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Is Spicy Food Bad For Dogs?

↯ Key takeaway points

  • Dogs cannot taste spicy food and will only feel the heat, not the flavor.
  • Spicy food can cause irritation, gastrointestinal issues, and other health problems in dogs.
  • Ingredients like onion and garlic, commonly found in spicy food, are toxic to dogs.
  • Excessive consumption of spicy food can lead to upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration in dogs.
  • If a dog accidentally eats spicy food, it is recommended to provide cold water, wash their paws, and contact a veterinarian for further assistance.
A pet lover passionate about educating readers about animal health and care. Love reading studies and recent research.
Zoo and wildlife doctor in veterinary medicine passionate about animal welfare and preventive medicine.
Published on
Monday 12 September 2022
Last updated on
Monday 31 July 2023
Is Spicy Food Bad For Dogs
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Although considered non-toxic, is spicy food bad for dogs? What a pup eats affects its health, so it is always better to think if such human food is dangerous for them or not. Pet owners are used to sharing their everyday meals with their furry friends, but they must still find an answer to whether dogs eat spicy food

Can Dogs Eat Spicy Food? 

Dogs have a stronger sense of smell than humans, but their sense of taste is not as refined. They only have 1,700 taste buds, while humans have 9,000. While dogs can eat a variety of foods, they are unable to distinguish the flavors.

When it comes to spicy foods, dogs cannot actually taste the flavor like their human counterparts. If you’re wondering whether dogs enjoy spicy food, the answer is that they do not because they can only feel the heat, not the flavor. Even though your furry friend can eat spicy food, it’s important to avoid feeding it to them due to potential side effects on their health.

Dogs have fewer taste buds but are still sensitive to the effects of spicy foods. These foods contain a compound called capsaicin, which triggers a burning sensation in a dog’s taste receptors. It can also cause irritation, gastrointestinal issues, and other short-term or long-term health problems. Additionally, it can make your dog gassy.

Therefore, if you’re wondering whether dogs can eat hot peppers or other spices, it’s best to avoid feeding them these foods excessively. It’s important to steer clear of chilis, jalapenos, hot sauces, or chili powders because dogs can experience various health consequences as a result.

Is Spicy Food Bad for Dogs?

Canines can eat them, but the question is, can dogs have spicy food? Although feeding your pup with a bit of your spicy meal is possible, you must remember that letting them overeat leads to health problems. The painful burning sensation from the capsaicin makes your dog have an upset stomach, abdominal pain, watery eyes, or excessive drooling.

Spicy foods with onion and garlic are also dangerous and life-threatening to dogs. According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, these ingredients contain thiosulfate (thiosulphate), which is toxic to dogs. Research by Yamato et al. further discusses that this compound increases the Heinz body percentage and methemoglobin concentration in erythrocytes, creating oxidative damage to their red blood cells, thus leading to hemolytic anemia.

Moreover, salty and spicy foods cause dehydration or excessive thirst in dogs. Once these effects worsen, your pup can develop pancreas inflammation or canine pancreatitis. This disease further leads to inappetence and vomiting.

In short, excessive consumption of spicy foods is bad for dogs. Spicy food can also cause dog hiccups. Let’s further elaborate on what happens if dogs eat spicy food below.

What Are The Effects of Spicy Food on Dogs

If you accidentally feed your dog a lot of spicy food, you may be wondering what happens when a dog eats spicy food. Just like humans, you can quickly notice if your furry friend is experiencing the effects of eating spicy meals through their restlessness or actions. Here are the potential consequences:

Upset Stomach

Letting your dog excessively eat spicy foods causes stomach ulcers in their gastrointestinal tract. These stomach ulcers are lesions or sores in the stomach lining.

The lining protects the stomach from damage caused by gastric acid. Since the ulcers affect the lining, your dog will suffer from irregular digestion.

As mentioned earlier, spicy foods also lead to other stomach problems, such as hemolytic anemia or canine pancreatitisResearch on dogs’ digestive sensitivity states that dogs have fragile tummies; they can easily have an inflamed pancreas due to unusual or unsafe foods. They are also highly susceptible to severe stomachaches or abdominal pain.

Vomiting and Diarrhea

Dogs have difficulties digesting spicy food. Their digestive system is sensitive to its effects, so they can either vomit or have diarrhea.

Vomiting can occur in sudden large quantities. On the other hand, a watery stool is a common effect of excessive consumption of spicy foods or high doses of caffeine. Both consequences make dogs feel weak, leading to other problems and life-threatening illnesses.

Rest easy if you notice these things in your dog because you can fix these with home treatment. You will only need help from your trusted veterinarian once the effects get worse.

Excessive Thirst

Once you eat your spicy meal, you will feel the urge to drink water or any liquid that will ease the painful burning sensation. You will want to have a beverage near you so you can drink it immediately; the same goes for our furry pals.

When dogs eat excessive amounts of spicy food, they can experience a fluid loss that leads to excessive thirst. Your pup will want to drink more water than usual.

As effects of spicy food consumption, vomiting and diarrhea also cause dehydration. It is common to drink water so you can aid this process, but excessive water can trigger stomach aches, bloating, or further vomiting.


Once a dog drinks water excessively to aid dehydration or thirst, it can experience bloating. You can solve this problem by letting your pup pee.

Another reason for bloating is flatulence. Dog flatulence happens when gas spreads in your pup’s colon and intestinal tract. These gases come from hard-to-digest foods like spicy meals.

One way to cure bloating from gases is through farting. When your dog fails to release gases, its stomach will become bloated. You must pick out what to feed your dog because these situations may cause more health issues. If you fall short in treating or calling for a vet’s help, your dog’s situation can worsen.

What Should You Do If Your Dog Ate Spicy Food

Instances can happen where your dog ate spicy food without you noticing. So, here comes a question, what to do if your dog eats spicy food?

First, give your dog a clean bowl of cold water to ease the burning sensation and aid the thirst. Research on the influence of beverages on residual spiciness advises milk or yogurt because dairies can remove the spicy feeling. Also, wash your pup’s paws to avoid spreading the food particles to its eyes.

Check the ingredients of the food you have eaten to trace the spicy content. You can take note of that specific spice to avoid it in the future. Once your dog eats a spicy meal, you must be ready for an upset stomach, diarrhea, and vomiting. Prepare water, toilets, or medicine.

If you are afraid of what to do, you can call your veterinarian for further assistance and medication. A bland diet is better for your dog’s recovery phase before re-introducing its usual food diet.

Is spicy food bad for dogs? Your pup can accompany you in eating your meals, but spicy foods are not advisable for their health. People must remember that these foods will cause minor to severe health issues. After all, a pet owner will never want to see a furry friend suffer from such health effects.

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