Medically Reviewed

Can Dogs Eat Capsicum (Bell Peppers)?

Written by: Milica Brzakovic
Margarita Boyd
Reviewed by: Dr. Margarita Boyd, BVSc MRCVS
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 the answer.

Can dogs eat capsicum? Is this vegetable safe for dogs, or dogs and capsicum do not mix well?

Some human foods are bad for dogs, while some are more than beneficial, but where does capsicum stand?

Capsicum, or peppers, come in different colors and different shapes and sizes and some are safe for dogs and very healthy, while some are dangerous, such as spicy peppers or jalapeños.

Can Dogs Eat Capsicum?

Yes, you can serve capsicum to your dog, as peppers are generally safe for dogs to eat.

Peppers are nutritionally beneficial and very low in calories which makes them a great treat. However, some papers are safe, some are highly nutritional, and some should be avoided no matter what.

In this article, we will explain what kind of pepper should dogs eat, how to serve capsicum to dogs, and how much pepper should dogs eat.

Is Capsicum Okay For Dogs?

As mentioned above, capsicum is safe for dogs. However, it should be served in small amounts and as an occasional treat.

Capsicum should never be a full meal to dogs, but rather a part of a meal, reward, or treat.

What Kind Of Capsicum To Serve Dogs?

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 the highest levels of important nutrients – carotenoid phytonutrients, (1) beta-carotene, anti-oxidants, and vitamins.

However, this doesn’t mean that bell peppers in other colors are unhealthy.

The red capsicums are simply the richest in benefits, but the others are really healthy as well! Let’s take a look at why!

SUMMARY:Sweet or bell peppers are safe for dogs, while spicy peppers should be avoided. However, the red bell pepper contains the highest levels of important anti-oxidants and vitamins which makes it the perfect choice for a low-calorie, healthy dog treat.

Can Dogs Eat Red Pepper?

Red, green, orange, and yellow bell peppers are safe for dogs to eat. This light, watery, and crunchy vegetable is always interesting to dogs, especially since they are packed with vitamins and antioxidants.

Dogs will love eating capsicum raw and cooked, although they may love raw ones more.

Red capsicum is the best to serve to dogs due to its nutritional benefits. Will red peppers hurt dogs? As long as they are served properly and in moderation, red peppers won’t hurt your dog.

Red peppers are healthy for dogs, and a great healthy snack. When you are on the lookout for a healthy snack alternative to industrial treats you can reach out to red peppers.

SUMMARY: Sweet peppers are safe for dogs to eat. Not only, but they can also be quite beneficial for them.

Can Dogs Eat Bell Peppers?

Dogs can eat bell peppers safely.

Serve them raw or cooked, without fear of hurting your dog. Just remove the stem and seeds before serving.

Capsicum Benefits For Dogs

We know that peppers are healthy, but what is it that makes them so beneficial? This list below will give you a better insight into the pappers’ benefits.

  • Fiber
  • Beta-carotene
  • Folate/ Folic acid
  • Vitamins A, E and K
  • Some B vitamins
  • Phosphorus
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Vitamin C
  • Antioxidants

Antioxidants help to protect and repair tissues in the body, as well as help in fighting cancer.

They also are thought to help ease joint pain in senior dogs if they suffer from diseases such as arthritis.

Beta-carotene, which can also be found in carrots, helps to improve vision and slow down age-related eye degeneration. (2, 3)

Bell peppers contain really high levels of vitamin C, which is important for the repair of tissues and contributes to a better working immune system.

Vitamin K is important for blood clotting and also for binding calcium in the bones.(4)

Vitamins A and E have antioxidant properties and are also important for skin and hair health. Finally, peppers are low in calories, which is always a plus, right?

Is capsicum good for dogs? All in all, dogs can benefit from capsicum, as long as it is offered in moderation.

SUMMARY: Being so rich in vitamins and minerals, peppers can benefit your dog’s health in multiple ways. They will help ease joint pain in elder dogs, promote our body’s protection mechanism and help in repairing tissues.

How To Serve Peppers To Dogs?

can dogs eat capsicum

When it comes to serving capsicum to your dog – be creative.

The best way to serve capsicum to your dog is to cut them raw in small pieces and serve it plain or mixed with dry or wet food.

Here are some tips to help you serve capsicum to your dog easily and fast:

  • Never give capsicum that has been prepared with onion or garlic
  • Never give your dog a whole pepper
  • Always cut peppers into small pieces
  • Introduce pepper slowly to your dog

Why you should cut capsicum to dogs before you serve it? Once you cut the pepper into small pieces, it will be much easier to digest, and you won’t have to deal with any possible choking hazards.

Plus, food in smaller pieces is much easier to introduce to dogs.

Always start small when you want your dog to have a taste of new food. Give Fido a chunk of pepper and see how he reacts.

If he ignores it, refuses to eat, or tastes and vomits, do not force trying it again.

Dogs aren’t too much picky about food, and if they refuse something it usually means that they won’t try it again. Some dogs just may not like peppers, and that is OK.

Watch out for signs of vomiting when introducing new foods, diarrhea or flatulence as signs that the bell pepper doesn’t agree with your dog and he is struggling to digest it.

These side effects are rare but may happen, especially if your dog eats a lot of bell peppers all of a sudden.

If they don’t seem to agree with your dog, 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 them 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 chewing and digestion process a lot!

SUMMARY: The best way to serve bell peppers to your dog is by cutting them into small pieces. You can serve them raw or steamed.

How Much Peppers Can 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, but it may 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, it is best to feed peppers only occasionally (5), as a treat IF your dog likes them.

Dogs don’t have the same nutritional requirements that 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 them before.

Any new food should always be introduced gradually, to see the reaction. Not all dogs like the same things, so you have to see what your dog likes!

SUMMARY: Feed bell peppers occasionally and in moderation. 5-10% of your dog’s daily food intake is the right amount of treats you could feed your dog with. Do not exceed this rule!

Can Dogs Eat Cooked Peppers?

The short answer is – yes, dogs can eat cooked capsicum. If they are not overcooked and steamed properly dogs will enjoy all of their nutritional benefits.

If your dog refuses to eat raw capsicum, you can always try serving some cooked capsicum.

Just make sure that you make a slow introduction and start with small pieces.

Just like with raw capsicum, if your dog refuses cooked capsicum do not force him to eat it.

Are Any Peppers Toxic To Dogs?

Yes, dogs should not eat spicy peppers. In general, dogs can only experience health issues.

Chilli peppers or jalapeños shouldn’t be served to dogs no matter what. Peppers should always be served dot dogs plain, without salt, black pepper, or any sort of seasoning.

What If My Dog Ate Capsicum?

Even if your dog ate some capsicum without you knowing so, or being around your Fido should be fine. At least that should be the case as long as your dog eats a small amount.

If your dog ate a full bowl of capsicum you will know it, as in most cases first symptom will be strong diarrhea.

If you just suspect that your dog ate more than he should, make sure that you contact your veterinarian.

Can Dogs Eat Capsicum – Conclusion

Great news – if you have ever wondered: can dogs eat capsicum, now you have your answer. Not only that peppers are only safe for dogs to eat, but they’re quite healthy too!

These vegetables are rich in:

  • Vitamins
  • Fiber
  • Anti-oxidants
  • Beta-carotene

As such, these vegetables can even boost a dog’s immune system, support eye health, and improve joint health.

Since capsicum is a broad 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 or chili 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, and most importantly with no garlic or onion.

And as always, start introducing any new food slowly and don’t overdo it. There’s no need to go overboard with the amount – Dogs will benefit from small amounts of capsicum.