Can Dogs Eat Jalapeños?

Can Dogs Eat Jalapeños?

If you’ve ever wondered, “can dogs eat jalapenos?” the answer is no. It doesn’t matter that jalapenos are low in calories and packed full of nutrients. It doesn’t matter that a single jalapeno contains no more than 4 calories and has vitamins A, C, B6, and K. It also doesn’t matter that jalapenos contain antioxidants that can fight free radical damage while keeping skin and hair healthy. Jalapenos should absolutely never be eaten by dogs. 

Jalapenos are not by themselves toxic. Your dog won’t keel over and die if it accidentally eats a jalapeno. However, the spiciness of the jalapeno can cause issues with your dog’s digestive system. They don’t have systems designed for dealing with spicy foods. The result of your dog eating a jalapeno will most often be stomach pain and serious discomfort. 

This all stems from the capsaicin compound inside the jalapeno pepper. This is what makes most peppers spicy and hot. At the end of the day, jalapenos offer virtually no health benefits to dogs. 

Can Dogs Taste Jalapeños?

Dogs don’t taste spice the same way humans do. If you were to give your dog a jalapeno pepper, it wouldn’t have the same reaction as you would. Even though dogs have incredibly sensitive noses, they are lacking in the tastebud department. There are only somewhere around 1700 taste buds inside of the average dog’s mouth. In comparison, there are at least 9000 taste buds inside of the human mouth. 

Dogs can mainly tell the difference between bitter, salty, sour, and sweet. Still, they don’t respond in the same way that humans do to flavor. This means when a dog eats something spicy like a jalapeno pepper, they aren’t going to freak out because they won’t feel it burning their mouth. They don’t get the same spicy punch that humans do. 

If your dog is attracted to your spicy food, particularly peppers, it’s probably because the spices smell good. It’s not because they like the taste. When your dog eats a hot jalapeno pepper, rather than freak out because of the taste, it will suffer later probably from vomiting and diarrhea. 

What to Do if My Dog Eats Jalapenos

If your dog accidentally ate some jalapeno peppers, don’t panic. A single pepper shouldn’t do any serious damage to your dog. However, you should keep an eye on the animal for symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea. If your dog gets ill, be sure to provide sufficient water to keep your dog hydrated while they recover.

Additionally, help your dog recover by supplying a diet of bland white rice with boiled chicken. Keep up with the rice and chicken diet for a few days until the diarrhea subsides and your dog starts to feel better. 

Try offering a single spoonful of canned pumpkin as well. This will add some bulk to your dog’s bowel movements and help with the discomfort. If vomiting or diarrhea persists longer than a couple days, contact your veterinarian immediately. 

Can a Jalapeno Kill a Dog?

It is wildly unlikely for a jalapeno to kill a dog. Even if your dog gets into a whole pile of jalapenos, death is a rare occurrence. Your dog is more likely to die from eating jalapenos if they’re smaller or prone to allergic reactions. But it’s still not very likely.

Your dog may get sick. They may experience digestive problems, diarrhea, inflammation, pain, and constipation, but death is highly unusual. In the worst case, an allergic reaction could cause anaphylactic shock. 

Are Dogs Allergic to Jalapeno Peppers?

Dogs are not typically allergic to jalapenos or other peppers. This is because jalapenos aren’t a common ingredient in commercial dog foods or treats. That being said, dogs can still develop allergies to any substance they’re exposed to, including jalapenos. 

If your dog’s immune system responds to jalapenos in a negative way, an allergy may occur. An allergy is when your dog’s system overreacts to a protein inside the jalapeno pepper. The symptoms of an allergic reaction include itchy and inflamed skin, excessive gas, wheezing, and even ear infections. The capsaicin inside the jalapeno can also cause irritation to your dog’s skin even without an allergic reaction. 

It’s also important to know that dogs with allergies to other kinds of foods are more prone to developing allergies to other foods. This includes all new sources of food, just like jalapenos. 

Are Peppers Bad for Dogs?

Jalapenos are definitely bad for dogs. They’re not toxic or technically poisonous, but they’re not good either. The gastrointestinal issues that can occur with adding peppers to your dog’s diet outweigh any possible health benefits.  

If you feed any kind of hot peppers to your dog for prolonged periods of time, they can develop gastric or peptic ulcers. This is when the mucosal barrier lining the esophagus, intestine, or stomach is damaged. The mucosal barrier is necessary to protect the body from dangerous things that your dog ingests. 

Too many peppers can disrupt this lining. The result is immense pain for your poor dog. The only good news is that the condition is very rare. You would also need to feed your dog copious amounts of peppers for this to happen. 

If you suspect your dog has developed ulcers from eating peppers, the sure symptoms include blood in stool, vomiting with blood, a drop off in appetite, and abdominal pain. If your dog passes blood in any way, you need to seek immediate help from your veterinarian.

Final Thoughts

Don’t let your dog’s willingness to eat jalapeno peppers fool you. Dogs can’t taste spiciness. They can hardly even tell the difference between different meats. Feeding your dog jalapeno peppers, bell peppers, or any other kind of hot pepper is always going to lead to damage to your dog’s gastrointestinal tract. You should never feed your dog spicy food or hot peppers under any circumstance.

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