No. Paprika is dangerous for dogs, and it can irritate their skin, nose, eyes, and digestive tract. If inhaled, the paprika powder can even cause lung damage to dogs.
Black Pepper - No. While a little bit of black pepper are likely not dangerous to your dog, they most likely will not enjoy the taste of it. And larger amounts of black pepper can upset their stomach. Black pepper may also cause dogs to sneeze and feel an uncomfortable sensation in their noses. In general, it is best not to give black pepper to your pup intentionally.
Garlic Powder - No. Garlic is poisonous to dogs and powdered is thought to be more potent. Garlic and onions contain thiosulfate, which may cause hemolytic anemia or garlic poisoning. If your dog eats garlic, contact your vet immediately. With early treatment, the prognosis is good. Garlic powder was once thought of as a home remedy for fleas, but the Pet Poison Helpline does not recommend it.
Oregano - Yes. Oregano is safe in moderation. Oregano may help with digestive issues in dogs, such as diarrhea, gas, or tummy pain. Very high doses of oregano may damage the liver or kidney, but oregano is fine in moderation.
Nutmeg - No. Nutmeg contains myristicin, a toxin that can lead to stomach issues in dogs. If dogs have a large amount of nutmeg, they could experience high blood pressure, seizures, or disorientation.
Cinnamon - Yes. Cinnamon is tolerated well by dogs. It can be used as an antioxidant for dogs and can help lower their blood pressure. Cinnamon should not touch their skin, as it can irritate it. For some dogs, cinnamon may irritate their mouth. 


Can I Share These Spicy Snacks With My Dog?


Dog food is always the best option for feeding your dogs. Dog food is specifically formulated to have the nutrients your dog needs and must go through rigorous tests to be approved by veterinary experts. But if your dog does have a little bit of these human foods, is it okay? 
Curry - No. Dogs should not eat curry. All of the different spices in curry is not friendly for your dog's stomach and will likely irritate. Additionally, curry usually contains other ingredients that are not safe for dogs, such as onions.
Chili Con Carne - Maybe. Some dogs will be able to eat chili con carne without any problems. For others, the spices may give your dog a mildly upset stomach. If there are any of the spices above in the chili that is dangerous, including garlic and onion, do not feed it.
Hot Wings - No. Firstly, the chicken bones can break, crack, or splinter, which can cause an injury to your dog. As for the actual meat, the hot sauce can upset their stomach and lead to other problems like diarrhea. 
Wasabi - No. Wasabi is not toxic for dogs, but it can burn their mouths and give them upset stomachs and give them gas or bloating.
Hot Cheetos - No. If your dog eats one or two by accident, they will be fine, but Hot Cheetos (or Cheetos in general) should not be given to your dog as a treat or snack. Cheetos are high in sodium and fats, which are not suitable for your dog and contain garlic powder, which is dangerous.
Chipotle - Maybe. Anything at Chipotle that contains avocados or onions (like guacamole) is potentially toxic to dogs. Anything like salsa would be too spicy and could lead to pancreatitis. At Chipotle, dogs can eat plain, unseasoned chicken breast, plain, white rice, and cheddar cheese.
Spicy Chicken - No. Like buffalo sauce, sauces on the chicken can lead to problems with their stomach, leading to diarrhea or vomiting, or could burn their esophagus.




Can spicy food kill dogs?
It is unlikely, but your dog will be likely to experience some stomach ache, diarrhea, or vomiting. In severe cases, your dog may experience canine pancreatitis, which is more serious. If your dog has eaten spicy food and is experiencing side effects, contact your vet immediately. 


Can dogs eat hot food?
No really, it usually upset our pup's stomachs. If your dog eats this, they may experience gas, bloating, vomiting, or diarrhea. 


What spices can my dog eat?
In small quantitates, your dog can eat cayenne, turmeric, cumin, oregano, and cinnamon. All other spices should be avoided. 


Can my cat eat spicy food?
Spicy food reacts similarly to cats stomachs' as it does to dogs.' The capsaicin can cause a host of stomach problems for cats, like vomiting and pain.


Can any animals eat spicy food?
The only other mammals, besides humans, to actively seek out spice are Chinese tree shrews, who enjoy hot foods, but for the most part, most animals do not like spicy food.



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Disclaimer: Each dog is different, and every circumstance is different. All efforts have been made to provide accurate information. However, it is not provided by a qualified Veterinarian, Veterinarian Surgeon, or Behaviorist. The information provided is purely educational. The information should not be used as an alternative or substitute for medical care. If you have any health or medical concerns, contact a qualified Veterinary Surgeon or Veterinarian immediately.


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