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No, spicy food is not safe for dogs. Spicy foods such as chili powder, hot sauce, jalapenos, peppers, etc., contain capsaicin. This compound can leave a burning sensation on your dog’s tongue and cause health problems, including panting, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, stomach ulcers, and digestive issues.

Spicy Food
caution icon

Caution: This food is generally considered risky by the veterinary community. Dogs should not eat this food and should be monitored for adverse effects.

Food Safety Exercise caution, avoid feeding
Nutritional Issues Capsaicin
Potential Risks excessive thirst, stomach ulcers
Poisoning Symptoms diarrhea, vomiting, stomach cramps, panting, digestive issues
Every dog is different. For specific feeding guidelines, including quantities and beneficial foods that are best for your dog, please consult your vet.

How Much Spicy Food is Unsafe for Dogs?

When it comes to spicy food, it’s best to avoid feeding any to your dog. Spicy ingredients, including hot peppers, chili powder, and hot sauce, contain a compound called capsaicin, which is responsible for the burning sensation we associate with spicy foods. Capsaicin can be quite uncomfortable for your dog, causing irritation on their tongue, in their mouth, and throughout their digestive tract.

Even small amounts of spicy food can lead to symptoms such as drooling, panting, and an upset stomach. Consuming spicy foods repeatedly or in larger quantities can have more serious consequences, potentially leading to gastrointestinal issues like stomach ulcers or inflammation over time.

What Makes Spicy Food Unsafe?

When your dog eats too much spicy food, it will start to feel a burning sensation in its digestive tract, mouth, and tongue. This is because of the compound capsaicin, which creates a spicy flavor inside spicy food.

Signs Your Dog Ate Too Much Spicy Food

Signs that show that your dog ate too much spicy food include vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, and stomach ulcers. Therefore, it’s best to hide that bottle of your favorite hot sauce from your canine companion ASAP.

Common Spicy Food Ingredients

  • Black pepper: Black pepper is not safe for dogs as it can lead to tongue discomfort.
  • Chili powder: Chili powder is very spicy and can cause stomach ulcers in dogs.
  • Red/Green/Yellow pepper: Green, red, and yellow peppers are typically milder than other spicy foods. However, it’s best to avoid them as they contain capsaicin.
  • Jalapenos: Jalapeno peppers are considered one of the hottest peppers on the planet. Therefore, they are not safe for dogs.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • No, spicy food is unsafe for dogs because it contains spicy ingredients such as peppers, jalapenos, hot sauce, etc. These can cause digestive problems, diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain in dogs.

  • No, it’s best to avoid feeding your dog spicy food altogether. This is because the capsaicin in spicy food can harm your dog’s health.

  • Spicy foods, such as hot sauce, black pepper, chili powder, etc., are unsafe for dogs since these contain capsaicin. This compound can trigger a negative response in your dog’s stomach, throat, and mouth.

About the Writer
Dan Greco , Dog Dad

Having been a dog dad for 5 years, I know how hard it is to make sure your dog gets the right nutrients and stays away from hazardous foods. With the help of a veterinarian who specializes in nutrition, I created this blog to help dog owners quickly access food information they need.

photo of vet holding a pup
About the Contributor
Dr. Hillary Wolfe , Veterinarian & Certified Food Therapist

Dr. Wolfe holds a doctorate in veterinary medicine from Kansas State University and holds nutrition certifications from the NAVC and CIVT. Her business, Tula Veterinary Nutrition, hosts online courses that teach owners how to cook for their pet for optimal health and longevity. Follow her on Instagram at @doctorwolfe.dvm for dog nutrition tips, recipes and insights.