Can Dogs Eat Spicy Foods?

This is a paramount question on the mind of every dog owner. Many of us really want to know if we can share those spicy and delicious meals or snacks that we cherish a lot with our dogs. But, the problem with this is that tiny voice that asks can dogs eat spicy foods?

Just like their human owners, dogs will either tolerate some specific types of spices or react to them in a serious manner. While some dogs would jump at spicy foods occasionally, for others, all it takes is just a sniff of the food and that puts them off totally. Besides, some of the spicy human foods are considered dangerous for dogs to the point of being fatal. Let’s explore this further.

What Happens When Dogs Eat Spicy Foods?

To get the right answer to the question – can dogs eat spicy foods, we need to explore the likely things that may happen if they do consume them. When you know what certain foods can do to your dog, it’s now left for you to decide if it’s worth it. Meanwhile, it needs to be made clear from the start here that while some dogs may tolerate eating spicy foods well enough, others may not and can be left at the mercy of dire health consequences.

Depending on the type of spices the dog has eaten, the following may happen to it internally or externally:

Irritation Of The Nose And Mucous Membrane

Most dogs dig into their – food nose first and may inhale the strong aroma of the food at a very close quarter or in some cases, actually sniff in the spice itself. This will definitely sting the dog since their sense of smell is actually stronger and more enhanced than that of humans. So, imagine the ripple effect that suddenly inhaling some spices has on a human, double or even triple it, then you might understand what your dog could be going through.

Throw Off Due To Sense Of Smell

Dogs generally have an enhanced sense of smell than humans which will throw them off balance – sense-wise, when they dig into spicy foods.

Damage to The Nervous System

Some spices contain substances that can actually affect the nervous system and neurological activities of your dog – for example, cocoa powder. Chocolates and anything relating to them, especially cocoa powder are dangerous to dogs as they contain theobromine. While the metabolism process in humans works faster when they ingest theobromine, dogs have a significantly slower metabolism and this causes toxins to build up.

Kidney And Heart Issues

Some spices may be difficult for your dog’s digestive system to process, and in time may affect its physiology and have a negative impact on the proper functioning of your dog’s heart and kidneys. This still boils down to slow metabolism.

Diarrhea And Vomiting

Spices like onions and nutmeg can cause diarrhea and vomiting in your dog, and should not be given to your pet at all. They can also cause gastric discomfort for your pet as well.


Certain spices are known to be toxic to your dogs, and once they get into their system and bloodstream, it triggers some other conditions that lead to Anemia. Spices like garlic and onions are the major culprits here.

can dogs eat spicy foods?

Can Dogs Eat Spicy Foods If They Are Small?

Dogs, whether small, medium, or large, are all canines, and the important reason this particular question is pertinent would probably have to do with their unique size.

Having dissected the question – can dogs eat spicy foods, it is safe to say they should stay away from items. Notwithstanding, the truth is that there is no one answer that fits all here. If a small breed dog is fed controlled amounts of “safe” spices as a puppy and its body mechanism tolerates it well, the chances that it would tolerate such foods in the future would be pretty high. But, if the dog is intolerant to the spice, then the answer to can dogs eat spicy foods should be No.

The other major determinant of the answer to this question is the particular dog in question. Some dogs will tolerate spices very well, while some others will simply not. So, take note of your own dog’s reaction to spices, and act accordingly.

Can A Dog Die From Eating Spicy Food?

Asides can dogs eat spicy foods at all, this is a very interesting and important question every dog owner would like answered. The truth is that a dog would not drop dead on the spot from eating spicy foods, but there will be both short and long-term effects on your dog. These adverse effects might even decrease the lifespan of your dog.

Just as eating spicy foods on a prolonged and continuous basis has an adverse effect on the human body, the same thing will happen to dogs if their everyday meal is laced with spices all year round. Some spices in particular that have been discussed earlier, will lead to some health issues in your dog, and if left unchecked, will ultimately shorten your dog’s lifespan or seriously threaten its health.

Read Also: Sensitive Stomach Dog Food: How To Manage Sensitive Stomach In Dogs

Spices/Spicy Foods Dogs Can Eat

The good news is, it’s not all spices that are bad for your dog’s health and digestive system, some are actually good and needed by your dog.

The following spices are safe for your dog:

  • Cinnamon

This spice will help prevent heart disease and cancer in your dog. Its anti-inflammatory properties will also be of great help.

  • Basil

This will help your dog’s liver and joints. Its anti-bacterial and anti-cancer properties will also be of great help to fight off diseases.

  • Ginger

This will boost your pooch’s cognitive functions and help regulate its blood sugar, amongst other benefits.

  • Oregano

The anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties of this spice will greatly benefit your dog.

  • Parsley

This is rich in antioxidants and will help fight against Urinary Tract Infections and kidney stones.

  • Tumeric

The contents of this spice will help boost your dog’s brain functions, as well as promote a healthy gut.

  • Dill

This will help improve your dog’s digestive system and regulate its blood sugar.

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