Can Dogs Eat Spicy Food? Is It Safe?

A lot of us really enjoy a little kick to our foods, so our dogs should too, right? After all, their digestive system is similar to ours?

Yes, dog’s digestive system is similar to ours but still very different in what they can digest and what is healthy, also, their sense of taste is not as good as humans.

So no, Spicy food is not something your dog should have. There is no benefit for them and could lead to problems.

Risks From Dogs Eating Spicy Food

For example, some of us use cayenne pepper as a spice for chili and other foods. It’s a great addition! However, cayenne pepper and other spices can be dangerous for dogs. Dogs only have about 1,700 taste buds in their mouths, which sounds like a lot, but humans have around 9,000 in their mouths.

Dogs ability to sense how spicy foods are by taste is not as good as us humans, this can lead to dogs eating too much spice (if they like it that is) which will lead to short term issues such as; vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and gas.

We all know what happens when we eat too much spicy food on any given occasion….. Imagine an animal with a much smaller digestive system. After the digestional discomfort, the bowel movement won’t be fun. You’re not doing your little friend a favor here.

It can be a challenge to get your dog to eat spicy foods however, because their noses are so powerful they can tell it may be something they won’t like. This will be your first indication to not feed your dog spicy foods.

Our dogs always want to eat what we have, though. So, if you are feeding them your spicy food, it may not be a big deal now, but over time that can result in pancreatitis and/or other health problems, especially in older females.

Other Examples Of Bad Foods For Your Dog

Garlic and onions are another group of foods in which you should not feed your dog. They are in the allium family, which have thiosulfate in them. According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, thiosulfate can cause oxidative damage to red blood cells within canines.

Also refrain from feeding your dog meat that was seasoned. Even just salted meat can be a problem for dogs as they can not taste salt as well as we do and too much can lead to problems for your dog. Much like how they get into the cat food, too much salt.

If Your Dog Gets Into Spicy Foods

If your dog happened to get into spicy foods, there is no need to panic. They will probably experience some gastrointestinal discomfort and pass it through their stool. He will just experience the short term effects from the food if he only got into spicy foods once or twice.

The food itself could be a bigger problem than the spice, if he happened to eat food that may be harmful to canines, quickly research and follow directions or contact your vet for help.


There is no reason to treat your pooch to spicy foods, the immediate effects are not overly concerning, but they can be over time. Refrain from feeding spicy foods to your dog and try to keep them out of your spice cabinet. No one wants their dog to have problems, we all want a long and happy life for our best friends.

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