Can Dogs Eat Capsicum (Peppers)?
Capsicum, or bell peppers, are not only very colorful, but healthy as well. However, is that also the case when it comes to dogs? This article will give you an answer.
Capsicum, or peppers, come in different colors and different shapes.
Some prefer green, while others can’t imagine a better vegetable than the red pepper. No matter the color and shape, we can all agree on one thing – peppers are really beneficial to us!
But the question is – does this apply to dogs as well?
Newsflash – dogs love to eat! What else is new? Sometimes to the point where they’ll try anything they come across, only to discover the hard way it’s bad for them or even toxic when it comes to certain food. So, it’s your responsibility as a dog owner to know what’s safe and what’s not in the dog world of food.
Considering peppers are very common in many recipes and a popular vegetable, it’s natural that you’re wondering if it’s OK to share some with your dog. So, today we’re answering the following question:
Can I Give Peppers To My Dog?
Yes, peppers are in general safe for dogs to have. They can even be quite beneficial, just like they are to us. Plus, they’re very low in calories which makes them a great, healthy treat. Don’t worry – we’ll take a look at all the upsides later in the text!
However, there are still some things you should have in mind when serving capsicum to your dog. Namely, some kinds are better and safer than others. Some should be avoided all together! So, read on and find out what the best options are.
What Kind Of Pepper Should I Serve?
Capsicum is a wide term indicating different kinds of peppers – sweet peppers and chili peppers being two of the biggest groups. The general rule could be the following: sweet, or bell, peppers are usually safe for dogs while spicy peppers should be avoided. Spicy food and dogs are never a good combination and this is no exception. Any pepper with a spicy taste of some kind is off-limits for dogs!
When it comes to bell peppers, they come in many colors – green, red, orange, yellow…Even though they’re all perfectly safe to give to your dog, one of them stands out as the healthiest one. Namely, the red bell pepper contains most of the important nutrients – carotenoid phytonutrients, beta-carotene, anti-oxidants and vitamins.
However, this does in no way mean that bell peppers in other colors are unhealthy. The red ones are simply the richest in benefits, but the other are really healthy as well! Let’s take a look at why!
Why Are Peppers Healthy?
We know that peppers are healthy, but what is it that makes them so beneficial? This list will probably give you a better insight.
- Vitamins A, E and K
- Some B vitamins
- Vitamin C
Antioxidants help in fighting cancer and ease joint pain senior dogs may feel if they suffer from diseases such as arthritis. Beta-carotene, that can also be found in carrots, improves the vision while vitamin C contributes to a better immune system.
On top of that, bell peppers are very beneficial when it comes to improving the digestive system. This is applicable both on us and our dogs! If your dog has eaten something that has upset its stomach, bell peppers are a great idea when it comes to decreasing flatulence. It’s also believed that peppers lead to a better circulation. Finally, peppers are really low in calories which is always a plus, right?
How Do I Serve Capsicum To My Dog?
You can be very creative if you want to incorporate this healthy vegetable in your dog’s diet. You can give the pepper pieces as they are or mix them with something else. However, there are a couple of guidelines you should follow when serving peppers to your dog.
First of all, never give peppers that have been prepared with onion or garlic. For instance, some of your favorite stew may include peppers, other vegetables and onion. Don’t give this to your dog, even if you only give the peppers to your dog. Even the least bit of onion is toxic to dogs and should never be given!
Second, don’t give the peppers as they are. Instead, cut them in smaller pieces as this will make the digestion process easier and you won’t have to worry about your dog choking on a big piece.
Finally, introduce peppers slowly if it’s the first time and see how your dog reacts. If it seems to like it and tolerate it well, you can start incorporating them occasionally, in normal amounts. On the other hand, if you notice that your dog doesn’t enjoy them or digest them well, don’t force this vegetable on him or her. There are plenty of other healthy options out there!
If you follow these guidelines, you can serve them in whatever way you and your dog find the best. You can either serve the pepper pieces raw or mashed together with dog food or some other vegetables. Some dogs may find it difficult to chew on raw bell peppers, as their teeth aren’t made for chewing on vegetables. If that’s the case, steaming some pepper pieces will facilitate the process a lot!
How Much Peppers Should Dogs Eat?
Even though peppers are safe and healthy, there’s no reason to go overboard! Feeding your dog a lot of capsicum won’t make the benefits any bigger, it will only upset your dog’s stomach. An upset stomach can lead to diarrhea and vomiting – something we’re guessing you don’t want for your dog?
So, feed peppers only occasionally, as a treat IF your dog likes them. Dogs don’t have the same nutritive needs as we do. So, vegetables aren’t equally important to them, even though they can be beneficial.
And once again, start introducing them slowly if your dog has never had some before. Any new food should be introduced gradually in order to see the reaction. Not all dogs like the same things so you have to see what your dog likes!
Great news – peppers are not only safe for dogs to eat, they’re quite healthy too! These vegetables are rich in vitamins, fiber, anti-oxidants and beta-carotene – just to name a few benefits. They’re also believed to help with gastrointestinal issues and they lead to a better circulation.
However, since capsicum is a wide term, you have to be sure of which peppers are safe for your dog, and which are not. The general rule is – sweet peppers, such as bell peppers in all colors, are safe while spicy peppers should be avoided. If you follow this rule everything will be fine and your dog will be able to enjoy some capsicum now and then, presuming that he or she likes it.
You can be very creative when serving peppers to your dog and you can serve them either raw or steamed, plain or mashed together with some other food. Whichever way you choose, just remember to serve them ripe and without any spicing, most importantly garlic or onion. And as always, start introducing any new food slowly and don’t overdo it. Dogs will benefits even from small amounts, occasionally. There’s no need to go overboard.
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