Bell Peppers are a common ingredient when we are cooking something in the kitchen. Have you ever thought about giving your dog a bit of a bell pepper though? Can dogs eat bell peppers? Are they allowed to eat all the different types of bell peppers? We answer all these questions below.
Can Dogs Eat Bell Peppers
Bell peppers come in four different types of colors, green, orange, red, and yellow. Which are also known as capsicum in some countries around the world. This is because they are part of the Capsicum annuum species.
So can dogs eat all four different types of bell peppers? Yes, they can, you will just need to keep in mind that bell peppers are part of the nightshade family. So if your dog is known to get upset from nightshade fruit and vegetables, then you are best avoiding this fruit.
When it comes to feeding your dog bell peppers, there are some things you need to know first. We talk about this further below.
Firstly, are they any health benefits for your dog to eat a bell pepper?
Health Benefits of a Bell Pepper
Bell peppers mainly contain water although they do contain several vitamins and minerals, along with antioxidants and other different phytochemicals. You will also find that bell peppers do have carbohydrates in them. Not forgetting small amounts of fats and proteins too.
The different types of vitamins you will find in a bell pepper are quite surprising. You will find, Vitamin A, B6, C, E, and vitamin K in them, along with folate and potassium.
You will also find small amounts of manganese, pantothenic acid, and magnesium. Along with numerous antioxidants, specifically carotenoids. Not to mention other compounds worth noting, luteolin, lutein, capsanthin, and quercetin.
You may also be surprised to learn that over 92% of a bell pepper contains water. With everything else considered, this is usually 30 calories per 100 grams of a bell pepper.
You will find that a 100g bell pepper serving will contain 1 gram of protein, 6 grams of carbohydrates, half a gram of fat, and low in sodium.
But what does all this mean? How can it help your dog?
When it comes to all the vitamins, vitamin A and Lutein and any other type of carotenoid are good for supporting healthy vision. You will find vitamin B6 is good for supporting a healthy nervous system.
Vitamin C helps support a healthy immune system, while vitamin E will help keep your dog’s coat and skin healthy.
The Best Way to Feed Your Dog Bell Peppers.
When it comes to feeding your dog bell peppers, they can have all four colors, they can also be raw or cooked.
First off, you should always wash your bell peppers thoroughly even if you plan to cook them. This will help get rid of any bacteria or unwanted germs on the peppers.
Dog’s can sometimes have trouble with high fiber foods, they struggle to digest the food properly. By cooking the bell pepper you are making the fruit easier for them to digest and eat. It will become less of a choking hazard as well.
Sometimes if you have fed your dog too many raw bell peppers, they can then suffer from diarrhea or vomiting.
How To Actually Feed Them Though?
Whether you decide raw or cooked, you should always start of small when feeding your dog something new, especially if it is human food.
You should start by only giving them 1 very small slice of bell pepper, no matter the size of the breed. If they are ok with it and they do not react to it, then you can slowly increase the quantity.
You should only be giving them 1-3 medium pepper slices each day if they are a small dog, if they are a large dog, they can have up to a half of a bell pepper.
You should not be making this a regular thing though; they will learn to expect it and it would only be meant as a treat.
Please note bell peppers are fruit, a human food. It should only be given as a treat, not on a regular basis.
There are different ways to feed your dog a bell pepper, we always recommend that you never feed a dog a full piece of fruit or veg, as this can become a choking hazard.
You can either chop it up and give it to them as a treat, put it in a food processor or you can just cook it. Please do not use any fat or oil when cooking the bell pepper, you should not be adding anything to it. Make sure not to overcook the peppers, as they will lose some of there nutrients.
Another way you can cook them, which is probably the easiest way is to stream them, it is simple, and it helps keep all the nutrients that a bell pepper offers.
You are best removing the stem and seeds from the bell pepper, raw or cooked. They may not be toxic, but they can be bitter to a dog’s taste buds. Another reason is they can cause digestive issues, especially if they have a sensitive stomach.
You should always prepare your dog’s food separately and never take it from your pan you have been cooking from. A lot more things are toxic to a dog than a human and sometimes you might forget what you have put in it.
