Spicy Food

Dogs are undoubtedly adorable. From their lolling tongues to their cute eyes, they do have a way of getting you to do something you typically should not, like, giving them human food! Feeding your dog bits of food from your table because they cannot resist sitting beside you as you have your meal might be you being kind to your dog but that very act of feeding them your meals may be harmful to them.

Have you ever wondered if it is appropriate for dogs to eat spicy meals? Or have you ever wondered if spicy food is bad for your dog? Let’s help you answer these questions and many more you may have in this piece!

What are spicy foods?

Though this might seem like one obvious topic anyone should have answers to, in the context of feeding your pet, we must highlight this question. Spicy food is any food that contains peppers of any kind (chilies, habaneros, jalapenos etc.) or other spices that can bring about the sensation of heat. Typically, the addition of these peppers to human meals bring several benefits, the results in your pets as we would see below might be entirely different.

Spicy food for dogs

Is spicy food bad for dogs?

So you may wonder, is spicy food bad for dogs? The answer is yes! While it offers you numerous benefits, it is bad for your dog. As we would get to examine below, feeding your dog spicy foods can lead to health issues that may range from mild to severe. Amongst others, your dogs may become super thirsty from the need to sate the burning sensation in their guts and in severe cases, this may give way to dehydration.

    Sick dog

    What are the impacts of spicy food on your dog?

    As stated above, dogs should eat dog food while humans should eat food meant for humans. For better clarity, here are some risks your dog may be at should they feed on spicy foods.

    • Exposure to toxic food ingredients– spices like powdered onions and garlic may offer immense benefits to your immune system and are certainly not considered toxic in our diets but to dogs, they mean entirely different effects. From eating spices like onions and garlic, dogs may develop anemia because their red blood cells can be easily destroyed.
    • Risk exposure to stomach discomfort-simply because spicy meals are naturally not meals that dogs should eat, the chemicals found in these spices may irritate their gastrointestinal tract and as is common to humans when we consume meals that are too spicy, dogs may experience upsets ranging from stomach pains to diarrhoea, passing gas excessively or in severe cases, retching.  
    • They may be at risk of developing canine pancreatitis-in severe cases, your pet may develop canine pancreatitis when they are fed spicy meals because spicy foods may cause their pancreas to go on an override. In cases where the pancreas goes on an override, enzymes are produced and the digestion process kick starts too early.  

    What spices can my dog eat?

    To start with, professionals advise that if spices must be included in meals for your dog, they must be done in very little quantities and with proper consultation on how to go about introducing the spice to your pet’s meal.

    Cayenne in small amounts can help your dog’s overall health likewise cumin in small safe doses. Turmeric, Oregano and Cinamon are also safe for consumption in small doses but should never be added to meals without proper advice from your Vet.

    What spices can’t I add to my dog’s meal?

    Black pepper, paprika, chilli flakes and chilli powder, nutmeg, garlic, and onion powder are all spices that can prove harmful to your dog’s health and as such shouldn’t be included in their meals or foods you may feed them as treats from time to time. This is because these spices are not only mostly unpleasant to eat for your dogs, in large quantities, one or more of these spices may see your pet spending a few days at the hospital.


    Though we cannot bear hearing our dogs whine for treats when we have our meals, for the benefit and overall well being of your dog, it is advised that they stick to healthy dog meals as recommended by professionals. Consult your vet if you need to make a change to your dog’s diet especially where their health requires special meals. While you may give them treats from time to time, refrain from overfeeding them or giving them spicy treats.