Don’t we all just love a bit of spice in our lives? Our furry friends may not share this sentiment.
Dogs may love human things such as walks in the park, or playing with friends, but their taste buds are not like those of humans. It is as simple as that.
Sharing your food with your pet is a big deal. Your first and foremost priority as a pet-owner is to make sure that your dog does not consume anything that can be detrimental to its health and general well-being. Many people are often confused regarding what their dogs can eat, and often the questions pops up whether can dogs eat spicy foods, so look no further.
This article will address questions that dog owners frequently ask such as whether it’s okay for their dogs to have spicy food, or if spicy food is harmful to them. Many people also ask if there are certain spices that are safe for dogs to eat, and whether your dog would like to eat something spicy or will the intake be poisonous for them.
It is important to understand your dog’s needs to keep it (and yourself) healthy and happy.
Can Spicy Food Kill Dogs?
To keep it simple, the answer is “No”.
However, you should not ignore that spicy food can be seriously toxic to your canine friend. Your dog can develop short-term stomach problems such as diarrhea, gas, and thirst, as well as more permanent issues such as canine pancreatitis.
More often than naught, it is the other ingredients used in making spicy food that harm dogs more than the spice itself. Onions and garlic are two of such ingredients which if consumed can harm dogs, which may cause them to develop health complications such as anemia, even if taken in small amounts.
This is enough to make anyone worried, isn’t it?
Does Your Dog Like the Taste of Spicy Food?
One of the most frequent queries of dog owners is whether their pets can taste spicy food.
Humans and dogs are different species, and unlike their superior sense of smell, dogs have inferior taste buds. Where humans have a whopping number of 9,000 different taste buds, their canine friends are limited to just 1,700. The number of taste buds influences the ability one has to discern different tastes.
A comparison of human against dog taste buds allows one to make an educated conjecture that dogs are not very sensitive to the sense of taste. To highlight the difference in taste sensitivity between man and dog, it can be said that where a man is generally able to distinguish between red meat and chicken, your dog will not be able to make that distinction.
It helps to know that humans have four primary taste receptors: sweet, sour, bitter, and salty. On the other hand, the taste buds of dogs don’t develop salt receptors due to the fact that their carnivorous diet is very high in salt. This allows them to eat things that you would never eat because you find them “disgusting”.
Thus we can safely say that your dog relies largely on its sense of smell, rather than its taste buds when it is having food, thus it is not very likely that it will be able to taste spicy foods. It is also interesting to note that dogs have an organ on their palate that allows them to “taste” different foods via smell. Research has shown that dogs prefer meaty and fatty smells as opposed to spicy ones.
What Spices Can Be Eaten By Your Dog?
Your dog can eat spices like basil, ginger, turmeric, parsley, and cinnamon without feeling any discomfort. Spices like basil may even be beneficial for your dog, helping it overcome the discomfort it might have from arthritis, while also elevating its mood.
However, there are certain spices that your dog should not be exposed to.
- Onions: these contain sulfoxides and disulphides which harm the red blood cells and over time cause anemia. An onion in any form immediately causes gastric discomfort, diarrhea, and vomiting.
- Nutmeg: this can seriously upset the stomach of your dog and overstimulate the nervous system. Nutmeg causes your dog to become drained and is thus considered toxic for it.
- Cocoa Powder: containing a compound similar to caffeine, cocoa powder can hurt your dog by damaging its nervous system as well as affecting its kidneys and even its heart.
- Garlic: though some owners may use garlic to ward off fleas from their furry friends, garlic is considered toxic for dogs and should be used only after serious consultation with a vet.
- Salt: a common staple in the human diet, salt is not good for your dog. It makes your dog more thirsty and urinate more, which may lead to dehydration. A large intake of salt can also cause vomiting and diarrhea.
This is why it is highly recommended that dog owners only give dog food to their canine friends, to ensure their pets to remain in the best of health.
Is Spicy Food Poisonous For Your Dog?
Though spicy foods may not kill your dogs, as described previously, they can be very toxic for them.
When asking whether can dog eat spicy food, one must understand that though the food itself isn’t poisonous, it can severely harm your dog and may even go as far as reducing its overall lifespan. In order to keep your pooch around for long as possible, you need to understand how important it is to only give it foods that its stomach can digest comfortably.
Some Quick Questions Regarding Dogs and Spicy Foods:
- Can dogs eat peppercorn? Though dogs can eat small amounts of peppercorn, peppercorn sauce is another matter whatsoever as it contains alcohol, and thus is not something that should be fed to your dog.
- Can dogs eat jalapeños? It is best not to let your dogs eat spicy food, so the answer to the question ‘can dogs eat jalapeno’ is a solid ‘No”.
- Can there be dogs who like spicy foods? Some dogs might prefer something spicy due to the fact that they have grown up eating it. For example, Indian households frequently make spicy foods, and thus dogs in such household might be tolerant and even prefer having spicy foods as well. This of course can’t be extended to mean that all dogs are just as tolerant, because not many dogs are capable of stomaching such spicy food.
- Do spicy foods impact dog noses and their sense of smell? Spicy foods can be harming to the digestive tract as well as the nose of your dog. Spices like cumin have a strong smell, which can affect your dog due to its heightened sense of smell. Additionally, you must know that some spices even cause humans’ eyes to water, so just imagine the impact these foods would have on dogs!
- What should I do if my dog eats spicy food? Your first step should be to relax. Your dog might probably show some short-term side effects such as runny stool or vomiting, but that should not be a cause of too much concern. The spice will simply pass out of your dog and then it will be fine. Just remember to keep your dog away from spicy foods in the future.
- How can I add some variety to my dog’s food? There are many ways, that don’t include spices, when it comes to making eating experiences more interesting for your furry friend. You can change your brand of dog food and buy different dog treats that are freely available in the markets. Additionally, you can even opt for baking your own dog treats at home! Dogs love ginger biscuits (who doesn’t?) and ginger has many health benefits for your dogs, so why not begin there?
- What is canine pancreatitis? Pancreatitis is developed when your canine has a lot of fatty foods. This condition is life-threatening especially if it touches the inflammations on your dog’s pancreas. One way of reducing your dog’s chances of having this disease is to ensure your dog does not have spicy foods.
So… can dogs eat spicy food? Yes, they can but that doesn’t mean that they should.
Though you are free to share your experiences, happy or sad, with your canine friends, there is a big ‘No’ when it comes to sharing your food with them. Humans and dogs are different species and have different body requirements. Your responsibility as a caregiver for your furry friend should make you wary of giving or exposing your dog to any of the foods that can harm it, or give it any pain.
Spicy foods are clearly not for everyone, and your furry pooch will love you if you don’t give them a bit of your share.
I hope this article helps you understand why spicy foods are not good for your dog and move you towards giving your dog only good nutritious food that will help it live and share its best, and healthiest life with you!