It may seem harmless but if you have added any garlic or onion, then that could be deadly to your dog, as they are toxic to them. Other items you should never feed your dog are, chives, leeks, shallots, spring onions, anything from the onion family.
According to Dr. Fox, you should never add seasoning or salt to the peppers or feed your dog ones that have been mixed with onions or garlic, as those ingredients are toxic to dogs. It’s also important to note that you should never give your pup the spicy varieties, such as jalapeños or Chili peppers.
Original article by Dr. Carly Fox, American Kennel Club (AKC), staff doctor at New York City’s Animal Medical Center.
Red Bell Peppers
As we have mentioned above, dogs can eat all four colors of bell peppers but red is actually the most beneficial type of bell pepper for a dog.
Red bell peppers are known to have more carotenoid phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamins A & C, and beta carotene.
They have the highest amount of Vitamin A and C
Some researchers suggest that bell peppers can help reduce inflammation in older dogs that suffer from arthritis. So the more nutrients you can get in a bell pepper the best. Please note if your dog suffers badly from nightshade fruit, then this could have the opposite effect.
With more antioxidants as well, this will be better for your dog in the long run. Antioxidants help fight against something called free radicals, which can be described as unstable molecules that can damage a dog’s cells.
If your dog has too many of these free radicals, then it can start to cause damage to your dogs’ body and their DNA, which can further lead to chronic diseases. Experts have linked them to different illnesses, one of them being cancer.
All dogs have free radicals in their body, even humans do. So please do not think its something serious your dog has suddenly got.
Green Bell Peppers
Green bell peppers are probably the least nutritious bell pepper of them all. The reason for this is because green peppers are harvested before they are ripened, which makes them less sweet and usually more bitter.
All peppers, red, orange, and yellow were a green pepper at one point in the harvest, once they start to ripen, they then change color. The longer they are left untouched the riper they become.
Yellow and Orange Bell Peppers
You can say yellow and orange bell peppers are more in between the green and red bell peppers but they are closer to the red bell pepper by far.
The reason we say this is because the red bell pepper is a lot more nutritious than the other 3 but the yellow and orange bell peppers have still had time to ripen and gain those extra nutrients compared to a green bell that is unripe and harvested too soon.
Can Dogs Eat Hot Peppers?
When people are searching for can dogs eat peppers, sometimes they get them confused with bell peppers. Bell peppers and hot peppers are two different things.
Dogs cannot eat peppers; they are not toxic, but they can cause some serious harm to your dog depending on how hot and spicy they were.
Dogs can not handle spicy food as humans can, any spicy food can make your dog seriously uncomfortable. Their stomach and digestive system will be in a lot of pain because of it.
If your dog has eaten something spicy like a hot pepper or jalapeno then they are probably going to have diarrhea.
If you think the spicy food has upset your dog and they are struggling, then you should visit your local veterinarian and get them checked up. They will be able to help soothe the dogs upset. Other signs of upset can be severe diarrhea, vomiting or any digestive problems
If it is not a serious situation and you think your dog will be back to normal in a couple of days, then you can try giving your dog some pureed pumpkin with their dog’s food. You should do this for the next couple of days, it will help to ease their digestive problems.
Additional Benefits of Bell Peppers
Bell peppers have been known to improve circulation, which can be a rare quality.
As mentioned above, bell peppers, especially red ones that are a lot higher in nutrients may even be able to help prevent some cancers. This is just a theory though, either way, your dog is getting a healthy and beneficial treat.
Another theory is that dogs that can be a bit gassy, bell peppers can help them with their flatulence. Along with helping with there gastrointestinal health and constipation.
So can dogs eat bell peppers? Yes, they can, and as long as you follow the instructions above your dog will enjoy them and be safe. Bell peppers are low in calories which is a great option for dogs.
Red bell peppers are the best to feed your dog, as they contain the highest nutrients.
Please note that you should never replace anything in your dogs’ diet with human food. Your dogs’ diet should only contain less than 10% of human food. They receive all their nutrients and everything they need from there dog food. Human food is only a treat, a rare one in some cases.